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Is the ice on the back panel towards the bottom and more like frost?
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.
If it is that old then it is possible that the unit was made by GE.
The made majority of the units back then.
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.
Yes. It is pointless to keep running it the way it is anyways. Just using elecricity.
You can use a hair dryer to defrost the coils if you have one.
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.
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.
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.
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.