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Bryan
Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12002
Experience:  15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
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I have same problem as described here: http://www.justanswer.com/appliance/61bqw-whirlpool

Customer Question

I have same problem as described here: http://www.justanswer.com/appliance/61bqw-whirlpool-gold-frig-not-cooling-freezer-works-fine-frig.html
When I run through service test 1, defrost thermostat and defrost circuit test, I only see defrost thermostat open. Is this normal, or does it indicate a problem with loose wire harness or bad thermostat? Should it ever toggle to shorted / closed?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
Hello, Thank you for using this service, I will be helping you with your problem today

are you having a defrost issue with this ? the defrost thermostat should be closed when this is cold. if its not then the defrost thermostat needs to be replaced. from what your saying it looks to be bad. this is the defrost thermostat.these are $31.00 at the following link and easy to replace. http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Defrost-Thermostat/W10165425/1455131?modelNumber=GX5FHTXVQ00 its clipped to the evaporator coils in the freezer behind the rear panel inside the freezer.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
To be clear, the unit was unplugged for some time to manually defrost. I plugged it in, entered service mode, and then in service test one, the only mode that showed up was OPEN.

I want to make sure I understand your statement. Should it be CLOSED normally? Is this service test testing whether or not the thermostat is connected (as in open meaning it is broken or the wires going to it are not properly connected) ?

Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
okay these will open at 55 degrees so if the freezer was above that then it being open would be normal. the best way to tell is when this is cold. can you plug it back in and when its cold do the test again ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok, I will wait. If it is closed, then it would indicate that the wires and thermostat are functioning properly, and the unit not defrosting would be possibly caused by bad heater or possibly some other issue, right?

All of the other service tests pass. The seals / gaskets all look fine, and there s zero frost buildup in the freezer, other than the thin layer of frost on the rear panel (and of course, the coils had ice buildup).

The damper opens and closes ok, and there appears to be zero blockages between freezer and refrig

If the thermostat goes to closed below 55 degrees in the freezer, what would be the next troubleshooting step?
Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
on these its best to have a multimeter and test the parts individually. do you have one ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yup, sure do.
Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
okay get back to me once you have tested it again. talk then.thanks , Bryan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Freezer is at 30 degrees F, but the service test still shows open.

I'll need instructions how to remove the wire tray / drawer (I assume the screws on the front side of each rail) .

Then I should remove the ice maker? And then the back panel?

Could the wire harness mentioned in the previous post be loose? I'm asking because I didn't try to manually force defrost mode, and I'm not clear from the previous mentioned customer, what the wire harness goes to.

Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
its rare that the harness is the issue. the freezer basket lifts out of the sliding assembly . usually you can lift the door off the rails to get it out of your way. the ice maker has to come out and then the back panel. you can work the back panel out usually without removing the rails . once you have this apart let me know. don't remove the thermostat from the coils we need to keep that cold to get the right reading.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

 

Looks like my wire draw doesn't lift out - it is captive inside these side rails. refer to photo (which is sadly rotated 90 degrees to the left - sorry)

Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
if you push those tabs in does it come out then ? its hard to tell by the diagrams or picture.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

no, I had to take the screws out, then remove the top part of the track on both sides - it was a pain because there are little tabs that fit into the rear part of the freezer side wall. luckily, I didn't break anything.


 


so now, for the removal of the icemaker, I assume The screws are easy to find? do you have any diagrams you could attach to the answer?


 

Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
yes the screws are straight into the side wall of the freezer. if you look where the fingers are that push the ice out of the ice maker there will be two screws holding the ice maker to the side wall. there may be one on the bottom also. once you have the screws out you need to unplug the ice maker , theres a tab to release the plug. you can see the two hangers the screws go through in this picture.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK, got the ice maker out. I loosened the four 1/4" hex screws from the rear wall, and found this ice build up. I'm gonna run a hair drier on it. Tell me what I should do after it melts. Plug the machine back in and wait until the freezer is 50 degrees or colder? Kindly give me specifics on where you need me to measure ohms...


 


 


Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
thats not good ! your problem is a freon issue for sure. you have a leak and theres not enough freon to frost all the coils. what happens is what is in this for freon is just reaching the area where that big clump of ice is. thats bad news, I'm sorry to say. that is a dead give away. you will need an HVAC tech to vacuum down the system and find the leak repair it and then recharge this. I know thats not what you wanted to hear for sure , I wish I had better news. its definitely a freon issue.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm just curious why the freezer and refrig work just fine for about 60-90 days at a time, then the refrig gets hot, but the freezer works fine. To me, it seems there is an issue with the defrost circuit - whether the thermostat or the heater.


 


Again, if there wasn't enough freon, how could the unit work and cool properly for periods in excess of 1-2 months?


 


I'm not doubting your diagnosis, especially if you see the lump of ice indicating a leak. Perhaps we have two issues? the coils were all loaded with ice as well, I just didn't give the unit enough time to melt that big hunk of ice, I would think.


 


Can we get back to addressing the thermostat? I'd like to power it up, wait until it's colder than 50 degrees, and then have you walk me through the steps to test the thermostat with the multimeter.


 

Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
well it could be that theres a blockage in the freon line thats causing this also but either way the refrigerator would need to be vacuumed down and tested with freon gages, there very well could be two issues . heres a video on one way to test the thermostat. now you can test it the same way as long as its cold in the freezer you don't have to remove it just test it like it shows in the video with it still on the coils. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmdsBkO46dk
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I will test it, but the two wires seem to disappear behind the coils. Shouldn't I be able to see where the ends of the cables are? I know I started this question saying I required little detail, but I was kind of hoping that you would be able to get me some diagrams from the service manual. It's my first time using justanswer, so I apologize if I am expecting too much


 

Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
well I cant really tell you where the wires go, (theres no diagram for that) but if you have two wire nuts you can cut the wires(unplug the refrigerator first) and test the thermostat that way. it wont hurt it if you need to wire nut these back together.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

can you double check the URL for the replacement thermostat?


I get a "We're sorry, but the page you have requested is not available"


 


I assume the part is W10165425 and I could look for it anywhere online, like Amazon, for example.


 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I'm going to clip the wires to the themostat to remove it, and test it.


 


I'll wire nut the ends so they don't touch anything.


 


If the thermostat is bad, i'll replace it.


 


Quick question, if I leave the thing running and notice ice build up on the coil blades, could I trick the unit by tying the two wires together with a wire nut and then forcing a manual defrost cycle using the control board? it seems the heater is working fine.


 


 

Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
well you can bypass it like that but I wouldn't leave it bypassed because once the coils are defrosted then it will start heating up the plastic in the freezer and melt it. you don't want that. the thermostat shuts the heater off before that can happen.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK, well after I got that juge chunk of ice off (with hairdryer) then I turned the thing back on, and waited until the unit was 30 degrees in the freezer.


I re-ran the thermostat test, and the thing now shows closed, as in the attached photo. Should I even clip the wires to test it?


 


Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
no don't clip them. if its showing closed its fine and the defrost system is working. your issue is the freon either a clogged line or its low. thats about all i can tell you on this.you do need a tech to test any further. thanks and best wishes, Bryan
Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12002
Experience: 15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
Bryan and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hey Brian, today I noticed a bunch of frost buildup in the freezer. Looking at the freezer door, it is clear that the frost is due to an area of the gasket on the freezer door which isn't sealing nicely against the unit. Is there any guidance on how to adjust the door to fix the seal? It looks like just the top right corner and bottom right corner are where the seal isn't mating nicely against the frame
Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
oh wow, okay how much of a gap is there ?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

about an 8th to 3/16" of an inch in both areas. I attached two images.

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Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
okay super pictures ! thanks. Alright the way it looks the best way to solve that is take a hair dryer and heat the gaskets up , this will soften them and allow them to expand and conform . i wouldn't go playing with the hinges you could make it worse. the hair dryer trick works well, try that and let me know. thanks , Bryan
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

so, to be clear. turn off the unit (so the ice could melt, and I don't introduce any more humid air into the system). then heat up the gasket to make it pliable for how long??


 

Expert:  Bryan replied 2 years ago.
just long enough to get it pliable and you can pull on it to stretch it back out until it closes and seals correctly. that should do it.

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