Refrigerator Repair – Old School VS New School

Are refrigerators built differently today than the past?

Appliance Repairman Analysis:

“Yes modern home refrigerators today are quite different than those made 20+years ago.”

Ed Lam – Appliance Repair Service Technician since the year 2000

Home refrigerators are different for a bunch of reasons.

The simplest way to explain and understand the change is with math.

Let’s say older refrigerators had somewhere between 5-8 main components on the appliance.

Today, a modern refrigerator has 2x as many on average.

Wow thats a bunch more…. but I sure do appreciate an ice cold drink in the summer.

Hold on to that math and keep reading to see how we tie it all together.

Let’s explore a few of the changes with photos and some appliance repairman details to tell the story.

refrigerator repair defrost timer and defrost thermostat
(Refrigerator defrost thermostat on the left & defrost timer on the right)

These two components have been used by manufacturers and appliance repairmen for decades.

But there are some “new kids on the block” found in Long Island Kitchens across NY…….

(Refrigerator main control board – used for defrost control and much more….)

Computers, like the one shown above, have replaced the defrost timer in nearly all new home refrigerators built in 2020.

Main control boards like these monitor inputs from various sensors and are responsible for the function of way more than defrost and cooling.

While the computer board now monitors cooling and defrost, it also came with a new friend or 6 – AKA the NTC Thermistor (Temperature Sensor)

(Two common sensors now used in refrigerators are shown at the bottom right of photo)

Sensors help monitor the cooling cycle and defrost cycle and even give the board room ambient temps and pantry temperature readings.

A refrigerator that uses a control board will likely have somewhere between 2 and 6 sensors in the home appliance.

While many home appliance manufacturers will still employ the old defrost thermostat, it is now mostly used as a backup for the defrost cycle instead of the lead switch.

Why should any of this matter to homeowners?

The big takeaway for homeowners brings us back to the math:

  • There are way more options built into modern major home appliances (No matter the brand)
  • While as a society we love options, we can also easily recognize with more options and neat features— it means, more will need repair over time.

Having a central computer board on the home appliances enables our repair team to evaluate and test multiple components from one location.

While our local Suffolk County Long Island Appliance repairmen appreciate this unique diagnostic ability, I can speak for many technicians in saying :

“We sure do miss the old school defrost timers & bi-metals once common to Sub-Zero, GE, Whirlpool and more…..”

Want to learn appliance maintenance tips that can really help you and your home refrigerator? Learn more on our appliance repairman tips page

Well that’s it, we hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about our comparison of old school to new school in refrigerator repair.

If you or anybody you know has a refrigerator that is no longer cooling, not starting or simply needs a trained appliance repairman near Westhampton or Hampton Bays Long Island NY—- East Appliance Repair Inc. can help. 

We help with Sub-Zero repair (& other brands) in many other Suffolk County NY towns too. 

If you have a refrigerator in Long Island that is not working remember:

“This too shall pass.”

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Phone: 631-263-1961

East Appliance Repair Inc.

“Helping Long Island families make the best possible decisions with their home appliances.”

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