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I bought a second-hand fridge two months ago.

The fridge was not cold enough, getting more and more ice in the freezer, and started making noise last night.

I unscrewed the freezer section and found the fan and coil were frozen.

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Its looked pretty bad.

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I managed to clean up some ice but still leave some at the right as it's stuck at the coil.

I have no knowledge at all in fridge.

  1. Could someone give me a brief on how the thing on the picture works?

  2. What's the function of the 'brown tube' at the right of the picture?

  3. Anything I can do to prevent it from happening again?

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Mechanically removing ice is a great way to break your fridge. Stick to heat and time.

Your fan appears to not be attached. That would be problem.

Other than that, you either have a problem with the automatic defrost, or it was overwhelmed, perhaps by the lack of a happy fan causing more icing than it expected, or by excessive humidity. I have had a fridge that would need an occasional manual defrost in the summer, but which was fine the rest of the year. Eventually it got worse and was replaced.

Being careful to seal and cover things in the fridge to reduce evaporation, and minimizing the time that the door is open will both help, somewhat, by reducing the available water in the air to freeze.

If you have bent fins while mechanically removing ice, carefully straighten them - bent fins block airflow.

  • thanks for your reply. The fan is spinning well actually, and the freezer is not overwhelmed. I did some search, knowing automatic defrost is done by periodic heating, but can't figure out how it's connected to the module in the picture. Yeah reducing humidity and straightening fins would be probably the only thing I can try now. – ydoow Jul 29 '16 at 4:08
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    The auto defrost drain hole can be overwhelmed by the amount of water. In some models even if it's not blocked. A cool and/or humid room can make this worse, the latter especially if you open it frequently. Like Ecnerwal, I've had to manually defrost mine in the past. That hard ice is caused by melting and refreezing during defrost cycles. – Chris H Jul 29 '16 at 6:47
  • @Ecnerwal I'm sure you know this, but I wanted to mention it. Bent fins that aren't blocking airflow are also a problem. The fins increase the surface area of the radiator which increases the rate of heat transfer. If two fins are touching, you lose that amount of surface area and can transfer less heat. If two fins are close, but not touching, they have a smaller amount of air between them to transfer heat with. (You could say they "fight" over the energy in that small amount of air.) Meanwhile, in the too-wide gap, air is passing through without exchanging as much heat as possible. – Zach Mierzejewski Oct 21 '16 at 13:55
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You have a fair number of bent fins in that radiator-looking part. Those definitely won't help. I don't know enough about them to know if you can just bend them back, but if the fins are as thin as I'm guessing they are, that's probably a scary thought anyway.

You may also want to check that your defrost timer is still working. I had to replace ours a few weeks ago for the same basic problem(fridge wouldn't defrost itself). Turns out the timer wasn't working properly and was forcing the "more cold" side of the heat scale, all the time. Running a search on your fridge's model number, which should be on one of the stickers inside, and something like "defrost timer" should find you diagrams that show where everything is. I found some decent instructions for testing it here if you have a multimeter.

  • Sounds like a plan. Right the bent fins are bad but I guess it's not the main cause of that serious icing. Now I'll see if it happens again in 2 months, will definitely check the defrost timer. Many thanks. – ydoow Jul 30 '16 at 12:27

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