Engel fridge failure

Submitted: Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 16:45
ThreadID: 134375 Views:7760 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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After years of great service, my Engel ST35F-G4 fridge (without digital thermometer) has failed. I've looked online and can't find anyone with the same symptom:
- has been running continuously as a freezer (thermostat set to max) for past month
- now, cycles on for 4 seconds, then off for 4 seconds, with no apparent cooling
- leave powered off for an hour, then on - stays on for about ten minutes then repeats the 4 sec on/off cycle.
- the cooling fan operates during the On times
- the compressor operates during the On times
- the green light stays on all the time

Can anyone out there offer a suggestion before I take it to a repairer?
Is it even worth repairing?

Barry
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Reply By: Iza B - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 16:59

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 16:59
Reads like a thermostat issue. If proper fix cost is marginal or throwaway, cheap fix might be to install an external thermostat? I have a STC 1000 ($10 on ebay) on a beer fridge when the fridge thermostat went bung. New internal mounted thermostat was more dollars than the fridge was worth. I also have a 12 Volt version on the way in the mail so I can set an Engel to 18 Degrees C for home brewing. The 12 Volt version was under $4 online. STC 1000 has LED readout, 12 Volt jobbie has you set DIP switches according to instructions.

These external thermostats turn power on and off to the fridge by breaking or making the power line so you would have to wire direct to the compressor.

Iza
AnswerID: 608972

Follow Up By: Member BarryG - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:22

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:22
Thanks Iza.
Your solution sounds nice and low-cost.
I understand how an external thermostat can be used to interrupt the power supply.
I am guessing that I would have to bypass (or short-circuit) the internal thermostat. Does that sound right? Any idea how to do this on the Engel?
Barry
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FollowupID: 878720

Reply By: Tony F8 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:25

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:25
My 40lt Engel started to cycle continuously, found it to be the 10 amp blade fuse where the 12 and 240 volt leads plug in, the thing is the fuse wasn't blown, just a buildup of corrosion was enough for it to start playing up, if you have never changed that fuse, it may be worth looking at.
AnswerID: 608976

Follow Up By: Member BarryG - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:34

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:34
Thanks Tony,
I have removed the fuse, checked with a meter and reinserted - same result.
Interestingly though, on 240V the fridge continues to cycle on and off without the fuse in. I guess its only for running on 12V.
I forgot to mention in the original post that I'm running on 240V - not on 12V.
Barry
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FollowupID: 878721

Reply By: Tony F8 - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:40

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 17:40
Ok well thats one thing out of way, looks like it could be a trip to the engel man Barry.
AnswerID: 608979

Reply By: Whirlwinder - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 18:40

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 18:40
If you are in Sydney contact Alternate Gas Refrigeration on 96721664.
They are very good. Workshop is a tad messy but they are good.
AnswerID: 608983

Reply By: Member BarryG - Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 18:46

Monday, Feb 27, 2017 at 18:46
Thanks all for you help.
My diagnosis is that the sensing thermistor is the culprit - power supply OK, fuse OK, compressor OK, fan OK. So I've tracked one down and ordered it ($25 plus p&h $12). It looks pretty simple to install as it comes complete with plug for the main circuit box - just have to thread it through.
I'll report back with the results in a few days.
Barry
AnswerID: 608984

Follow Up By: mike39 - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 08:00

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 08:00
Barry.
Second line of your post "no apparent cooling".
If this means that the compressor is running as you say, but without cooling, then I would suspect low or no refrigerant as being the culprit.
The weak link with an Engel are cracks in the condenser pipework.
mike
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FollowupID: 878792

Follow Up By: Member BarryG - Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 11:23

Wednesday, Mar 01, 2017 at 11:23
Thanks Mike,
Because the compressor hardly runs, I'm not surprised that there is no apparent cooling. I'll first fit the new thermistor and see if that fixes it.
Barry
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FollowupID: 878794

Reply By: Member BarryG - Friday, Mar 03, 2017 at 17:38

Friday, Mar 03, 2017 at 17:38
Well, it wasn't the thermistor, so in it goes for a repair quote - probably the refrigerant leaking so a new cooling element?
Barry
AnswerID: 609129

Reply By: Member - Roachie - Friday, Mar 03, 2017 at 18:37

Friday, Mar 03, 2017 at 18:37
Over the past 37 years of owning Engel fridges, the only culprit I've come across when one plays-up is the damned cord/s and or plug/s.

Before you attempt expensive repairs, I suggest you rule out the cable......see if you can get hold of another 240 volt cable and see if it works using that.

Also, have you tried using the 12 volt side?

Good luck,

Bill
AnswerID: 609130

Follow Up By: Member BarryG - Tuesday, Mar 07, 2017 at 10:42

Tuesday, Mar 07, 2017 at 10:42
Thanks Bill,
I have tried a variety of cables and power sources - symptoms are the same.
I discussed with an Engel repair tech and his opinion is that there is a lack of refrigerant. It's problematic to find the leak, so a complete cooling system is required at a price of $545 supplied and fitted.
In the mean time, I've gone out and bought a new 40 litre combo - MT45F-G4C-P. We head off across the Anne Beadell Hwy in May (with the Ultimate in tow), so I decided that a new fridge was justified.
Still haven't decided if it's worth getting the 32 litre one fixed though.
Regards
Barry
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FollowupID: 879033

Reply By: Mark (Geelong) - Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017 at 16:49

Tuesday, Mar 14, 2017 at 16:49
Had similar problem with my 30 litre 2 months out of warranty
Cooling system failure
Unit running on both 12v and 240v but not cooling
Replaced cooling unit all up cost $605 incl labour done at Active Appliance Repairs Hoppers Crossing Vic
Mark (Geelong)

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AnswerID: 609391

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