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  1. #1

    Smell / Odor from New Frigidaire Refrigerator

    Hi, I hope the pros can help me.

    My new Frigidaire refrigerator was delivered and plugged in on Mar 18, 2009. The following day I immediately smelled something when the compressor (I think that's what it is) was running. At first the odor was sort of something burning and then turned to something hard to describe. I thought it must be because it's new but I've had new fridges before and they didn't smell like this one.

    I finally called the service tech since the smell has started to bother me - made me light headed. The tech came yesterday and opened the back and said nothing is burned. He didn't smell anything and said refrigerants don't have any odor and if it's leaking, the fridge will finally not cool down.

    But there is this smell everytime the compressor is running. What do you think it is?

    What should I do? Can refrigerators be returned? What are my options?

    Thanks.

    Sydney

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
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    Was the frig running when the tech was there.

    If not. Call them back. Tell them it still makes the odor. And you either want a new frig, or for them to fix this one.

    And make sure it runs while the tech is there.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Barrie, Ontario
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    4,622
    Perhaps there is some packaging left were it shouldn't be, like on top of the compressor. The owner's manual should be able to tell you if this is the case and how to get it out without damaging anything.
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  4. #4
    Beenthere:

    The tech turned up the setting so the frig was running but not long enough for the smell to be stronger. I could smell it but he said he didn't.

    Another tech from another company is coming today. I'll keep opening the door to be sure it's running for a while when he gets here.


    Gruntly:

    The tech opened the back door and he said there's nothing in there.


    Thanks to both of you.

    Yes, if this second tech can't smell it either I'll just return the frig. Another guy from the refrigeration forum mentioned about possibility of current relay in the compressor and catching fire. I definitely don't want that to happen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Southeastern Pa
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    18,549
    Quote Originally Posted by sydney2009 View Post
    Beenthere:

    The tech turned up the setting so the frig was running but not long enough for the smell to be stronger. I could smell it but he said he didn't.

    Another tech from another company is coming today. I'll keep opening the door to be sure it's running for a while when he gets here.


    Gruntly:

    The tech opened the back door and he said there's nothing in there.


    Thanks to both of you.

    Yes, if this second tech can't smell it either I'll just return the frig. Another guy from the refrigeration forum mentioned about possibility of current relay in the compressor and catching fire. I definitely don't want that to happen.
    If you are concerned about the current relay, you could have the second tech check it. Many refrigerators have a solid state version of that device, so you may not even have a current relay.

    Smells are not always easy to locate or even detect, because people have many individual responses to smells. Some are universal, like skunks or decaying protein, and others are much more subtle.

    One problem with smells is that they can settle on other surfaces. Smells are molecules that move around in the air, so if you have something with a static charge on it, the smell can literally get stuck there. I had a store last year where a lightning strike cooked the thermostat, melting wire insulation and a part of the plastic mounting base. After replacing the stat, we had repeat calls for a strange odor. It turned out that the smell got stuck on some rubberized footwear on a nearby shelf, making the store girls think that something was burning. I had to have the manager close her eyes and I walked her over to the shoes, and asked, "is that the smell?" "YES!" she said. Then I had her open her eyes, and she was looking right at a pair of shoes. "That's the smell" I said.
    Last edited by timebuilder; 03-30-2009 at 10:21 PM.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Bennington, Vermont U.S.A.
    Posts
    13,864
    The other day I replaced a new evaporator fan motor. Man did that thing stink. I checked the ampereage and it was fine. After awhile the smell went away. It must be some new kind of epoxy they are using on the windings or something. The smell was hard to discribe. Like a hot chemical smell not a burnt electrical component smell.

    So my guess is that the HO is smelling the windings of the condenser fan motor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2,599
    The Fasco motors are bad about smelling when new, but some of the Emerson motors take the prize. It's like they don't bake the insulation on the windings. They let that occur on start up, when you are there starting the motor it doesn't seem to bad. Go out and come back, I've pulled the unit back apart to check the motor.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Bennington, Vermont U.S.A.
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    .

  9. #9
    Timebuilder:

    Oh, the smell is more evident when the compressor is running.

    Fortunately, we're having warm weather so I can leave the windows and doors open.

  10. #10

    Check the paint

    I have about 44 years on the road repairing all types of home appliances, and there is one possibility that you may consider.

    The compressor and condenser are painted and over the years I have had complaints of a odor from the compressor. It usually has been the paint and a few times the manufacturer admitted they had a problem but it would go away after the paint cured after months of smell

    This may be the case again because I just got a call from a apartment manager complaining all her new Frigidaire refers stink to HIGH HEAVEN. O'Boy here we go again!!!

    Dennis

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    I would hope after 2 years, 4 months, 26 days, 21 hours and 37 minutes Sydney2009 has had the problem resolved!
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  12. #12

    My New Fridge also buy Fridgadaire has a bad smell

    I am surprised that so many people seem to have this same problem. I just got my new fridge from Brault et Martineau delivered last Friday , and since then I also find that whenever the fridge goes on within a few seconds there is a Smell. I can only describe it like Freezer Burn smell . You know that smell when something in the Freezer gets that odor. Terrible. First I thought maybe its coming from outside because of all the Rain.. But then even with the windows closed, That smell is only happening when the Fridge Starts running. Awful I have no clue what to do. I noticed that some new Fridges come with this FRESH SMELL VENT THINGY.... That you are suppose to put in the vents. Well mine doesn't have vents like that. !!
    Also, I noticed someone wrote maybe its Freon. OMG !! It better not be. Anyway, let me know what ended up being the problem please. Much appreciated.

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