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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 58771
Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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My refridgerator has slowly lost its ability to stay cool...it

Customer Question

My refridgerator has slowly lost it's ability to stay cool...it still cools a little...my freezer works fine....any idea on what is wrong? or possibly could be wrong?....
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for using this service. I'll be helping you with your problem today.

If you open the freezer, do you hear a fa running inside the freezer? Also, look at the back wall in the freezer, is there frost build up on the back wall inside the freezer?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The fan does not appear to be running....I did have a fan replaced about a year ago...that time ice built up in the fan area of the freezer...yes, there is frost beginning to collect on the back of the freezer.

 

Terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
ok so that frost means that there is too much frost build up and the air can't circulate from the freezer up to the refrigerator. You'll need to pull everything out of the freezer and remove the back panel inside the freezer. Use a hair dryer to thaw out the frost so that the unit will work again. To prevent the frost from building up again, replace the defrost thermostat which is the 1" round device with 2 wires going to it clipped onto the top of the silver coils where all the frost is located.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I can do that...the freezer is empty except for an ice cube tray that i put in to see if it actually will freeze....is it possible that my fan went bad again as well?

 

Thanks,

 

terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
not likely. If the fan wasn't working the refrigerator would have gone bad (warmed up) instantly not gradually.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 58771
Experience: 9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
Tyler Z. and 4 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks...that make sense to me....not that I know much about this stuff....I apreciate your help....

 

Terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
no problem and good luck.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear Appliance Doc

 

okay...I have replaced the thermostat as suggested....my refigerator is 40 degrees at the coldest setting and my freezer is begining to have a frost build up....any suggestions.

 

Terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
You have a problem with your defrost still and the thermostat was installed properly, test the heater for continuity (under the silver coils where the frost is building up). If it doesn't have continuity then replace the heater, otherwise replace your defrost timer because it's not cycling the unit into defrost.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay, you lost me....the thermostat is pretty easy to replace...hard to scew that up, so I'll say yes, installed correctly. I'm not sure where the heater is....on the back of the freezer are coils, how do I...1. recognize the heater and....2. check for contiuity.

 

terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
You need a multimeter to check for continuity, and the heater is right where the defrost thermostat is. Just look for the oven element looking heating element inside the silver coils and that is your heater.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
this is not an oven it's a freezer. Why would i have a heater in a freezer?
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
to defrost the frost on the coils. The heater turns on about once a day to melt the frost.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
okay I'll look for the heater....I'm not sure exactly where i put the coninuity meter i assume it will be apparent when i look at it....i know i mentiioned this before, but , i have yet to hear the fan kick on...when should i hear that
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
The fan should be on any time the compressor is on. Without the fan running the refrigerator would be completely warm and that would be instant, not gradual.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
okay I'll give this a try...thanks for your help....
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
no problem and good luck.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay...i have taken this a part an there is no heating coil....there is the coil that the coolant runs through the freezer...this last advice doesn't make sense to me...where are we miscommunicating?

 

not sure what to do next....

 

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
There is a heating coil, it's below the silver coil along the bottom. If you can't find it you'll need to call a technician because it's definitely there.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay..I gues you see my expertise is limited....however, I did find a glass tube with a fine wire inside behind the coolant coils; I assume this is the heater coil your previous e-mail is referencing.....I tested this with the continuty meter and it is fine....any further advise.

 

terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
ok so if the heater is good and the defrost thermostat was replace, that means you just have a bad timer which can't be tested. It's up in the controls in the top of your refrigerator section. below is a link to the part you'll need to order and replace.

CLICK HERE

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
thank you it is very helpful to attach parts and such...
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
no problem, good luck

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm back...I have replaced the thermostat and I have replace the defrost timer....I have turned the little knob on the bottom of the thermostat timer to go into defrost mode. I have checked the heater coil, in fact, I can see the heater cooler glow, since I set the time to go into defrost.....i still have the original problem...the refridgerator does not cool below 42-45 degrees....frost is still building up as it did originally.

 

What should I try next.

 

Terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
sounds like your defrost time is still bad (or wasn't installed properly if you have a small black wire that came with it). If you can manually turn the unit into defrost and the defrost kicks on, then your timer is just not automatically going into defrost.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Installation is pretty much idiot proof....just plug it in...it can only go one way, so that shouldn't be the issue.....I do understand that I am a novice. It's a 10 hour timer, if the timer doesn't work, would it either stay in defrost mode? or would it go out of defrost mode in what ever time frame it is supposed to stay in defrost mode and then in 10 hours, not kick back in to defrost mode?....I have to ship the part back and get a new part so, can't do that until Monday, so I'm looking for a practical way to test your theory.

 

Terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
You can always put the timer in defrost and see if it kicks out on it's own after 45 minutes. It should advance and kick out on it's own. That would be shorter than waiting for the 10 hours for it to go into defrost.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay....I did put it into defrost mode since the frost built up over the past few days...I took the back panel of the freezer to see how much build up there was behind the panel...that's how I saw the heating element begin to glow. I assume that the element will not glow once it kicks out of defrost....if it continues to glow beyond 45 min, I assum I should shut it off so I don't burn out the element....is that true or does it not matter.

 

Terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
The defrost thermostat will cut out the power to the heater if it gets too hot. You only need to be conserned if the timer advances back into cooling mode or not on the refrigerator.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
good luck to you again.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok just thought I follow up and do a quick lessons learned....my condenser fan was bad....I learned that i could test the fan with a simple conduction tester....as you advised, i purchased a new thermostat, did not fix my problem; I purchased a new defrost timer, did not fix my problem; I reordered a new defrost timer because you said i must have go a bad defrost timer...the new one did not solve the problem either - you told me there is no way to test the defrost timer....that is not true...the defrost timer can be tested with a continuity meter - i tested the new defrost meter and it is fine...I went back and tested the original defrost timer it too was fine.....I was out of parts to replace based on your advice so i finally replaced the condenser fan as I asked from the very begining and my problem was solved....I am very dissappointed in your guidance....although, on the bright side, i know alot more about refridgerators now...not really sure what to think of this service....this was not really a good experience...other than having a bunch of new parts that I probably didn't need.

 

Terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
The condenser fan motor would affect the FREEZER not the refrigerator. That is why I didn't say to check the condenser fan motor. The condenser fan does nothing but cools down the compressor. The refrigerator cools down by stealing air from the freezer so as long as the freezer is down below 40 degrees the refrigerator will work normally. Something you're saying is just not adding up.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

well what I know is the fan was not operating; I tested it. It failed the test. I replaced it and my refridgerator cools and my freezer does not frost up. I understand you are working remotely and hve to make decidions based on what I tell you. I'm not an appliance guy....what is frustrating is there were ways to test the parts I replaced and ways to test the fan.

 

That is the lesson learned for me.

 

Terry

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
ok well I wish you the best of luck.

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