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Hello all. I am having a problem with inconsistent temperatures and slow recovery in my refrigerator section. I previously posted

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Old 09-02-2013, 06:09 PM
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Default Frigidaire Mystery - Inconsistent Cooling
Model Number: FGUS2642LF0   Brand: Frigidaire   Age: 1 - 5 years   

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Hello all. I am having a problem with inconsistent temperatures and slow recovery in my refrigerator section. I previously posted information about this in a reply to the Freezer Fine but Refrigerator Too Warm sticky but have since done some additional troubleshooting.

Symptoms: Freezer seems to regulate temperature fine, but refrigerator section is too warm towards the front of the unit and experiences slow recovery after the doors are opened. This unit has digital temperature controls and indication on the front freezer door. The fridge section shows that it is meeting setpoint but a fridge thermometer inside the unit towards the front is 10 - 15 degrees higher. When I place the thermometer directly on top of the thermistor, it reads similarly than the front panel most of the time. This tells me the front is warmer than the back where the thermistor is mounted. There is some frost from time to time around the supply vent at the top of the fresh food section. Evaporator fan is running. The compressor cycles on and off at what seems like normal intervals but it's hard to know what "normal" is.

What I have tried: 1. Tried to manually initiate the defrost cycle by pressing the door switch in 5 times in 6 seconds. Defrost cycle will not manually trigger. I have observed the defrost automatically trigger on its own. 2. Removed the panel in the back of the freezer section to examine the coils. Coils were not heavily frosted but did have a lot of frost at the bends and were unevenly frosted. There was also very little frost on some sections of the coils. Following are some pictures.


This was supposed to be a "like new" unit but I see some of the fins are pretty beat up. Not sure if someone had been in there before me...


Notice the small amount of frost on some of the inner tubes.

I'm really hoping this isn't a sealed system problem as we just replaced a fridge with this one that had a sealed system problem. Any help offered is truly appreciated. My wife is due any day now with our second son so I'm really hoping this is something minor I can fix before he gets here!

Luc


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 09-05-2013, 07:39 PM
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No one? A reply would be much appreciated and reciprocated.

Thanks.
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Old 09-06-2013, 02:31 AM
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Measure the freezer temperature and post.
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Old 09-06-2013, 11:27 AM
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Freezer setpoint: -6 F
Freezer temp reading on door: -6 F
Measured freezer temp by thermometer in middle shelf: -4.5 F

Fridge setpoint: 33 F
Fridge temp reading on door: 33 F
Measured fridge temp by thermometer towards front of top shelf: 38 F.

Fridge had not been opened for approximately 1 hour prior to taking readings.
Just lowered the freezer setpoint last night. Prior to this, setpoints were 0/37, door readings were 0/37, and actual measured readings were 0/42-45.

Thanks.

Lucas
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:26 PM
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You do not have refrigeration problems. Sometimes, poor fridg section air flow is due to ice buildup in the air returns, just check.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:08 PM
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Thanks again. You don't know how much of a relief it is that you don't think it's a refrigeration issue. A few more pieces of information that I gained while poking around this afternoon that I hope don't change your opinion: the evaporator is running kind of hot. It would be difficult to hold my hand on it for more than 10 seconds. It also seems to stay on a lot at the current setpoints. It will run for about an hour or more and then I will hear a rather loud, hollow click and the compressor will shut down. It stays off for maybe 10 - 15 minutes and then another loud click turns it back on. Not sure if that changes your opinion at all.


You may be on to something with the obstructed vent concept. When you look at the photo of the evaporator, that right half is more iced up than the left half which indicates that something may have gotten lodged in the vent causing the air velocity to be higher on the left half than the right half.

Another relevant piece of information: When I received the fridge and started having these issues, when I first went to remove the evaporator cover, the top right screw was actually popped out. It was still holding the upper and lower panels together, but it had popped out of the back of the freezer. You actually can see the little plastic plug that the screw threads into laying in the bottom of the pan in that picture. I have a bunch of vegetables propped up against it to hold that top corner in position until I can epoxy that plug back in. This may be an indication that the ductwork may have been compromised in other ways.

I plan to take the top duct section out or get a mirror and try to look up into the ductwork above the fan and see if I can see ice or something physically lodged in the vent. There is a little ice built up around the supply vent, but I don't really see anything significant from the outside.

Any tips on removing that upper duct panel inside the freezer? It doesn't look as simple as removing the lower panel that covers the evaporator.

Thanks again for pointing me in what seems like a good direction. I will follow this path to the end and see where it leads.

Luc
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Old 09-23-2013, 01:57 PM
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Hi everyone. I wanted to give an update on this issue:

Summary: Freezer was cooling but refrigerator was not cooling as well as it should. Unit has digital temperature controls/display on the door. Temp indication on door would read 33 (setpoint) when the actual temp inside the fridge was 42 (measured by an in-fridge thermometer). At the same time freezer would always accurately maintain temperature at all set points.

Update: More recently, only the top shelf is having difficulty maintaining temperature. Recovery for the whole unit still seems to be slow, but the setpoint is reached. The temp on the top shelf, however, is several degrees higher. For instance, right now, setpoint is 35, display reads 35, temperature on top shelf reads 41, temperature on second shelf reads 36, tempreature on 3rd shelf reads 35. I have since tried several of the suggestions given on this forum with little luck. Here are the things I tried that DID NOT work:

1. Replaced the Main Control Board (AP4695243). No change.
2. Replaced the Damper Control Assy (AP4316009). No change.
3. Verified that the defrost cycle is initiating and coils are defrosting.
4. Replaced the evaporator fan motor (AP3958808). Situation may have improved slightly. This is when I realized only top shelf is not meeting setpoint. Still no significant change.
5. Ruled out the thermistor (AP4032998) in fridge section. Placed thermometer right at thermistor and matches display temp most of the time.
6. Checked pan underneath evaporator inside freezer section for ice. None.
7. Freezer meeting setpoint. I was told by richappy that this indicates there is not a problem with the sealed system.

Questions that have not yet been addressed by forum members:

1. Any particular reason for the odd frost pattern on the evaporator coils? See picture in original post.
2. As previously stated, I cannot initiate the defrost cycle by pressing the door switch 5 times in 6 seconds. The manual for the fridge says this should work. I thought this was a main control board problem but could this be a temperature control board problem (AP4565885)?
3. Is it possible that this could be a condenser/compressor fan issue?

Everything points to inadequate air flow in the fridge section, but I feel like I've ruled out everything that could cause that problem? I'm at the end of my capabilities with this. Please help!

Lucas
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Old 09-24-2013, 02:34 AM
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Did you check your door gaskets and fridg light bulb turnoff when door is
closed.
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Old 09-24-2013, 09:17 AM
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Yes. I forgot to mention those. The fridge light bulb turns off when I close the door switch. I also felt around the gasket for gaps and cold air and detected nothing. Is there anything else special I need to do to make sure the gasket is sealing? One thing I should point out is that the fridge door does hang about 1/8" lower than the freezer door. Could a slight misalignment cause the gasket not to seal properly?
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Old 09-24-2013, 12:12 PM
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I don't think you have much of a problem really..

It sounds like you got the fridge used which makes no diff except you indicated that you are not sure if anyone has been in it.

There is a gasket (#90 in the cabinet parts drawing). Is it there? Maybe not and that could cause a problem as air will be leaking in the freezer instead of being forced into the fresh food section.

Make sure you have the gasket, and make sure the evap cover is properly in place (you indicated a bad screw that won't screw down all the way). This could also contribute to air leaks. I would also spend some time and straighten out the evap fins (carefully). The bent fins probably have nothing to do with your problem but you are in there so might as well straighten it out.

Align the doors. This is done with the level adjusters at the front. Do not confuse the adjusters with the anti-tip feet (if so equipped).

In my experience, it is normal to have a small temp difference between the top and bottom of the compartment especially if the doors were recently opened.
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