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Robert, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  16+ years of in home appliance repair knowledge.
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I have a series 20 19.2 cu ft kenmore refrigerator. Itbis

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I have a series 20 19.2 cu ft kenmore refrigerator. Itbis not keeping the freezer refrigerator cold enough. I note that ice has formed in the rear the freezer. It is a no defrost refrigerator. Is the ice build up causing this problem? How can I resolve it? Thank you.

Robert :


Robert :

Is the ice on the back panel towards the bottom and more like frost?

Customer: Yes
Robert :

The ice build up in that area is a sign that the defrost system has failed. Can you get me the model number off of the unit so I can take a look at the tech manual.

Customer: Can't find the model no, but it is a kenmore porcelain on steel 16.6 cu ft frostless refrigerator-freezer. Series 20. Is it at least 25 years old,
Robert :

If it is that old then it is possible that the unit was made by GE.

Robert :

The made majority of the units back then.

Customer: Don't know. It says sears kenmore on the sticker inside the refrig
Robert :

The only way to be sure it to take the back panel off inside the freezer and defrosting the coils. Locate the defrost element on the bottom of the coils and let me know if it is a glass tube or a regular heating element. The glass will confirm that it is a Kenmore built by GE. The other will confirm that the unit is mad by Whirlpool.

Customer: Ok, should I unplug the refrigerator before I attempt this?
Robert :

Yes. It is pointless to keep running it the way it is anyways. Just using elecricity.

Robert :

You can use a hair dryer to defrost the coils if you have one.

Customer: Ok, please note, that it is keeping things cold, just not old enough, for example, it will make ice cubes without taking 8-10 hours to o so where before I had ice in 4 hours.
Robert :

That means the compressor is still running and the fan in the freezer is still running. It just cannot put cold air in the refrigerator compartment because the coils in the freezer are a solid ice block instead of frosted coils that air can flow throuhg.

Robert :

If they are frosted over, you can defrost them and then put the unit back together after you locate the problem. It will work really good for 3-5 days while you wait on the part but it will go out after that due to ice buildup again.

Customer: Ok, there is no way I can take the back panel off..I 'm not that handy. But let me ask you, you think the problem? And it is fixable? If so, I will find a someone who is that can help me tomorrow. Could I turn the refrigerator off and melt th ice that has formed in thevfreezer with a blow dryer? Would thatvfix the problem?
Customer: What part do I need?
Robert :

It will melt by itself overnight if you unplug the refrigerator and leave the doors open. The hair dryer will only melt the ice on the panel, not behind it. The defrost element is your most likely problem. If it looks good or tests good with a meter then the only other thing on this old of a unit would be the defrost timer. It is usually located down by the compressor, up in the refrigerator controls OR down behind the front kickplate. Part numbers are going to be an issue thought because you don't have a model number. You will most likely have to take parts in for comparison to get new parts. Just let me know if you run across that model number.

Customer: Ok, thank you. I will try the above. I may be able to locate the model number tomorrow. I need to find somone to help me move it so I can unplug it....if I leave this thread tonight, can I pick up thread tomorrow? Will it find you?
Robert :

Yes. Just let me know what you find and I will respond as soon as I get the notice. You can usually used the link in your email address(maybe in the spam folder). That link will show up about 15 minutes after you close this chat.

Customer: Ok great, thank you so much!
Robert :

No problem.

Robert and other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Keep me posted with your findings.

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