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Straight out of left-field - a bizarre refrigerator question

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Stegman, Sep 17, 2013.

  1. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
    Messages:
    314
    Loc:
    Sterling, MA
    So I spent the weekend battling this horrible odor in my fridge. First I thought it was some old ground turkey that I found in there. Threw it out. Smell was still there - worse - the next day. Then I found a rotting cucumber in a bag where rotting cucumber juice was slushing around. Nasty. But the smell remained long after I tossed it.

    Blah blah blah. Long story short, I gave the fridge a good cleaning top to bottom. Found a couple of ancient sour cream containers, including one that had tumbled over and leaked nastiness down the back wall that I think was the primary culprit of the odor.

    Even after that, though, the smell still sort of lingered. From what I can tell, the sour cream spillage - or perhaps some rancid cucumber juice - seemed to pool around the hole in back where the water line comes in. There was a hunk of silicone caulk filling the hole, and I took it out and cleaned it good, but the caulk was holding the smell. I even soaked it in white vinegar for a few hours, and it wouldn't lose the smell. So I chucked out the glob of caulk.

    The smell is gone from the fridge, but now I have an uninsulated hole where the water lines come in. I stuffed some a rag in there as a stopgap, which leads me to my question: Is there any harm in making the rag a permanent fix? Will it do a good enough job keeping warm air out?

    I'm guessing that was the purpose of the glob of caulk. I could recaulk it, but from what I read online you have to take everything out of the fridge, shut it down and then let it air for 24-48 hours. That doesn't interest me. I was also wondering if a shot of spray foam would work or if that might constrict the water line when it expanded.

    Any thoughts on the easiest way to deal with this?

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  2. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
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    616
    Loc:
    West Carrollton,Ohio
    Plug it with some plumbers putty
    fbelec likes this.
  3. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Dec 28, 2006
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    8,800
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    It's not a "seal" but an air blocker. Anything that will stay put and not bugger the pipe will be fine. If the rag is secure then I'd probably leave it.
  4. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2010
    Messages:
    2,273
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    I agree with highbeam.

    And maybe take a peek once in a while to see what can converse with you in the fridge...once it answers you, toss it ;)
    Lumber-Jack, PapaDave and milleo like this.
  5. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2011
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    Loc:
    Sterling, MA
    At the risk of setting off a firestorm, that's the wife's job. ;) I tend to the woodstove.
    Hearth Mistress likes this.
  6. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    2,273
    Loc:
    Quebec, Canada
    SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh. Your keyboard has ears!! I bet that is exactly what you told her when you were throwing out the spoiled food right? lol
  7. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Loc:
    SE PA
    lots of baking soda.
    Hearth Mistress and PapaDave like this.

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