Refridge on the fritz

Our fridge has been not keeping stuff cool. I have been deep diving on the plethora of info available from the Internet and trying to debug it (no luck yet, everything seems to be working except the result).

Check out this control board area:

This is accessed from 4 screws on the back. No screws holding them in place. How slick.

The top board is a power supply (14VDC). The next is the main computer, and the bottom one is a driver for the leds.

I was thinking about replacing the main control board so I looked up the price. $400! The power supply? $350! The led board? $350! Thermistor? $70! Evaporator fan (that looks like a 12cm cpu fan to me)? $90!

Not sure where the preciousness comes from, or who is gaining the most. But I can certainly appreciate how 3D printing commodity part prices have really helped us a lot.


Same with my old dishwasher. The tiny board on it was replaced, magically it did not fix the leak. They wasted a few hundred on that and then replaced the whole thing. Warranties are nice sometimes. Why would they think the board would fix a leak??? I am sure it was some sort of funky gasket but that was never looked at.

Makes you wonder if you could drop an esp32 and maybe a relay in there and check the temp once every fifteen minutes, turn on the compressor as needed and call it a day?

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Haha. That would be quite the ask of my wife. Plus, I am not certain that is the problem. I am just not sure why it isn’t cooling. All the parts seem to test out.

I might have found the stupidest problem. If this is the issue, I’m going to be angry.

The condenser coil is where it dumps the heat into the air. The condenser coils have hot refrigerant flowing through them and the condenser fan pulls air past the coils to cool down the refrigerant.

The condenser fan is in the back, and the condenser coil is in the front, for whatever reason, that looked good in CAD, OK. But the volume where they are connected is closed up in cardboard… One of the corners of the cardboard is curled up a little and I am guessing that the fan is pulling air in from under the fridge, instead of past the condenser coils. So all this trouble is because someone decided to replace a piece of steel sheet with cardboard (in a kitchen, within an inch of the floor, on a product that has a water line attached and constantly creates water condensation). It is in a really hard place to reach, and it is under the fridge. I managed to reach it with some tape on the end of a screwdriver to close up the gap. If that fixes it, I may need a fridge lift.

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Plus side, you can now justify buying a little sheet break?!

Is not horrible.

Boards for appliances are certainly annoying. My fridge also has an issue with a board, the ice makers “bin is full” sensor has been deemed to simple to just use a metal rod that rises with the ice. We must now use FRICKIN LASER BEAMS.

That board is busted in my fridge. Exact replacement is about $200. There is a $20 board online that has the same pins (it appears) that I have considered buying and fitting in (not exact same size/screw hole placements so would be printing a bracket).

Thankfully the only thing this affects is the ice maker, so I still have cold food. Regardless, very frustrating all around. I hope you got yours figured out.

It’s still not working. It seems to be able to do everything, but thinks 55F is 35F. I can’t get the stupid thing apart though (without breaking it). I am still chewing on it.

@jeffeb3 just dealt with a similar issue with my refrigerator. Turned out that one of the fans inside of refrigerator had stopped which caused a frost build up behind one of the drawers. Of course you can only see the frost if you took out the drawer. There was a good 3 inches of ice back there. Repair guy knew exactly was the issue was as soon as he saw it. Luckily it was still under warranty.