Old and New Fridge Condenser Fans: What's the Difference?

This video shows how older fridge condensers were built to last when compared with the new ones.
Fabienne Lang

Which side of the debate are you on: are older contraptions more reliable, or are the newer ones? According to many people -- the creator of this video included -- the old ones were durable, and the new ones aren't.

In this instance, the focus is on fridge condenser fans. These little fans help to keep fridges cooler and properly functioning.

In an interesting comparison, the video compares a 1970s fan with a newer version.

Apparently, the older one could be considered over-engineered, as it's built to last 50 years without any repairs. It has fewer electrical parts, which means that it would take a lot in order for the motor to burn up due to electrical faults.

In comparison, the newer fan is nicer aesthetically speaking, and safer as it's made of plastic and not metal. However, it's over-engineered in a different sense: to be cheaply built.

The video spends a bit of time focusing on the electronics behind the fans. The newer ones have a fuse integrated right in the system, some integrated circuits, and an electrolytic cap, which has a finite life.

The way the newer ones are built makes it so that there's more air pushing through the oil shaft, which in turn dries out the area. This again minimizes the fans' lifespan.

Usually with the newer motors, once and if they short-circuit or lose power, they're done. Or, it takes a very skilled electrician to get them back up and running. According to the creator of this video, the strengths of the newer models are that they are quieter, and they use less power. But that's about it.

So what's the conclusion? Both of them function well and serve their purpose, but the newer ones are not built in a way to be used for a long time. 

Time to check the fan your fridge uses.

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