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Thread: Do you think freezer is dead?

  1. #1

    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. #2
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Florida Keys
    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. #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. #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. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    last house on the left
    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. #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. #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. #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. #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. #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.

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