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Bryan
Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 11987
Experience:  15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
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We have a fourteen year old, Amana, bottom freezer, refrigerator.

Customer Question

We have a fourteen year old, Amana, bottom freezer, refrigerator. No ice maker or extras. Basic refrig. The freezer is staying cold, but the refrigerator is around 50 degrees, even on the coldest setting. The repair man already installed a new defrost timer, because the coils in the back of the freezer were all froze up. He replaced the defrost timer about a year ago, also. Why is the refrigerator not cooling, but the freezer is? Is this something that we can fix? I hate to toss it out.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 4 years ago.

OK you need to check the coils again for ice. The defrost timer may not have been the problem this time. Also make sure thatyou can hear the fan running inside the freezer section. You may have to hold the light button in.

If the evap coil is iced up you have a defrost heater element that is bad. Call the service person back and have him repair the correct part.

Best, THS

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
The fan is running. We took the back off of the inside back of the freezer. There is no ice build up. I don't know if this is anything that might help you or not, but I had the same problem about a month or two ago. I defrosted the coils in the back of the inside of the freezer and started it up, again. It seemed to cool the refrigerator part down fine, but it seemed to be freezing items in the back of the refrig. Other than that, it worked for a month or two. The freezer part always seems to work fine. When I cleaned the floor under the refrigerator at that time (a month or two ago), there was a dark liquid like substance on the floor. I don't know if something was spilled and ran under or if it was something from the refrigerator unit leaking out. There is none that I can see there this time.
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 4 years ago.

Ok if the freezer is cooling wwell and the fan is running then feel inside the fridge and see if you can feel cool air coming into the refer. If you cant and the fan is running you have a blockage between the freezer and the refer.

It could be a piece of plastic wrap that has managed to get into the ducting between the freezer and the refer of a piece of plactic that has come loose.

Aside from this and what you alrerady know about the defrost system there isnt anything else that can cause this problem.

Best, THS

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks for the reply. We tried to find anyplace where something could fall into, that would be blocking the air flow, but are not finding anything. Where should we be looking? We had the back off, to expose the coils in the bottom freezer compartment and can see where the air flow goes up to the refrig. We cannot see anything there. We can feel air flow coming out in the upper back of the refrig, where the temp setting is located. But can't see how anything could get into those locations. We closed the refir up while we ate lunch, and when we checked, the temp in the refir is around 39-40 degrees. Much better than 50. So it is colder, but seems to be holding there on the lowest setting. It always used to run around 34 or so on a warmer setting. Maybe it's on it's way to cooler temps? What do you think? Thanks for any help you can send our way. I will stay connected with you for a bit and see what happens in the next half hour or so.
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 4 years ago.

Go ahead and see if the temp goes down. give iot the night and check it in the AM. It probably just needs a little time to cool down is all. Try and avoid opening it up till the AM. If it is still above 35 you may have a temp sensor that needs to be replaced.

Best, THS

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The refrigerator is holding around 40 degrees, being set at the coldest setting. The freezer is holding around zero degrees. We went to a couple of parts websites for Amana and found the below parts, but it looks like the temperature control is for the freezer compartment, maybe. Is this what we would need? Or shouldn't there be one for the refrigerator compartment? Or is it the Thermostat assembly that we are looking for? How do we know what is the correct part to fix the problem without just experimenting, before we spend $46? Do installation directions come with the parts?

 

PS2113963
CONTROL, TEMP or Thermostat assembly

Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 4 years ago.
FYI I am looking into a couple things for you. Back soon.
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 4 years ago.

OK sorry for th edelay.

Your statement about the separate controls made me step back a bit and do some research. My mindset was of a newer unit. The older units like yours used manual dampners to control ythe refer temp. Not thermostats as they do today.

When I went to look for the temp controller I was a bit confused due to the configuration of the air damper that controls the cold air admitted into the refrigerator section. There is not even a bi metal spring. Just the users settings of the dampner.

If you are moveing the air control dampner via the control knob (temp control for the refer) and you can not feel a distinct diffrence in the air flow coming from the freezer, if you move it to both extreams, then the dampner may be stripped out, and not opening as much as it should.

This can very well be the cause of the problem.

Please check this by feeling for the increase and decrease of air flow as the control is moved from hi to low.

LLet me know what you come up with.

Best, THS

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for the reply. This morning the temperature in the refrigerator is still right around 39-40 degrees at the coldest setting. When we turn the control knob, while the fan is running, we can definitely feel a change in the air flow.
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 4 years ago.

Ok how about the vents near the crispers? Are they flowing?

This ia the last thing that may be causing the unit to remain above 35*.

Hmmm There is one more thing. The fan may be just plain ole worn out and tired. These are very tough units though, and I havnt had to change one yet that wasnt damaged by something else. Yet it remains a possibility.

Best, THS

One more thought. Is the unit empty? There are older units that dont cool worth a hill of beans if they are empty. If it is empty set a half dozen gallon milk jugs of water in it. they will absorb the cold and help to bring the temp down.



Edited by The Home Smithy on 9/28/2009 at 8:10 AM EST
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for spending so much time with us on this. We sure appreciate it. I just took everything out of the meat keeper and looked in the back. The little strip that covers the hole in the back was stuck completely closed. I was able to push it over so that it is now all the way open. So that could definitely be part of the problem???? But where would the vents near the crispers be? There is like a square vent like piece in the left corner on the bottom of the frig, under one of the crispers. Could that be it? I don't feel much air movement, if any. Or maybe that is a return??? The only places that I am finding air coming into the frig is the top by the control knob and behind the meat keeper. Does that sound right? I will keep an eye on it today, now that the meat keeper vent is open. Maybe that is the trick. Thanks again for all of your patience. I will let you know later how the temp is doing.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
There is (and has been) food in the refrigerator. The temp is still staying right around 39-40 degrees on the lowest setting. What do we do now? Thank you.
Expert:  The Home Smithy replied 4 years ago.

I am sorry but I am all out of ideas. I will opt out and maybe another expert will have an answer for you.

Best, THS

Expert:  Bryan replied 4 years ago.
Hi this is Bryan, Smithy asked if i could take over and help,can you do me a favor and turn the dials back to half way and remove the bulb inside the refrigerator section over night, if theres two remove them both and tell me if the temp. goes down further by morning your light may be staying on or flickering on and of when the door is closed, this will bring the temp up. let me know , thanks Bryan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Bryan, I will certainly try that tonight and get back to you in the morning. Thanks so much. I sure appreciate all of the time being put into trying to solve this mystery.
Expert:  Bryan replied 4 years ago.
no problem . we will stick with you till we find the problem, thanks Bryan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Bryan, Only one light bulb was working anyway, but it doesn't seem to be that, either. Thanks for your patience. I have a question for you. When we open the door for a while, like to put groceries away, should something tell the refrig that it has warmed up, so that the fan would kick in and cool it down? It doesn't seem like it runs when it is warmer, like at those times. Sometimes the temp will get as low as 37 when the door has been closed for quite a while, but when we open the door, it warms up, of course. But then it seems like it just stays around 40 -42 for quite some time. What tells the refrig that it needs to run to cool it down? Some mornings it's around 40-41 degrees and some mornings it's more like 37 degrees. Not sure if this helps you figure out anything else or not. Thanks again.
Expert:  Bryan replied 4 years ago.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks Bryan. Is this a part that we can install ourselves? Do they send instructions with the part, or how do we know how to install it? How sure are we that this will fix it? Should we expect a few more years of life on the refrig? Our old refrig (before this one) was old, old, but I don't suppose they make them like they used to. Thanks so much.

Expert:  Bryan replied 4 years ago.
well i cant tell you how long its going to last but your right they dont make them like they used to, you can install this yourself, heres some diagrams to help. its part # XXXXX on this diagram, theres probably only 1 or 2 screws holding this in. thanks Bryan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Bryan,

I am so sorry, but the refrigerator problem got set on a side burner while other things got attended to. I want to get this solved so that I can accept and pay you. I did get the part. Can you give me a little direction on where the part goes. I have your diagram from above. The refrigerator is the part that seems to be up and down in temperature. But is this part located in the refrigerator or the freezer. In the diagram it looks like it's in the back of the freezer, maybe? Or is there a seperate one for the freezer and the refrigerator. Kind of confusing. How do I find where the part goes and how do I get to it? No directions came with the part. Thanks so much. Mary

Expert:  Bryan replied 4 years ago.
I'll get back to you a little later this morning or after noon, I have to work, thanks Bryan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
To anyone following this conversation: We did get the recommended part. We did figure out how to install the part, back in November. No instructions came with it. The above diagram from Bryan did help somewhat, but it is kind of confusing. You have to pry the dial off the ceiling part of the freezer compartment to get to the part. We never did get a response from JustAnswer.com on whether the part controlled the freezer section, the refrigerator section or both, or how to install it (back in November). The refrigerator section still freezes when it's in the mood to do so. Still no idea why. So I don't think that this part helped much.
Expert:  Bryan replied 4 years ago.
well the only thing left that could possibly be causing this is the damper assembly, Part 223353thats all thats left,you can order this @ http://www.repairclinic.com/SSPartDetail.aspx?s=t-R0161050-%3d%3di223353&PartID=223353 part # XXXXX on this diagram, pleas e don't forget to press accept , thats all we can do, thanks Bryan
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Okay Bryan,

 

You said that you would stick with me until we figured this out, so we are stitll on it. I was sure that somewhere along this endeavor you told us how to check to see if the defroster was working, but I cannot find the info in this correspondence. We had to do something and then listen for a hiss sound of it starting to defrost or something. So what was that about? We are having horribly humid weather, but the coils in the back part of the freezer compartment are frosting up about every few days. If I don't keep defrosting them, the refrig part warms up. The original repairs done by the repairman, twice, was to replace the defrost timer (twice). You would think that part should last longer than a few months. You had us replace the cold control.

 

Thanks Mary

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Bryan,

 

You said that you would stick with me until we figured this out, so here we go. Somewhere I was told how to check to see if the defrost of the coils was working. We were supposed to do something and listen for a hiss or something. When we checked the defroster back then, it was working, but not sure now. We are having horribly humid weather, and the coils are freezing up every few days. I have to empty the freezer and defrost the coils. Of course, the refrig warms up when the coils are frosted up. How do we check for that? The repairman repaired the defrost timer twice before I started working with you guys. Not sure that was even a problem. And we did replace the part that you recommended. Help!

 

Mary

Expert:  Bryan replied 4 years ago.
the best way to check the defrost heater is to take the back panel off in the freezer and check the continuity on the heater, Part 379148just unplug it and check for continuity. if it has it ,its good.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Bryan,

It doesn't. What do we do next.

 

Thanks so much.

 

Mary

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

How are we sure that this is the problem? Where is the best place to get the part, if this is the problem? How do we replace it?

 

Thanks

Expert:  Bryan replied 4 years ago.
sorry was out working give me a few to re read the question, thanks Bryan
Expert:  Bryan replied 4 years ago.

just put your mouse over this blue link and click. this will take you right to the part so you can order it, if theres no continuity its bad for sure, heres the link,

 

http://www.repairclinic.com/SSPartDetail.aspx?s=t-BX22A2L-%3d%3dei379148&PartID=379148 just click on it, thanks Bryan

Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 11987
Experience: 15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
Bryan and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Sorry for the delay, Bryan. We ended up totally thawing the refrigerator freezer out. Got it really warm with a hair dryer. Probably warmer than other times that we have defrosted it. We dried everything out. Restarted the freezer. We never replaced the part. It's been working fine ever since. So I guess that we did not need the part. Hopefully, it keeps working for a while. It is 14 years old. Thanks for your help.
Expert:  Bryan replied 3 years ago.
Your welcome, Well wishes and thanks, Bryan

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