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-   -   Freezer not getting cold enough ( 06-09-2011 11:37 AM

Freezer not getting cold enough
My frigidaire fridge, model number FRIGIDAIRE model FRS26HF5AB3 Frigidaire/refrigerator, (sorry, but I don't have the serial number with me here at work) the freezer section is somewhat warmer than it should be (~31 Deg F) so I've tried cleaning the condensor coils and explored around a bit to locate the adaptive defrost circuit board and the evaporator coils, but I'm not exactly sure what to look for first, or what diagnostic procedures to use ...

denman 06-09-2011 02:01 PM

Here are your parts
Replacement parts for FRIGIDAIRE FRS26HF5AB3 Frigidaire/refrigerator |

Here is the tech sheet.

You do not have a defrost timer. The unit uses an adaptive defrost control (Item 23 in Section 5)

First you have to find out what runs and what does not.
Compressor, condenser/compressor fan and the evaporator fan.
Also is the compressor on all the time or is it cycling on/off?

If it is cycling then it could be a thermostat problem.

If on all the time remove the cover from inside the freezer so you can inspect the coils.

If there is no frost por just frost in one area you have a sealed system problem.
Note: This test must be done after the unit has run a couple hours. If checked right after a defrost cycle there will be no frost.

If they are heavily iced/frosted over you have a defrost problem.
Do not let them defrost

If yes.
Manually force a defrost cycle, see the tech sheet. The fans and compressor will turn off.
Now check the defrost heater to see if it is on.
Be careful you do not want to burn your fingers.
If the heater is on then the timer needs replacing, re: it is probably stalling during it's rotation so is never getting into a defrost cycle.

If not on.
Unplug the unit.
Remove the wire for one side of the heating element (Item 14 in Section 6) from the wiring and measure it for continuity, usually around 20 ohms or so.

If the heater is OK
Remove one wire to the defrost thermostat (Item 21 in Section 6) and measure it, should be 0 ohms when frozen. Note that it opens just above freezing so must be frozen to check it. Also inspect it, if it is bulged at all replace it even if it measures OK.

If both the above are OK then odds are the defrost board is toast.

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. 06-09-2011 09:30 PM

Freezer not getting cold enough ... and thank you for the thoughtful reply
Thank you for the thoughtful reply... I am betting I have a defective "adaptive Defrost" board... I checked the eveporator and it had a solid blob of ice on the top hapl and on the freezer "frost detector" I measured ~1 ohm when cold and 10 meg ohm when warm ... so I'm thinking it still works. waddia think? I am a nasa nerd so no need to spoon feed the working of a Volt ohm meter, I own a Fluke DVM, so I'm good there. thanks again.

denman 06-10-2011 12:59 AM

Yes, the defrost thermostat looks OK.

What did the defrost heater read?

If both OK then odds are that it is the adaptive defrost board.

You said the evaporator coils were iced up in one area, this does not point to a defrost problem.
For defrost to cause problems the coils have to be frosted/iced up to the point that the evaporator fan cannot pull air through them to cool it properly.

Frost in only one area points towards a low freon condition.
Here is a link
Check out #20 and the 3 example pictures part way down the page.

If this is the case it will be an expensive repair as you will need a pro.
Often it makes more sense to put those dollars towards a new unit. 06-10-2011 05:17 AM

I just tried the manual defrost cycle ... I hear a loud click from the Adaptive Defrost board, but the compressor still runs ... does this confirm its an "adaptive Defrost Board (item 23 on sheet 6)??? Please respond ... and Thanks! 06-10-2011 05:21 AM

The evaporator coils were a solid blob of ice on the top half ... I don't suspect low freon just yet ... but i'd like to be a little more sure than I am now( I never like R&TR mechanics ... the jus remove and replace 'til it's fixed ... usually randomly)

denman 06-10-2011 05:32 AM

Yes it sounds like the adaptive defrost board is toast.

We called R&TR, Plug & Chug - just keep plugging in parts till the unit starts to chug along. 06-10-2011 06:51 AM

I also have friends in the HVAC Business and if the Adaptive Defrost board does not do it, i'll get a professional friend (a youngster I used to coach) to take a whack at recharging the system. if its anything like our car AC systems, one good shot will get it performing better for a year or more! 06-13-2011 01:40 PM

Denman, I just got home from a weekend out of town and the freezer is WAY too warm, it was hovering around 31 deg when I left but now its ~65 degrees!

I know you said not to defrost it manually, but I had defrost it manually before i got your first note, the defrost board I ordered should show up tomorrow or so, but I can't help but think I screwed something up! The evap coils have just a touch of frost on the top. so how does a professional such as yourself actually check the freon charge and put more freon in if needed.

denman 06-14-2011 08:34 AM

I am not a pro.
To check the freon charge correctly you need a set of gauges.

If the unit only has frost/ice where the freon enters the evaporator coils and the compressor is running continuously then there is a sealed system problem. Usually it is low freon but could also be a compressor problem or a partially plugged orifice.

The system should be evacuated and then re-filled and special equipment is required also most places require that the tech be certified to do this work.

Gets expensive with no guarantee of a long term fix.
Putting hundreds of dollars into a unit to get perhaps an extra year out of it just does not make sense to me. You may get a couple months or a few years or even longer, I cannot say as it depends what is wrong with it but just to diagnose it will probably set you back a couple hundred.

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