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Thread: Problematic WhisperKool refrigeration unit

  1. #1
    Michael Lindbeck Guest

    Default Problematic WhisperKool refrigeration unit

    Hello all,

    I am looking for some advice on a Wine Storage unit I’m having trouble
    with. I purchased a Vinotheque (Villa Series; model 330) about 4 years
    ago. It worked just fine for about 2 years, then the cooling system
    failed (it ran, but did not cool). Even though it was beyond the 1-year
    warranty, they sent me a replacement, and I installed it (sent them the
    non-working unit back). Now, 2 years later, the same thing has happened
    (it runs, but does not cool). I called their customer service again
    (not really expecting them to offer a replacement); and they have a
    “Customer Care Program” to exchange the 1000 BTU with another for about
    $750 (plus shipping). They also offered, for the same price to send a
    1200 BTU unit. I just not sure I want to spend $800 each two years to
    “maintain” my Vinotheque.

    I would expect a quality Wine Storage to work correctly for at least 10
    to 15 years, even longer since it’s not located in a harsh environment..
    Has anyone else had experience with WhisperKool cooling units; either
    good or bad? Does anybody think that these can be repaired at a
    reasonable cost?

    I’m struggling with the choices of either getting an exchange unit or
    just scrapping the whole thing and getting something else.

    Thanks for any and all suggestions. Also are there any other forums
    where I might read about other's experiences with Wine Storage Cabinets.

    Michael

  2. #2
    Mark Lipton Guest

    Default Re: Problematic WhisperKool refrigeration unit

    Michael Lindbeck wrote:

    > I would expect a quality Wine Storage to work correctly for at least 10
    > to 15 years, even longer since it’s not located in a harsh environment..
    > Has anyone else had experience with WhisperKool cooling units; either
    > good or bad? Does anybody think that these can be repaired at a
    > reasonable cost?
    >
    > I’m struggling with the choices of either getting an exchange unit or
    > just scrapping the whole thing and getting something else.


    I have no personal experience with Whisperkool, but here's my advice
    FWIW. You have a refrigeration unit that's malfunctioning. It may be
    something as simple as loss of refrigerant or as serious as a blown
    compressor. The first that I'd do is call a local A/C repair shop to
    come out, diagnose the problem and give you an estimate. If it's just a
    matter of recharging it with refrigerant, it shouldn't be a problem
    unless it's some outdated Freon.

    HTH
    Mark Lipton

    --
    alt.food.wine FAQ: http://winefaq.cwdjr.net

  3. #3
    MikeStanton Guest

    Default Re: Problematic WhisperKool refrigeration unit


    Michael Lindbeck;1200644 Wrote:
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I am looking for some advice on a Wine Storage unit I’m having trouble
    >
    > with. I purchased a Vinotheque (Villa Series; model 330) about 4 years
    >
    > ago. It worked just fine for about 2 years, then the cooling system
    > failed (it ran, but did not cool). Even though it was beyond the
    > 1-year
    > warranty, they sent me a replacement, and I installed it (sent them the
    >
    > non-working unit back). Now, 2 years later, the same thing has
    > happened
    > (it runs, but does not cool). I called their customer service again
    > (not really expecting them to offer a replacement); and they have a
    > “Customer Care Program” to exchange the 1000 BTU with another for about
    >
    > $750 (plus shipping). They also offered, for the same price to send a
    >
    > 1200 BTU unit. I just not sure I want to spend $800 each two years to
    >
    > “maintain” my Vinotheque.
    >
    > I would expect a quality Wine Storage to work correctly for at least 10
    >
    > to 15 years, even longer since it’s not located in a harsh
    > environment..
    > Has anyone else had experience with WhisperKool cooling units; either
    >
    > good or bad? Does anybody think that these can be repaired at a
    > reasonable cost?
    >
    > I’m struggling with the choices of either getting an exchange unit or
    > just scrapping the whole thing and getting something else.
    >
    > Thanks for any and all suggestions. Also are there any other forums
    > where I might read about other's experiences with Wine Storage
    > Cabinets.
    >
    > Michael


    Among the various mechanical systems that are installed by cabinet
    mfg's, only Breezaire (the industry standard) and, to a somewhat lesser
    degree, Whisperkool enjoy any acceptable level of service histories and
    factory support.

    In fairness to Vintotheque, end users very often misapply the equipment
    or ignore recommendations regarding ventialtion clearances, rotuine
    maintenance, etc. While there are no statistics on the lifetimes of
    wine cooling systems, certainly 8 to 10 years is not unheard of,
    depending upon any number of variables.

    Obviously, a complete diagnosis is impossible here, but my 1st question
    to you (as it is with any number of folks that contact me each week with
    similar technical concerns) is ... "When is the last time you cleaned
    any accumulated household dust and dirt of the coil?"

    No machine - computer, automobile, cooling system ... can be expected
    to perform efficiently if it's not kept clean.

    In my 10 years' experience - having dealt with over 6,000 pieces of
    equipment - dirt is usually the culprit when equipment is running, but
    not cooling. If you were low on refrigerant, you would see icing.

    If you have a 4" - 5" clearance around and behind and ~ 10" above the
    cabinet, you probably just have a dirty machine. (We're assuming that
    your ambient, fresh air suplly is not exceeding ~ 80 degrees)

    Mike Stanton
    'Every Line of Wine Storage Equipment Every Line of Wine Storage
    Equipment' (http://www.galtwine.com)




    --
    MikeStanton

  4. #4
    Michael Lindbeck Guest

    Default Re: Problematic WhisperKool refrigeration unit

    On 2008-10-04 12:42:36 -0700, Mark Lipton <[email protected]> said:

    > Michael Lindbeck wrote:
    >
    >> I would expect a quality Wine Storage to work correctly for at least 10
    >> to 15 years, even longer since it’s not located in a harsh environment..
    >> Has anyone else had experience with WhisperKool cooling units; either
    >> good or bad? Does anybody think that these can be repaired at a
    >> reasonable cost?
    >>
    >> I’m struggling with the choices of either getting an exchange unit or
    >> just scrapping the whole thing and getting something else.

    >
    > I have no personal experience with Whisperkool, but here's my advice
    > FWIW. You have a refrigeration unit that's malfunctioning. It may be
    > something as simple as loss of refrigerant or as serious as a blown
    > compressor. The first that I'd do is call a local A/C repair shop to
    > come out, diagnose the problem and give you an estimate. If it's just a
    > matter of recharging it with refrigerant, it shouldn't be a problem
    > unless it's some outdated Freon.
    >
    > HTH
    > Mark Lipton


    Thanks Mark, that's good adivce. Last time, I wasn't able to find a
    local A/C repair shop that wanted to look at it (without charging for
    at least an hour labor). I think I'll remove the unit myself and see
    if they could look at it in their shop. I can hope for the best; at
    least, I should get an informed opinion about the quality of this
    cooling unit.

    Michael


  5. #5
    Michael Lindbeck Guest

    Default Re: Problematic WhisperKool refrigeration unit

    On 2008-10-04 14:49:12 -0700, MikeStanton
    <[email protected]> said:

    >
    > Michael Lindbeck;1200644 Wrote:
    >> Hello all,
    >>
    >> I am looking for some advice on a Wine Storage unit I’m having trouble
    >> with. I purchased a Vinotheque (Villa Series; model 330) about 4 years
    >>
    >> <snip>

    >
    > Among the various mechanical systems that are installed by cabinet
    > mfg's, only Breezaire (the industry standard) and, to a somewhat lesser
    > degree, Whisperkool enjoy any acceptable level of service histories and
    > factory support.
    >
    > In fairness to Vintotheque, end users very often misapply the equipment
    > or ignore recommendations regarding ventialtion clearances, rotuine
    > maintenance, etc. While there are no statistics on the lifetimes of
    > wine cooling systems, certainly 8 to 10 years is not unheard of,
    > depending upon any number of variables.
    >
    > Obviously, a complete diagnosis is impossible here, but my 1st question
    > to you (as it is with any number of folks that contact me each week with
    > similar technical concerns) is ... "When is the last time you cleaned
    > any accumulated household dust and dirt of the coil?"
    >
    > No machine - computer, automobile, cooling system ... can be expected
    > to perform efficiently if it's not kept clean.
    >
    > In my 10 years' experience - having dealt with over 6,000 pieces of
    > equipment - dirt is usually the culprit when equipment is running, but
    > not cooling. If you were low on refrigerant, you would see icing.
    >
    > If you have a 4" - 5" clearance around and behind and ~ 10" above the
    > cabinet, you probably just have a dirty machine. (We're assuming that
    > your ambient, fresh air suplly is not exceeding ~ 80 degrees)
    >
    > Mike Stanton
    > 'Every Line of Wine Storage Equipment Every Line of Wine Storage
    > Equipment' (http://www.galtwine.com)


    Thanks Mike for your comments. The cabinet is located in my garage
    (below the house) and has close to a foot of clearence on the back side
    and no obstructions on either side or the top. I keep my garage pretty
    clean and actually vacuumed the space and the ventilation grills on the
    unit a couple of times each year. I'm going to remove it from the
    cabinet and try to get an estimate for repair. Thanks again.

    Michael


  6. #6
    Mark Lipton Guest

    Default Re: Problematic WhisperKool refrigeration unit

    Michael Lindbeck wrote:

    > Thanks Mike for your comments. The cabinet is located in my garage
    > (below the house) and has close to a foot of clearence on the back side
    > and no obstructions on either side or the top. I keep my garage pretty
    > clean and actually vacuumed the space and the ventilation grills on the
    > unit a couple of times each year. I'm going to remove it from the
    > cabinet and try to get an estimate for repair. Thanks again.


    I think that herein may be the problem. I believe that those units are
    designed for indoor use, and while Pleasanton isn't Tucson, it's likely
    that summertime temperatures in your garage get rather hot. Under those
    conditions, compressor units have to labor extra hard and that could
    lead to an early demise for the compressor. If you air condition your
    garage, or if it never gets very hot, that would change matters.

    Mark Lipton

    --
    alt.food.wine FAQ: http://winefaq.cwdjr.net

  7. #7
    [email protected] Guest

    Default Re: Problematic WhisperKool refrigeration unit

    On Oct 4, 6:17*pm, Michael Lindbeck <marianne_lu...@sbcglobal.net>
    wrote:
    > Hello all,
    >
    > I am looking for some advice on a Wine Storage unit I’m having trouble
    > with. *I purchased a Vinotheque (Villa Series; model 330) about 4 years
    > ago. *It worked just fine for about 2 years, then the cooling system
    > failed (it ran, but did not cool). *Even though it was beyond the 1-year
    > warranty, they sent me a replacement, and I installed it (sent them the
    > non-working unit back). *Now, 2 years later, the same thing has happened
    > (it runs, but does not cool). *I called their customer service again
    > (not really expecting them to offer a replacement); and they have a
    > “Customer Care Program” to exchange the 1000 BTU with another for about
    > $750 (plus shipping). *They also offered, for the same price to send a
    > 1200 BTU unit. *I just not sure I want to spend $800 each two years to
    > “maintain” my Vinotheque.
    >
    > I would expect a quality Wine Storage to work correctly for at least 10
    > to 15 years, even longer since it’s not located in a harsh environment...
    > * Has anyone else had experience with WhisperKool cooling units; either
    > good or bad? *Does anybody think that these can be repaired at a
    > reasonable cost?
    >
    > I’m struggling with the choices of either getting an exchange unit or
    > just scrapping the whole thing and getting something else.
    >
    > Thanks for any and all suggestions. *Also are there any other forums
    > where I might read about other's experiences with Wine Storage Cabinets.
    >
    > Michael


    Hi
    Ive had major problems with my Whisperkool unit, the compressor of
    which went belly-up within 6 months. My situation is a bit worse than
    yours - I'm in Australia. Vinotheque advised me when I contacted them
    that they provide no warrenty outside the US, and the best they would
    do is give me a small discount on a new machine. Yeah, right - I'm
    certainly going to buy another one. I got a repairman to have a look
    at the unit - the crappy material in the evaporator tray had rusted
    out and stuffed the compressor, I understand; he removed the heater
    element from it and drained the condensor tray straight out the back.
    And of course replaced the compressor.
    Because we've just been through our winter, the unit has had no work
    since the repair until the last few weeks. I heard it running last
    night when we had a 10C temp (I've set it at 15C), went down this
    morning and the whole thing is iced up. I hope the thermostat is the
    problem, otherwise I'll be tempted to post it back to Vinotheque
    accompanied by a large dead fish.
    I'm sure there are lots of similar stories out there.
    Bill

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