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Old 02-14-2011, 10:03 AM   #21
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I can't even begin to describe to you what a 5-lb bag of shrimp smells like after a long weekend at ~100 degrees in a closed-up house.
Believe me, I understand and sympathize!

When I came home about 6 days after Katrina hit, I had a similar experience. I had left 50+ pounds of chicken, fish, and shrimp in my freezer and with no electricity it had sat there in 90-95 degree heat all that time. The stench was so bad. Even after the refrigerator was cleaned out and the contents removed from the house, I very seriously thought I would have to remove all the drywall and carpets to get rid of the smell.

Luckily, it eventually dissipated so that was not necessary.
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:16 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by W2R View Post
Believe me, I understand and sympathize!

When I came home about 6 days after Katrina hit, I had a similar experience. I had left 50+ pounds of chicken, fish, and shrimp in my freezer and with no electricity it had sat there in 90-95 degree heat all that time. The stench was so bad. Even after the refrigerator was cleaned out and the contents removed from the house, I very seriously thought I would have to remove all the drywall and carpets to get rid of the smell.

Luckily, it eventually dissipated so that was not necessary.
This happened at my summer cabin, I blame the shrimp, but I'm sure the ground beef and chicken breasts were co-conspirators. It took a long time for the smell to dissipate, you could still catch a faint whiff months later if the place had been closed up for a while. Finally I set up fans all over the house and sprayed a bottle of Febreze into the back of each fan, a little at a time, every 30 minutes or so. (took all afternoon, but finally got rid of the funky odor.)
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Old 02-14-2011, 12:32 PM   #23
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Boy, FIREUp, I hope this is working out for you.

It'd be great if ice chunks got in the way of a ventilation fan in the back of the freezer (usually up top). If you're lucky something got caught in the compressor cooling fan blades (the fan on the bottom). But if it's coming from the compressor itself then the repair is not worth the cost.

We had similar symptoms that continued for over a week until we got the new fridge, but by that point the compressor was running darn near 24/7.

Craigslist is a great deal if you have the time, but Lowes' 10% military discount goes a long way toward feeling better about paying for retail convenience.

You might be eligible for a state, city/county, or utility rebate for buying EnergyStar. And if you get rid of that second fridge then you might knock as much as 25% off your electric bill, which makes the vodka & beer taste that much sweeter. As long as you don't fall down the steps...
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:21 PM   #24
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Lost about 40 lbs of meat in the basement "spare" refridgerator, a 27 yr old Amana. I got a whiff when I went downstairs on an errand. I was secretly happy that the old beast had finally bit the dust, thinking I would have lower electricity bills since I was planning on not replacing it, at least until summer. I got rid of the meat and did a thorough wipe down to get rid of the funk, thinking I would shove the thing into the back yard until the city came to haul it away. Then it dawned on me that the interior light did not come on when I opened the door, so I investigated and sure enough found a GFCI outlet had tripped and the old buzzard sprang back to life when I reset the circuit. I think the vacuum cleaner caused it to trip, not sure. I did another extra thorough cleaning using a strong bleach solution and it looks great, but does not smell so good and I am afraid I will still need to get rid of it due to the odor. I have left the beast turned off with the doors open for a week now.

What can I do to get rid of the odor which seems to have been absorbed by the plastic interior panels, or is it hopeless? I am thinking of another cleaning with baking soda.
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Old 02-15-2011, 10:29 PM   #25
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Got an extra bag of grilling charcoal laying around? Stick the whole bag in there and let it sit for a while.
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:00 AM   #26
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snip...... I did another extra thorough cleaning using a strong bleach solution and it looks great, but does not smell so good and I am afraid I will still need to get rid of it due to the odor. I have left the beast turned off with the doors open for a week now.

What can I do to get rid of the odor which seems to have been absorbed by the plastic interior panels, or is it hopeless? I am thinking of another cleaning with baking soda.
I'll postulate that you will need to clean the evaporator and air path. Depending how handy you are, you could remove the panel (where depends on the refridge) that covers the evaporator coil, heater assembly etc. and spray it down with a bleach/water solution. Then let it sit a few minutes, then rinse off all of the bleach, as the chlorine in bleach is corrosive to most metals and you don't want to leave it on there.

The back of the panel you remove should also be cleaned.

Anything you spray onto or pour into the evaporator will work it's way by gravity into the evaporator's drip tray, then run down a plastic tube and dump out into the condensate pan under the refridge. Usually, the condensor fan blowing across this condensate pan when the unit is running will evaporate the liquid into the room air to get rid of it. But in this case, you would want to attach a hose or something to the tube and divert the cleaning solution and rinse water into a bucket to dispose of.

On most refridgerators, you can see the condensate pan if you look into the rear near the bottom, where there are air slots punched in the (usually) fiber panel that covers that area. The fiber panel comes out with a few screws. All safety cautions apply, of course.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:55 AM   #27
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+1 for Telly's instruction for cleaning with bleach.
If you don't like bleach, you can use an enzyme cleaner (more environmentally friendly and easier on your hands), like Bac-Out, but it will cost you more.
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:24 AM   #28
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Our chest freezer died while we were in Philadelphia on vacation . It was loaded with chicken,shrimp , veggies and even a wedding cake from one of Gary's sons . Gary cleaned it out and put it by the curb for the garbage guys but someone came and took it almost immediately . We were shocked that someone would want an old smelly non working freezer .
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Old 02-16-2011, 09:35 PM   #29
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Great suggestions...think I'll start with the charcoal and work my way up to the more laborious methods from there.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:27 PM   #30
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I had my refrigerator under a service contract about 10 years ago. They came out to replace the gasket on the door on a late Saturday afternoon. After the job was done the tech. proceeded to tell me that I really needed the compressor replaced.
Before I knew it he was bring in a compressor that he just happened to have on his truck and told me he would install it within the hour. The best repair experience that I ever had!

I have since remodeled the kitchen and the old refrigerator was moved into the garage and is still working great and is about 20+ years old.
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Old 02-19-2011, 02:41 PM   #31
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...My question is: based upon you appliance drama history - any idea how many days/weeks might we have to watch the sales to get the best deal?
Soooooo glad you asked.

Create a "sales watch only" functional email at yahoo or some similar free email site. Create an online account with Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.
Do not enter credit card info or your usual home email address, but DO sign up for their sales newsletters and emails. Use the "sales watch only" email address and log in to read the emails at will.
Voila! You will get e-notices of all upcoming sales without clogging your usual home email address.
Have fun!
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Old 02-19-2011, 04:37 PM   #32
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..........
I have since remodeled the kitchen and the old refrigerator was moved into the garage and is still working great and is about 20+ years old.
Those old refrigerators are real power hogs - they use about 3 times the electricity of a new refrigerator. So...sometimes it makes sense to get rid of them even when they are still running.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:01 PM   #33
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Those old refrigerators are real power hogs - they use about 3 times the electricity of a new refrigerator. So...sometimes it makes sense to get rid of them even when they are still running.
Yes, the old ones use more, but I'm not sure that makes it worth getting rid of them.

Our 17 YO fridge used less than $10/month (@ ~ $0.10/kWh). I don't have measurements handy on our new one, but I think it is about half that. But at $60/year, I wouldn't rush to spend more than 10x that to save anything. Factor in opp cost on the money and you're near zero. And who knows, the old one might outlive the new one?

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Old 02-19-2011, 07:06 PM   #34
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[QUOTE=My question is: based upon you appliance drama history - any idea how many days/weeks might we have to watch the sales to get the best deal?[/QUOTE]

Simple: apply Murphy's Law.

Look at your calendar over the next few weeks, and look for the busiest weekend, e.g. you have a house full of guests, or will be out of town for a few days, whenever it would be the most inconvenient time for your fridge to fail, and that will be precisely when it will.

At least that is what always happens for me
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