Author Topic: Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!  (Read 337 times)

Offline green zebra

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Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!
« on: April 09, 2013, 12:35:34 PM »
Hi Everybody,
What a disappointing day for me today...the compressor/motor (whatever is in there) in my cheese fridge quit! By the time i came home from work yesterday, the temperature had climbed to 66°, that same morning everything was fine. The appliance techie gave me the sad news that the Johnson's thermostat played havoc with the fridge's compressor, confusing it with the on and off routine. The liquid going back and forth fried the   the compressor. ( i know i am not relaying the explanation as well as he did) this fridge is only 7 years old! I would go buy a new one but i fear this could happen again.

I have another fridge and transferred all 18 cheeses into it and took the food out. I put the setting as low as i could go and am now just waiting to see if i can stabilize an acceptable temperature. I could not do it before, which is why i got another fridge and the Johnson's thermostat. But i have to put the cheeses somewhere cool. Losing those cheeses for me right now, would not be good for my health!!! :-[

Has anyone experienced similar problems and if so, what did you do?
 


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Offline WovenMeadows

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Re: Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2013, 01:32:10 PM »
Hmm, is this the type with a dial, where you plug the fridge into the cord/socket right where you plug the controller into the outlet? The differential on this is 3.5 degrees F, so normally it shouldn't cycle on/off a lot. The only thing I can think of, is if the thermostat bulb was placed in the fridge near the blower, where the cool air enters the fridge, then it might prematurely register as cool enough, only to have the temperature equalize - and raise - shortly after the fans shut off, and then cycle on again?

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2013, 02:11:37 PM »
Oh, so sorry to hear about the demise of your fridge!  I want to make sure I don't do that to an unused freezer I was/am planning on turning into a cheese cave.  Any advice would be appreciated......
And good luck with your cheese.  Some members use coolers with ice in them.  I'd be very bad at keeping that going.  It'd all melt before I remembered to swap in fresh ice.   :-[

Offline DragonAndy

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Re: Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2013, 04:18:25 PM »
I dont have a johnson thermostat, but i have rigged something similair to one using an STC 1000. I keep my probe in a glass of water, this prevents any rapid fluctuations due to door opening and such. I'm not sure this will help you, but it does mean that the temperature is more accurately measure within the cheeses themselves and not the air temperature of the fridge.

I'm new to this so this may not be the correct thing to do. 

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2013, 12:45:43 AM »
Sorry to hear that. At the moment you could use the isolating capacities abd store the cheese with cans of melting ice or something like that, while working on an other solution. In the Netherlands we have an online eBay-like marketplace where a lot of second hand fridges can be found, sometimes even for free....
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Offline Tiarella

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Re: Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2013, 06:00:35 AM »
I dont have a johnson thermostat, but i have rigged something similair to one using an STC 1000. I keep my probe in a glass of water, this prevents any rapid fluctuations due to door opening and such. I'm not sure this will help you, but it does mean that the temperature is more accurately measure within the cheeses themselves and not the air temperature of the fridge.

I'm new to this so this may not be the correct thing to do.

Hmmm, I'd like to know more about this.  What is an STC 1000?

Offline hoeklijn

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Re: Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2013, 10:17:12 AM »
According to Google it's an all purpose temperature controller. I have a similar thing for my cave. The power plug of the fridge is plugged into the controller and the sensor is in the fridge of course. Controller is plugged into the power outlet in the wall and a start and stop temp is configured in the controller. Mine is switching on at 12C and of at 11C at the moment. Only a couple of times per day when the fridge stays closed....
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Offline green zebra

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Re: Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2013, 12:03:28 PM »
thank you for all of your replies. At the moment, all of my cheeses are in another fridge stored at regular fridge temperature, as in cooler than 55° and currently reading at 49°.

I just don't know what i SHOULD do at the moment. I researched the fridge cave extensively before deciding to take this route with the Johnson's thermometer. Many members are using storing their cheeses this way as well as many authors suggesting the same.

My main concern is that the compressor might blow in my second fridge using the same system. This fridge that my cheeses are in has been used for food storage and is only a year old, cost me $900. I would rather not take the chance on this unit.

I wonder if there is a system to place outside of the original fridge to feed the Johnson's thermometer and try again.

Any applicance techies out there with any ideas?

I just don't know what to do... :-[

Offline Sailor Con Queso

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Re: Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2013, 01:25:00 PM »
Is your Johnson controller digital or analog? With a digital controller, you can accurately set the differential to say 2 or 3 degrees if you want. That significantly reduces the cycling of the compressor. I have 2 small refrigerators using  Ranco digital controllers (set with just a 1 degree differential) that have been going for 4 years with no problems.

FWIW, As you said, MANY home cheesemakers and authors are doing this. The whole point is to "confuse" the built in thermostat on the frig, so I question the accuracy of the analysis by your appliance tech. If it's well insulated, the fridge should rarely kick on unless the door is opened. 7 years was probably just the natural lifespan of that fridge.

I don't know what you mean by "outside of the original fridge". The thermistor from the controller should be inside and the controller itself should be outside.
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Offline green zebra

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Re: Help! My cheese fridge just quit!!!
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2013, 07:30:11 PM »
My Johnson's controller is analog. its temperature had remained at 55, doing a great job!

Well i have decided to take the plunge and use my more expensive fridge as my cave. I have hooked up the Johnson's thermostat to it.

Somewhere i had read to air your frig cave from time to time. If i choose to do this again, i will unplug the thermostat. Maybe this had been over working the compressor as Sailor had suggested.

I will also look at the Ranco digital controller, thanks Sailor!







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