Desperate to rid yourself of your avocado-colored refrigerator that’s running up your energy bills? Have an ancient refrigerator that’s ruining the look of your pin-worthy kitchen? Have a spouse who won’t part with it until it dies?
Of course, we’re all about extending the life of appliances with do-it-yourself repair. But, if you really want to know, here’s how kill a refrigerator:
Try to speed up the automatic defrosting process by using a sharp tool or utensil to scrape away the ice from the evaporator coils.
How this kills it: This will puncture the refrigerant line. The repair cost for this will be too high. Replacing the refrigerator will be more cost effective.
Turn the unit on and off repeatedly over the course of 30 minutes to one hour.
How this kills it: This will short cycle the refrigerator’s compressor – an expensive repair. A new unit is most often the cheaper option. (Note: This is known to happen during storms in which power is knocked out and restored repeatedly over a short period of time.)
Transport the refrigerator on its side or back.
How this kills it: This will cause the compressor oil to leak into refrigerant lines, which can clog up the capillary tube permanently.
Bonus tip: Move the refrigerator to your garage, if you live in the north.
If your garage’s temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, your self-defrosting refrigerator’s oil can thicken and cause premature compressor failure.
Discover that it’s an energy hog.
Use a plug-in energy usage meter to track the refrigerator’s energy consumption. Changes in consumption can indicate problems. Also, you may find that your large, old refrigerator is consuming more energy and costing you significantly more than it should. If you replace a refrigerator that’s more than 20 years old with a new one, the difference in energy consumption can easily be $150/year.
Have a friend with a loathed refrigerator? Share this with her/him!