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Do you think freezer is dead?

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  • Do you think freezer is dead?

    So, on the first day back from Mayo Clinic, I got up and stumbled into the kitchen to make coffee. Except the power was out in the kitchen. Hmmm.

    So I go downstairs and see the breaker is tripped. Try to reset the breaker. Everytime I turn it on, I hear something which I think is the dishwasher running. But it trips immediately. OK, so I abandon that and head back upstairs to turn off the dishwasher.

    Except on my way back I find the smoke. (scream)

    Seems to be coming from behind the freezer downstairs. So I unplug that, yell at husband to get out of bed and round up animals.

    Makes no sense to have the freezer in the basement on the same circuit as the kitchen, but...

    Turn off furnace.

    Contemplate calling a) fire department b) electrician c) appliance repair

    Well, c) doesn't work on sunday. Don't really like unknown source of smoke along with circuits, so here come the firemen. Lovely, it's no longer on fire. They think the furnace motor burned up, and suggest not plugging the freezer in (lol, duh)

    Well upon further investigation on my part, apparently the demented person who wired the house really does have part of the basement sharing the circuit with the kitchen (!). I would have thought of that (not).

    So in addition to an electrician to change that, I am wondering - is this freezer dead, or is replacing the motor a big deal? (please don't be dead...)

    Also, it's (of course) full of food. I'm presuming if I just don't open it until tomorrow, the food should hopefully survive.

    This is entirely not fair before coffee!

  • #2
    Did you ever figure out exactly what smoked? The outlet? The freezer plug or cord? The compressor motor? Something else?

    If the freezer has a good seal and even average insulation, the food should stay good unless the temp outside the freezer is exceptionally hot. Do Not Open until the freezer is running or you are prepared to deal with the contents.

    If the circuit just overloaded, the freezer has a good chance of being okay.

    Good luck.

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg


    • #3
      You did not say how old the freezer is. If it is just the motor and the freezer is not ancient, it will probably be worth replacing. However, the motor may have burned up because the compressor seized up because of wear and you are starting to talk about serious $. Fixing it becomes questionable at that point.

      Is it cold enough outside to keep your food frozen?
      You will find a guide to preserving shoulder function @

      See my personal webpage @


      • #4
        Thanks for the help. Freezer is about 9 1/2 years old. The cords and outside all look ok, so neither I nor the firemen ever figured out just what the smoke came from. Can't see any burned parts anywhere, but we didn't open up the panels or anything. They said it smelled like a motor, so that's the current guess.

        The freezer is full, and has a good seal - so I suppose my best bet is to just leave it shut. It is below freezing here, so that is another option if I can't fix or replace it immediately. The appliance place isn't open until tomorrow of course, so I guess I'll just leave it shut for now.


        • #5
          Hi Tam, sorry to hear about this. I have no idea what went wrong though. I once punctured a coil in a freezer with an impatient approach to defrosting (screwdriver) but they were able to load freon again and seal the hole. Hope yours is that easy.


          • #6
            Thanks. Don't I wish. I don't think it's going to be the same problem - but if I am lucky, perhaps it won't be a lot harder to fix.


            • #7
              Not sure but a smell of a burned motor sounds like... a burned motor. Sounds like may not be worth replacing in a 10 year old frig/freezer. If you have made sure your wiring in your house and circuit breaker is safe, great. Here is a link on food safety which I found informative
     We recently upgraded our circuit breakers with a type of surge protector for the house...Found this link


              • #8
                I agree with med100, it is not worth to fix a 10 year old freezer, more than five years and the electric equipment is finished, and it is cheaper to buy a new one.

                At least here, I don't know the prices in the US.
                TH 12, 43 years post


                • #9
                  Wow, now that amazes me. Unless they're making them a lot worse these days - other freezers I or my parents or friends have had generally lasted about 20 years. I have certainly never had any appliance die in 5!

                  New freezer like this is probably $800 or more I think - I'd hope a motor is cheaper than that. If it's the compressor though, I'm probably out of luck.


                  • #10
                    Found info on life-span of refrigerators and other get a perspective...
                    WFE, I have seen prices for a frig/freezer anywhere from $400.00 to $8,000.00, so it varies.


                    • #11
                      TAM, can probably find out online cost of motor replacing, value of your freezer (is it a frig/freezer) (and subtract life expectancy/use) and see what it is worth. Installation contractors may be the highest cost. Distributors may sell whole-sale to just whole sale companies, not retail. Been there-done that.. sometimes not worth it.


                      • #12
                        The old things did last much longer than these days. The people don't want to have old fashion things anyway, so they are changing them out even if they still work. And noone except students and people on disebility buy second hand.

                        A cellphone work 1 year, a laptop 2 years, in 25 years I have had 5 different freezers, 4 washing machines, 3 driers, it is a very boring way to spend money on. I don't know how many TVs I have had.
                        TH 12, 43 years post


                        • #13
                          I think I would plug it in for just a few minutes and listen...wouldn't hurt to even use an extention cord, just to see if you hear anything...we had a wiring problem that took forever to figure out a few years ago...the toaster, micro, fridge were all on the same circut and when ever we plugged the crock pot in the outlet the toaster was plugged into it would trip everything off...but only sometimes...not was only when everything was being used at the same time, once we figured out what was happening we just moved the toaster and never use that plug anymore...eventually it did get fixed...I hope it is a cheap fix...I think there are a few more years on a 9 yr old freezer...


                          • #14
                            Thanks. I'll call the shop tomorrow, and see what they say. It's a local company, they're pretty good. It's a standalone freezer, not fridge/freezer.

                            I think plugging it in is a no-go - it's not the noise, it's all the smoke that came out!

                            I have figured out that it's on the same circuit as the kitchen (ridiculous) but nothing else much was running. Apparently, whatever went wrong with the freezer was tripping the circuit. And causing the smoke.

                            I hate smoke before coffee. Of course, I hate almost anything before coffee.


                            • #15
                              so the smoke you are sure came from the freezer? but the firemen thought it was the furnace? I guess I just read this wrong, lol...
                              I need another cup of coffee...smoke and fires scare the hell outa me too...again, hope it is a cheap and easy fix...