How a Fridge or Freezer Works

    Have you ever wondered how a fridge or freezer works? This video explains how gas is used to cool fridges and freezers in the home.

    For information on how to confirm a fault on a Fridge-freezer see our other articles. »

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    Video Transcript: How a Fridge or Freezer Works


    Welcome to BuySpares.

    This video will show you how a fridge or fridge freezer works. Before replacing a part in any electrical appliance you must ensure that the appliance is first unplugged from the mains.

    These appliances work using evaporation, as a liquid evaporates it removes some of the surrounding heat. Modern refrigeration uses a butane based gas in a sealed system; this gas is pumped by the compressor here through the condenser – the end of which is restricted by this fine capillary pipe. This pipe forces the gas to change into a liquid generating heat as it is compressed; this heat is dispersed from the condenser.

    In frost-free appliances the evaporator may be concealed behind a cover with a fan to circulate the air around the cavity, along with the heater on or near the evaporator to defrost and clear ice build up which drains through this hole at the back.

    The liquefied gas passes through the capillary into the wider pipe work of the evaporator. As the liquid is no longer restricted by the fine bore of the capillary it evaporates due to the drop in pressure lowering the surface temperature and the air inside the appliance.

    Warm moist air that may enter when the door is opened will be deposited as ice on the evaporator. Some wet wall appliances turn off for a period of time to defrost which allows the moisture to run down into this channel where it is drained into a reservoir above the compressor. Here heat will allow the moisture to evaporate away.

    The appliance may cool for around 16 hours of motor run time before stopping and turning on the heater during the defrost cycle. The cycle will usually be controlled by a control board or a defrost timer.

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    To prevent seal gaps warm it up with a hair dryer and gently stretch the seal, this will set into its new position when closed and left to cool.

    * All information provided is a guide only. BuySpares accepts no liability for any problems occurred while attempting any advice shown. If in any doubt contact a qualified repair service.