Igloo FR946 4.6 cu ft garage/mancave fridge shutting off.

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Old 02-27-17, 10:59 PM
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Igloo FR946 4.6 cu ft garage/mancave fridge shutting off.

Ok, have the above fridge. It cools just fine, when it cools.

First happened about 2 weeks ago, go out in the morning for a water and everything is luke warm. Crud! Emptied it, unplugged and rolled out where I could look at the guts. Actually pretty clean and I thought it finally dead (it's about 15 yrs old). Cleaned out the water, plugged it back in and it kicked right on. No multiple tries to start, no straining, no odd noises, just the normal hum and small gurgle. Been working fine for 2 wks.

Yesterday, noticed water in the tray again and started to unplug it, as I did, noticed the plug came out too easily. Thought ah-ha! Vibration and weight of cord must have pulled it loose or I didn't fully plug it in. Left it unplugged a few minutes and plugged it in to a nice tight fitting outlet. Seemed to fire right up and worked fine til this afternoon. Water on the coils again, though it was still cold (40-42 degrees or so). This time I upped the stat til it kicked on (don't think I did that before at all) and checked it again in about an hour. Damp on the coils again. Normally moisture will freeze within minutes once it starts running. Turned it up to max and it kicked on, <5 min later frost on the coil. Ex- got a water out about 30 min later and it actually had some ice in it. (May have been right beside the coil/freezer section.)

I checked it 1 hr after cranking it to 7 and its got damp coils again.

So...it seems like it will kick on initially, then kick off when stat is satisfied, but never restart? I have a small electrical diagram and it shows the stat, PTC starter and compressor. Seems like since it starts, it wouldn't be the starter, since it runs and cools, not the compressor. I don't think it's the compressor overload since it will run 15 min to satisfy, then turn off. Wouldn't think it works that way?

I just can't see how the stat wouldn't kick it back on, since when I turn the knob higher it will kick in. I think if I went out right now, unplugged it, turned it down to 3-4 and left the door open to warm up the interior, it would probably kick on just once. Since I don't really know what they have for mechanical parts inside, is it possibly producing my symptoms? ON til satisfied, then OFF, but never ON again?

They still manufacture this same unit, but not with the SS diamond plate door. I can still get a stat from the Canadian manufacturer also, only $12. Surprisingly cheap since they are in Canada. All sorts of starters on Amazon and Ebay for less than $10.

I'd hate to have to buy a new one ($160) and swap the doors to keep my diamond plate. Plus, I paid less than $100 for this one due to minor cosmetic damage back when I worked at HD.

Ok, I don't think I missed any details, since I tend to overstate. If something needs clarification, let me know.
 
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Old 02-28-17, 08:12 AM
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You're right. They're very basic. It's usually the thermostat that fails and in your case you say when you turn it up it starts... that tells me it's mechanically bad.

$12 is a great price as usually the ones I see are closer to $45.
 
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Old 02-28-17, 11:11 AM
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Could it be because it basically sat at the same setting for 15 yrs? Like a potentiometer or rheostat on an amp?

The $12 is what it says on their website for any of their models, so I guess they've all used the same one for many years.
 
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Old 02-28-17, 04:57 PM
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It's a mechanical device and when it gets old the guts start binding.
 
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Old 02-28-17, 05:54 PM
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Gotcha, like an old mercury thermostat. All mechanical except for the electricity it connects from source to load.
 
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Old 07-04-17, 11:54 PM
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Very quick update. Semi disassembled stat and cleaned contacts on actual switch. Reassembled and worked fine for about 2 months. Crapped out again and I royally messed up the internal switch trying to fix it again. Checked locally and all wanted $30 or more. Ordered an exact replacement from China for less than $5 +free shipping. Waited and waited (5+ weeks) delivery date came and went. Contacted them and got a refund..non-issue. Went out with a letter intending to get an MO (no checks) and order one from CAN. Stopped at one more repair place and after I declined the $30 next week option the main repair guy took me in back and dug out a used stat just like I needed. Took it home and installed it (getting good at it..prob 3 min from start to finish) and oh joy!, it fired up! 2 weeks later started having same issue.

Gave up and found letter and envelope I had kept and went to PO. They wanted me to buy an international MO for something like $7 on a $12 MO! Come on Lady! This is Canada, not Cambodia! Just got the postage and bought an MO at Quikee Stop for $.75. Mailed it off and went home expecting to wait 2 weeks or so. Checked my mailbox a few hours later and there's a little padded envelope from China! Well, it finally got here, 3 weeks late. Installed it and it's working fine last 2 months.

Of course, I also have the one that arrived from CAN 10 days after ordering, so now I have a spare if I need it in 15 yrs.

BTW...the one from China and Canada are identical, so if you are in the business or just would like a spare, order on EBAY. If you need one quicker, order from the company in CAN that makes virtually all the small fridges on the market. Seriously, $12 US and shipping incl. Heck of a deal really.
 
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