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Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/04/2017 2:28 PM

My very pricey Samsung French door frig with all the bells and whistles that keep the peace in the family ''fried'' its hoity-toity AC to DC inverter card which is reputed to be the latest and greatest in compressor energy conservation powering technology.

I say ''fried'' because the inverter card and the main PCB are located in an unventilated, uncooled almost hermetically sealed compartment on the rear of the frig cabinet about 50 cm directly above the vent louvers in the cover plate over the fan-cooled compressor. With all systems go for a while, immediately after I pop the cover plate and get some infra-red thermal measurements, I am picking up stuff in the range of 140 (F) everywhere on the inverter and main PCB, which means the fully sealed up electronics are normally operating a few degrees hotter than 140 (F) in the 75-76 (F) ambient space of my kitchen.

Something is wrong. If these were the electronics on a 747 or a nuclear submarine, I would certainly expect thermal hardening for a long lifetime service well north of 140 (F). But this is consumer electronics, all of which (except, maybe, some DVR's) I have seen are not only heat-sinked, as are both frig cards at several locations on the boards, but also fan-cooled with ambient air at per minute exchange rates many times cabinet volume.

My communications with Samsung on this have produced zilch - No retrofits or tweaks necessary. 140 (F) is within the acceptable design range and consistent with the expected actual lifetime of the ten-year warranty (which got my attention when I bought the frig) on the compressor.

In my view the heat is the thing. I have tumbled around some schemes for both convective and forced draft cooling of the compartment, but am very mindful of Samsung's ''The compartment must remained sealed to 'protect' the electronics.'' Suspecting than I am not the first to venture down this path, I am reaching out to the multitude for any who have taken on the cooling of the Samsung frig electronics compartment without endangering the sanctity of its electronics ''protective'' features. Of course, the other solution may be to just buy a basket full of inverter and PCB cards before they go out of style.

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#1

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/04/2017 4:05 PM

You can always hook up a water to air cooling system....seems a little troublesome, but I agree that is too hot.....

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#2

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/04/2017 4:41 PM

140°F should NOT pose a problem for any modern electronics.

Typical burn-in is at 125°C and typical operating maximum is 70°C for commercial stuff.

I'd suspect a simple failure and imagine that a replacement should operate for years.

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#3

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/04/2017 6:06 PM

Maybe that's why it's so expensive, high temp components...I see why they would want to seal the electrical compartment after that refrigerator overseas started that fire...brought the whole problem of appliance fires into the spotlight...

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/06/23/534074159/massive-fire-at-london-high-rise-started-in-a-refrigerator-police-say

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine/2012/03/appliance-fires-is-your-home-safe/index.htm

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#4

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/04/2017 6:10 PM

Condensing water vapor is most likely the issue with protecting the electronics. They must never be allowed to operate below dew point. I bet their qualification testing found this issue, as you never know if someone will put a refrigerator in a cold damp garage.

Reliability equations (for semiconductors) I worked with had operating temperature, and high reliability required cool operation. I worked on avionics for my career, black boxes that were naturally convective cooled were poor in comparison to fan cooled. Component vendors may have specified operating temperatures, but their reliability was not fixed over temperature. And no matter what conformal coat we tried (other then silicon potting high voltage assemblies), condensing water vapor shut down electronics, and allowed carbon tracks to form between high voltages (115VAC 400HZ) that became smoking flaming short circuits in PWB material.

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#5

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/04/2017 9:50 PM

Forced air cooling has its problems, too. A fan is a mechanical device that will eventually fail. And blowing air through the electronics introduces dirt and debris, and whatever else may be in the air in the kitchen.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/05/2017 9:05 AM

Right you are. The compressor operates 95 percent of the time according to Samsung.

My forced draft notion consists of one or two small computer case PWM fans (12v DC) on a separate power circuit from the frig to the transformer. The fans would be directly above the electronics compartment in the space on the top of the frig cabinet below the overhead shelving and exhausting toward the front of the frig with suction ducting to a couple of holes at the top of the electronics compartment cover plate. Along the bottom of the cover plate would be matching ducting intaking ambient air through a micron particle scale filter on the top of the frig cabinet diagonally opposite the two small fans.

Fans would operate continuously with nominally seasonal speed adjustment to a target exhaust temperature from the electronics compartment of 10-15 (F) above ambient. Fan would be manually off for ambient anticipated below 60 (F).

Quite a project reduce the temperature of the electronics. The more experienced of the two ''local'' Samsung techs with whom I chatted on the phone commented that inverter boards go far more frequently than the main PCB's. Not surprising, with the inverter over-heating due to being vertically above the heat of the main PCB in the electronics compartment. Plan B is to put a bit over $200 in a back up set of brand new electronics before plunging into the forced draft cooling system.

Thanks for comments.

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#9
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Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/05/2017 10:01 AM

The problem with that is you remove any liability from Samsung and/or insurance and place it squarely on your shoulders....Part of the strategy of a sealed electrical box is to starve any fire of oxygen, in your setup you would be feeding it....That liability includes not only the appliance but any damage a fire might do, including loss of life...God forbid....This I think would be a serious error in judgement...

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#11
In reply to #9

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/05/2017 2:46 PM

May? No, will (and potentially create additional problems make things much worse).

Yes, modify at your own peril as the warranty is null and void once you start tinkering.

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#22
In reply to #9

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 10:48 AM

Sage advice. As I am dragged into them by friends and family, I will do some sleuthing at appliance marts on the current crop of top end frigs.

But jamming all of these electronics into an unventilated oxygen starved space, about one half of which is surrounded by plastic material, is not necessarily a design that is both fire-safe and durable of electronics. We are, after all, talking about some already very expensive frigs; it would not take a lot of shunting of ''cool'' from the refrigeration circuit to the oxygen and humidity starved space to give us close to the best of all possible worlds. Has anyone in the global appliance industry figured this one out? Do not ever kid yourself; in all things mechanical, electrical, etc. heat or cold, vibration and tramp objects/particles are the killers, if everything else in the gadget is just right.

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#12
In reply to #8

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/05/2017 4:04 PM

One more time. 140°F is not overheated.

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#19
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Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 5:04 AM

I have to agree with lyn. I have run circuits at 180 F , just shy of thermal runaway , for months and never had any problems. Component positioning and heat sinking to the enclosure are the critical points.

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#23
In reply to #12

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 11:02 AM

Yes, if every spot in or on every component during the lifetime operation of the almost hermetically sealed device were never above 140, or 150, or 160 or whatever. 140 (F) under my conditions of measurement over 2-3 sq cm of surface open to the ambient atmosphere with the frig pulled out of its manufacturer's dimensionally compliant kitchen cubby hole introduces in my very risk averse mind an orange flag starting to glow red.

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#13
In reply to #8

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/05/2017 5:09 PM

My experience has been, that of any circuit component, electrolytic capacitors seem to be the most affected by heat.

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#14
In reply to #8

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/05/2017 10:55 PM

If the compressor is intended to run 95% of the time, then I suspect it is a variable speed compressor, that pumps only the amount of refrigerant required to keep the set temperature under current conditions.

The inverter board would be the device that creates the variable frequency voltage to run the motor at whatever speed is currently required. It's not just AC to DC; its 60Hz AC to DC to Variable Frequency AC. I would consider 140°F to be a quite reasonable operating temperature for such a device.

It is not clear from your original post whether "fried" means it failed, or just that you feel that it is too hot. Please clarify! If it failed, and has a 10 year warranty, then that is Samsung's problem, not yours (as long as you haven't modified it in any way).

We purchased a variable speed air compressor for our plant about a year ago, to replace the old single-speed unit. It cost about $30k, and has saved that much in energy cost in a single year!

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#24
In reply to #14

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 11:14 AM

The compressor is variable speed, which is the main energy efficiency mechanoelectrical component of the frig.

I am not an EE, but why the inversion (transformation) to DC then back to Variable Frequency (VF). Back decades ago when they came out for pumps, VF drives had issues, but in recent years, have worked quite well.

''Fried'' is failed. Only the compressor, itself, has the ten-year warranty, a feature that got my check book out. The electronics, a three-year warranty, or, perhaps, depending on consequential issues, a five-year warranty which I missed by a hair.

I am a variable speed aficionado, mostly for certain types of liquid pumps.

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#28
In reply to #24

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 12:00 PM

Most, if not all, of these VF Drives produce the variable frequency output equivalent by Pulse Width Modulation at a high frequency. That PWM depends on producing variable-width pulses (rapidly switching on, and then off) of a constant voltage. Assuming that this fridge runs on 120V single phase, If they tried to modulate the power line voltage directly, many of the pulses would be produced at times when the line voltage is low to essentially zero; it wouldn't work! Converting the incoming AC to DC stores energy in a capacitor, so there is always voltage available to turn on whenever a pulse is initiated.

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#6

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/04/2017 10:31 PM

The higher temperature (140F) will accelerate capacitor failure but this is still not outside of most capacitors operating range. The semiconductors will actually have a lower voltage drop and thus perform a little better. This all assumes the engineering was properly performed. With how competitive appliance markets are today I expect this refrigerator has been well engineered. That is if that model is still on the market. If its not on the market then you might own a bad design.

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#25
In reply to #6

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 11:29 AM

When I popped the electronics compartment panel cover, I was quite surprised at what I saw in the way of an elaborate PCB...just about everything except for a big clunky CPU, RAM bus and card slots. I suspect the most Samsung probably did was stick a one or two non-scanning (something like I have read used by NASA) thermal sensor in the the closed compartment, run it for while at who knows what ambient temperature, apply a ''slim'' factor of safety give to the designers by the suits, them put it on the market if everything checked. I did some cursory checking, but could not find anything UL on this.

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#7

Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/05/2017 7:51 AM

Has it frozen up and stripped the gears of the ice maker yet?

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#26
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Re: Over-heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 11:37 AM

Hey, I live in the Southland. Freeze up of anything is less and less frequent. But sometimes the icemaker grinds pretty hard to disgorge. Consumer Reports rated the Samsung frigs of this type better than average for icemaker seizure.

The main problem before the inverter card failure was the consumer biggie for this product...clogging of the defrost line, the result being some amount of flooding of the veggie crisper and/or the bottom of the frig compartment under the drawer. YouTube has a consumer warranty-busting fix video for this; Samsung... oh well, they never had this problem. So solly, Cholly.

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#10

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/05/2017 2:43 PM

Are you trying to reinvent the wheel here or is the card in fact fit for purpose and operated within its safe temperature limits and it has failed due to another reason like a voltage spike on the power line (which would be my bet) or just plain random failure (which is my second bet as these things plain just happen sometimes).

Don't naturally assume the manufacturer doesn't know what they were doing and cheaped-out on the design implementation and hence you have to modify the product yourself because you know better.

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#21
In reply to #10

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 8:22 AM

Don't naturally assume the manufacturer doesn't know what they were doing and cheaped-out on the design implementation

If it wasn't Samsung I would agree, but, given their history with cell phone battery fires, one has to doubt their abilities to long range / actual conditions of use test a product before releasing it for sale.

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#27
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Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 11:55 AM

Over the years since my first PC (32 years) ago, the abundance of opinion from all the electronic techs, PhD IEEE's, etc. has been about equally split on heat and voltage/current anomalies as the core source of failure.

Maybe so, but it looks like the Samsung guys may have tried to do their homework on the latter. There is a separate fuse on the line side (yes, 120 vac) coming into the inverter card. I was amazed at how small the intact burn element was, given my supposition and wiring tracing that the compressor power was directly supplied through the card to a local thermal overload switch on the side of the compressor. BTW, the compressor and discharge line never read above 135 (F) at any point I could read with my little infra-red gun; I have read a bit higher on much older frigs.

In general I think there is some rather advanced and sound engineering in my frig.

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#15

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 1:32 AM

Seems like Samsung all over. Their mobile 'phone batteries also cooked.....the entire 'phone.

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#16

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 2:28 AM

A very interesting attitude at Samsung. The design is expected to hold out for 10 years, but that is enough. I recently spoke to my sister when she reported a friend shopping for a new refrigerator after the old one failed after 10 years of service and the salesperson where new models were being checked out commented something to the effect "10 years! That is really a long time." My refrigerator is about 40 years old and is running fine, and that is what I have always expected (because that is how it formerly was!). These machines live (or lived) a pampered life, sealed off from dirt and other wear-causing elements and always well lubricated. The technology seems to have been lost, or more precisely, thrown away, to keep the sales high. Is this the trend for the future? Henry Ford had the philosophy that the odd part with the ability to hold out much longer than the expected lifetime of his autos should be made more cheaply if that lowered costs but kept the part functioning as long as the rest of the car. But that is not what we are seeing. One of the worst examples is the cell phone which must go back to the factory for a new battery, an almost certainly expensive repair, instead of just buying a battery and popping it in yourself. Yes, I am sure there are explanations to convince us that it is in our best interests for some reason of convenience, but basically, it is just a way to keep the cash coming in. The usual battery has a not very impressive lifetime and the frequent charging required assures just relatively short service life. Will it soon be that all our machinery (and maybe other things) will have deliberately short-lived functionality? Keeping the inverter hot (at the cost of early failures of electrolytic capacitors if nothing else) is one sort of timekeeper to terminate the period of operation, or at least assure sales of plenty of repair parts with their absurd prices.

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#29
In reply to #16

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 12:08 PM

I find nothing in your commentary to which I can take exception. I, too, have an old Frigidaire garage frig (One of my buddies calls it my ''mullet'' frig.) that is about 40 years old.

A young (35ish) PhD IEEE friend makes a very comfortable living designing ''hardened'' electronics. Increasingly, the customers do not come to him. He goes to them, taking him away from home a lot; in our world of spooks, we know why customers do not want to be seen at his front door. His opinion: The most dangerous device in your home is your DVR, or, at least, a DVR as it is placed and used/abused in the average home. And the best consumer electronics company since electronics entered our lives: Motorola, the Iridium constellation being their biggest blunder.

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#34
In reply to #29

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 2:45 PM

I worked for the big M for 23 years (67-90) and still carry a Motorola phone, for a few more weeks at least.

I agree that their stuff was top notch and some of the NSA guys I worked with while there were, shall we say, interesting!

Iridium, conceptualized on a bar napkin by Barry Bertiger, Ken Peterson and one other dude, was just ahead of it's time and overpriced.

I was also involved with building one of the first Polar Bear satellite tracking collars while there. Yes, it was painted white.

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#36
In reply to #34

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 3:40 PM

I'm sure it was painted white on a white canvas in a snow storm.

Did you name it Waldo?

(Yes, I have a warped mind.)

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 3:58 PM

See what you can do with this.

We also made solar powered sea otter tracking beacons.

They were blue on the bottom with a clear top to let the sunlight in when the otters were on the surface. They were about the size of a tennis ball.

I thought they were pretty cool. I don't know how the otters felt about them.

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#38
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Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 4:14 PM

Is this technology now used to protect Motorola cell phones?

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#39
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Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 6:38 PM

Beats me. As Oddball said to Big Joe in Kelley's Heroes, "Oh man I only ride 'em, I don't know what makes 'em work".

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#43
In reply to #37

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/08/2017 9:06 AM

We hated them, œ.ve! I smashed mine like an abalone with a rock®. We are tracking you humans now with our cellphone covers(see post #38) and have saturated them with anti-virility drugs mixed with a DMSO solvent ¥ξ. I'll have to admit that it does not seem to have reduced your accursedly high fertility measurably. However, our refrigerator electronics overheating program seems to be producing documented results with the magic blue smoke coming from the capacitors releasing contraceptive biologics that thrive in the warming food.°↑ The final goal is otter/human population parity but we do not expect to achieve that until shortly after the mass roll-out of self-driving otter-hackable cars Ω. That's top secret so do not tell anyone, especially those whose GPS just cannot seem to find even one unchaperoned lovers-lane.≠λ

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#46
In reply to #34

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/08/2017 4:25 PM

I guess it was just past the bar napkin stage when my Motorola construction communications guy in Atlanta told me about it Iridium. What sold me on it, and I never heard anything different from anyone else, is that it was supposed to be integrated user-seamlessly into the terrestrial cell network such that if cell service was not available (very common in those days) the user could opt to transfer to Iridium for a posted per minute rate of the moment to be accepted by the customer choosing to go to Iridium.

I bought in expecting the cell system integration and when Iridium started getting into trouble, I tracked down my Atlanta guy: ''Ghee, I do not know what happened, except I heard working the deals with the cell companies was delaying everything.'' It sounded like a win-win for everybody, but what do I know?

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#51
In reply to #46

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/08/2017 6:30 PM

I don't know about that, but it makes no sense to spend many millions on launching satellites and then letting land based phones make the bulk of the calls. I wondered how they were going to launch 77 satellites and still make money.

That was all way above my pay grade at the time. I knew Bretiger to say hi to in the halls because his group did work for the spook stuff I worked on.

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#52
In reply to #51

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/09/2017 8:18 AM

Iridium is one of the many deals where the original investors get the shaft:

www.IridiumNEXT.com

Now, alive and well and another launch next month.

I know a developer in TX who got seriously underwater on project financing in the 1980's, folded, reorganized under Chap. 11, then when the S & L crisis went into the Resolution Trust Corp. bought back into his projects for pennies on the $. As he said a while back, ''It helps having friends in high places.''

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#17

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 3:47 AM

You don't say, but it sounds like it's within the 10-year warranty period. If so why are Samsung refusing to do anything?

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#30
In reply to #17

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 12:10 PM

Compressor, only, is in the ten year warranty.

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#31
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Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 12:19 PM

OK missed that!

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#18

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 4:23 AM

Maybe a computer fluid cooling system could be use to bring down your operating temp. It should be easy to seal the piping for your electronics enclosure. There are some industrial control electronic cabinet coolers that also might be used. It is ironic that they miniaturize electronics then you need a heatsink and fan the size of a small house to use it. I still go by the old rule of thumb that the cooler it runs the longer it will work. I have a 15 yo Viewsonic monitor that( I can't lift now to get rid of it) runs fine because I would always add a fan to my monitors back then. If I could not hold my finger on it for at least 30sec it was to hot for my needs.

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#32
In reply to #18

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 12:23 PM

Jon, we are speaking the same language.

If one has even the slightest shred of an over-heating problem at any one of thousands of points in some very elaborate circuitry, and that circuitry is on a frig, well, guess what? Cooling is at your disposal with a rather small amount of clever engineering, especially when it is on the luxury car of frigs.

I have a two massive Samsung monitors of your Viewsonic vintage on which I never installed your fan because heat convectively pours out of the vents over about 50 per cent of the top of the case. I am sure that I have burned up no small amount of change keeping them in service north of $0.10 per kwhr, but even worse is the opprobrium that I suffer from colleagues when they see the monitors.

Yes, if the finger can touch it, you can not go wrong with the finger test.

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#20

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 7:02 AM

Heat causes degradation and I would add a heat pipe or something to reduce the heat load on the electronics. If I find an item on a product that I dont like, I change it since I bought it. It is important to make any changes reversible for warranty reasons.

This toshiba laptop went to the garage to have the front edge ground and polished down as it had a pronounced sharp square-ish edge that chafed on my palms while typing in the chair. Not any more. If you dont like it change it or suffer in silence.

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#33
In reply to #20

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 12:28 PM

Been doing the ''product improvement'' thing all my life, starting by ''souping'' up the push mower of my early teenager grass-mowing business. It sounded like the stuff the Germans were sending into the skies of Britain in the early 1940's.

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#35

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/06/2017 2:52 PM

Put This Pipe on your Refrigerator and De-Smoke It !

Reply #20 mentions a heat pipe. If the "cover plate" is metal then a heat pipe pressed against the outside of the plate with some thermal grease will cool the compartment considerably. I would look for a scrap laptop with a very flat heat pipe system (Goodwill Computer Works calls them scraptops and sometimes has prices as low as $5) that has a heat sink and usually even a small fan on the heat sink. Mount the heatsink/fan part above the compartment and press the processor/graphics chip plate of the heat pipe to the uppermost part of the metal cover plate. Since you are handy, you should be able to do this so that it is removable without evidence in case you ever need to use your compressor guarantee in your ten year window. I would measure the cover plate temperature first, then attach the heat pipe, then measure the cover plate temperature again. If the heat pipe does well enough on its own then I would not bother powering the fan. Heat pipes can carry away a lot of heat, especially if they are mounted to carry that heat upward. It strikes me that Samsung might have intentionally mounted the cover plate above the compressor louvers since that then does provide some air movement and 135F is not all that hot if the cover plate provides good enough thermal coupling to the devices. I assume that you did not put stickers or paint or something on the cover plate.

The heat pipe should cause no condensation or fire problems since the cover remains on the electronic compartment and the heat pipe is designed for a hotter-than-a-$2-pistol(you gotta love my late uncle's quaint expression usually referring to sans-muffler car exhaust parts of questionable provenance bought for cash only from a local junkyard) laptop(btw, Goodwill laptops are donated, not stolen, and I am talking here about thermal not criminal attributes). You should inspect your heat pipe and cover (maybe with split rubber tubing or some type of heat tolerant sleeve that does not block upward flowing air) any sharp parts since laptop heat pipe assemblies sometimes are wickedly sharp.

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#47
In reply to #35

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/08/2017 4:43 PM

Very cogent advice. Of course, the first thing I would do is buy a new (second) cover plate for whatever I do.

I suppose I always think in terms of direct cooling the ''thing in itself'' (to borrow from Kant, I believe). But if i could find a really good and dimensionally correct recycled sink of the size to cover, at least, the upper two thirds of my enclosure, I would go for it and see how much drop I get on temperatures in the board components. I suppose I could do some cut and paste to get a big one to the size I need or combine some smaller ones.

My sister is a heavy hitter with Goodwill. I'll see what she can do for me.

Maybe it would be easier to just buy Samsung.

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#40

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/07/2017 12:28 PM

Kinda makes me dread the day I have to buy a new refrigerator.

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/07/2017 1:23 PM

Don't buy anything from Sears!

Some years ago my wife bought a Whirlpool refrigerator from them. She bought the extended warranty.

Ice maker quits filling. Guy comes out, here for an hour, it needs a new harness, have to order it and you'll have to call when it comes to your house. Wait two weeks. It comes. Call.

A new guy comes out who KNOWS NOTHING! He uses his laptop to diagnose it and says nope, it's this thingy under the fridge that he can't fix.

Wait another two weeks and ANOTHER guy comes out. Yep, know just what it is, "fixes it, says it's fine and leaves.

Next day it's not working.

In the mean time I'm dealing with customer service, in the Philippines, who can't speak any reasonable facsimile of English.

After all this agony, Sears offered us a $500.00 credit on a shiny new Whirlpool refrigerator.

We're still using it cause there's a dollar a bag water/ice store at the shopping center 1/4 mile from the house.

Finally, Sears was bought by a financial guy who is selling it off for the property value.

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/07/2017 1:32 PM

Interesting point that is really about the computer induced tower of babble.

No left hand seems to know what the right hand is doing any more. It is partly a function of the business software, maybe, but also a function of people working there not reading into a work order before the response. Work order software is only as good as the documentation of identification of units needing service, PM's, etc., and the ease of retrieval of the information.

If there is no system of accountability, there will be no accounting for what happens next.

I sure agree with your frustration in regards to service calls. Good thing wifey gets to mostly deal with these while I am at work. She just merely cuts them off at the knees with her laser eyes. I would probably take the nuclear option.

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#44
In reply to #41

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/08/2017 9:47 AM

I can assure you it isn't just Sears! There is a huge variance in the knowledge and training of service personnel. I have had similar experiences on more than one occasion and on more than one appliance. I have helped repairmen on numerous occasions, where they would have failed or taken much longer to do the job without my help.

Part of the problem is lack of hands-on training. Back in the '90s, I had to go to an Apple facility in San Jose to get training on repairing Mac computers, laptops and Apple printers. We had to find problems, first with units that had been intentionally disabled, then with actual units that had come in from customers with unknown problems.

I haven't kept my certification up to date, but I understand that now all the training is done online with videos; never touching an actual device.

I presume a similar change has occurred with most companies.

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#45
In reply to #44

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/08/2017 10:50 AM

Agreed. I had a problem with a fridge/freezer some years ago. It seemed like a control problem, I thought unlikely to be repairable but took a calculated risk and got a guy out. Two of them came and they were a waste of space, not only had they no idea how the controls worked, you couldn't even have an intelligent conversation with them about how it might work.

Bought it in 2002 and it was only 2-3 years old. Replaced it with a Bosch and that's been fine so far, 11-12 years, but still well shy of 40 years!

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#48
In reply to #41

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/08/2017 4:55 PM

Lyn,

My girlfriend works at Sears. Almost every day she works, she hears about another "item" that was a SEARS money maker has been sold off by the new owner. I doubt SEARS will be around another 5 years....... IF THAT!!!

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#50
In reply to #41

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/08/2017 5:31 PM

I bought a $1k potassium permanganate charged green sand iron filter from Sears ten years or so ago. The idea was to make ferrous iron from the well into a ferric manganate species as the ferrous encountered the potassium permanganate on the sand.

Well, if the manganate converts soluble ferrous to solid ferric and binds thereto, what is to stop it from doing this when the pure solid potassium permanganate is being slurried with well water from its separate container into the filter to recoat the sand after all the precipitated iron has been backwashed off the sand? It would seem to me that the little recharge device diverting well water into the pure potassium permanganate container, then sucking out the potassium permanganate slurry would clog with precipitated ferric iron.

A call was made by the local Sears to their filter guru. No problem. The design is based on high velocities of flow both ways through the almost sub-millimeter orifices and other works, etc. such that iron is not able to physically precipitate. Right...for about the first 20 or so recharge cycles, because that high velocity flow does not occur 100 per cent of the time, more like 95 per cent of the time, and it was the 5% that got me.

I bought a replacement gadget, tore the original apart, poked, brushed, etc. after a muriatic acid soak, then rotated the reassembled gadget back into service when the second one clogged. This was a three times per year 2.5 hour process. At almost three years I junked the filter and went back to the $50 per month softening service guy in the neighborhood.

Sears did themselves in, but I still applaud their Craftsman tools warranty over the years. Never a question, even with their trashy circular saws and mowers.

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#49
In reply to #40

Re: Over-Heating of Refrigerator Electronics

11/08/2017 5:00 PM

Add new cars to your dread.

I bought a new 97 Chevy Cavalier and could not believe the mileage I was getting on regular gas - 38 to 40 mpg on a flat wind-free interstate at 60 mph steady. It also had some of the most comfortable bucket seats I ever sat in. I checked the mileage several times over two months and made the rash decision to buy a second one in the expectation that GM would build anything better. Both made it 250k miles, and one is still pushing around a metro area. I think I made the right call on GM.

OK, I would settle for a 1967 Dodge Dart, if it could get mileage in at least the low 30's. Then there is the friend with a 2010 Acura SUV. It has a 600+ page owner's manual in small type. I bet the guys who sit on our ICBM's don't have an owner's manual this big.

Someone told me a while back that VW sold all of its old Beetle stuff to the Mexicans, and they are building intensely to keep up with local demand. I wonder what the penalty is for smuggling Beetles into the US?

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