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John
John, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 26795
Experience:  Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
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My fridge is not cooling properly. It is a kenmore 20 porcelain

Customer Question

My fridge is not cooling properly. It is a kenmore 20 porcelain plus. It seems to be all fine except that the freezer is not forming ice and thus not keeping a cool enough temperature inside.

Can you please guide me in:
(1) diagnose the problem, and
(2) assuming we do part one, how to fix it.

Thanks.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.

Hi I'm John I will help you with the fridge problem.

Open the freezer door and reach in to the back panel and tell me if you can feel frost on that panel.Also send me the model number please.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hi John,

Thanks for your reply. Here is the information:

I don't feel any frost in the back panel.
The model number seems to be:(NNN) NNN-NNNN

Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.

If no frost on the freezer coils pull the fridge out and remove the bottom panel and check the condenser coils if their dirty or the fan motor isn't going its the problem.

Check that and let me know if its the problem please.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Can you tell me more about how to do that? The freezer is on the top. Should I remove that panel?

There seems to be enough air circulating into the freezer compartment. which makes me think that the fan seemed to be working fine. Is there another fan I should be looking at?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.

You can see the condenser coils by removing the bottom kick plate at the front of the fridge , If the coils are dirty just clean out the coils if the fan motor isn't going at the back of the fridge by the compressor replace the fan motor.

If you need help with that let me know please.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I've clean the coils (I think). They were very dirty! Now how do I check the fan motor?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
If the fan motor is blowing warm air you should be able to feel the air flow from the front of the fridge where the coils are located , If they were dirty its the problem.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
There is air blowing, but it is not warm. Should I wait for the air to be warm? There is also air blowing inside. Should the air inside be getting colder?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
If the coils were dirty and air is blowing over the coils it will take at least 24 hrs to get back to normal but you should notice a difference in a few hours.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Since I'm in the middle of it (using compressed air and a shop vac), should I be cleaning anything else?

Also do you mind if I wait a couple hours before letting you know if I note a difference?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.

You could pull the fridge out and remove the back lower panel and clean that location as well , Its very important to keep those coils clean.

You can wait if you like thats fine.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
John,

I clean in the back as much as I could. Put back the panel and waited. It sounds like it wants to start, but then quickly stops. It has been doing this for a while now.

Is there a compressor relay or something like that involved here?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/part-model/Kenmore-Parts/All-Products-Parts/Model-1068730582/0582/0160000/00013604/00005?blt=06&prst=0&shdMod=1068730582

Yes thats the relay thats stopping the compressor from going its the numbers 18 and 19 in the breakdown , The dirty coils can cause the relay to fail .

Replace those parts and keep the coils clean it should fix the problem.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there a way to remove the relay and test it?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
You can check it with a meter but if its clicking the compressor off it can only be the relay and overload.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is the overload a different part that I also need to change?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Yes the relay and overload has to be replaced its the numbers 18 and 19 in the breakdown.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, can you guide me in how to remove the relay and overload?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So I think I manage to pull out the relay and overload. The compressor was hot! It makes a noise when I shake it, does that means that is bad? I'll change it tomorrow and let you know how it goes... Thanks!
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.

Don't forget to replace both parts number 18 and 19,

Good Luck

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just bought the relay and overload. They look very different. Can I upload a picture to show you what I have in the fridge and ask you how to replace them?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Yes you can upload a picture , what part number did you get.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I got(NNN) NNN-NNNN

How do I upload a picture?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Use the paper clip Icon to Upload a picture
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't see any paper clip icon. Is there another way to upload a picture?

I don't understand how to use these new parts. Perhaps I should describe them. First the old ones. I think the following is the overload: it is round has two cables, one going in and one going out to a pin of the other part, which I think is the relay. This second part has two holes that connect to the compressor, a coil around it and only one cable coming in from the previous part.

The other parts look just like in the following link:
http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/part-number/Kenmore-Parts/All-Products-Parts/4387535/0046/106/Model-1068730582/0582/0160000?keySuffixId=NA&path Taken=partSearch&pathRender=modelComponent&documentCompId=00013604&diagramPageId=00005&productTypeId=x&searchModelNumber=1068730582&subCompDesc=Unit%20parts&brandDesc=KENMORE&modelDesc=REFRIGERATOR&blt=11
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Yes the round one is the overload and the one wire connects to the top pin on the compressor the other is the relay and it plugs in to the two bottom pins on the compressor then you join the two wires to the compressor on to the overload and the other wire to the relay.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, the compresor has 3 pins. One has a white cable coming into it (looks like a power source cable), and the other two pins are for the relay.

But none of the wires of the overload connect to the compressor. There is the cable that connects the overload with the relay, and then there is another red cable, coming directly to the overload, which seems to be a power source cable.

If I understand correctly. The red power source cable should go directly to the overload. Then the overload shoots another red cable to the relay. This relay is connected to the compressor on the two pins.

Correct?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Yes thats correct .
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.

 

Here is a typical wiring diagram of the relay hook up.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thanks. It is a complicated diagram I have to say.

The new relay has 3 connectors. Which one should the overload/relay cable connect to?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
The red wire from the fridge goes to one red wire on the overload the other wire from the overload pushes on to the top pin on the compressor the relay pushes on to the two bottom pins on the compressor the white wire from the fridge connects to the terminal on the relay, connect to the left terminal on the relay.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I got the red wire from the fridge going to the overload. Then another red cable needs to be connected to the relay. There are 3 pins on the relay where this red cable can be connected. I pushed the relay in the compressor and when I look at the relay the three pins are: up left, up right and down right.

The white cable from the fridge is connected directly to the compressor. NOT the relay. I haven't touched this cable.

I need to know to which pin in the relay, the red cable from the overload connects to.
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
The overload doest connect to the relay it connects directly to the compressor on the top pin, the white wire connects to the relay and the relay pushes on to the two bottom pins on the compressor.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I don't understand. This is quite different to what you explained me before.

To keep the ideas correct. The old overload WAS connected to the relay, NOT the compressor. The White cable IS connected to the compressor, NOT the relay.

You are now telling me the following:

Disconnect the white cable going to the compressor and put in the relay (to which pin?) and put the red cable from the overload to the top pin of the compressor, where the white cable is currently. Correct? If this is correct, please tell me which pin of the relay (up-left, up-right or down-right).
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So, I finally understood how to put the new relay and overload in the pins.

The Overload goes on the top pin. The Relay goes en the bottom down pins.

I also connected the cables from the fridge in the following way. The white cable goes directly to the left relay terminal. The red cable goes into the only terminal of the overload.

I connected the fridge to the plug. The fan started, there is air circulating on the inside, but still is not cooling. I hear a click this time also, but is a different click than before. Not as loud. But the compressor doesn't seem to be starting. Is not even hot like before.

Did I do everything correctly?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
Yes you did do everything correctly ,If the compressor isn't starting and has a click the compressor is burnt out and its cause by the coils being that dirty it got too hot and cooked the compressor.You will have to have the compressor replaced and thats a $ 600.00 repair bill.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I just want to try one more thing.

Before the compressor was starting. Now is not even making the sound.

Also before the red and white cable where switched. Can I switched them back and try it?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.

When was it starting , was it before you cleaned the coils and had the no cooling problem?

You can switch the wires as long as the white and red wires aren't on the same connection.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
After I cleaned the coils, I plug the fridge and was making a "hmmmmmmmmmm..... Clikc!" much louder than now, which makes me think that the compressor was starting.

Is there a way to test if the compressor works?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
If it was humming after you cleaned the coils it was probably humming before you cleaned the coils , replacing the relay works if the compressor isn't already cooked because of the dirty coils.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is there a way to test if the compressor works?
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.
It was just tested with the relay replacement if its clicking its not starting up.
John, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 26795
Experience: Appliance repair business owner for over 43 years.
John and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok thanks. I think I need to buy a new fridge.
Expert:  John replied 2 years ago.

Thats what I would do is by a new fridge .

Its a good time with all the deals out there now.

Thanks and god bless.

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