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Defrost issue old magic chef


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#1 johnny

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 01:17 PM

I have a issue that i've research well and think i may know what the problem is. But the model has been out of production for several years and i can't seem to find the parts. It's the old cold freezer warm fridge issue, it's not defrosting. I pull out a hair dryer every 2-4 weeks to manually defrost it. I have detrmined it is probably the defrost thermostat. Tho it could be the timer. I ohmed out the therm and it's been a while so i forget, but i think it was open even after leaving ity in a glass of ice water, mostly ice for a good while. But i may be worng as thats been a while. I assume it is suppost to close only when it gets cold enough, so if it's not closing it won't turn the heater on. I also thought it couyld be the timer because i manually turned it till it just clicked and it went back on in just a few minutes. But i concluded maybe thats because since the thermostat is always open it decides it's all good and starts the compressor again. But i may be wrong as i am only just learning this stuff.

 

So i have 2 questions. 1-what does it sound like the issue is to you, and 2- i don't believe theres a temp written on the thermo so how can i determine what substitute i can use? They are no longer made. I found one on a site that looks the same with the same plug on the end which i found by searching with the model # of the fridge, MCBR1000W. But they had 2 types, type a and type b. Type a looks totally different so it's type b that looks like mine, but every search i do the only one i can still find thats availablle is type a. Heres the one i have... http://www.appliance...1411298blk.html Of couse as you see it's out of stock because it's no longer made.

 

I will look at it tonite and see if theres a temp rating on it, but i don't think there is. So how can i determine what to get as a sub if i can't find one ? I found one that looks the same but no plug (not a problem, i can splice)  here... http://www.repaircli...0225581/1872722 But i have no idea whether it's got the same rating.

 

Anyways, I think the timer is available but need opinions on which part it is thats causing this, how i can definately test both the therm and timer to be sure, and how to look for a sub thermostat if i cannot find the temp spec. Thanks in advance.

 

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#2 PDuff

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 02:43 PM

I'm having trouble with that model number.  Even if the unit was discontinued there should still be a breakdown somewhere.  You can check the existing bimetal by simply bypassing it while the evaporator is frosted, then manually advance the timer to defrost.  Is this unit a top mount or a side by side?



#3 Spannerwrench

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 02:57 PM

That refrigerator is MCAppliance, the brand name Magic Chef was leased from Whirlpool.
The MCAppliance website may have that part available.
http://www.mcapplian.../partorder.aspxAttached File  image.jpg   80.41KB   0 downloads
Manually advance the time until the unit turns off, then see if the heater comes on.

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#4 johnny

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:16 PM

That refrigerator is MCAppliance, the brand name Magic Chef was leased from Whirlpool.
The MCAppliance website may have that part available.
http://www.mcapplian.../partorder.aspxattachicon.gifimage.jpg
Manually advance the time until the unit turns off, then see if the heater comes on.

 

Awesome, thanks ! That has them, tho could be a old page they never changed when they ran out. But i will call them. Thanks !



#5 johnny

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:23 PM

I'm having trouble with that model number.  Even if the unit was discontinued there should still be a breakdown somewhere.  You can check the existing bimetal by simply bypassing it while the evaporator is frosted, then manually advance the timer to defrost.  Is this unit a top mount or a side by side?

 

Ok, so now i seem to possibly have access to the parts, i need to try and determine which part is bad. When you say "bimetal" you mean the thermostat ? So are you saying to manually set the timer to defrost as i have done before, then with the thermostat unplugged close it by connecting the plug at the freezer side with a piece of wire the see if the heater starts going?

 

I'm thinking pull the plug on the thermostat and check it for continuity while it's still clipped onto the tube and hope for near 0 resistance. That should mean the timer is bad, and if it shows infinate then it's the thermostat, right? This is all of course assuming the heater is good, which i think it is.



#6 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 03:36 PM

Magic Chef = timer. Next question.

 

btw Even if it's your Defrost thermostat, the timer put him up to it.


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#7 johnny

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 04:00 PM

Thing is, i DID test the defrost thermostat a while back and like i said i may be mistaken, but i'm pretty sure in a glass of ice water it read open which should mean it's bad, no? I don't want to buy the timer only to find the thermostat was the issue.



#8 Spannerwrench

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 04:57 PM

Depends on the rating of the bi-metal (defrost thermostat). All you need to do to eliminate the bi-metal and heater is advance the timer, if the unit heats, it is the timer. I also agree with Durham, I've never seen a bi-metal or heater bad on an MC, it's always the timer.

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#9 johnny

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 05:45 PM

great, thanks very much all. I will post back if and when i get this strightened out. I will unplug the thermostat and manually put the timer in defrost mode and see if the heater warms up. If so i'll wait and see if the timer goes back to normal mode quickly which is what it was doing before. I thought it was becasue the thermostat was open and telling it the temp is up right away. I DO know from reading what i've found on google that the timer should stay on the entire time it's made to, but even tho it clicked back very quickly i also found the thermostat seemed bad so i wasn't sure which one it really was.



#10 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 04 November 2013 - 06:08 PM

the timer may go from defrost mode to run mode, but that does not mean it will advance on its own into defrost mode. There could be only one spot on the timer  where it hangs keeping it from advancing into defrost.


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#11 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 07:28 AM

Most of these small built units like this use the defrost timer that only has a 8 minute defrost because the timer motor neutral is powered thru the defrost heater or compressor windings depending on if in defrost or run.

 

When unit goes into defrost, power is removed from timer motor so timer stalls in defrost until bi-metal opens to let it know defrost is done then power is reapplied to defrost timer motor and it will come out of defrost in 8 minutes.

 

Lots of these units also use a thermal fuse on each side of the defrost heater, if either of these fuse over heat and go out it will also stop your defrost, so you need to let very thing get good and cold and check to make sure you have continuity thru the defrost heater - bi-metal/defrost t-stat - any thermal fuses in defrost circuit.


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#12 johnny

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 09:53 AM

When unit goes into defrost, power is removed from timer motor so timer stalls in defrost until bi-metal opens to let it know defrost is done then power is reapplied to defrost timer motor and it will come out of defrost in 8 minutes.

 

Lots of these units also use a thermal fuse on each side of the defrost heater, if either of these fuse over heat and go out it will also stop your defrost, so you need to let very thing get good and cold and check to make sure you have continuity thru the defrost heater - bi-metal/defrost t-stat - any thermal fuses in defrost circuit.

Ah ha ! See, now this speaks to what i was thinking. Your opinion on this issue is different than the others. The difference being that as you described, some timers DO come out of defrost not at a set amount of time but when power is reapplied !  My first thought was it's the thermostat, not the timer because 1-i tested the thermostat for continuity and it was open even when submerged and sitting for a while in ice water with mostly ice and just enough water so there were no air gaps. I manually set the timer to defrost and it popped back on within a minute or 2 which made me think the thermostat was the issue because it was open and telling something that it's done. BUT,  I was under the impression the timer simply went thru it's cycle regardless of what else is going on so that didn't make sense to me because how would it click back on ? So even tho it seemed to me that what i described was happening, I later thought I couldn't be right because the timer isn't triggered back on by something. But from what you say some DO come back on from being triggered which seems to speak to the conclusion i first came to. So maybe it IS the thermostat after all. I have to make time to get to all this, but when i do i will check the thermostat for continuity again when cold and check the heater for that too. If either shows infinite resistance then I will replace that and see how it goes. Thanks.



#13 johnny

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Posted 05 November 2013 - 10:29 PM

Well, gotta be the thermostat. I just opened the freezer and quickly unplugged the thermostat and read it with my meter and no ready, infintate resistance. It's open.



#14 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:48 AM

You may have found the rare MC with a non-timer related failure. Btw, ice water is not the best method to test a bi-metal unless you are certain its closing temp is around 35 to 40 degrees. If your freezer is at it's proper temp or at least below 20f then you have certainly found the problem. One of the best ways to test a defrost therm for continuity is to blast it with a can of compressed air held upside down.

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#15 electro_doc

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 09:35 AM

You may have found the rare MC with a non-timer related failure. Btw, ice water is not the best method to test a bi-metal unless you are certain its closing temp is around 35 to 40 degrees. If your freezer is at it's proper temp or at least below 20f then you have certainly found the problem. One of the best ways to test a defrost therm for continuity is to blast it with a can of compressed air held upside down.

I agree, I don't think ice water will get it cold enough.  Put it in the freezer on the evap where it belongs and let it sit awhile.  Then test it for continuity.  After looking over this whole thread it does look as if the thermostat could be bad but I would not rule out the timer.  It seems like an intermittent problem because if the deft. was not working at all it would mess up in 3 to 5 days not every two weeks.  At least that's been my experience.  You could but an amp prob on the cord and manually put it in deft to see if the heaters are coming on and if the thermostat is cutting them off and the timer is kicking it back on.



#16 johnny

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 11:29 AM

. One of the best ways to test a defrost therm for continuity is to blast it with a can of compressed air held upside down.

LOL!!! You won't believe me i'm sure because i'm posting AFTER you said that, but i DID do that. I'm an electronic tech by trade so i often use that method to test transistors and IC's. So heres what i did. I tested it IN the fridge immediately after opening the door because i hace the panel off already. Open. Tested it in a big glass of ice with just enough water to fully surround it and let it sit for a while. Open. lastly i did just as you mentioned to the point where i used most of the can and bits of ice were hitting my feet as i did it to the point my feet were getting chilled. I sprayed the heck out of it. All the time the meter probes firmly in the plug. Still open. This thing is DEAD !

 

Anyways, that one in the pic from the links spanner wrench gave me is an exact duplicate visually so i bought it. We shall see, but i am quite sure that thing is dead



#17 DurhamAppliance

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:00 PM

Dead without a doubt

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#18 johnny

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 03:21 PM

Yep. Could be the timer is bad too, who knows. But i will install the stat and manually put the timer into defrost mode and see if it heats. If not, i'll get the timer too ot chack the heater for continuity too. I'll let you all know what happens. 

 

By the way, while i'm here i have a unrealted Q....i need a very tiny fride at work. The smaller and cheaper the better. But i hear some use some other system that doesn't use a compressor and aren't very good at staying cold enough to keep food good. What are some reliable and reasonably quiet models that DO have a compressor based cooling system ?



#19 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:10 PM

for test purposes, you could temporarily by-pass the Defrost Thermostat,

turn the Defrost Timer to see if the Defrost Heater works.

 


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#20 johnny

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Posted 06 November 2013 - 04:42 PM

I know, and i may try that if and when i get a chance. I'm just so tired of pulling the fridge out and all I'd just rather put the therm in and see if the ice is back after a week.






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