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Kenmore cold, but not staying cold

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I'm hoping someone can help me with my Kenmore Elite refrigerator that is driving me nuts. About a week ago

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Old 06-13-2013, 07:17 AM
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Default Kenmore cold, but not staying cold
Model Number: 106.57789700   Brand: Kenmore   Age: 1 - 5 years   

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I'm hoping someone can help me with my Kenmore Elite refrigerator that is driving me nuts. About a week ago we noticed that it wasn't freezing things like ice pops in the freezer section and checked the temps to find that the fridge was just about 40 and the freezer in the low double digits. I did a lot of my own research and ended up replacing the starter relay yesterday. The old one did have the slightest bit of a rattle and the new one was silent. Even through in a set of wireless temperature gauges so I could see the temperature drop without having to keep peaking inside.

The fan in the freezer runs fine, the fan by the compressor runs fine, I believe is compressor is running but it does get fairly hot. I've had the unit shut down for 2-3 days while I wait for a new starter relay. I put the new relay in at about 4:30 last night (did not replace the capacitor just the relay) and by the time I got up this morning the fridge was 35 and the freezer 1. I thought that was good being empty and my issues were resolved. However as the day goes on now it is getting warmer. It had shut off for a bit (not sure if that was called for or overheat) and now the temps are back up to 40 fridge and 32 freezer.

Any idea what would cause it to work and work and get down to temp when it's first fired up but then not be able to any more if the fans and compressor are running? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. I usually fix all of my own things but this one is starting to have me stumped and I am dreading having to make that call.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 06-14-2013, 05:45 AM
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I believe is compressor is running but it does get fairly hot.
You should be able to feel it vibrating.

It had shut off for a bit (not sure if that was called for or overheat)
Not sure what you mean by shut off.
If the compressor and both fans shut off then it probably was the unit going through the defrost cycle.
There is nothing in the unit that will shut off all 3 parts if it overheats.
Just the compressor is thermally protected.

Any idea what would cause it to work and work and get down to temp when it's first fired up but then not be able to any more if the fans and compressor are running?
Could be you have a defrost problem.
Remove the cover in the freezer so you can inspect the evaporator coils.
If they are iced/frosted over to the point where the evaporator/freezer fan cannot pull air through them then it is a defrost problem.
Note: that if it is a defrost problem the compressor will run continuously other than when it goes into a defrost cycle which usually lasts about half an hour.

See the attachment for your tech sheet.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf 57789700.pdf (1.22 MB, 7 views)
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:04 PM
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Thank you for the reply and for the data sheet!

Some updates,

I tried to run the unit last night and it got down as low as 35/15 and then it started to climb again until the alarm for the fridge went off during the night because it was above 40 so I just shut it down for the night. I then used the air compressor and did a good cleaning this morning and fired it up again. My times and temps are as follows:

69/68 when started at 11:35am
57/36 at 1:44pm
44/19 at 4:55pm
37/13 at 7:15pm

It did a 13 minute defrost cycle around 7:30 where both fans shut down and the temps climbed to 43/38 (the fridge/freezer are empty) I did confirm that the compressor and both fans turned back on again after the defrost. Now I'm waiting to see if it recovers from the defrost. Does any of this seem abnormal? Normal? I tried to take as much data as I could. Thanks again for the help!
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Old 06-15-2013, 03:45 AM
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Hard to tell if everything looks OK.

Since you restarted the unit the temperatures you show look OK.
Being empty it will take longer to hit the set point temperatures.
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Old 06-16-2013, 09:27 AM
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After reading other things on here I decided to take the cover off and snap a pic consider it's been running for so long and will shortly be coming up on it's defrost cycle....not good I take it? Think it is worth even trying to have someone fix? Or just throwing money at it and away. The unit was purchased in 8/13/08.

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Old 06-16-2013, 03:03 PM
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Not sure I know the problem.
What did the coils look like?

An empty unit will take a long time to get to set point temperatures.
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Old 06-16-2013, 03:41 PM
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I posted the pic with my last post. Did it not show up? Frost at the top, down the right side, and up the 1st two rows, that's it.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:27 PM
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Sounds like it is a sealed system problem.

Below is a link, take a look at the example pictures part way down the page.
http://www.applianceaid.com/refriger...old-enough.php
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