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Good morning all. I have the above referenced Kenmore refrigerator, and this morning I noticed it was lukewarm. I checked

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Old 05-22-2013, 11:53 AM
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Default Refrigerator not cold, freezer fine
Model Number: 596.75504400   Brand: Kenmore   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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Good morning all.
I have the above referenced Kenmore refrigerator, and this morning I noticed it was lukewarm.
I checked the freezer, and it's fine. I called the local service center, and they said it sounds like I might have a defrost problem.
He asked me to check the back of the freezer for frost. There is a little bit of frost on the back wall of the freezer-- like one would see on a windshield on a cold morning.
2 summers ago we had the compressor replaced.

Any thoughts here would be appreciated.
TYIA.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2013, 03:48 AM
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Here are your parts
Parts for Kenmore Refrigerator 59675504400 - AppliancePartsPros.com

If you go to the Sears parts site they have actual part breakdowns which are not available to other part sellers.

I am not sure why the service center thought it was a defrost problem.
A defrost problem will show up in the fresh food first but luke warm seems too much of a difference between the two sections.

Was the compressor running all the time?
This is another symptom of a defrost problem.
Note that other things can also cause a continuous compressor.
You can usually here it but should also be able to feel it vibrating and it should be warm.

The on;y way to be sure that it is a defrost problem is to remove the rear cover in the freezer so you can inspect the defrost coils. If they are frosted/iced over to the point that the evaporator/freezer fan cannot pull air through them then you know it is a defrost problem.

Was the evaporator fan running?
it is required to push the cold air into the fresh food section.
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Old 05-23-2013, 07:41 AM
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Morning D.
No frost on the coils (beneath the freezer). I'll check inside later when I return from my morning errands. Just a little bit on the back wall of the freezer-- just above the ventilation slots, and then only on the left side, behind the ice maker.
No, the compressor not working all the time.
There is a fan, to the left of the compressor-- in a different, isolated space. It seems to work "normally." I emphasize the normally part, because it comes on for a few, then turns off, comes one for a few, and then turns off again.
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Old 05-24-2013, 03:10 AM
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No frost on the coils (beneath the freezer).
these are the condenser coils and will not have frost on them.
The evaporator coils are in the freezer at the back behind the cover.

There is a fan, to the left of the compressor-- in a different, isolated space.
Not sure but it sounds like you are looking at the condenser/compressor fan.
It helps keep the compressor cool and also helps dissipate heat from the condenser coils.

It seems to work "normally." I emphasize the normally part, because it comes on for a few, then turns off, comes one for a few, and then turns off again.
A few what (minutes, seconds)?
Also how long is a few?
This does not sound normal to me.
Usually he condenser fan is wired in parallel with the compressor so if the condenser fan is only coming on for a coup;le minute then that means that your compressor is also only coming on for a couple minutes and that is why the unit is not cooling properly. I cannot confirm this as I cannot find a wiring diagram.

Look for it in the machine compartment (where the compressor and condenser coils are). It is often in there or taped to the inside of it's cover.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:06 PM
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[/quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by denman View Post
No frost on the coils (beneath the freezer).
these are the condenser coils and will not have frost on them.
The evaporator coils are in the freezer at the back behind the cover.
Hi Denman.
Ok. I'll need to open that up.

addendum----
Ok, have opened up the freezer back wall. The coils are definitely iced up. It's only at the top though. I've unplugged the appliance, and have some construction lights warming it up.
I was encouraged by a local appliance store to buy some dry ice, and use that to keep my food cold. It seemed easier to use the refrigerator to move the food up top, and place the dry ice on the top level shelf. The store clerk says 10 lbs will last 3-4 days, so I hope this will work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by denman View Post
There is a fan, to the left of the compressor-- in a different, isolated space.
Not sure but it sounds like you are looking at the condenser/compressor fan.
It helps keep the compressor cool and also helps dissipate heat from the condenser coils.
The fan appear to be about 6 inches in diameter.
The compartment is to the left of the compressor compartment. They're only separated on the one side. EAch of these compartments are open from the front, and have the back, louvered panel to cover them in back.
The image tool does not allow me to load an image from my computer-- only off the web. I don't have a webpage that I can load them from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by denman View Post
It seems to work "normally." I emphasize the normally part, because it comes on for a few, then turns off, comes one for a few, and then turns off again.
A few what (minutes, seconds)?
Also how long is a few?
This does not sound normal to me.
Usually he condenser fan is wired in parallel with the compressor so if the condenser fan is only coming on for a couple minute then that means that your compressor is also only coming on for a couple minutes and that is why the unit is not cooling properly. I cannot confirm this as I cannot find a wiring diagram.

Look for it in the machine compartment (where the compressor and condenser coils are). It is often in there or taped to the inside of it's cover.

Sorry about the "few" comment. The fan appears that it's for a few minutes. It's off longer than it is on.
I'll see if I can find a way to time the activity of the fan.

Last edited by SteveDB : 05-24-2013 at 07:17 PM. Reason: addendum
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Old 05-24-2013, 09:07 PM
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OK, I've thawed the freezer, and have tested the heater part. There is continuity.
I noticed that the defroster sensor is connected to a larger wiring harness, so I really have no idea how to check the resistance, or continuity in it.
I've left the back panel off, and reconnected all the plugs, put the ice-maker back in, and reconnected it too, and plugged the appliance back in, and am waiting for it to get back to temp, so I can check the fan inside, and await instructions on how to test the next devices.

TYIA.

Last edited by SteveDB : 05-24-2013 at 10:50 PM. Reason: followup, duplicated post.
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Old 05-25-2013, 03:27 AM
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I am assuming that you did not find a wiring diagram in the machine compartment. I again tried to find it on the net but had no luck.

To check the fan you could monitor the voltage across it. If it is getting 120 volts and is stopping then it needs replacing.
If I am correct and it is wired in parallel with the compressor then if the compressor is running then the fan should also be running.

Looking at the defrost thermostat it does look like it is hard wired into the harness. You have a couple ways to check it.
1. Use a couple needles to penetrate the wires and then measure across them. Try to pick area where water is unlikely to get into the pin holes. Also put a couple wraps of tape over the pin holes when you are done.
2. Actually cut the wires and do the measurement. Then when done strip back the wires and use a couple wire nuts to reconnect the thermostat.
do the cuts away from the heater and face the open ends of the wire nuts down so that water cannot enter them. Some folks even seal the open ends with some sealant just to be sure water does not get in.

One your unit gets down to set point recheck the evaporator coils. Frost in one area may be a symptom of a sealed system problem.
Take a look at the example pictures part way down the following link.
http://www.applianceaid.com/refriger...old-enough.php
Be sure that the compressor has run for a couple hours, if you do the check shortly after/during a defrost cycle you will come to the wrong conclusion.
This is just an extra check as normally a sealed system problem would cause the compressor to run all the time.

As the unit tries to get back to it's set point temperature after your manual defrost is the compressor and it's fan running all the time?
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Old 05-25-2013, 09:36 AM
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Late last night, after I'd gotten the freezer back to temp, I checked the thermostat's continuity, by unplugging the plug harness, and tracing the wires. It has continuity.
At this point it appears I need to check the fan's voltage?
The page you provided a link to mentions the duct damper. How could I check that?
Again, thank you for your help.
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Old 05-25-2013, 10:37 AM
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OK, I was able to check the incoming plug for the fan motor. I get 121 volts, steady.
I then removed the fan assembly, and applied voltage to it (I used to be a sign-man, and had made a number of tools for checking sign ballasts for voltage/amperage). It would not spin on its own, so I gave it a finger spin, and it only spun in what I'm going to call a "jumping" motion. I.e., it looked like it was a limping along kind of spin that really needed a lot of help to do a normal fan-spin/rotation. Sorry for the weak description, but that's how it looks.

Any thoughts?

On the damper/duct.
I stuck my hand as far as it would allow me-- about to the end of my fingers-- and I felt no damper, just a doglegged/offset ducting.
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Old 05-25-2013, 02:18 PM
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Any thoughts?
Sounds like the fan is toast.
I would replace it.

Not sure about the damper.
If it is open then you probably will not feel anything.
Try going to the Sears parts site. It should help you visualize how this thing is put together.
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