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  1. #1
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    Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed


    Over the weekend my Beko fridge freezer (frost free) packed up. It was working fine Friday, we put bread in it and within a few hours it was frozen solid. Monday the wife did a large shop, put the items into the freezer. On the evening when she was preparing tea she noticed the new bread she'd put in wasn't frozen. We put a thermometer in and it has show the freezer at -4 deg C.

    We called an engineer out (as the unit is 18 months old and outside the manufacturers guarantee) and he said it was low on gas. He said the compressor was OK. I didn't agree with him at the time as I said this suddenly went during the weekend and a loss of refrigerant would have lead to a gradual loss in performance ie the compressor would be running longer and it taking longer to freeze things due to the machine running less efficiently due to having less refrigerant. I said for it to fail as quickly as it had done, something would have had to fail pretty quickly to lose the gas and not the pin hole leak he claimed (crack pipe etc as it WAS working fine on Friday). I said that therefore regassing would be a waste of time.

    Anyway, guess what - he charged us 25 for call out plus another 15 to fit a valve plus 60 to re gas the unit, and surprise surprise, it didn't work. So we now have no working freezer and are 100 out of pocket for the privilege. He now says the compressor has failed (even though he said it was working fine when he tested it yesterday) due to the extra work the unit was now doing now that the extra gas had been added. He says this isn't his fault and we now need to go and buy another unit. (This diagnosis was carried out over the phone - he's coming back at 1pm today for a second look)

    Am I being ripped off. I paid him to diagnose and repair it. It isn't repaired so am I entitled to my money back? As to the more technically minded amongst you am I being fed something male cows leave behind in fields? Symptoms are - machine appears to work, compressor runs, it just doesn't get cold. As this is a frost free unit could it be stuck in the defrost cycle, are there any other fans inside (other than the one I can see) that could have failed?

    Thanx in advance for any help.



  2. #2
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Sounds bad.
    Is the coil iced up maybe? It's the most common failure of frost free fridges (suprise surprise!).
    If the compressor is running, it's not stuck in defrost mode though.
    I dont know anything about the make/model. So it's up to you to work out how to take the freezer apart (from the inside).
    If the engineer didn't take the freezer evap cover off, then he definitely didn't do his job. It's only after doing that you'll see if the coil is iced up.
    Which, as I said is the most common breakdown. ie faulty klixon, thermal fuse, coil sensor, heater, fan etc.
    I'm suprised you only had a one year warranty too. Fridges here have a complete 2 year warranty, and a five year waranty on compressor/refrigerant. Even then you get people with overbearing self importance saying that the fridge should be subject to consumer laws or expected lifespan, ie saying that because they warranty the compressor/refrigerant and pipework for 5 years, the whole thing should be five years etc.
    edit: but did he find a leak, did it get a good vacuum? It doesn't make much sense, if he couldn't find a leak and got a good vacuum before recharge, then there wasn't a leak. If he couldn't get a vacuum, then leak is internal, fridge should be sent to recycling as leak is not repairable.
    A leak is something you don't stuff around with in a freezer, you need a defrosted freezer and a good vacuum measured with a vacuum guage, anything less means heaps of moisture causing blockages, acid and sludge due to low pressure and temp.
    edit2: Further clarifacation, I would have:
    Checked coils for icing up, operation of fans, defrost cycle, sensors, compressor/cap/overload/relay and t/stat etc.
    If everything was good, but it was a case of compressor running and no cooling happening, I would have told you I need to fit a valve, and it's an invasive proceedure meaning I'd have to weld it up after, so it would cost something.
    If I put a temporary valve on and it showed a deep vacuum, I would tell you to toss the fridge and you owe me $120 for the service call. A deep vacuum with the coils clear of ice means a blockage or gas leak and odds are you could throw another $300 at the repair and it still would never be the same as it was.
    If I put the valve on and it had high pressure, I would give you a $300-400 quote for a new compressor.
    Last edited by paul_h; 20-12-2007 at 04:52 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Thanks for the reply. No he never took any covers off at all, or checked for ice etc, he insisted from the start it was low gas and if that didn't work it was the compressor and freezer would need to be scrapped.

    After breaking into the line and re-gassing, he said the compressor was working. Today he came back and checked the pressure with the freezer powered off and said it is holding the gas OK but the compressor is U/S. He was able to tell the compressor was no good without taking any readings with it switched on and running. Is this normal.

    He has offered a refund of some of the money for regassing the unit, which I said wasn't good enough. I said I was willing to pay the call out charge, plus the charge agreed for fitting the valve to break into the line, which I thought was fair. But he insisted on re gassing against my better judgment saying he was the one with 20+years experience in the trade. He also says the compressor is pumping, but not good enough as he can feel the top 4 fins on the back getting warm. He also said today it was working when he left (more bull, it never) and the compressor has failed since due to the extra load on it from re-gassing. I said "but surely it's been running since the re-gassing at the designed pressure, what extra load are you on about?"

    If the compressor has gone (which may genuinely be the problem) I feel conned. I suspect he knew this all along and the re-gassing was only a ply to get more money out of me. Had he said upfront and said it wasn't worth repairing then wouldn't have got an extra 60 out of me.

    Anyway, now I have the unit apart myself, any idea on how to test these things out. There is only 1 fan and that runs OK, there is some kind of sensor with 4 wires on clipped to one of the pipes at the top of the heat exchanger ( I am assuming is some kind of thermistor to sense ice) another 2 leads, each with 2 wires in going to the ends of the pipework on the heat exchanger unit at the top. There is also a constant gurgling noise , it sounds like it's got an upset stomach (many happy nights of eating curries!) - No ice inside the unit though. I can post a picture if it helps.

    I suspect the unit is scrap, but it would be really nice to know what is wrong with it, (and to be able to prove the compressor was faulty from the start if indeed that is the problem)

    One other quote from yesterday, which doesn't mean a lot to me. He said it needed re-gassing because the pressure was at 0 and it should be between 0-5 (I'm assuming PSI) Pressure was at between 0-5 yesterday after re-gassing and the same again today, he said if the compressor isn't working this goes up to 15-20. As mine was at 0, then between 0-5 after re-gassing he said the compressor was working. Can anyone confirm this is correct?

  4. #4
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    OK, some readings.
    Some kind of heating element inside the bottom - 2k - I assume is OK.

    The two wires that go onto the ends of the heat exchanger coil - 373ohms (actually only 1 wire onto each end and not 2 as I said earlier - sorry but only just unplugged it)

    The 4 wire device clipped to the heat exchanger - 2 blue wires dead short - 2 white wires O/C.

    Cooling fan runs. Compressor runs and gets hot, with some frost forming (around the inlet?) Still gurgles. I think it's broke

  5. #5
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by DJT View Post
    Thanks for the reply. No he never took any covers off at all, or checked for ice etc, he insisted from the start it was low gas and if that didn't work it was the compressor and freezer would need to be scrapped.
    Can anyone confirm this is correct?

    Domestics can be the easiest or the hardest to work on.
    When a refrigerant is at a low temp the pressure can be low so what may appear as a shortage of gas may actualy be a iced evap or there may evan be a restriction in the system causing a blockage that causes low pressure.

    Now then though back to your job.
    I do not know what he tested for or what he explained to you but unfortunately with domestics the fitting of the service valve can in-itself cause probblems because the engineer only sees one side of the system.
    So lets assume he was right and the system was running and has failed due to the extra load put on the thing.
    I would sugest that the extra load would only come if there was a blockage in the system. The extra gas does bring the pressures up a bit but it does also cause extreme stress on the comp.
    This could then lead to the thing working for a short time and the finaly giving up.
    If it was short of gas then where has the gas gone?
    Adding a refrigerant without repairing the leak is extremely bad practice.

    If itwas me I would of explained the situation to you a bit more.
    Shotage of gas can not be diagnosed by just fitting a service valve so he perhaps could of explained that it may be short of gas, it may have a blockage or as has already been sugested it may have been iced up.

    If he had given you the opptions then maybe you would of made another desceision.

    I don't know about you being ripped off and he has offer a part refund.

    Its your call mate I can see it from his point of view but you feel cheated.

    He may not of done the best job ever but I don't thin he has done anything deliberatly to rip you off.

    taz.
    Last edited by taz24; 20-12-2007 at 06:25 PM.

  6. #6
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    OK, back to the issue of the freezer.

    1 - If the refrigerant had gradually leaked through a pinhole leak as claimed, would the freezer have stopped working overnight, or would the performance gradually have deteriorated (having to work harder to do the same job, ie compressor running for longer periods, taking longer to freeze fresh goods etc)

    2 - Should the engineer have taken the time to test for other problems such as a blockage or icing up (as seems to be a common problem on frost free units)

    3 - I agreed to have the coolant topped up only after he'd tested AND confirmed that the compressor was working fine. How was it that after this top up failed to get the freezer working was he able to say with confidence that the compressor had now failed WITHOUT taking ANY further readings from the unit today?

    4 - Should I have not been warned for example that there could be other problems, such as a blockage that could not be tested for until the unit had been refilled

  7. #7
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by DJT View Post
    OK, back to the issue of the freezer.

    1 - If the refrigerant had gradually leaked through a pinhole leak as claimed, would the freezer have stopped working overnight, or would the performance gradually have deteriorated (having to work harder to do the same job, ie compressor running for longer periods, taking longer to freeze fresh goods etc)

    2 - Should the engineer have taken the time to test for other problems such as a blockage or icing up (as seems to be a common problem on frost free units)

    3 - I agreed to have the coolant topped up only after he'd tested AND confirmed that the compressor was working fine. How was it that after this top up failed to get the freezer working was he able to say with confidence that the compressor had now failed WITHOUT taking ANY further readings from the unit today?

    4 - Should I have not been warned for example that there could be other problems, such as a blockage that could not be tested for until the unit had been refilled

    I think you have made your mind up.

    You will have to talk to him to see what your options are.

    Cheers taz.

  8. #8
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by DJT View Post
    OK, some readings.
    Some kind of heating element inside the bottom - 2k - I assume is OK.

    The two wires that go onto the ends of the heat exchanger coil - 373ohms (actually only 1 wire onto each end and not 2 as I said earlier - sorry but only just unplugged it)

    The 4 wire device clipped to the heat exchanger - 2 blue wires dead short - 2 white wires O/C.

    Cooling fan runs. Compressor runs and gets hot, with some frost forming (around the inlet?) Still gurgles. I think it's broke
    That's all OK then. Drain heater is 2kohms, coil heater is 373ohms, thermal fuse is 0ohms, klixon is open circuit (closes below 0celcius), opens to end defrost.
    if it was 0 kpa/psi pressure, then you had a refrigerant leak or blockage like the engineer said. I would have suggested throwing the fridge away and still charged you $120 for the call out anyway.

  9. #9
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by paul_h View Post
    I would have suggested throwing the fridge away and still charged you $120 for the call out anyway.
    I'd have been happy with that too, but 100 is $200. Thank you for you help on the values of the other parts - I do appreciate it.

  10. #10
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by taz24 View Post
    I think you have made your mind up.

    You will have to talk to him to see what your options are.

    Cheers taz.
    Yeah, I'm still hacked off, maybe tomorrow when I've "chilled" a bit. I guess what I was after was someone to tell me I am talking rot and should just pay up, but that hasn't happened as yet.

    What actually happened was we'd agreed to the call out charge, no problem. The guy said the compressor was running but he was unable to tell if the compressor was faulty or it was a lack of coolant until he broke into the line to test it. I agreed, still 100% happy. After he broke into the line he then said the compressor is working 100% fine no problem, it's definatly coolant. This is when I got unhappy, because as I've asked before, with a gradual leak would it have shown any signs of it failing before hand? If it wasn't a gradual leak it would have been scrap anyway. But we were assured 100% that this was the fault. We reluctantly agreed to having the refrigerant topped up, still not convinced this was the problem. Anyway he topped it up, requested cash only and left saying it would take 2-3 hours before the the temperature would drop. So 3 hours later I checked it and it was still reading the same temperate as before. So the quote over the phone of 25 to tell me what was wrong has now cost me 100 to find out it was the compressor. He also left telling me it was fixed and it wasn't.

    I know fault finding can be difficult at times, and I am not refusing to pay a fair price for the work. If he'd been more open and said I can't check the compressor until it's topped up and this will cost you xyz I'd have been happier. But he never. He assured us the compressor was OK. Only then did we agree to having it topped up only to be told tough luck it was the compressor after all. That's why I feel so angry about this.

    Update - he has offered me a 40 refund against the 60 he charged to re-gas it. Progress at last.

  11. #11
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by DJT View Post
    Yeah, I'm still hacked off, maybe tomorrow when I've "chilled" a bit. I guess what I was after was someone to tell me I am talking rot and should just pay up, but that hasn't happened as yet.
    Update - he has offered me a 40 refund against the 60 he charged to re-gas it. Progress at last.
    I know you feel cheated and the reason no one has said you are talking rot is because you are not.
    You feel cheated and again I understand that.

    The guy may not of done the best job ever but as you explained he opted for a fault and then went down the road of repairing said fault.

    Unfortunatly for you this was not the case.
    Somtimes, fault finding is a mater of elimination, but as you have found out elimination fault finding soon adds up the cost.

    No real solution or answers I know and that is the very reason why a lot of good fridge engineers will not touch a domestic with a barge pole.

    It only takes one or two jobs like yours to wipe out any proffit that week.

    All the best taz.

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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Thanks Taz for your comments. Being a maintenance technician myself (I don't work on fridge freezers though) I do know that sometimes faults are difficult to diagnose and it's not always possible to get it right first time. Better communication would have helped - instead we argued in the kitchen for half an hour with me saying I did not want it refilled and him telling me it would get it working because he'd checked the compressor and it was OK.

    When he left he said I'd stand no chance of getting any refund because it was only his word against mine that it wasn't working after he'd re-gassed it and that the compressor had failed some time later. If he had said to us that there was a good chance the compressor was U/S but he couldn't tell unless we paid 100 for re-gassing we'd have definitely not bothered and put the money towards a replacement unit. This is why I feel so upset about it.

    Anyway, he has moved in the right direction by offering a 40 refund for the work.

  13. #13
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    Smile Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    OK, thank you to all of you who replied. I've reached an agreement with the engineer and all is now sorted. I've got most of my money back, but I have paid for the call out, the valve and the cost of the gas. We both thought this was a fair settlement. Freezer is scrap though

  14. #14
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    Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Quote Originally Posted by DJT View Post
    Thanks Taz for your comments. Being a maintenance technician myself (I don't work on fridge freezers though) I do know that sometimes faults are difficult to diagnose and it's not always possible to get it right first time. Better communication would have helped - instead we argued in the kitchen for half an hour with me saying I did not want it refilled and him telling me it would get it working because he'd checked the compressor and it was OK.

    When he left he said I'd stand no chance of getting any refund because it was only his word against mine that it wasn't working after he'd re-gassed it and that the compressor had failed some time later. If he had said to us that there was a good chance the compressor was U/S but he couldn't tell unless we paid 100 for re-gassing we'd have definitely not bothered and put the money towards a replacement unit. This is why I feel so upset about it.

    Anyway, he has moved in the right direction by offering a 40 refund for the work.

    Communication is the key.

    Sorted now, so well done.

    taz.

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    Thumbs up Re: Beko frost free freezer/fridge help needed

    Yeah, in the end we split the 100 bill in half 50 paid, 50 refund and the freezer is scrap - both of us were happy with this and we shook hands afterwards.

    FYI Taz I'm in Birmingham UK, thanks for your offer to have a look at the freezer but I'm 99.9% certain it is the compressor (and was from the start) and that it is beyond economical repair. Contacting the council to have it picked up and disposed of correctly ASAP.

    I must say I was impressed with this site and it's many users. I was expecting to get some right stick for daring to arguing with this engineer and hoping people here would help back me up when I know so little about refrigeration systems. Apart from a few cautionary posts, which I'd have expected and think were justified the answers I got especially from Paul_h and Taz were really helpful.

    Thread closed any many, many thanks to all who contributed.

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