Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Fridge is Conquered, with some Collateral Damage

So here is the Sub-Zero, which needed to be gone from that spot by Thursday, when the new, more reasonable fridge would be delivered. So I called up 1-800-GOT-JUNK. They were happy to take it away, until they heard it was a Sub Zero. "Well," they said, "We'll send out a couple of guys and they will look at it and see if they can get it on the truck and they will give you an estimate."

OK, so my plan was that when they showed up to see if they could move it, the fridge would be out of it's hole, unplugged and with the water supply cut; the shelves out, everything cleaned, and the doors removed.

The first thing I had to do was turn it off, which turned out to be not easy. There are two sets of controls, one for the freezer, which I had already shut down, and one for the refrigerator, which was frozen in place at "3". Some hot water later I was able to turn the control with a wrench to OFF, but the fridge continued to run. OK, I figured the control was damaged from the frost or there was still a bit of ice behind the panel, so I give the panel a good thump with the wrench to disloge any leftover ice. The OFF lit up blue and went off again.

The fridge continues to run (It's been running 24/7 for the last month).

So I need to pull the fuse. Things are labelled creatively down there in the fuse cubby,but I did figure out which fuse went to the fridge, unscrewed it and the fridge was at last truly "off".

So was the microwave,and the plug above the oven, but that was ok. Next I carefully nudged the whole fridge, an inch at a time, out of it's hole, being careful never to pull it towards me because the weight is all at the top. I also didn't want to break the water supply to the ice maker, but I was sure it had been shut off a couple of years ago because Debbie, the previous owner, never used the ice maker herself and it was turned off inside the freezer. So then the fridge was out of the hole:

Pretty dirty behind the fridge, but to be honest I have seen worse.

If you look down at the floor you can see the thin copper pipe that is the water supply. I still couldn't reach the plug at this point, so I needed to get rid of the water supply so I could pull the fridge far enough out to unplug it.

So down I go into the basement--I know there is a filter on the line and that seems like a reasonable place to unhook the line, instead of cutting it. (If you are reading this and you are a plumber, you know what is coming next).

I turn the little plasic valve on one end of the filter and BAM WATER SHOOTING EVERYWHERE HOLY JEEBUS. I screw the plastic valve back down BUT NO it's not going to seal again because it is like ten years old and ready to just decompose on its own. There is a pin valve on the left of the filter, but that thing seems to do nothing and I need something faster than going to hunt up a screwdriver, so I start turning valves that I think are upstream of the filter. There are a lot to choose from, and the tags are faded. It's Willy Wonka's water supply.

After 30 seconds of floundering I decide to heck with it, and galloped out to the garage and shut the main, which is a sensible 1/4 turn lever and what all valves ever should look like:

I now look like an extra from a submarine movie, but most of the water is pooled on the concrete floor next to the sump pit, so I use a plastic broom to push the water into the pit, and take out my phone while I am doing this (as the filter is still drooling really fast) and call Arco plumbing and leave a message that I would really like someone to stop by who can shut a pin valve because I have no water in the house now.

At this point Contractor Tony shows up and agrees that the pin valve is a professional problem, and then he helps me pry off the doors and some of the metal strips around the edges. He takes away the doors. The fridge is now much lighter, though it is still taller than the door to the dining room, so the junk guys will have to tilt the fridge to get it out, and the fan blades are in the way. So I take off two of the fan blades:

John from Arco shows up right after Tony leaves, tightens up the pin valve, puts a bucket under it and tells me to make an appointment for the end of the week for them to replace that section of pipe. The new fridge supposedly has an ice maker, but I am not going to hook it up at all; it's a great place to grow listeria and other bacteria. So this morning the junk guys show up, and they don't even bother with a dolly--they have the fridge out in under 8 minutes total, though the ceiling fan still took a hit and the fridge had a lot of defrosted gross water that it poured out onto the floor. They only charged me 99 dollars instead of 200.00 and seemed perfectly happy to take it, so next time I have some large object to be removed, I know who to call. I still have a lot of work today--I need to clean the floor and disassemble the side panel and remove what is left of the copper pipe, and possibly paint, but the hardest part is done.


  1. My mom had a neat no hard work trick for floor messes like that (she ran a professional clean out business, lots of under kitchen equipment cleaning). You put a wet towel down for an hour, then sprinkle comet on and spread it around with a dish cloth, leave it sit for 30 mins and then just wipe it up. After that, sponge a good layer of straight acrylic floor wax on it and let it dry 24 hours. Once the new fridge is there, cut a few plastic lids to size and put them under the fridge feet (this takes doing) and you won't get those little 'foot prints' things leave. We use upside down Tropicana or Simply Juice bottle caps. Acrylic floor wax works for showers, too.

    1. The towels went down right away and then I used baking soda on the floor after, and rinsed--it still needs more work with a Magic Eraser because the fridge metal scribed marks on the tiles. There was some oddball use (doll related) that acrylic floor wax was good for..oh yeah I remember! To thin acrylics for faceups! I need to try it and see if it works.

  2. Fish, we went thru a similar thing when we moved into this house. Also a subzero frig - cabinet depth only - so was small inside, the ice maker in the freezer did not work and only subzero people can repair them. That only gave us a fellow from Charlotte (90 min. away) at an ungodly cost to come fix it. We decided to use it in the basement kitchen but had a heck of a time getting it into the basement. It is not closed in on one side now, so we can clean behind it. We also had mold and dirt behind this built in refrigerator when we moved it out. Our new refrigerator is deeper and our remodeling fellows used one of the left over cabinets to put above the new refrigerator and added to the depth of the wood walls around it. We can move that refrigerator out so I can clean behind it every 3 months or so. I would never purchase a subzero refrigerator. I think the same company makes wolf ovens and I must admit I love my wolf oven. Absolutely love it! I also have a wolf warming drawer and will probably never use it. I wish I had one of those pull out drawer microwaves instead.

    1. LOL I can't even imagine how you got it down into the basement! They are so heavy, even the smaller ones. This new one they brought yesterday is on wheels so you can pull it out no sweat, so I can smack mice behind it :D And it has a ton of room inside and you can see everything. Is your Wolf oven gas or electric?

    2. They make both but mine is Electric. The oven has a brick oven bake option. I have only used that once, but it made a very crisply outside. (Rob got the bread machine so..) Also, the controls are hidden - you press a lever and the controls appear. I got it for half the price from the Wolf dealer in Charlotte as it was a floor display unit. I love that and my microwave/convection GE Advantian oven above the wolf. If we downsize, I could just live with that GE Advantian oven. Here is the flickr photo:

    3. It sounds like a wonderful oven (I like electric ovens), and convection ovens are fabulous. We had a tiny one for years and it worked fine!


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