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Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12156
Experience:  15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
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I have a Sears Kenmore 596.69959401 Fridge and the fridge compartment

Resolved Question:

I have a Sears Kenmore 596.69959401 Fridge and the fridge compartment isn't cooling properly. The freezer seems fine
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
Hi,Welcome to Just Answer, My name is XXXXX XXXXX forward to helping you today.

can you tell me if theres any frost on the back panel inside the freezer section behind your food ?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hi, Yes there is frost on the back of the freezer compartment.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
okay you have a defrost issue in this. what happens is the frost builds up on the coils behind that panel and causes no airflow of restricted airflow to the fresh food section. all the cold comes from the freezer , the first thing you need to do is empty your freezer and remove the panel. take a hair dryer and defrost the coils completely. the most common cause for a defrost issue is the defrost thermostat, this is clipped to the top of the evaporator coils, the ones you need to defrost. after this is defrosted put the panel back in and order the thermostat. when the thermostat comes in replace it. this will run correctly for around 3 weeks, plenty of time to get the thermostat. thanks and best wishes , Bryan
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. It looks like there is 4 small screws holding the back panel on and hopefully it will come forward.

Is there a way to check the defrost thermostat with a volt ohm meter?
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
you can but the thermostat needs to be cold to check it for continuity, it opens when it warms up to shut the heater off. if it checks good check the heater itself although its much rarer these do fail at times. thanks Bryan
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So the thermostat is the part on the right hand side that sits behind a small shroud and has a sensor on the end of the wire about the diameter of a pencil and about an inch long?

Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
yes it should look similar to this.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The one I was looking at is different. It sits inside the freezer compartment. There is one that looks similar to your picture clipped to a copper tube with a clip behind the panel that looks like the one in your picture.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
yes thats it ! the one clipped to the copper tube.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok, I'll cut it out. So the way it works is that the heater is on all the time? So if I put the thermostat in another freezer and check it I should get a closed circuit.

A couple of more questions:

1. what does the heater look like if that's the problem.
2. Are there other sensors like the one inside the freezer wall I described that may be the problem.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
thats correct if you put this in another freezer and let it get cold it will close and have continuity. when its warm it opens. the heater is not on all the time its control by the control board , this is the heater. it runs down the sides and alone the bottom of the coils. this should have continuity all the time. thats all there is to the defrost cycle. 3 parts, the control board which is the part you set the controls with, the heater and the defrost thermostat. one is bad. make sure the fan in the freezer is running also. thats it.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK, The fans runs and I see the heater. Any last tips for the trouble shooting the control board, or is it just the last resort hit or miss. It is the most expensive part.
Expert:  Bryan replied 5 years ago.
if the other two check out its going to be the control board. hopefully its just the thermostat. this is the main control board. if needed you can order this @ thanks and best wishes, Bryan
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