Fridge wrecker or plastic repair

Hi everyone

I rather stupidly put an oven on the fridge in my rented apartment without enough insulation, and over the year it’s melted the top panel of the fridge, but I only just noticed when I removed the insulation to clean it.
Fortunately, the plastic top panel can be easily removed. Unfortunately, Panasonic have been hopeless. They and their licensed agents all say they can’t replace it, even though the fridge is probably only a few years old. It seems ridiculous to replace a @ working fridge over a single piece of plastic.

So, I’m looking for either a fridge wrecker, or someone who can melt and repair the plastic. Does anyone have any ideas? I’d really appreciate any possible leads.

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I was going to put my microwave on top of it and fortunately I thought of the consequences and decided to get a shelf…

Could you take a picture of the fridge? It’s hard to imagine… perhaps the local appliance repair would have the parts for that. Maybe you can call and ask.

Heat guns… those melt ABS nicely and I’ve used it to repair some cracked plastic items… it will not look good however, but functional.

If the fridge does not belong to you… well you can try various appliance repair shops but if Panasonic can’t help, well these are rather custom made plastic parts…

One idea that may look good… buy a sheet of acrylic or something and attach it to the top of the fridge. Perhaps something that matches closely to the color of the fridge? Failing that, clear acrylic and paint it with the same color as the fridge, then attach it to the fridge, paint side down (the clear acrylic would be above the paint, protecting it). It would be hard for most normal people to tell what it looks like.

If the plastic is complex shaped, then 3D print it?

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Epoxy/fiber glass?

Im having the same issue with my fridges selves. They broke and side made a mess. Fridge is fine and they wont sell shelving pieces. Will probably make wood ones…ridiculous to expect people to buy a new fridge because I plastic part is busted…

Contact the manufacturer directly. Samsung helped me replace a broken rack.

You should realize that vast majority of all plastic used in appliance is ABS.

That means if you can get acrylic cement (Weldon #16 comes to mind), you can use it to glue/weld broken plastic pieces together that should be as strong as the original piece.

Thanks everyone for the replies!

MadamBroccoli that sounds wise, and I should know after spending two days trekking around Taipei trying to find someone who can fix it. That said, I’ve put an oven (usually with foil as insulation) on several other fridges and never had a problem before, and I would think microwaves would give off less heat. But still not worth the risk!

And sure I’ll attach some photos.

Explant: A few years ago I ordered new shelves from a Quan Guo electrical shop (one of the big chains) and as far as I can remember the price was reasonable. But I guess you’ve tried that.

Taiwan Luthiers and Explant, thanks for the suggestions. I actually used to enjoy practical little tasks like that before I came to Taiwan, and I’ll find a way if I need to, but I currently don’t have the tools and hardly have the space to do it safely. So, just wondering if anyone knows any factory or workshop which could do it? The edges are complicated, but the melted part is just a sheet of (ABS?) plastic, so I think it would be quite doable, especially if someone had specialised equipment.

It’s the landlord’s fridge so it needs to look reasonable, but given that it’s quite high and most people store something on it I think getting the cracks fixed and it smoothed over with cement (or acrylic, or anything really) would be enough. I’ve also thought about trying to put a sheet of stainless steel into the middle so it looks like it’s been improved (which it would be) but I don’t know where to do that either.

Yea, one idea is glue a piece of ABS or acrylic to the underside of it, then fill the cracks, sand it, then spray paint it grey.

I have no idea how the plastic attach to the fridge, it looks like a series of tabs to lock to a mating piece. If so, those are not the easiest thing to duplicate, so I’d try to find a way to keep it but make it look good.

I always thought fridge tops are usually sheet metal but no telling how manufacturers try to cut cost.

Try to bring it to the car repairs shop, they do routinely repair the plastic parts there, probably they can do it.

To the OP, if you want me to do it for you, or wants to rent my shop to do the work, PM me.

I think buying a piece of acrylic that matches the color of the fridge would be the easiest/cheapest option. You will have to use screws to attach it to the plastic piece. You can try using acrylic/plastic cement but I don’t know how reliable it will be. You want firm attachments.

As for where to buy acrylic, look for sign shops.

Thats what i mean by they wont sell the shelves. The manufacturer said they dont stock it anymore.

Or just get a stainless steel sheet cut, silicone it under and make the edges look ok.

The important note is its not your fridge haha…i think a stainless sheet top with a tidy silicone around the edge would pass as intentional upgrade rather than a repair.

Lesson ofthe day: no more hot things on plastic :slight_smile:

I think you could show the local appliance repair the photo. It doesn’t seem like a difficult task, they might have what you need. Though they might also try to rip you off. On the other hand, you might also meet some nice people that’ll even do it for free. If you don’t like the price just walk away.

I’m not sure about the cement though. You have to take the weight and heat transfer into consideration. I’m no expert in cement so maybe there’s a kind of cement that’ll fit the criteria, but from what I know so far it’s probably not the best material to use for a fridge.

Using.cement on this type of that terrible idea. Unless you reinforce it (probably a 1/4" mesh would be ok) it will absolutely crack and be a shit show. If you do use it, it will be heavy as all hell, look terrible to the landlord, be top heavy in earthquakes and etc. Fiberglass with resin would more ideal. Not difficult, but stinks and should be done outside for health issues. I cant see anything else passing landlord scrutiny.

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How did it go anyway?

Fiberglass is likely beyond the skill of the OP. Someone asked me about doing fiberglass repair on bicycles and I told him the truth, that while I do have fiberglass experience it is all on a hobby level and I really don’t have the infrastructure to deal with it. Basically if I took the job he proposed I would likely have spent more money than I’d earn buying the stuff I need to do it, and struggle to make it look good too.

Stainless steel sheet, glued in with silicone is something most people can do. You can even tell the store the exact size you want the sheet to be and they will cut it to size. All you need to supply is silicone. It will also look much better than fiberglass (you can make fiberglass look good but it requires a LOT of work), and with some creativity you can make it look like the fridge came with it in the first place.

There are a few reasons why they might have used plastic… it’s a good insulator for one, but also I guess they never intended someone placing a really hot object like an oven on it…

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I agree, asteel sheet is the easiest. Absolutely. Concrete seems abad idea. Fiberglass is actually incredibly easy in this situation as its just a flat top. Not sure bicycle part. Completely different situation. Fibreglass with resin isnt much harderthan concrete. Reinforced semi liquid.

The stainless option, i agree, would be easier, faster, less harmful to your health and also looks more like an upgrade.

Hi everyone

Thanks for the further ideas, and for following up – much appreciated!

I must admit that after two very frustrating days looking for a
replacement, and after some sense of relief (from here, thank you!)
that there were possibilities besides buying a new fridge, I moved the
oven onto the dining room table (better insulated this time, of
course), placed the melted section on top of the fridge (not properly,
just as somewhere to put it) and haven’t been back to it since. I
really need to get onto it.

Tai Fu true about the plastic. I had foil in between, which is no
insulation obviously, but I thought it would reflect infrared away,
and as the oven is quite raised up on plastic feet, I thought it would
be sufficient, as it has been at previous apartments. But there was
even a mark “Max 60C” on the fridge, and as a physics teacher I really
should have known better. I’ll PM you.

One potential problem with the steel idea (maybe) is that directly
under it is polystyrene, which has browned slightly but is ok, but if
heat were to be placed on it it would certainly melt, probably
destroying the fridge. And a steel top would look like it’s
heat-resistant. Perhaps I could tell the landlord that it can’t hold
heat, but that begs the question of what the point of the steel is. I
also wonder about building in an insulation mat on top of the steel
sheet, if that idea can work.

I’ll update back here when I eventually get it sorted. Thanks again everyone!

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Stainless steel is a pretty poor thermal conductor but it wouldn’t make a difference if it’s paper thin. But the point is, having say a 0.5mm thick stainless steel sheet would at least help spread the heat out. If the steel sheet has poor contact to what’s underneath then it would really not conduct heat at all.

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