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Side-by-side doesn't feel cool/freezing and smells like burning plastic/fertilizer.

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I hope someone can give us some insight. My husband and I came home from Christmas shopping today and our

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Old 12-06-2010, 10:08 PM
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Default Side-by-side doesn't feel cool/freezing and smells like burning plastic/fertilizer.
Model Number: KSRG25FKBL02   Brand: Kitchen Aid   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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I hope someone can give us some insight.
My husband and I came home from Christmas shopping today and our kitchen smelled like burning plastic/fertilizer. We deduced it was coming from the refrigerator and realized that our freezer wasn't running and our refrigerator side didn't feel cool.
We cleaned out underneath the fridge, which was covered in dust and dog hair, and moved stuff out of the freezer section. The freezer side is now running but the refrigerator side is not, and it still smells like burning plastic/fertilizer.
Any advice?
thanks.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-07-2010, 06:12 AM
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I am assuming that by running you mean that the compressor, the condenser (compressor) fan and the evaporator fan are all running.

Try to isolate where the smell is coming from. This may not be possible.

I would remove the cover inside the freezer so you can inspect the evaporator coils etc.
Perhaps the unit went into a defrost cycle and the defrost thermostat (Item 35 in Section 11) did not turn the heater off when the ice was melted off the coils.
Check for any signs of overheating.
The defrost thermostat should open just above freezing.
It can be checked with a meter. Place it's face onto an ice cube to freeze it.
It should close and be 0 ohms.
Then let it warm up and it should open (infinite ohms).
Also if it is bulged out or deformed it needs replacing.

Check that both fans are OK as they may be the source of the smell.
If the evaporator fan is not working the fridge side will not cool. The fan pushes cold air into the fresh food side.

It will take the fresh food side considerably longer to cool down.
Check that the damper (item 24 in Section 2) is open allowing cold air into the fresh food side.

I would not trust this unit until you can locate and repair the cause of the smell.
It may even be a fire hazard.

If you do not own a meter, I would suggest you purchase a one. You can get a decent digital multimeter for under $20.00. You do not need fancy though it is nice if the leads are a couple feet long.
If it saves ordering one unnecessary part it has paid for itself and you end up owning a useful tool.
Most places will not let you return electrical parts so if you order it, you own it.
A couple things to watch when measuring ohms and continuity
1. Always remove power from the machine otherwise you could blow your meter.
2. Always disconnect at least one side of any device you are checking. This eliminates the possibility of measuring an alternate/parallel circuit path.
3. When checking for closed contacts and continuity use the lowest scale (Usually 200 ohms). Then try higher scales. This scale is 0 to 200 ohms so if the device you are measuring is 300 ohms this scale would show an open circuit which it is not, you are just measuring outside the scale's dynamic range.

There is a good STICKY at the start of this forum about it's use.
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