Refrigerator blast in Selaiyur puzzles experts

Refrigerator experts are puzzled about what caused the refrigerator to blast in Selaiyur which killed a family of three on Thursday. They, however, believe that gas leaks and high voltage could have possibly caused it.
Refrigerator blast in Selaiyur puzzles experts
Remains of the appliance

Chennai

B Sreenivasan, a mechanic who repairs home appliances, said “The compressor could have been weak and there could have been a gas leak which causes such explosions in refrigerators.” He also that whenever people notice a sudden fluctuation in refrigerator temperature, they should seek help from an expert immediately.
Today there are newer versions of refrigerators which come as inverter and non-inverter variants. The ones with inverter has higher chances of bursting when it reaches a saturation point of voltage, said experts. Sajath Ahmed, an refrigerator repairer who works with SA services, said, “The ones with inverters are not capable of withstanding higher voltages and have a tendency to blast.”
Meanwhile, Prabhakar who has been in the field for the past 20 years said it was rare for a domestic refrigerator to blast as it contains negligible amount of gas, mostly in grams, which is insufficient to cause a blast. “There are no chances for it to blast because of gas leakage. The presence of such small amounts of gas can, at its best, cause a spark”. He added that after a prolonged use, older refrigerators have high chances for such incidents.
But, experts in the field also claimed that an electrical arc from the switch activating the compressor or other electrical components could result in the ignition of these gases, and cause a fire or explosion. The source could be fumes from paint or gasoline, or from something volatile stored in the refrigerator.
Preventive Measures
  • The refrigerator should be defrosted regularly
  • Earthing of the electronic appliances at home should be checked every year.
  • The appliance should not be stuffed with too many items as it could block air circulation.

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