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Upright Freezer - drain plugs in door?
Old 07-08-2008, 10:44 PM   #1
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Upright Freezer - drain plugs in door?

Defrosted our upright freezer today (oh joy). Finishing up, and I notice water continuing to leak out the bottom of the door panel. Feel around, and some plastic bits kinda fall apart, and some of the pieces push into two 1/2" holes in the door panel. I try blowing out as much water as I can with the shop vac, but it keeps dripping - I'm guessing there was ice built up inside the door panel that was still melting.

I'm not sure what these plugs are for, since they are broken up. But they look more complex than just hole plugs. I suspect they are some sort of one-way valve? These appear to vent through to holes in the inside door panel, maybe it lets air get sucked up and into the freezer to avoid a vacuum as it cools after closing the door? Maybe that vacuum would suck in the gasket and break the seal? I was thinking that they were to let condensation drip out at the same time, but that would drip on the floor - no drip pan under there, so I don't think so.

Found a repair site for the unit, but the drawing did not detail these plugs. I've just shoved towels under the door for now to block them but still allow some air to leak in.

FRIGIDAIRE FU161JRW3 Door parts

So I'm not sure what to do. It's 20 years old, was a 'high efficiency' model for it's day (rated at $66/year at $.08 electric rates - not worth upgrading unless it is broke, IMO), and never gave any problem other than once the thermostat stuck on after a defrost ( I think water dripped into it, and then froze and busted it - I take it apart and blow it dry each time now).

If I plug them, I'm afraid the suspected one-way valve function is needed. If I leave a small hole, looks like cold air will leak out. Now that I think of it, I bet that plug just relies on gravity to close it, and lets air get sucked up, but gravity just lets it fall closed to prevent cold air from leaking out too much... I suppose I could rig up a little flapper to do that - or are these things available?

TIA -ERD50
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Old 07-09-2008, 12:02 AM   #2
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What is part #48, with a description of "Vent"?
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:07 AM   #3
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What is part #48, with a description of "Vent"?
Actually, that must be it! (where's that 'embarrassed' emoticon?)

I think I overlooked it, because I was looking at the bottom of the door panel, and I thought that blurry assembly was something else, the way it is set out from the door. But #49 (grate) that they show it with does look like it could be the thing that couples air from inside to those vents - it wasn't obvious to me, as you only see it from the outside.

At $2.81 each, I'll order two - thanks for the eyesight assistance!

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Old 07-12-2008, 12:45 AM   #4
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Glad to help.
With many Illustrators, you never can tell what the end result will be. I've gotten used to scanning the parts list's part descriptions, THEN going and looking at the diagrams to see where they stuck the part with a likely-sounding name.

Last week I was looking up the torque required for three bolts that bolt a transaxle mount to a transaxle case. The illustration showed one bolt, at 70 ft./lbs. I was doubtful about 70 ft./lbs. for that size of bolt into an aluminum case. After studying the illustration for awhile, I realized that the drawing really meant 40 ft./lbs. instead (a believable figure). The 70 ft./lbs. was really for bolts that attach the front engine mount bracket to the cast-iron engine block!
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Old 07-12-2008, 09:26 AM   #5
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The 70 ft./lbs. was really for bolts that attach the front engine mount bracket to the cast-iron engine block!
Good catch - stripping out the aluminum case could have been an expensive mistake. There's not always enough room to put one of those thread repair thingee's in there.

Got my 'vents' on Thursday - just as I though, gravity just keeps them closed, and it can lift to let air in to equalize the pressure. Installation time of about 3 seconds.

Freezer ran non-stop for almost two days. I think the food had actually warmed up to maybe 10F since it wasn't keeping up with all the frost buildup, plus the heat in the garage, and the food warming slightly while defrosting. Seems to be back to a ~ 50% duty cycle now. New thermometer (somehow lost the old one) reading 0F.

I'm going to get one of those Kill-a-watt things, I see they are only $20 at amazon now, with free shipping on a $25 order. I can monitor this better going forward. But that still won't help with the minor battles DW and I have over using up some of that stuff in the freezer so we can defrost it easier. I swear there is some squirrel in her DNA somewhere.

Amazon.com: P3 International P4400 Kill A Watt Electricity Usage Monitor: Electronics

-ERD50
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Old 07-12-2008, 02:41 PM   #6
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ERD, no disrespect meant, but do yourself a favor and buy a new auto-defrost model. Life is too short to scrape a box of fishsticks off metal freezer grating! Kenmore sells a great one for $399 with an alarm built right in.
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Old 07-12-2008, 03:25 PM   #7
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ERD, no disrespect meant, but do yourself a favor and buy a new auto-defrost model. Life is too short to scrape a box of fishsticks off metal freezer grating! Kenmore sells a great one for $399 with an alarm built right in.
Unless the new ones are different - the old auto-defrost would warm up your food as they defrost, which reduces the storage quality (in addition to using energy).

This is an upright freezer that we keep at zero for more long term storage of stuff. The fridge/freezer in the house is auto defrost of course. But that does run some of the food through freeze partial thaw cycles.

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