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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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So the new fridge came today. The Best Buy delivery folks took the old one away and brought the new one up. There were lots of scraping and flexing sounds, but I didn’t see any evidence of this, so it seems to be find. The damn thing beeps like a truck backing up if you leave a door open for more than 15 seconds. At first I thought it was trying to warn me about compressor failure or something like that, but nowhere in the horribly long instructions or troubleshooting guide do they mention that the fridge beeps. Only when I’d re-attached the doors (more on this later) and restarted the compressor did the beeping stop. In fact, in the “sounds your refrigerator may make” section, containing a full-page diagram and troubleshooting guide, they never mention that the thing makes a beeping sound. Oh well, now I know how to properly store at least 30 varieties of food products. That counts for something.

I ended up having to reverse both the fridge and freezer doors, as they wouldn’t allow shelf extension as provided. While the openening for the fridge is large enough in our kitchen, the window sill and depth of the doors prevented the freezer basket from fully extending.

Interestingly enough, I discovered that somebody actually ran a line when they built the place for water, but never hooked it up. Oh well.

In any event, reversing doors on a refrigerator is a hassle. This is for a few reasons. First, the supplied bolts are torqued in with monster force. Second, some genius decided that they would use both metric and english bolts on the thing, so two of the hinges use metric 10mm, and one of them uses english 3/8. Just for fun, the retaining pins for the doors also use quarter-inch hex bolt tops, but are designed by an engineer with nothing beyond a third-grade education in materials science. The hex contact area is a good bit smaller than the actual bolt, which in turn is much smaller than the securing threads. A quick illustration of the piece is in order:

The green parts are the locating surfaces which make contact with the plastic sleeve bearings in the doors. The red section is the threads that secures this part into the hinge. The blue bit is an integral flange. That skinny yellow piece of shit at the top? Yeah, that’s the hex head, used to tighten those threads that are clearly at least twice the radius of the actual tightening head.

Now, my reading on race car materials engineering science has taught me a few things about bolts that I would not have known before. One of them is that bolt design and utilization is not a subject for the novice. LG obviously employs a pre-schooler for this sort of task. The long and short of it is that applying torque to a tiny cross section like that, when controlling a much larger cross section, is going to cause trouble in a bolt if it’s not a good hardened bolt with careful design. This, friends, is just a cheap zinc-plated piece of shit, and lacks the “hardened” and “careful design” bits.

So, sure enough, as I was tightening the freezer door retainer assembly bolt (and we’re talking gentle, far less torque than was applied from the manufacturer) with the correct socket (read: the right tool for the job), and the head of the bolt assembly just shears right off. What a piece of shit. So, now, if I ever need to remove the door, or reverse the door, or perform maintenance on the damn thing, I’m going to have to remove the bolt with vise grips and replace it, as being mauled during removal isn’t going to bode well for location in a plastic bearing in the future.