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Author Topic: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?  (Read 2706 times)

Offline Howard (AR)

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12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« on: June 29, 2012, 01:07:03 PM »
Well, I've been dreading HVAC breakdowns, but instead a tenant called about a refrigerator problem.  The refrigerator is a 12 year old Kenmore (came with the house when I bought it) and the problem is: when the temp controls are set to "recommended", several ounces of water comes out from under it.  But if she turns it up, the food freezes of course.

I'm pretty sure it's something to do with the self-defrost, but I don't know what to do from here.  Given its age, I'm reluctant to pay for an $85 service call (plus parts) when I can get Lowes to bring me a new Frigidare for $400.

Also there is the factor of time... since the Supreme Court decision yesterday on Obamacare, I'm been on the phone for hours on end (last night until 8 PM local time), discussing our approach to the Medicaid expansion issue.  So to be honest, I really don't have a lot of time to play handyman.

Any suggestions?

Offline okhmbldr

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 02:58:55 PM »
Go for the new fridge. Any type of repair will approach $200 with parts and you still have a 12 year old fridge. I recently had a three year old fridge that somehow got a small hole in on if the refrigerant lines that is inside the freezer area. Repair and parts were right at $400. I called Lowe's and had them deliver a new one, and tenants are really pleased when they get something new.

Offline Clara

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 04:21:28 PM »
I would also recommend the new fridge.

After that expensive "fix", who knows how long before something else goes wrong.

Also, tenant will be very happy that you responded so quickly in her time of need.

Offline Jeremiah(IN)

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 04:23:40 PM »
I also say replace.

Offline JohhnyC

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 05:19:43 PM »
NO!!!! Don't replace yet. Google the problem and maybe the solution may be simple and cheap. 80% of my problems are solved or anwered through google searches.

Also, i doubt if a new fridge will last 12 years. I been seeing 4 to 6 around here. I currently have a Gibbson which was made in 1994 and runs great!

John
New Jersey

Offline OrEGone

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 06:38:09 PM »
So what is the problem? Set to normal, does it cool normally?
The water is the defrosted ice. Maybe someone took out the drip pan?
Maybe the drain line at the bottom of the fridge where the water goes out is clogged because they spilled something. Just check under the bottom drawer.

Offline Steve-FL

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 09:24:15 PM »
A 12 year old fridge is ripe for cooling coil cleaning.  When the coils become covered with dust, air flow is restricted so they don't cool as well and cause just what you're experiencing.  Just make sure to read up on how to do it safely and correctly if you decide to do it yourself.  http://www.ehow.com/video_4419298_clean-refrigerator-coils.html
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 09:27:58 PM by Steve-FL »

Offline HennyPennycrafts

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 09:46:24 PM »
You're busy.  Buy the fridge.
Folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be~Abraham Lincoln

Offline Howard (AR)

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 09:51:41 PM »
"You're busy.  Buy the fridge."

And that's the winning line.  Some of you know, but my "day job" is being the Medicare software architect for the EDS unit of HP.  My specialty is connecting state Medicaid systems to the federal Medicare program. 

And since the court decision yesterday, it's been non-stop calls... what does it mean to the 22 states that are our clients?  12 hour days and the weekend isn't going to let up.  So... I called Lowes and ordered the fridge.  It's in stock, they'll deliver on Monday afternoon.

Offline Sean

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2012, 11:30:39 PM »
I think you made the right choice!

For my own stuff.. i always fix what i can.. For work stuff, i have to weigh the cost / benefit / Time.. In almost all appliance cases (unless we are talking about a simple fix like a drawer or handle) it makes sense to replace if the appliance is over 8-10 years old.

Not only do I not have to deal with it for another 8 years, but the current tenant gets an "upgrade" and future tenants see "new" appliances when viewing the unit.

Offline Sandy in SC

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 06:09:15 AM »
Yes, the "you're busy, buy the frig" is the right answer for you.

But, for us, Phil would have checked the drip pan for a hole, the line for disconnect or the defrost timer. 

:)  and good luck w/ the day job.  You're going to busy for quite awhile.
Building a real estate empire one deal at a time

Offline JohhnyC

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2012, 07:24:33 AM »
So,  your too busy to save possibly $400 or more by spending 10 minutes of google searches and online investigation???? Wow! As already stated by others it may be as simple as a drip pan of a  cleaning is required.  Anyway, i like people like ypu as I always find an endless supply of just about everything in our municpal dump that I take home, clean and fix for just about zero dollars and either give away to friends or use myself which last for years and years at zero cost..  I am still running my beautiful perfect condition mid range gas stove that someone threw away because the oven stopped getting hot. The fix was a simple $25 ignitor... The cause of the problem as told to me by the experts: previous owner let the oven door slam shut while in use and is a common cause of ignitor problems. Price of oven in the store was $650... My cost $25. Age of oven was only about a year old....

Again, take the time and investigate the problem and save..

John
New Jersey

Offline Howard (AR)

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2012, 08:48:20 AM »
Johhnc: ""So,  your too busy to save possibly $400 or more by spending 10 minutes of google searches and online investigation? Wow!"

The past 48 hours have been HELL.  I'm not a full time landlord, I have only half a dozen SFHs as a side business.  My day job has exploded though. 

On Thursday, I started work at 8 AM Central.  At 10 AM, the Supreme Court decision came down.  By 10:30, I had conference calls scheduled as follows:
  • 11 AM - Georgia DCH
  • 12 Noon - HP management staff
  • 12:45 - 10 minute lunch
  • 1 PM - Florida DFS
  • 2 PM - Arkansas Title XIX
  • 3 PM - Kentucky
  • 4 PM - Oregon Title XIX
  • 5 PM - Another group of HP staff
  • 6 PM - Briefing with the programming teams across the country
  • 7 PM - Download the PDF of the decision and start reading, comparing against the legal briefs for the Medicaid expansion portion of the orignal bill
  • 9 PM - Dinner
  • 9:15 - Start mapping out data model scaling issues

Friday
  • 6:30 AM - back in the office.
  • 7 AM - email from upper management wanting writeups by noon
  • 10 AM - mail arrives, the tenant's request was in a letter with her rent check.
  • 12:00 - writeup delivered, driving to rental house.  Get model, S/N and age;  measure alcove.  I'm not a repair tech  ;)
  • 12:30 - Burger King, and my cell phone is going off.  Back to work.
  • Somewhere in here I post my question to this forum
  • Rest of day - yep, phone is ringing, peopel asking questions, too many questions interrupting me, can't do research.
  • 7 PM - got a few minutes to do research on the fridge.  But general consensus here is replace.
  • 8 PM - driving to Lowes.

Today:
  • 7:45 - Back to work.  10 gazillion emails to answer.

To be honest, the past few days have been WAY out of ordinary  :o.  But with the situation... and HP's threat of layoffs... and the fact that I'm the company's expert where Medicare inferfaces with Medicaid... it was worth the $400.

The tenant has been with me for a long time.  Always pays on time, keeps the house SPOTLESS.  So rather than frustrate her, I spent the $400... made her happy... and kept HP happy as well.

Offline okhmbldr

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2012, 09:22:00 AM »
Howard,
Exactly the Right thing to do.
I learned a long time ago that, Yes, I can fix a lot of appliances for less than $50 in parts, but when I added in my time chasing parts, doing the repair, then I was losing money. If I can use my time to make $100/hr, why would I do $10/hr repair work?
You accomplished three things, saved your time, made the tenant happy with quick response, and you now have a property with a trouble free fridge. It's a win-win-win!

Offline JohhnyC

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Re: 12 year old Kenmore refrig - repair or replace?
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2012, 12:02:03 PM »
Ok, go spend the $400 plus tax for new new fridge and be prepared to do the same in the next 4 or 5 years.... Too bad they don't make appliances that seem to last forever anymore.

John
New Jersey

 

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