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I need help before I spend more money! My Kenmore refrigerator is not staying cold. I've watched many how to

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Old 08-31-2013, 11:25 AM
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Default refrigerator repair question
Model Number: 25369242700   Brand: Kenmore   Age: 1 - 5 years   

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I need help before I spend more money! My Kenmore refrigerator is not staying cold. I've watched many how to videos and so far I've replaced the defrost timer, the defrost thermostat. It doesn't seem to be getting any better so I've decided to order a new defrost heater and maybe a new thermostat as well. I do not have a meter to check to see if they're working because I assumed the problem would be solved with what I've done so far. I just turned my cold control thermostat all the way to zero and the fridge turned off and back up and the fridge turned back on so should I assume that that part does not need replacing? The cold control thermostat is a little expensive (about 75-95 dollars) so I really would like to know how to do a "simple" check without a meter before I order one. Can anybody offer any advice? I appreciate any help! Thanks in advance


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 08-31-2013, 04:35 PM
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Sorry you have to put forth at least a little effort if you want our help and not wanting to use a multimeter or buy a cheap one we can't help you much.
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Old 08-31-2013, 04:53 PM
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Default Refrigerator repair

It's NOT that I'm not willing to get a meter...just wondering if there was something I can check before I get one. I've put a lot of effort by taking the initiative to replace what I've replaced so far. I'm just learning about doing these type of repairs and was looking for some helpful advice.
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Old 08-31-2013, 09:09 PM
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You don't necessarily need a meter to narrow your search for the problem, but you may need one to confirm a particular component is bad. If you have a problem with the defrost system, then there will usually see frost on the back panel of the freezer, and if you remove the panel, you will see that the coils are all iced up. If yes, then the timer, heater, or stat are the culprits. If not, move on. You need to have consistent air movement, so you need to listen and feel for the fan operating in the evaporator area, as well as the one down at the condensor coils. If the fans are ok, then move on to sealed system problems. If the compressor feels like it is operating, then remove the panel that covers the evaporator, and if there is only a short frost pattern, only the first part of the coils are cold, then you have a sealed system problem and your refer is toast. If the compressor is running but there is no heat on the condensor coils, the refer is toast. But if the compressor is getting power but is not running, or not starting correctly, you will usally hear a clicking sound when it tries to start and fails, then you have a starter problem and fixing that should get you on your way. These are very basic instructions on how to narrow down what to look at on a refer that isn't cooling.
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Old 09-01-2013, 03:25 AM
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Invest in a thermometer and measure the freezer temperature, then post.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:45 AM
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Default Refrigerator repair

Thanks for the advice...here's what I noticed so far. I did not see ice buildup outside the freezer panel, but when I looked behind the freezer panel there was some ice buildup, but only on the bottom few coils and on the right side of the coils where it leads up to where the thermostat sits. I've replaced the thermostat and timer and went ahead and ordered the defrost heater and will replace that as we'll. What do you mean about the sealed system? Both fans are working, I can hear and feel the compressor running. After I replace the defrost heater, I'm out of ideas. Thanks again!
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:59 AM
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If the condensor coils are moderately clear of air blockage, and if the condensor fan is operating, and if the compressor is on, then you should have an even and very light coating of frost throughout the evaporator coils. Another way to put that is that the evap coils should be too cold to continuously touch throughout the evaporator. If you are getting frost or ice buildup in only one area, and if the rest of the coils just look like shiny metal that you can touch, then you have a sealed system problem, which can mean lots of thing, like a leak, or a compressor problem, or a restriction, etc. None of these sealed system problems are fixable by the dyi appliance owner, and neither is it cost effective to pay for the fix. If I am correct on this, it is time to buy a new refrigerator.
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Old 09-01-2013, 08:07 AM
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I will check again today to confirm the amount of ice buildup. The last time I looked it was exactly how you described...top coils were shiny and the few in the bottom were frosted as well as the line leading up to where the thermostat sits. Thanks for all your advice.
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