Seen the Back of Your Fridge Lately?

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Chef Extraordinaire
Sep 9, 2004
NoVA, beyond the Beltway
We almost had a (literal) meltdown yesteday. Woke up to a non-functioning refrigerator and freezer, both stuffed full of food.

I worried and dithered all day about it, trying to keep from opening either door too often to allow what little coolness was left from escaping.

Handy Husband came to the rescue again (love that man). When he got home he pulled the fridge out and vacuumed all the dust off the coils at the bottom of the back of the appliance. Voila! The beast sputtered back to life, and all was well. It just needed to breathe.

You would be amazed at how much crud collects behind your fridge. We've decided to vacuum it twice a year now, when we have to turn the clocks back or forward for daylight savings time.
Yep, had that happen before. So we keep the back vacumed.
Having been a Realtor, I saw a lot of refrigerator spaces and refrigerator backs when people moved. Actually had a couple of people throw up when they saw what was there. :LOL: Also, I recall a couple of cases where fires started due to the refer overworking in an attempt to keep the temperature correct.
That's no lie, Otter! I mentioned this in another thread but about three weeks ago the compressor burned out in my 16 year old fridge and filled the house with the stench of burning insulation. I called the fire department because I couldn't pinpoint the source and thought that wires might be burning in the walls. The back of the fridge was totally clogged with monster dust bunnies. I was kind of embarrassed because three engines showed up and the fire chief had a handheld thermoscope thingy to check the walls. Just the fridge! Oh well, it could have been much worse and I got a new fridge (at low cost) out of the deal.
Must be hard to explain when people ask about your kitchen fire and you have to tell them that it was your refrigerator, not your stove that was on fire. :LOL: It happens, though, and can be really nasty if you're not at home when it happens.
Edited to add: If you are having trouble getting rid of the smoke smell, put some potpourri in an old stockpot, fill with water and simmer, adding water occasionally to be sure you still have water and don't compound your problem by burning the potpourri. This pretty well thrashes the stockpot, so use something you're thinking of discarding anyway.
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Its especially bad if you have pets. :roll: I learned that the embarrassing way...having someone come in to replace my kitchen floor. Oops! That was the same day that I learned that the drawer on my oven pulled all the way out. HOLY COW! Now THAT was a dust bunny!
Reminds me of a George Carlin quote....

"Leftovers make you feel good twice....When you put them away you feel good because "I'm saving food ! When you throw them away you feel good because "I'm saving my life!"
I really need to do this. My husband will have to pull it out though - it's a tight squeeze and will have to come straight out, to twisting back and forth to get it out - and I'm just an elf!!!! :mrgreen:
This kind of thing scares me. I live in a 150 year old house, and my fridge is in a bizarre little under-stair area. It isn't the first time I've lived in a home where I can't get back there to clean, and both times it bugged me. I mean, it got there somehow, so there must be a way to get it out without me screaming from claustrophobia. It doesn't keep me up nights, but I occaisionally wonder ....
I had Paul pull ours out a few weeks ago.
It really wasn't too bad back there. Well at least not as bad as I thought it would be.

Dang thing scraped big scratches in our hardwood floors though. It's on wheels so we can't figure out how the damage was done. I'd have rather had the dirt behind the fridg. than dents in front of it!!!
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