Cleaning and Replacing The Condenser Fan in Refrigerators

Strange noises emanating from the refrigerator really upsets clients. In addition to the noise, the refrigerator feels warm to the touch. We get these calls often for refrigerator repair services. When we get to their home, more often than not the problem stems from the condenser fan, for some reason it has stopped pulling heat from the unit. More often than not, after removing the back of the fridge so we can check out the problem, we find it’s not as bad as we thought. Most of the time we don’t have to replace the condenser fan. It’s not broken, merely suffering from years of neglect and dirty build up. This could have been avoided had they vacuumed the condenser once a year.

Cleaning the condenser fan is easy. We use a soft brush and remove the dust from the entire unit, and thoroughly vacuum the area. While doing this we explain how cleaning the fan a few times a year will extend the life of their refrigerator, and decrease the number of times they need us. Most of our clients didn't even realize they could remove the back panel and clean the dust and pet hair from the condenser fan.

After removing the dust and pet hair that’s built up over the years, the unit fires back up and works smoothly and quietly again. When we leave the client’s house, they’re happy to have their appliance working properly, and have been freshly educated about how to keep things clean and trouble free.

Every once in a while, we stumble upon one that needs to be replaced. The exact way our technicians handle the situation depends on the fan. Most of the time we've found we need to remove the entire system and replace everything.

Removing the condenser fan and replacing it with a new one isn't difficult. When we have to replace the entire condenser fan unit, we like to take the motor out before removing the fan blades. It’s the system that’s worked best for us.

To get the condenser fan and its motor out of the refrigerator, we simply find where the two wires enter the terminal block and use a pair of pliers to remove them. After that unscrewing the bolts holding the motor in place is easy. Once the motor has been unscrewed we slip the washer and fan blade from the motor shaft. If it’s in good shape, we’ll use the same mounting bracket that was on the old condenser fan on the new system. Once we've attached the mounting bracket, slip the motor in place, making sure it’s securely bolted before attaching the fan blades and then connect the wires to the terminal. After double checking to make sure everything’s securely fastened into place, we use our hands to spin the blades, making sure they spin freely and that they’re not going to catch on any wires. We refrigerator back in and test run it. Once the spin test has been successful, we close the back cover and turn the refrigerator on and listen to make sure everything’s working properly.

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Tags: refrigerator, repair

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