OT: Moral dilemma

First, a note - I do know how to spell the spiral type of connector, but TMF thinks I am describing something else and won’t let me use the word.

When we powered up our refrigerator in July, after our long vacation, it stopped cooling. Remembering what caused that the last time, II pulled it out of its alcove (non-trivial) and tried to figure out what the problem was. In a world where I have to convince a dubious wife that I actually can fix “anything”, I threw up my hands and said “OK, I’ll call a repairman”. Finding one that felt “trustworthy” was not an easy task, but this story is not about that.

I was out when the guy showed up and when he heard I was an engineer, he told my wife that the repair was “so simple that even I should have easily fixed it”. He was a recent Ukrainian immigrant and had decided that he could repair appliances for a living (and the telephone call I made to “his company” was actually some sort of booking service and it was his turn to be called). Anyhow when I came home, apparently he had replaced the fan in the freezer which blows the cold air into the refrigerator compartment and the fridge was working fine - except that every half hour or so it sounded like a bucket of bolts was shaking it up.

So we called him back for another shot at it. He was dubious that it was his fault until he heard the noise and then replaced his fan with another new one. Just in case, I save the fan he replaced (and, of course after watching him, now I know how easy it is to replace and am embarrassed that I didn’t just watch the process on You Tube).

About a week later, we called him back as the replacement fan was making somewhat different, but similar noises. He changed the fan again (shaking his head that one could have been a factory defect, but two in a row was unlikely - but the evidence was what it was) and I took the fan he had just replaced and put it with the other one “just in case”.

Naturally, this one started to make (less invasive) noises shortly afterwards, but I was embarrassed to call him back and, since the noises were not as bad, figured we’d just live with them (as I wasn’t in the mood to empty the freezer yet again.

So yesterday, a couple of months after the last repair attempt, I emptied the freezer, took it apart and noticed that one side of the fan bracket was a bit loose. Upon unscreiwing it, I found that the screiw used on that side was longer than thee other side (and, in fact, the original shorter screiw had been used to attach one end of the back-plate. So I swapped the two screiws and, when I reassembled the unit, the noise was gone.

So now I have two new freezer fan motors in their original boxes. Should I return them to the guy, sell them on E-Bay or just feel sorry for the time and material this guy wasted because of his ignorance or sloppiness on a minor, but apparently important detail.



If I were the repair man, I would appreciate knowing what I did wrong so that I didn’t do it again. Getting the parts back would be a plus, assuming you didn’t pay for both of them.

On the other hand, he could take it poorly and take it out on you.



This can be alleviated, and likely prevented, by first telling him how much you support Ukraine over Russia in the war. This makes any Ukrainian an instant friend. :wink:

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I’m with IP. Having just started in his appliance-repair business, he’s on a learning curve and should appreciate this kind of feedback.

Plus, his reaction to the news will help inform your decision in a couple of years when the dryer starts acting up - whether to call him, or someone else?



Spiral fasten them!

The Captain


The learning curve is a pistol. Last year, I had to replace the pump motor on my clothes washer. A couple weeks ago, I discovered that there had been a couple paper napkins in a pants pocket when I emptied the dryer. The next week, I went to start the washer, and the drain pump, which always runs for a couple seconds when I first start the washer, did not sound right. Imagining the pump impeller clogged with bits of paper from the napkins, I removed the pump again. On the first go, it took all afternoon to replace the pump motor. A week ago, I had removed the pump assembly, disassembled, inspected, reassembled and reinstalled in the washer, in less than an hour.