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Domestic Refrigerator Parts and their Working

written by: Haresh Khemani • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 3/20/2010

The domestic refrigerator is one found in almost all the homes for storing food, vegetables, fruits, beverages, and much more. This article describes the important parts of the domestic refrigerator and also their working.

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    Parts of the Domestic Refrigerator and how they Work

    The domestic refrigerator is one found in almost all the homes for storing food, vegetables, fruits, beverages, and much more. This article describes the important parts of the domestic refrigerator and also their working. The parts of domestic refrigerator can be categorized into two categories: internal and external. Let see these in details along with their images.

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    Parts of the Domestic Refrigerator

    Parts of the Domestic RefrigeratorDomestic Refrigerator Parts
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    Internal Parts of the Domestic Refrigerator

    The internal parts of the refrigerator are ones that carry out actual working of the refrigerator. Some of the internal parts are located at the back of the refrigerator, and some inside the main compartment of the refrigerator. Some internal parts of the domestic refrigerator are (please refer the figure above):

    1) Refrigerant: The refrigerant flows through all the internal parts of the refrigerator. It is the refrigerant that carries out the cooling effect in the evaporator. It absorbs the heat from the substance to be cooled in the evaporator (chiller or freezer) and throws it to the atmosphere via condenser. The refrigerant keeps on recirculating through all the internal parts of the refrigerator in cycle.

    2) Compressor: The compressor is located at the back of the refrigerator and in the bottom area. The compressor sucks the refrigerant from the evaporator and discharges it at high pressure and temperature. The compressor is driven by the electric motor and it is the major power consuming devise of the refrigerator.

    3) Condenser: The condenser is the thin coil of copper tubing located at the back of the refrigerator. The refrigerant from the compressor enters the condenser where it is cooled by the atmospheric air thus losing heat absorbed by it in the evaporator and the compressor. To increase the heat transfer rate of the condenser, it is finned externally.

    4) Expansive valve or the capillary: The refrigerant leaving the condenser enters the expansion devise, which is the capillary tube in case of the domestic refrigerators. The capillary is the thin copper tubing made up of number of turns of the copper coil. When the refrigerant is passed through the capillary its pressure and temperature drops down suddenly.

    5) Evaporator or chiller or freezer: The refrigerant at very low pressure and temperature enters the evaporator or the freezer. The evaporator is the heat exchanger made up of several turns of copper or aluminum tubing. In domestic refrigerators the plate types of evaporator is used as shown in the figure above. The refrigerant absorbs the heat from the substance to be cooled in the evaporator, gets evaporated and it then sucked by the compressor. This cycle keeps on repeating.

    6) Temperature control devise or thermostat: To control the temperature inside the refrigerator there is thermostat, whose sensor is connected to the evaporator. The thermostat setting can be done by the round knob inside the refrigerator compartment. When the set temperature is reached inside the refrigerator the thermostat stops the electric supply to the compressor and compressor stops and when the temperature falls below certain level it restarts the supply to the compressor.

    7) Defrost system: The defrost system of the refrigerator helps removing the excess ice from the surface of the evaporator. The defrost system can be operated manually by the thermostat button or there is automatic system comprising of the electric heater and the timer.

    Those were the some internal parts of the domestic refrigerator; now let us see the external parts of the refrigerator.

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    Parts of Refrigerator: How does the Domestic or Household Refrigerator Work?The external parts of the refrigerator are: freezer compartment, thermostat control, refrigerator compartment, crisper, refrigerator door compartment, light switch etc.
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    External Visible Parts of the Refrigerator

    The external parts of the compressor are the parts that are visible externally and used for the various purposes. The figure below shows the common parts of the domestic refrigerator and some them are described below:

    1) Freezer compartment: The food items that are to be kept at the freezing temperature are stored in the freezer compartment. The temperature here is below zero degree Celsius so the water and many other fluids freeze in this compartment. If you want to make ice cream, ice, freeze the food etc. they have to be kept in the freezer compartment.

    2) Thermostat control: The thermostat control comprises of the round knob with the temperature scale that help setting the required temperature inside the refrigerator. Proper setting of the thermostat as per the requirements can help saving lots of refrigerator electricity bills.

    3) Refrigerator compartment: The refrigerator compartment is the biggest part of the refrigerator. Here all the food items that are to be maintained at temperature above zero degree Celsius but in cooled condition are kept. The refrigerator compartment can be divided into number of smaller shelves like meat keeper, and others as per the requirement.

    4) Crisper: The highest temperature in the refrigerator compartment is maintained in the crisper. Here one can keep the food items that can remain fresh even at the medium temperature like fruits, vegetables, etc.

    5) Refrigerator door compartment: There are number of smaller subsections in the refrigerator main door compartment. Some of these are egg compartment, butter, dairy, etc.

    6) Switch: This is the small button that operates the small light inside the refrigerator. As soon the door of the refrigerator opens, this switch supplies electricity to the bulb and it starts, while when the door is closed the light from the bulb stops. This helps in starting the internal bulb only when required.

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    Domestic Refrigerator

    External visible parts of household refrigeratorHousehold RefrigeratorShelves in the household refrigerator
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    Images Courtesy

    1) http://www.uefap.com/writing/function/process.htm

    2) Refrigerator Troubleshooting

    3) Visual Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    4) Super General Company

    5) Wikimedia Commons