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jaypb1

09:47AM | 07/14/04
Member Since: 07/13/04
2 lifetime posts
Bvelectrical
First time poster, semi-frequent lurker here!

We completed a kitchen remodel 10 months ago (October'ish) and we've recently run into a problem with our refrigerator. It is only 2 years old (Maytag 27 CF side by side). I've noticed that it's almost always running. And the facing of the refrigerator (where the doors meet--yodel loop is underneath the facing???) is consistenly hot to the touch. It also seems to run constantly. And blows out warm/hot air from the bottom under the refrigerator section. It seems to cool and freeze ok.....but we've noticed smaller ice cubes....and a diminshed water flow from the dispenser.

I've been told the issue I'm experiencing is because we now have the refrigerator "boxed in" by cabinetry and a wall....and there isn't enough ventilation behind or on the sides of it to allow the compressor/condenser to "breathe". Is this true?

I was actually taken aback when a Maytag tech told me this as all the showrooms we visited showed cabinetry with refrigerators "boxed in" such as ours is. And the "designer" at Home Depot never mentioned an issue....and neither did our contractor. We left about 4 inches between the wall and the back of the unit. And there is 2-3 inches on top. But it's tight on the sides.

Any technical issues that could cause this? We had the tech replace the condenser fan (He threw me a bone and said the issue *may* have been caused by an intermittent fan...but I can now see it wasn't the fan). The condenser area (underneath the refrigerator) is clean. The tech told us he "checked" everything else. I want to make sure before I start cutting out areas in the wall/floor for "venting" that I exhaust all possible causes of our *issues*.

Thanks!

DanO

12:23PM | 07/14/04
Member Since: 11/11/02
2293 lifetime posts
** I've been told the issue I'm experiencing is because we now have the refrigerator "boxed in" by cabinetry and a wall... and there isn't enough ventilation behind or on the sides of it to allow the compressor/condenser to "breathe". Is this true? **

It depends on the design of whatever refrigerator model you have. Installation requirements should be stated in the products installation guide or owner's manual.

** we've noticed smaller ice cubes... and a diminshed water flow from the dispenser. **

That should have nothing to do with the fridge's installation but more likely due to the water line installation. If a 'self piercing' type water valve was used on your house water pipe or any kind of saddle valve mounted on the underside of a horizontal water pipe, that is quite possibly where the problem lies.

Only a drill type saddle valve should be used for refrigerator connections (if not a regular plumbing valve) and mounted on the side of a vertical pipe or the top of a horizontal pipe.

** I've noticed that it's almost always running. And the facing of the refrigerator where the doors meet is consistenly hot to the touch. **

If the fridge's condenser can not remove enough heat, the fridge will run longer and cause the yoder loop (which also goes around the front perimeter of the cabinet) to be hotter than normal.

** And blows out warm/hot air from the bottom under the refrigerator section. **

That is normal although at least some of the heat may be from the compressor running 'hot' due to the fridge's installation.

** the refrigerator "boxed in" ... Any technical issues that could cause this? **

It could cause the fridge to run longer than normal leading to increased energy consumption, the compressor to run hotter than normal and increased refrigerant pressures possibly shortening the compressor's life expectancy.

BTW. A failure of any part of the fridge due to improper installation could void any remaining warranty on the appliance.

JFYI

Dan O.

http://www.Appliance411.com/?ref411=maytag+fridge

The Appliance Information Site

=Ð~~~~~~


jaypb1

01:12PM | 07/14/04
Member Since: 07/13/04
2 lifetime posts
**It depends on the design of whatever refrigerator model you have. Installation requirements should be stated in the products installation guide or owner's manual.**

Funny thing is, the manual states to keep an inch from the back and 3 inches on top....and I don't recall if it mentions anything about the sides. I'll have to check it again when I get home.

**That should have nothing to do with the fridge's installation but more likely due to the water line installation. If a 'self piercing' type water valve was used on your house water pipe or any kind of saddle valve mounted on the underside of a horizontal water pipe, that is quite possibly where the problem lies.**

I'm pretty sure we have the saddle value that goes in from the bottom. Yet, we had no problems with the water flow until the "heat" issues started. That's why I was wondering if they were connected in some way. I've read up on the possibility of those valves getting clogged for whatever reason....and I even tried closing it (to repuncture it) and then reopening it...but to no avail. The previous refrigerator we had used this same line for over 6 years with no problems. So that's why I'm left scratching my head !?!?!

**Only a drill type saddle valve should be used for refrigerator connections (if not a regular plumbing valve) and mounted on the side of a vertical pipe or the top of a horizontal pipe.**

My last recourse will be to call a plumber in and see what can be done. I just want to see if everything (the problems/issues we are experienced) is connected to the fridge itself.

**If the fridge's condenser can not remove enough heat, the fridge will run longer and cause the yoder loop (which also goes around the front perimeter of the cabinet) to be hotter than normal.**

When I pulled the refrigerator out from it's current space and "left" it out in the open in the kitchen it still ran for extended periods of time....but without the heat coming from the front grill. And the front perimeter of the cabinet was definitely cooler. I also purchased something called a "Kill-A-Watt" meter from repairclinic.com to see what the KW/H usage was. It averaged somewhere in the neighborhood of 3.14 KW/H per day IIRC (.14 or so per hour??) which seemed somewhat higher than what the "energy sticker" on the unit stated. And the readings seemed to be the same away from the wall vs in the wall (For the small sample size of time I had the unit pulled out).

**That is normal although at least some of the heat may be from the compressor running 'hot' due to the fridge's installation.**

I've checked out other family members/friends refrig locations/installs and most are similar to mine (closed in on the sides, space on top and in the back) and they don't seem to elicit the same type of warm air displacement out of the bottom. And their units were older than mine. But, again, I didn't notice any issues prior to April or so (when it got warm outside around here) and Im' not sure how it operated before we re-did the kitchen.

**It could cause the fridge to run longer than normal leading to increased energy consumption, the compressor to run hotter than normal and increased refrigerant pressures possibly shortening the compressor's life expectancy.

BTW. A failure of any part of the fridge due to improper installation could void any remaining warranty on the appliance.**

Your last statement is what frightens me (of course) and it's what I want to avoid. I appreciate the info/feedback. I'll have to see what I can accomplish AFA getting some "airflow" behind there. But, again, I don't want to start ripping up stuff for the sake of doing that. But it may be what I have to do.

Thanks again!


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