This is the kind of thing you’ll see me rant about on my blog from time to time, planned obsolescence.
Sometimes you see an appliance fail due to a mechanical problem or a simple electric part short, but this is more insidious than that to me.
I’ve been called out to look at a Frigidaire Gallery Refrigerator that is reading a 5YEF error code. This is the code that signifies that the evaporator fan is not working correctly. Your evaporator fan is what moves the air around in your freezer and fridge, if it is not working correctly your refrigerator effectively becomes an old fashioned ice box, whatever is close to the evaporator coils stays cool, the rest gets warmer the further it moves out.
To give you some perspective on this, this whole evaporator fan system has been engineered to fail. You see in the old days, these fans worked on 110 volts just like your compressor and were controlled by a switch on a defrost timer. It was a very simple, easy, inexpensive system to troubleshoot and repair.
Jump forward to the new computer controlled refrigerators. Now the simple 110v evaporator fan has been replaced by a 12v fan. That’s right, 12 volts, like your car uses. To get that 12 volts, there is a transformer built into computer board, which is supposed to supply that power. This is usually the point of failure, what happens is that the transformer burns out and supplies no power at all, or as in this case, it produces too much voltage and burns out the fan. Right now a 12 volt fan is being fed 15 volts by the transformer.
So too repair this issue, we’ll have to replace the fan and the control board, which is right around 250.00 for both, add on an installation charge and we’ll be close to $500.00.
We also need to figure out how much life is left in this unit, there are another 400.00 worth of computer boards on this unit. Will they hold out for enough time for this repair to be worth it? I seriously doubt it.
Sometimes a part breaking is just that, an incidental problem, you fix it and move forward.
Sometimes a part breaking is like a canary in a coal mine, an indication that things are about to go downhill rapidly.