|Jumper-ed Thermostat Cabe|
About 5 minutes later the refrigerator stopped again. Alejandro moved the dial through the full range but the compressor stayed off. He thought that perhaps the temperature was cold enough to keep the thermostat from tripping but I told him that the refrigerator compartment just didn't seem that cold and besides, we had the lid off. (In this cool winter weather the entire compartment should become a freezer with no difficulty.) He fiddled around, got it going again, then told me that he'd be back on Tuesday. I shook Alejandro's hand, thanked him for his time, then I thanked Pato too. I told Pato that there are two great things about him: he always answers his email quickly, and he always does what he says that he will do.
After they left I wondered why Alejandro had left the suspect thermostat on line, but I figured that I could jumper the wires again if it failed.
In the evening I spent an hour preparing the meat for freezing. The beef worked out as I had hoped. Using a pair of scissors I was able to easily cut the steaks into chunks. I then devided the meat into 3 Ziploc bags which I put into the freezer compartment. The chicken had been sawn into much smaller chunks than I had expected so all that I had to do was to divide it up and bag it. It was a similar story for the pig parts. In the end I wound up with about 9 plastic bags, each suitable for one pressure cooker meal. Only about half of the meat could be accommodated in the freezer compartment. The rest of the meat is at the bottom of the refrigerator, which I plan to turn into one big freezer, at east until I get to the warmer airs of Brazil.
The refrigerator ran OK for the rest of the day and just before retiring at 11 PM I confirmed that it was still running. However, when I woke up this morning at 7AM the compressor was off. Twenty minutes later it started again, so I turned the thermostat down until the compressor stopped, then turned the dial right up to restart the compressor but nothing happened. I knew this wasn't conclusive because the thermostat might simply be working normally.
A few minutes later the compressor started again, I carefully dialed the thermostat back to the middle of the temperature range and the compressor kept running, so I left it alone. Then the compressor stopped again and I moved the dial back up to the extreme cold setting but the compressor stayed off. I did this experiment twice, not so much for myself as to be able to present evidence to Alejandro.
I then prepared a neat jumper wire with blue size bayonet fittings on each end, removed the thermostat, jumper-ed the thermostat wires, then strapped the lot to the wall of the refrigerator compartment using the thermostat mounting screws. As far as I'm concerned the set up is good enough for the long haul (with me controlling the temperature manually using the breaker).
I then sent an email message to Pato, hoping that Alejandro would definitely come on Tuesday with a replacement unit.
Last night's weather forecast indicated light winds for Wednesday but good winds for Thursday, so I have moved my departure date to Thursday 5 July. The extra day suits me, given the difficulties with the refrigerator.