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Column

Fridge fiasco

The downside of home ownership reared its ugly head for my husband, Tim, and I during the final week of December. In the midst of all of our holiday traveling, our refrigerator decided to quit working, and it was right before Tim and I were headed out the door to his parents’ house. Great timing Pratt fridge.

Tim and I had spent the day at home, nothing seemed to be amiss. We enjoyed leftovers from our Christmas Day cooking for lunch and everything was nice and cool coming from our Maytag appliance.

We planned to head over to Tim’s parent’s house for supper. We got the car all loaded and double checked to make sure our cats would have enough food for the three days we’d be gone. I did one final check of the house, then went to fill my travel glass with ice water.

Our fridge doesn’t have an automatic ice maker installed, but Tim and I are content to use four ice trays and a built-in “ice overflow” drawer. I chose one of the top trays and walked to the counter where my glass awaited. I started to “crack” open the tray, and I noticed the ice was a watery slush. I had refilled one of the ice trays earlier in the day.  I was pretty sure I had grabbed a different one, so I went to check the three remaining trays in the freezer. The one I had filled about three hours prior was still water and the others were the same as the one in my hand. Upon closer inspection, a frozen pizza seemed a little too soft. Rats! I called my husband into the kitchen to check things out, praying I was misreading the situation. Tim looked at the freezer contents and came to the same conclusion, the refrigerator wasn’t working.

Tim and I have a small chest freezer in our basement. We like to have a nice stock of meats and vegetables to be used in any recipe we choose to “whip up” for supper. Because of this, there wasn’t a lot of extra room to stash the stuff from the fridge freezer. With the fridge not working, we had two options: 1) we could either go buy another small freezer, something we had talked about before this fridge fiasco, or 2) we could haul what we wanted to save to my in-laws and ask to stash a few things there until the repair guy could come and fix our fridge. We chose the first option.

We dashed to Walmart in hopes they would have one. They did — the last one on the shelf. We purchased it and loaded it up as quickly as possible. Once in place in our garage, we plugged it in and were happy to hear the motor run. The next hour was spent hauling things from the fridge to the freezers in our basement and garage. We made use of our basement mini-fridge to save the milk and cheeses, and the rest was packed into coolers, topped with ice and stashed in the garage to stay cool.

We called Budget Repair in Newton, and they were fantastic. They came on New Year’s Eve, “diagnosed” the problem and set about fixing it. The fan motor and the start relay both quit working. They fixed both, installing the new motor when it arrived Jan. 3. Then, when the new motor failed just a few days later, they made it right and fixed it even better the second time. I was extremely pleased with their service. Now, the new motor is operating perfectly, hopefully for longer than a day and half this time.

A refrigerator is an essential part of any kitchen, something that is brought into focus when it breaks down. I pray it will be many years before we have to deal with appliance repair again. Wish us luck!

Contact Pam Pratt at
pampratt@newtondailynews.com

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