Friday, September 08, 2006

Hello Malvern, Pennsylvania, or Fridge Troubles

I seem to have acquired a fairly regular reader from Malvern, PA. I looked on the map and discovered that Malvern is a suburb of Philly. (Go Eagles!) So, I'm happy to have the follow-on audience, and more than a little curious to know who it is. If you're out there, Malvern, PA, leave me some comments below and say "Hi."

(You too, Florissant, Missouri, whoever you are! Go Rams!)

I have a funny little story to share about my refrigerator and the nature of all things mechanical.

For several months now, our 15 year old fridge has begun sweating, particularly in the space between the freezer door and the lower fridge door. It's so moist with condensation, in fact, that when you open the fridge door, drips of cool water fall onto your hand as you reach for the milk.

Figuring that one of the seals was leaking, and that cool freezer air was leaking out, I checked all the rubber gaskets around both doors and found them intact. So, why in the heck was it still sweating? I was dumbfounded but didn't want to have to call in an appliance repairperson, nor did I want to replace an otherwise perfectly working refrigerator.

Several more weeks of this annoyance went by, until I noticed one day a tiny little switch nestled in by the temperature controls. I had never seen it before, probably because either it wasn't there, and only showed up by the work of house elves, or because I don't stoop low enough to see it on the top panel near the lightbulb. The switch said, "Exterior Moisture Control": on or off. And it was "off!"

What a eureka moment! This was incredible! To me, this was the equivalent of owning a very old car--a clunker--and having it make a horrible grinding noise every time you turned around a corner to the left. And then, upon opening the hood of your car to examine the problem, you find a trim little switch that says, "Horrible Grinding Noise When You Turn Left": on or off. Hell yeah, turn it off!

So I turned off the Moisture button. And, lo and behold, the problem was solved! No more moisture, no more drips. I quietly took credit for being a genius while saving myself countless dollars in needless repairs or replacements.

I am forced to ask, however, why does the fridge manufacturer even have this switch? Why not have this function enabled all the time? Am I now spending countless dollars for kilowatt hours of heating for the front of my fridge? I guess my next utility bill will tell.

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