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Cleaning Refrigerator Condenser coil

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  • Cleaning Refrigerator Condenser coil

    The recent thread about the non-working fridge made me think about opening up the cover of my own and checking how dirty the condenser was. It has never been cleaned (about 15 years old now).

    Sure enough when I opened it up it was caked with dust especially at the ends. I tried cleaning them out but it turned out to be tricky. The condenser consists of multiple wraps of sheet metal over each other with the condenser coils attached. I do have a condenser coil cleaning brush (supposedly a Maytag one for cleaning Maytag fridges which mine is) and I can hardly get it in-between the sheets due to the spacing in some places as well as obstructions - condenser fan at one end - capillary tube and the receiver/dryer assembly at the other.

    I somehow managed to get the worst of the dust removed with the brush but there is still a coating of dust in several places.

    Any tips on cleaning these. Does anyone make a spray on coil cleaner that does not require rinsing. Only other solution I can think of is to spray some water on to it with a pump type sprayer and hope I don't flood the kitchen.

    I tried my shop vac but it was ineffective. I've heard of people blowing compressed air - would that work. But I don't think I want my kitchen filled with dust. Last photo shows the brush I was using.

    Any ideas?





    Last edited by blue_can; 08-06-2016, 09:19 PM.

  • #2
    Hi blue, did you try using vacuum? Vacuum with a plastic crevice or brush attachment, you carefully vacuum dirt and dust wherever it is seen. Use care not to damage the fins or coil. A breech created in the coil will allow the refrigerant to escape and will likely result in an expensive repair. You can also vacuum the fan, if the fan is visible and accessible, cleaning it will help it move air across the condenser coil as designed. Dirt and dust, if allowed to accumulate on the fan blades, decreases airflow, affects balance and can contribute to early failure of the compressor. After that you can use your Brush to brush away stubborn dirt and dust. Use a narrow paint brush to gently remove stubborn dirt and dust from the coil and fan if able to get sufficient access. Or If all of this doesn't work then you may contact some expert to do that one.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Swetir View Post
      Hi blue, did you try using vacuum? Vacuum with a plastic crevice or brush attachment, you carefully vacuum dirt and dust wherever it is seen. Use care not to damage the fins or coil. A breech created in the coil will allow the refrigerant to escape and will likely result in an expensive repair. You can also vacuum the fan, if the fan is visible and accessible, cleaning it will help it move air across the condenser coil as designed. Dirt and dust, if allowed to accumulate on the fan blades, decreases airflow, affects balance and can contribute to early failure of the compressor. After that you can use your Brush to brush away stubborn dirt and dust. Use a narrow paint brush to gently remove stubborn dirt and dust from the coil and fan if able to get sufficient access. Or If all of this doesn't work then you may contact some expert to do that one.

      LOL - the spammer has re-registered under a new under name with another useless and uninformative post

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      • #4
        Refrigerators are most widely used appliances. Almost everyone directly or indirectly have to face such situation when refrigerators condenser coil needs servicing. Thank you blue_can for making it easy with pictorial presentation.











        -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Information about refrigerators can help to buy the perfect model for your household.
        Last edited by Bob D.; 07-25-2020, 10:01 PM.

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        • #5
          Vacuumed mine a few months ago. Gave it as good as I could, but I would need to fab a narrow tube to my shop vac to get between the gaps in the grill over the condenser. It definitely made a difference in motor performance, if noise is any indication. Next time I'll have the tube ready.

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          • #6
            Well I never did end up updating this thread but in the end I used some non-rinse condenser cleaner which I picked up at Grainger. Using that was also not that straightforward since getting the can past the tubing was a challenge. But the direct contact did completely rinse off the dust in most places. I also used the brush again and managed to squeeze it past some of the obstructions and get at the dust.

            As I mentioned in my first post I found the vac to not be too effective at getting the dust film deposits - physical contact was needed.

            After using the spray on cleaner and the brush I managed to get about 80 - 90% of the coating and most of the condenser is now nice and shiny.

            The freezer is still at the same temp but the refrigerator section is now a few deg cooler than before and I think the run times are less although I did not really do a before and after measurement. I think you can buy something to keep track of the run times but I have not looked into those.

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            • #7
              I tried cleaning my first frig with compressed air. I ran an air line from the basement compressor and went to work with an air gun with copper tube extension. I heard screams of wifely outrage and turned around to see a kitchen full of gray haze. I still hear about that periodically. Best to capture the dust rather than spreading it around :-) Maybe a trip to pet store for aquarium brush?
              Last edited by Bob D.; 07-25-2020, 10:00 PM. Reason: removed link to external site, potential security issue.

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