I'm Just A Simple Country Refrigerator Repair Technician

Virgil Mason Dewey
Virgil Mason Dewey

I know as well as any that the world's a-changing, and that with new technologies come new ways of doing things, some for better and some for worse. But I also know that some things—simple things such as commercial refrigerator repair and maintenance—ought not to be overcomplicated and complexified.


Sure, you'll hear the opposite from all them big-city refrigerator repair technicians, with their slicked-back hair and their business suits and Harvard degrees. But where I come from, you don't make a big fuss about fixing a refrigerator. Out here, all you need to fix a faulty condenser fan is to know, in your heart of hearts, that the rotary compressor creates a suction pressure pulsation which increases the refrigerant circulation turbulence and amplifies the heating capacity at a low temperature.

Now, I don't claim to understand how them fast-talking city folk work—though I hear tell now that they got these computers and hard disks inside the refrigerators and they just punch codes into 'em and the refrigerators fix themselves and next thing you know they start expectoratin' whole cubes of ice out at you. But we got a saying round here: "If the fan ain't running, discharge the capacitor to prevent electrical shock, unplug the unit, pry open the service panel, set your volt-ohm meter to the RX1 scale, clip a VOM probe to each fan motor terminal, and make sure the meter reads from 50 to 200 ohms." I know it sounds simple, but they're words to live by, and I s'pose there's a shred of wisdom yet in that old saw if you just stop to hear it.

When you come right down to it, I just don't trust them big-city refrigerator technicians. They'll hook up all their fancy blinking gizmos to your refrigerator and spin you a tall tale about some complex problem with your overload protector, when it's probably something as simple as a defective expansion valve shorting out the main compressor motor. And half the time they're perverts, half of 'em—strangers off the street doing God-knows-what with the very same length of PVC tubing they'll be putting right back into your fridge. Sure, in the end your refrigerator will run better, but at what cost, I ask?

I just don't rightly think the world of big-city refrigerator repair is for me. No sir. All them big flashing lights shining down on you when you're trying to work, and the people just ain't as grateful. Fact is, they'll mug you and rape you before you even get a chance to fix the defrost heater.

Why, just the other day, I was over to old Mrs. Winslow's house on account of one of them big-city refrigerator technicians had just passed through and told her he'd have to run a bunch of tests to figure out what for her door was leaking. Now, I'll tell you flat out I don't know a lick about refrigerator theory and the history of refrigerators and them laser wands they got now that you can just wave in front of a misaligned door hinge or cracked rubber drain hose and it fixes it right there in front of you. But I do know that when your door's a-leaking, all you got to do is take a new door gasket, soak it in warm water, remove the tension clips, clean the mounting area with a mild household detergent and scrub the adhesive off with some steel wool, affix the gasket with gasket cement, smooth the corners, and just jigger that sucker to conform to the door jamb.

That's just common sense.

Maybe my kind is a dying breed. Maybe in a few years even my small town'll be using fancy technologies to repair refrigerators, like those robots they got now in the cities that come into your home, and then you tell the robot what's wrong with the refrigerator, and the robot repairs it, and then the robot goes on his way and don't even need to get paid for.


But what happens when all your robots and computers and calculators turn against you and stop fixing refrigerators? I reckon you're going to need a real live human being who knows his way around an evaporator fan and is capable of adjusting the water inlet valve every now and again. And where will you find him? Well, sir, I'll tell you: strung up by his neck in some kitchen somewhere, killed by the evil refrigerator repair robots you big-city folk so foolishly created because the old-fashioned way just wasn't good enough anymore. Ain't that a shame.