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Sunday, August 29, 2010

I Killed My Refrigerator

It was an accident, I didn't mean to do it! I was just trying to relieve it of some frost deposits that had formed on its coil in the small freezer section. My intentions were honorable and I was only trying to help.

The Dearly Departed

The refrigerator in question is a small auxiliary unit I used to chill and store my "adult beverages". It was a rather inexpensive unit but faithfully served its mission in its short life. Modern refrigerators as a whole are amazing as they do their duty quietly for decades without needing any outside intervention. So important is their function, a rare failure is just cause for a real household emergency.

I was expecting a friend over last night and while tidying up, I decided to drink a beer to make the chores less tedious. When I opened the refrigerator door I noticed a large frost buildup on the coil in the freezer section. How this got here is a mystery, I had never seen it before. Maybe I left the door slightly ajar recently allowing the humid Arabian Gulf air in. In typical male fashion, I saw this as a problem that had to be solved NOW and with the maximum brute force available. I grabbed a stout knife and fetched my hammer and proceeded to chip the frost away with heavy blows. I used the knife to pry under the ice deposit and struck it on the end to dislodge same. This worked for awhile.

Little did I know that my heavy handed tactics were happening very close to some sensitive and vital parts of the refrigerator. After one particularly hard hammer smack on the knife, I was rewarded with a loud hiss accompanied by a misty spew of gas from my patient. I instantly knew what happened, I had breeched the pressurized closed system with the point of the knife and punctured a coil which allowed the refrigerator's life blood, Freon, to disperse into my face. I had cut the jugular vein and I knew it was fatal.

Fatal Wound

I respectfully unplugged the wounded machine. It was a small hole but it was enough. I knew it would be more expensive to repair than to buy a new unit. It will be wheeled out to the nearest dumpster tomorrow and will stand as a monument there of my stupidity for a day or two. What a waste. A replacement will be procured next week.

I am a die-hard do it yourselfer. I have a good mechanical understanding of things and have successfully repaired many cars and housing issues much more demanding than this although I have screwed things up before at times and have had to call a professional. That is just part of the learning process. What I learned in this latest fiasco is to not go banging around refrigerators with hammers and sharp objects. No good can come of that.

Overall, I made the mistake of rash behavior to solve an irritating problem rather than sitting down and thinking about my choice of resolutions. Looking back, I should have just turned off the refrigerator and let the frost deposits melt. This carries over to all aspects of life and I guess that is the point of this post is that acting hastily and forcibly can be costly at times. Take that to the bank.


Neil Roberts said...

God did that for drinking in Ramandan, you infidel !

Ace said...

HaHaHa, That was funny, Neil!I never thought about that. Now I am condemned to drinking warm beer for my transgressions. Maybe not a hardship for you Englishmen, but a torture for this Yank.

I did wait until after sundown to break my "fast" however so I deserve some mitigation. The broken refrigerator was too harsh a punishment methinks.

hemlock said...

of course the easier and less expensive method wouldve been to switch the chiller off and put in a pot of boiling water - the steam would melt the frost buildup - and once the freezer was dry again, you could turn it back on...

but umm - yeah, a knife and a hammer works too.

oh wait, they dont =P

Ace said...

But that would go against my penchant for instant gratification via hammer and knife.

The steaming pot is the correct procedure though and will be followed in the future.

My mom wanted me to be a doctor, good thing I didn't listen to her and went into airline safety instead. Oh, wait......

hemlock said...


Chuck said...

Hmmm, maybe I should buy a mini-fridge to put next to my computer so I never have to get up to go get a beer. Worth pondering.

Ace said...

I happen to have one for!!!

Misalyn said...

A big "ouch" for your 'patient'. Lol!

You reminded me of what my husband did to our refrigerator few years ago.

Ace said...

Misalyn, glad to hear I am not the only one! Sometimes the enthusiasm of solving a problem just causes more problems. Must be a "guy thing".

Keep up your good work!!!!

John Ware said...

Speaking of refrigerators ... My wife and I will be moving to Abu Dhabi at the end of Sept. Our debate has concluded with the decision to move our stuff (20' container) rather than purchase there. Should we move the fridge? Do the step-up adapters work for a 24/7 appliance? Recommendations welcom

Ace said...

I came over here with just a couple of suitcases as my employer offered a generous relocation allowance so I cant advise you about household goods shipping.

A transformer can adjust the voltage, but might not the 60 to 50Hz. I have no experience with that either.

I would just buy here. Remember you will have to pay duty on anything you import. Might be best to have a "garage sale" before you leave to keep your transition simple.

Neil Roberts said...


We shipped a 20' from the UK, but I wouldn't do it in hindsight. In one way it was nice to have some familiar things from home, but in other ways it was not a good idea. Firstly there was the cost of shipping and the hassle getting things out of customs etc. Then - we kind of thought we wouldn't need our white goods for the kitchen so gave them away at home, but then got here and needed them, so ended up buying more. We thought we might get built in wardrobes, so didn't ship them - nope, needed them! The we moved and downsized, so got rid of more stuff. Now we are upsizing again!

Furniture is, I think, pretty cheap here in comparison to the UK (can't speak for US) and electricals are much the same.

All-in-all, we would either have kept our stuff in the UK (maybe rented the house furnished) or sold it before coming.

Plus - you know how wives love to buy new stuff - It'll keep the Mrs happy!

Ace said...

I think Neil kinda said it all.
Follow his advice.

Carol said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Please know that it is not your fault. It is probably destined to go this way.

Ace said...

Careful thought trumps brute force most times. I have ruined other things too. I got too goal oriented and didn't think.

Ace said...

Careful thought trumps brute force every time. I have ruined other things too. Lessons learned!

Tanner Torchia said...

So it isn't the weather then? :) I think what finally needs to be said about refrigerators is how intricately made they are, and how well-ran, that the most microscopic alterations would cause the gravest consequences. You wouldn't imagine that about something that often appears in our minds as a clunky slab. We should, I guess, be careful the next time.