Kenmore S/S stopped cooling completely


Refrigerator & Freezer Repair

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Please help, as I've tried troubleshooting this thing for 3 days and am coming up completely blank. Kenmore side by

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Old 04-14-2017, 03:48 PM
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Default Kenmore S/S stopped cooling completely
Model Number: 253.5718860   Brand: Kenmore   Age: More than 10 years   

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Please help, as I've tried troubleshooting this thing for 3 days and am coming up completely blank.

Kenmore side by side, model number 253.5718860. Bought in September of 2006 and has worked flawlessly (other than the water dispenser, more on this later) since, until the other day. We noticed that some of the frozen food was softening and assumed one of the kids got something caught in the door so it didn't seal, so we closed the door and checked it again in a couple hours. The food was in worse shape and the ice was starting to melt out of the ice maker. I cleared out the frozen food and moved it to the deep freeze, and left the fridge half as it was, as it seemed ok. The next morning I checked the fridge, and the food was warming. I took all of the food out and unplugged the unit, planning on looking at it after work.

I watched numerous youtube videos and read what seems like a million articles to begin troubleshooting the issue. I started with sucking/blowing out the condensor coils and fan, as they were getting pretty crusty. I plugged it back in and it did not fix the issue. I then checked the compressor relay, to see if it was rattling. It was not, and when I plugged the fridge back in, the compressor seemed to kick in right away, as did the c-fan. The compressor hums as if nothing is wrong, but it never gets more than luke warm and the condensor coils hardly change temp.

I put everything back together and let it run for over an hour to see what would happen. The air blowing out of the evaporator into the freezer was BARELY cold, so I pulled off the panel to the evaporator coils and there was absolutely zero frost and they were just under room temp to the touch.

At this point I'm absolutely flummoxed. When I say that the compressor is running, it's humming and you can feel it vibrate to the touch. That means it's kicked in, right? Also, there is one tiny copper lead (pic attached) that instantly frosts up when I plug the unit in, and that's the only significant temperature change I can find on anything. That lead and the little copper vessel it connects to on the left side of the picture get cold, and the lead gets 1/8" of frost on it within minutes of the fridge running. Is this proof that the compressor is at least doing something? Where do I go from here?

Lastly, back to the water dispenser. It stopped working about 3 years ago out of the blue. Ice has worked fine the whole time, just no water, which wasn't a big deal because our municipal water is so bad we drink bottled water. Well, as I'm going through the issues after the cooling issue, viola!, the water dispenser works like a charm. Could these issues be related?

Sorry for the length and I appreciate any help I can get. Thanks!

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