What I'm Seeing Now

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Freezer Burn

At my house we get freezer burn from time to time on our stored foods, no matter how well we wrap them.

Once I had a wart burned off with liquid nitrogen by freezing it.  The doctor said that this process would essentially burn it off, and as it defrosted it would feel like a burn.  He was right.

When we got to this house to do the inspection the fridge and freezer doors were open.

Looking inside this is what we saw.

Something had overheated to the point of melting the plastic insides!

The unit was still plugged in, so I immediately unplugged it.  The unit was off.  It remained unplugged when we left.

What could have caused this?

I have never seen it before and don't know.

The door seal was damaged on the refrigerator door.

Did that cause the motor to run continuously, and burn itself up?  Who knows!  But this is a clear case of freezer burn!

My recommendation:  so often home inspectors run into things they have not seen before.  While many times it is not known what cause the anomaly, it makes for an interesting business to say the least!  Have you seen this before?

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 17 commentsJay Markanich • August 23 2015 03:54AM

Comments

Good Sunday morning Jay. Looks  like that freezer got all "het" up! I have heard of getting hot under the collar...

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) about 3 years ago

Hot under the collar to say the least Michael!  But minimal scorching.  Weird.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

I love a conversation on line between two great home inspectors! Just another wonderful part of AR! 

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) about 3 years ago

Good morning Jay.  Like you this is a first for me.  Interesting subject and food for thought.

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty AR LLC) about 3 years ago

You should see home inspector message boards Lise!  It's a rodeo.

Interesting play on words James!  Freezer, food.  I get it!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Yes, that would be my guess...motor overheating...kind of like my computer when the battery is wearing down.

Posted by Debbie Gartner, The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers (The Flooring Girl) about 3 years ago

Jay, never seen this before. Not sure what to make of it? Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 3 years ago

Something overheated Debbie.  As to why I can only guess.

Wayne - I'm in your camp!  And I make great S'mores.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Jay Markanich In my prior life, I managed a Furniture/Appliance store with a service department. What happened here is the defrost heaters in the freezer were stuck in the on position  for a defrost cycle. The plastic in the freezer became liquified with the heat and re-solidified once the defrost heater, that is most certainly the culprit, started to work normally again. The defrost timer should be replaced, unless it already has been. It is located at the base towards the front of the refrigerator behind the kick plate. It is also possible that the defronst heaters have fractured and will need replacement. Easy fix.

Posted by Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI, Presence, Persistence & Perseverance (Realty National) about 3 years ago

Good morning Jay,

Thankfully the insurance policy wasn't near it!

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 3 years ago

OK S&N, and how do they handle the mangled plastic that's left?  This thing was really deformed!

Raymond - the silver lining in the otherwise dark cloud!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

I like hearing there was a logical explanation (the defrost heater) but I'm guessing it's time for a new fridge.

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, kat@thehousekat.com) about 3 years ago

I think so too, Kat.  That one probably cannot be fixed.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Jay,  Looks like the defrosting coil did that damage.

The refrigerator has the cooling coils in the freezer.  These coils use an integrated defrosting coil just in case ice builds up.  Looks like something went wrong with the defrost cycle and it melted the lining.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 3 years ago

Well, I don't know as I have never seen this Stephen!  But it appears the unit is kaput.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

Jay - I have never seen freezer burn quite like this before. I have no idea what would burn the insides of a freezer, but it looks like other people may have figured it out.

Posted by Troy Erickson, Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor (Diverse Solutions Realty www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com) about 3 years ago

I learned something too Troy!  Posting this sort of thing is intended to be instructive, and sometimes I am the student too.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 3 years ago

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