Defrosting in the New World

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Feb 24, 2022
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Willamette Valley
Marvels of Modern Appliance Technology

Living in a trailer rather than a 'stix n' brix' domicile, it isn't just smaller quarters that is one of life's trials. Quality of life is important too, and one of those things involved is that appliances are rather cheaply made.

Since this home of ours COULD in the hands of wanderers who might own it and be on the road, the refrigerator is an uncommon problem. Since it's not certain of what conditions a trailer might find itself in some night, these critters can work on 115V--household--current, 12V--vehicle--current, or on propane if no electricity is available.

And to replace a fridge like this is rather spendy...and frankly? They're not very well made. Or have much room in them.

So when ours died, we made the choice to replace it with a 115V household refrigerator that cost about one-third of the cost of another not-very-well-made three-power-option model.

Got a nice one, an LG, and it suits our needs sufficiently. And it can be replaced with the spendy kind by whosoever owns this after us. Not our problem.

Defrosting is an interesting thing, tho'. There is a button in it that says "Defrost", and the owner's manual that came with it says "move all food away from the evaporator" and then push the button.

The manual does not, however, say where the evaporator IS.

Nor do the pictures showing the location of components in it.

So! Let's get on Customer Service Chat for LG and sort this puppy out.

I write and explain the problem.

A nice young man named Rex (name changed to protect the innocent, but who proves to have a separate primary language than I, not that it makes much difference) replies and says he'll look it up.

He gets back a few minutes later and says "evaporator is kind of a metaphor", and that all food should be taken out.

Metaphors? In electronic circuitry? I gather up the cooler chests from our storage unit to temporarily store everything.

Anyway, the process of defrosting as explained to me by Rex (which should be done more regularly than I do it, of course) is to:

1) empty the refrigerator and freezer of all food,

2) press the 'Defrost' button,

3) put towels around the base of the fridge to soak up excess waters that spill,

4) leave the refrigerator door open for 8 hours or so, at which time the button will pop out,

5) reload all the food into the refrigerator and freezer, and

6) in 24-36 hours the unit will have returned to normal temperature.

Easy peezy!

So basically, what we have done here is defrost a refrigerator exactly the same way that Mom did in 1956. Only we don't have the hammer she used to (carefully) bust up the ice, no matter how much Dad had P.O.ed her and forced her to take her anger out on something rather than his head. Or the children.

But we have a Defrost button to make the job so much easier.

God, this modern life is worry-free, isn't it?

[mod edit: some un-related content removed--tx2]
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Fortunately I do not seem to have an emotional need to have a big refrigerator with a freezer. A 17 liter fridg/freezer is plenty large enough for my solo travels. It was 20 years old when I got it 4 years ago and it still runs like a champion. There are many of the same brand still running just fine at over 40 years old. The company is still making them like they used too except now the control panel is DRO whereas mine has a rotary dial. I prefer the rotary dial as it is going to have better longevity than the more fragile circuit boards of recent years.
So the defrost button just suspends compressor usage on a timer. The same as unplugging it.

Unplug your fridge for 8 hours and leave the door open. Ice will melt, turn into water, water is wet, grab some towels for the water. Plug it back in and it gets cold. Genius.
To me, 'Genius' would be if they made a fridge that didn't die at 5 years old...and then the new fridge had instructions that made clear what the real process was to deal with the bloody thing.

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