An empty refrigerator with a thermometer in it probably sends all of my male viewers into a panic...
Relax. No beers were harmed in the making of this photo.
But we still lost a lot of food--especially mayo.
Our Whirlpool fridge had been acting funny for maybe 5-6 weeks, with short-cycling being the main symptom until the temp started to rise. On it's 8th birthday (also the eighth anniversary of buying our home) the temp had made it above 60f so I admitted that drastic action was needed and finally got off my ass.
GoogleGoogleGoogle, read the owner's manual, dress up for an Excellence Award shindig for Sylvia (Proud but not surprised), eat a fine meal and listen to speeches at San Francisco Steakhouse (yum...), watch the girl on the swing for 8.24 seconds, haul-ass home to put our food into ice chests and get to work.
I knew very little about refrigerators before yesterday beyond keeping the door closed and not weighting it down with too many magnets and menus.
Turns out I had a lot to learn, including the simple concept of pulling stuff out and using a flashlight to carefully inspect for frost and ice buildup in the freezer section which might lead to blocked cold-air ducts down to the main section.
I just didn't understand how the top can be so cold, while my cheese and butter weren't firm.
Power = OFF
Pointed a couple of 100watt band lights into the freezer and left both doors open.
Might as well clean the crap out of it while waiting.
Sylvia scrubbed the front and one side.
After a few hours we finally heard water dripping into the catch pan and realized that it's been too long since we heard that sound.
Had to siphon water out of the catch pan 3 times overnight before all the ice and frost was melted and I could un-bolt it for a good scrub.
Today I added more ice to the chests then got to work cleaning the rest of the fridge, inside and out. All of the accessory parts were a pain in the ass. There are like 14 shelves and drawers and rails and grills and glass inserts!
Clorox wipes are pretty good for the interior--I used orange-scented ones.
When I left for band practice the temp had dropped 10 degrees in 30 minutes which was a good sign, and 2 hours later we were already getting into a good range.
The freezer is under 10f now and the bigger main section is catching up to where it should be.
More importantly, there is zero evidence of long run cycles, or painfully short ones.
Air-flow is confirmed between top and bottom, which obviously wasn't the case before.
It's back to running like a good refrigerator should, so far.
The real test will come as I add food and bottles of water tomorrow, but at this time confidence is high.
It's cold and all, so my work wasn't a waste of time, but still short-cycling sometimes.
Need to do more research before calling up a repairman.