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.

Views: 2376

Tags: refrigerator, repair

Comments are closed for this blog post

Home Energy Pros

Home Energy Pros was founded by the developers of Home Energy Saver Pro (sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy,) and brought to you in partnership with Home Energy magazine.

Latest Activity

Kaushal Bharath Raju posted a discussion

Affordability & Deep Energy Upgrade/Passive House Retrofit in Berkeley, California.

We have a small 1940s single level house (1005sqf) in Berkeley, California that is in need of a…See More
5 hours ago
Christopher Morin posted a blog post

5 Things New Energy Efficiency HVAC Contractors Need to Know

1. Do not sell on Price! Use 'Simple Payback'The price of High-efficient equipment will undoubtedly…See More
10 hours ago
David Eggleton commented on David Eggleton's group Considering Permaculture &/or Transition
"In August 2014, in Minnesota, there's another unprecedented opportunity to meet and mix with a…"
17 hours ago
Glen Gallo commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal
"Nate, RE: Duct test On my own home and a rental I have tested more than once over the last many…"
17 hours ago
Profile Iconangela hines and Charles Goldman joined Home Energy Pros
22 hours ago
Jeff Flaherty joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

Tools of the Trade

A hammer and a saw used to be the key tools for home contractors. Today, the best-in-breed also use…See More
yesterday
Jeff Flaherty joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
yesterday
Debra Little joined David Eggleton's group
Thumbnail

Considering Permaculture &/or Transition

Some who work to increase energy efficiency and intelligent/wise use of energy are, and some will…See More
yesterday
Jim Gunshinan commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal
"Thanks for all the comments. Yes, it is interesting how the duct leakage grew over the years. Maybe…"
yesterday
Ed Minch commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal
"What sort of energy bill do you have now, what is  your target bill, and what will it cost to…"
yesterday
Nate Adams commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal
"I look forward to hearing more about the inside of the program! The big question that came to mind…"
yesterday
Glen Gallo commented on Jim Gunshinan's blog post Energy Upgrade California—Up Close and Personal
"It is curious to see a 15% difference in the duct test from the test out of 2007 to the current…"
yesterday

© 2014   Created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service