Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Our Amana fridge: It could not have survived another 8 weeks?

Last weekend we finalized the plans for our new kitchen, signed the contract and made a deposit to our friends at HWC Homeworks. Since I am now a pround employee of General Electric, an integral part of our kitchen will be the GE Profile appliances which I will be able to purchase at the Employee Store. To say that Dee and I are excited to start this project is an understatement.

A few weeks ago, our Amana refrigerator started to buzz. The buzzing was somewhat cyclical, so couple that with what I know of the refrigeration cycle told me that our appliance was failing. It held its best for a week or so, but one day there was nothing but water in the ice tray. We called out friends at Apex Appliance Repair and Jim came to our house a few hours later. He repalced a malfunctioning part and in a few hours the fridge was cold again. Dee and I breathed a sigh of releif and we hoped against hope that this refrigerator we had purchased just 4 1/2 years ago would survive long enough to the end of our kitchen make over.

Well, two days ago I got up a little after 5AM and was ready to start my day as I normally do, taking Samson out for a walk. Before I left, I checked the ice ice tray and much to my disappointment, liquid water was present. I took Samson out for a walk, then I told Dee the bad news about our fridge. We called Apex Appliance Repair again, as they warranted their work for 90 days. Jim the reapir tech showed up a few hours later and he gave us the really bad news: The compressor had failed.

To those of you who are not well acquainted with the refrigeration cycle, the compressor is the engine which drives the entire cycle. The physics behind the cycle is pretty straightforward. The compressor is used
to heat the refrigerant which is then forced into a condenser where it undergoes a change in state from vapor to liquid. From there, the refrigerant heads to the thermal expansion valve where the refrigerant changes state once again. This is where the cooling process occurs. The First and Second Law of Thermodynmics now come into play. The change of state is an endothermic reaction so here is where things get cold when they come in contact with coils filled with refrigerant.

Back to our problem.
To replace the compressor would cost anywhere between $450-550. It made no economic sense to repair this Amana appliance with a new GE machine on the way. We have a new kitchen in the works, but our new appliances, including a lovely refrigerator, will not come into being for at least another 8 weeks. We were between a rock and a hard place. We needed a fridge to get by the next few weeks, but it was silly to purchase a large fridge. We found a happy medium, an fridge large enough to get us through the coming months but small enough to fit down the stairs for use after our new kitchen comes into being. We settled on a fridge made by a Canadian company called Danby. It is larger than a cube (think dorm) fridge, but it is small enough to be a good second fridge we can have down the basement after we get our new GE Profile refrigerator. While our brand spanking new fridge is meeting our immediate needs, it does look a little small in the space where our old fridge used to located. Please note the cooler to the left of the picture. It came in handy to save the beer.


Henry said...

And, the new "fridge" will come in handy as a beer box for the future. All in all, a wise choice!!

Lisa and Gary... said...

That thing is about the size of the fridge I had in my Lyon St., home. It was my only fridge. Not my spare. Can you say, "Teeny, tiny kitchen?" Thankfully, Michigan's long cold season kept most of the beer cool on the three season porch. That one certainly will come in handy for oat pops. Oh, and saving the beer should always be your first course of action.

Thanks for the anniversary wishes. After The Tot goes to bed, we're having Dark Chocolate Gelato. We are wild and crazy middle aged married people!


John said...

That description of the refrigeration cycle brought flashbacks of my EOOW board....

Now explain condensate depression...

Michael said...

We've had better luck with our Amana fridge. We bought when we bought our house in July 1995. Still working fine.

Paul's Blog said...

Thanks for rubbing it in!


Lisa and Gary... said...

If it's any consolation, the piece-o-crap oven we just replaced was an Amana. Your Profile will be much, much nicer.


Paul's Blog said...

I hope that you get more than 4.5 years out of your range!

Much love,