LG LFX25961AL refrigerator woes

Moved into a house with a LFX25961AL fridge. Worked for about 2 years. The icemaker didn’t make a lot of ice, and the water flow was slow. Then it stopped cooling completely…

No cooling

Fridge and freezer stopped cooling completely. LG compressors aren’t known for their reliability, but this fridge is probably 15 years old.

After dismantling just about everything and using an IR thermometer to check coils, determined it was definitely the compressor.

This compressor users R134a refrigerant (the same as my car) so I figured I could give fixing it a try. Very likely the refrigerant had leaked out. We can confirm that with a few parts.

Warning: it may be illegal to service refrigerant yourself!

It’s crazy how many people online said not to do this…maybe they are all refrigerator techs!

Bought some parts, this kit includes everything you need to refill a fridge: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08B43ZBTW/

Except the gas, which you can pick up pretty much anywhere, including Home Depot. Just get R134A refrigerant with leak sealant.

So first you’ll need to put the bullet valve on the end of the compressor (the not black part in the photo). This is there for a reason…to refill the compressor! It is the “low side” service tube. Follow the instructions to get it hooked up like this. Leave it closed, of course.

Then hook up the rest:

Leave the 134a valve closed, and open the bullet valve completely. If your fridge isn’t on then turn it on now and wait a while.

From what I read, the low side reading should be around 0-3 PSI if the compressor is working correctly.

Since my refrigerant was empty, I saw a reading of -3 PSI. This means that the compressor is pulling nothing through the system.

What you have to do then is slowly start adding R134a until the pressure stabilizes positive. Refill a little bit, stop, refill a little bit, stop…the needle will start inching its way up with every burst.

Eventually the PSI stabilized to around 2-3 and I closed the bullet valve and disconnected everything.

I could already tell it was starting to work, because negative temps were blowing out of the freezer compartment.

Several hours later:

Mission accomplished! Before I boarded everything back up, I was unable to see any of the leak sealant, which is dyed red. It must have been an extremely minor crack. This was actually 2 years ago and has been working fine for a while.

Slow ice, slow water

Alright so obviously this is water pressure. But it wasn’t any of the lines and it wasn’t the water filter. The ice tray wouldn’t fill up all the way and water would pour out really slowly.

It was the bullet valve installed downstairs which probably corroded over. Also those are sometimes illegal due to local codes because of how often they fail.

Turned off the bullet valve (I’ll replace it with a sharkbite later) and capped the end just in case.

Got some water line and ran it from the sink line instead, with this: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KIJZE0S

Fixed. Now makes a lot of ice and water dispenses much faster.

Water leak!

Uh oh!. Water leak behind the fridge.

Water had pooled up near the evaporator pool in the back of the fridge and started to overflow. I dried everything up and let it run a little bit. Water droplets were coming out of the water line going up to the fridge.

Looking closer, there was electrical tape around where a small hole was in the line. Previous owner must have had a small leak and electrical tape fixed it enough, due to the low pressure from before. When I fixed it, the high pressure caused more of a leak.

Easy fix requiring a scissor: remove the clamp, pull the line, cut the line, put it back in. Problem solved.

Now it’s too cold

Years later after the compressor fix, the refrigerator compartment froze over. My thought was it was the sensor at the top of the fridge which was possibly broken. The wire had been bent, so maybe it shorted. The level of resistance indicates temperature so that was my guess. The fridge was not throwing any errors.

I bought a new thermistor but it seems absolutely impossible to replace without taking apart the entire fridge. Unlike other fridge models, this one can’t be unplugged. The replacement part had bare leads and a 10 foot lead.

At some point in diagnosing, either playing with the cable or rebooting the fridge, it went back to normal and has been fine for months. Still unsure what the problem was. Possible it could have been the flap between the fridge and freezer, but I was unable to confirm.

No water, no ice for you

The ice and water dispensers stopped working completely. When I rebooted the fridge, the icemaker lights would flash. When trying to dispense water, the dispenser LED would also flash. After about 15 seconds, nothing would respond. To me it looked like a capacitor issue I encountered on another wine fridge, where not enough power was making it out of the mainboard. Manually turning the LED on or off through the display worked fine.

Just to make sure, I removed the icemaker and water solenoid just in case one of them was shorting. But the problem seemed the same, the dispenser LED would flash and then not respond after a while.

I also thought it could be the relay board that sits behind the dispenser panel. That controls the power given to the grind motor and the water solenoid. However there are no capacitors on that board and it looks like at least some power was making it to the ice maker and dispenser, since I saw LEDs light up. I also don’t think the ice maker is powered through that board.

Looking at the schematics in the service manual: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/749298/Lg-Lfx25961-Series.html

On the main assembly it says CON2 goes directly to the icemaker assembly. So if both the icemaker and the dispenser are not working, I think that’s a good indication that the problem is in the board somewhere.

Previously, I had encountered an error which indicated the mainboard was bad, but after rebooting the fridge, it went away. Perhaps this is an issue now.

The mainboard was $28 on ebay so I figured it was worth a shot without investigating further.


replacing FX-101B board in a Haier HVTEC12DABS

The Haier HVTEC12DABS is a 12-bottle wine fridge with a 2-zone thermoelectric (peltier) cooling setup.

My fridge started acting up. Beeping on start, front panel dead, no cooling. From what I read in a very useful thread at All About Circuits it’s possible to replace commonly blown capacitors, fuses, and transistors. But I am not that handy and I’d probably mess something else up in the process.

So I looked for replacement boards. This unit has two FX-101B boards, manufactured by “Foshan Hanyi Computer”:

The board is labelled as “FX-101B 10.5V PCB120606F1”. There is another marking “SH14611” with a date of “12.07.12”.

I wanted to replace both boards but the FX-101B is impossible to find. The “B” variant must have been made specifically for Haier, as other wine fridges have an FX-101 or FX-102 board. The differences I found:

  • the TEC (thermo-electric cooler) plug is a spade terminal rather than pins
  • there is an additional NTC (thermristor) connector for temperature control

I found that they sell these boards on Aliexpress in all different varieties (search for “FX-101 board”). But I could not find an FX-101B board, only the FX-101 and FX-102 which is apparently compatible. So I took a shot – $72.10 shipped for two FX-101 boards, from China. Now I’m thinking the FX-102 might have been a new board with better components but I didn’t really know much at the time and just went with the part I thought was the most compatible.

Note: Stock image because I forgot to take a picture before I put them in. When they arrived, they were marked 110v and 10.5v as requested. I found out later that if you find a 110v 12.5v board, that should work as well. 220v will obviously not work if your previous board is 110v and vice versa. Notice the different connector for the TEC power and the new NTC connector in the upper right.

First I had to cut off the existing TEC connector in the fridge and crimp spade disconnects to them which was a $4 purchase from Home Depot. Note: the FAN1 and FAN2 are different! One is hot side and one is cool side. The cool side (inside) should always spin, the hot side (outside) will only spin if the board is cooling. Switch your fan connectors if this happens. I plugged everything back in and started the wine cooler up.

Joy! The front panel was no longer blinking and chirping and it looked like it was cooling. But alas, the red lights on the back of the boards were lit up. This means that the unit has power but has not been requested to cool. The cool side (inside) fans were spinning. The hot side (outside) fans were not spinning. Multimeter showed no power to the TEC. I figured this had something to do with the new NTC connector and that maybe the board was expecting to be turned on via a thermristor instead of the control from the front panel.

I used a jumper to short the NTC pins together and the cooler came alive. The green LED lit up and the back fans started spinning. It then cooled down the set temperature.

I confirmed against my suspicions, even with the NTC pins jumped, the front panel temperature was still controlling cooling activation. I had thought that this would have made the fridge cool infinitely as it thought it was too warm (a thermristor will increase resistance as it gets hotter). Why this is, I don’t know. I guess the remote control overrides the thermristor, or, if it detects very low resistance it assumes there is no thermristor. Now the fridge cools to the requested temperature and turns off when not needed. Working like brand new!

replacing the haproxy error page in openshift origin

first, create a configmap secret which will contain the 503 page

apiVersion: v1
  error-page-503.http: |-
    HTTP/1.0 503 Service Unavailable
    Pragma: no-cache
    Cache-Control: private, max-age=0, no-cache, no-store
    Connection: close
    Content-Type: text/html

    <html><head><body>We'll be back!</body></head></html>
kind: ConfigMap
  name: haproxy-error-page
  namespace: default

then create it

oc -n default create -f haproxy-error-page.yml

now you need to add it as a volume

oc -n default set volume --add --configmap-name=haproxy-error-page dc/router -m /var/lib/haproxy/conf/error-page-503.http --name=haproxy-config-volume

and patch the router config (see https://github.com/openshift/origin/issues/16275 for why this is necessary)

oc -n default patch dc router -p '{"spec":{"template":{"spec":{"containers":[{"volumeMounts":[{"mountPath":"/var/lib/haproxy/conf/error-page-503.http","subPath":"error-page-503.http","name":"haproxy-config-volume"}],"name":"router"}]}}}}

selinux also has to be disabled on the router box (for now)

stop behat on 500 errors with mink

I had some issues diagnosing 500 errors that were happening with Mink. The main issue being that a page would 500, but then the test would proceed and fail a later step. Unfortunately the HTML/screenshot that was captured does not capture the error, but instead captures the assertion which doesn’t help debug.

It’s possible to react after a step and check if the last Mink request was a 500 or not. This way, we fail on the 500, and not on the subsequent assertions.

   * @AfterStep
  public function afterStep(Behat\Behat\Hook\Scope\AfterStepScope $scope) {
    // Fail if we got a 500.
    try {
    catch (Behat\Mink\Exception\DriverException $e) {
      // Page is not loaded.



PHP commandline OAuth authorization for JIRA

I needed to get a user’s OAuth credentials from the commandline, for some commandline tools to work (Drush).

You will need OAuth installed from PECL for this, and have an OAuth link set up in JIRA (or whatever OAuth provider you are using).

// Set up the OAuth client.

// cert.pem is the certificate you generated for the OAuth link.

// Get a request token so we can tell the user to visit a page.
$tokens = $oauth->getRequestToken(OAUTH_REQUEST_URL, 'oob', 'POST');
$oauth_token = $tokens['oauth_token'];
$oauth_token_secret = $tokens['oauth_token_secret'];
$oauth->setToken($oauth_token, $oauth_token_secret);
print "Go to: " . OAUTH_AUTHORIZE_URL . "?oauth_token=$oauth_token\n";

// Get the authorization code from the user.
$code = readline('Enter the authorization code');
$access_token = $oauth->getAccessToken(OAUTH_ACCESS_URL, NULL, $code, 'POST');
$oauth->setToken($access_token['oauth_token'], $oauth_token_secret);
$tokens['access_token'] = $access_token['oauth_token'];

// From now on you would just need the access token, and the token secret.
$oauth->setToken($tokens['access_token'], $tokens['oauth_token_secret']);
$content = $oauth->getLastResponse();