Friday, May 8, 2009

what causes the fuse of the fridge to keep tripping?

for the past two days, i have been grappling with a household problem - my whirlpool fridge had decided to go on strike. i came home on tuesday evening to a darkened flat. it was not in total darkness as the staircase light was still on. i only realised there was a trip when i tried to switch on the kitchen's light. i tried a few other switches to confirm that it was a trip.

normally, when i go to the switchboard and flick the affected switch, things will get into motion. this time nothing happened. rather the switch kept returning to the 'off' position. the conclusion - one of the appliances had short circuited. my prime suspect was the fridge. i switched it off and then went back to the switchboard. true enough, it was the culprit.

i called my friend nah for advice. the next step was to replace the fuse in the plug head. i have a stock of used but working fuses. after i had put in a 'new' fuse, the tripping stopped but the fridge was still dead - the lights were off and the there was no sound from the motor and the fan.

the next day i decided to seek 'professional' help. i called my regular electrician, the one who services my air conditioners. he had helped me fix a fault with the same fridge before. he came checked and told me to get the agent's serviceman because the fault was with 'some internal wiring'.

sometime after he had left, i was moving some of the items from the freezer to a mini fridge in my room, when it suddenly came to life - the lights came on and the motor started humming. i thanked my lucky star for the saving on the repair bill.

then in the middle of the night it happened. the air-conditioner in my room stopped working. i got up to check and found out that the fuse of the fridge had tripped again. i switched off the fridge, and electricity to the other points was restored.

the next morning i called whirlpool south-east asia and that afternoon, the serviceman came with the necessary spare-part to fix the problem. the serviceman explained to me that it was the faulty heater that was causing the trip.

the fridge goes into a defrost mode once every eight hours. during this cleaning period, moisture or water may get into the heater, if there is a crack in it, and this will cause the electricity to trip.

once the faulty heater was replaced, the fridge starting working again. the repair bill - about $200.

the trouble that comes with a fridge that has stopped working is the food, especially in the freezer compartment, may go bad. afraid that contamination might take place, i cooked most of the meat in the freezer. so, yesterday evening we had a big pot of bak tuk teh and steamed egg with minced meat.


nah said...

I had a similar experience of the circuit breaker tripping due to a faulty home appliance; it was not the fridge but the oven. When the repairman came, he told me the fault was with the heater, which became damp due to infrequent use of the oven. He disconnected the earth wire from the plug (to stop the tripping), switched on the oven for half an hour to remove the moisture from the heater, switched it off, reconnected the earth wire, and the oven was working again. He taught me to use this method whenever the oven has this problem. But he warned me not to touch the oven when the earth wire is disconnected from the plug because the appliance is no longer earthed, and can cause electrocution. He only charged me for transport and taught me a valuable lesson.

yg said...

mr nah, this is a common problem with the conventional oven. i have had this problem with my oven before.