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Appliance Tech Dave
Appliance Tech Dave, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  30 years experience specializing in Whirlpool, KitchenAid and Kenmore
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I have a 7-yr old chest freezer with a problem. A digital thermometer

Resolved Question:

I have a 7-yr old chest freezer with a problem. A digital thermometer (confirmed by an analog one) shows the temperature wildly fluctuates in it. the cold control is the bulb type, not solid state. When set at 1, which should correspond to around +9F, it does indeed turn on at +9F, but won't shut off until the temp reads -15 or so. It does eventually shut off. I thought it was obviously the cold control so I replaced it but the problem remains. The strange thing is when it finally shuts off & I turn the dial all the way to the coldest setting, it still doesn't turn back on, so the probe must be sensing the -15 temp & won't turn on. Only when the freezer temp slowly rises back up will the cold control start the compressor. I've moved the probe up & down in its tube to see if it was punched into the sidewall insulation but to no avail. If I turn the dial to off the compressor stops so it doesn't seem to be a stuck relay. Any ideas?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I will be glad to assist you in your answer. Think about safety when doing repairs, electric, water, gas, ect.

 

The internal foam may have pushed the sensing bulb tube to close to the external wall, not sensing the temp as well. The freezer is having to get too cold before bulb senses to turn off. On the thermostat itself, there may be a set screw that you can adjust one round opposite the colder arrow beside the screw. Then see if that helps, if getting closer, but still off, adjust accordingly, until you are satisfied. If that does not work, there is really not much more that can be done in that situation. If this information has assisted you, please give a good to great rating....Thank you

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX that set screw. Do you know if it's a temp calibration adjustment screw or a temp differential adjustment screw. Also, do you know which way I should turn it (clockwise or counterclockwise) to: XXXXX XXXXX the temperature if it's for temp calibration, or 2. reduce the differential if it adjusts that. If that doesn't do the trick I think I'll try to remount the probe bulb onto the inside of the freezer skin (in a 1/4" copper tube) & see what happens. Thanks again,


 


Brian

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
Normally the set screw will have the colder direction above it. If not, clockwise 1 round should decrease the temp range, having a lower temp cut-off. Please do not forget to give a good to great rating for answering your question....Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

One more question. I first remounted the thermostat bulb so it was 12" into the freezer compartment itself. I then tried recalibrating the cold control with the screw by turning off the freezer & waiting until it reached exactly 0-degrees, then turned it back on and adjusted the screw until the compressor turned off. The compressor restarted at around +2-degrees, but continues to run even though the temp is now down to -17 degrees. Any idea as to what is wrong with the thing?

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.
The sensor tube must be out of place as I mentioned earlier. There is not really anything you an do about that issue. The temp control is only going to cycle as what it is set at, and by the temps at the sensing bulb. Too much bulb out of the sensing sleeve will give worse results, for it will be trying to sense more ambient air than the freezer. What happens is the Freon in the sensing bulb gets pressurized by the amount of heat. This is what presses again the diaphragm of the temp device to turn off/on. So is the bulb all the way in the sleeve does not work correctly, sleeve is out of place, too close to the outside wall. Reason that unit has to get so cold before cycling the t-stat. The only (out of box) thing that I can think of is to go thru the cabinet to the freezer, and run temp probe directly inside. Then calibrate, or but a new one, if needed. Make sure to seal around both ends of opening of freezer to prevent air leakage. This might work, but I have never tried it before. There is a chance of hitting a freon line which will make the unit toast at that point. So, it is completely up to you if you want to try something like that. That is the only thing that I can come up with at this point. I will open you question to the other experts to see if anyone else has an idea for you. If I have been of assistance please give a good to great rating. If not, maybe someone else will have another idea....Thanks again.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Sorry, it doesn't seem like you're actually reading my questions before you answer them. I did "go thru the cabinet" and run the probe directly inside as I'd already stated, and I did "buy a new one (thermostat)" as I also already stated. Yes, please open the question to others & see if any ideas pop up.


 


Thanks,


 


Brian

Expert:  Michelle-Mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

I’m Michelle, and I’m moderator for this topic. It seems the professional has left this conversation. This happens occasionally, and it's usually because the professional thinks that someone else might be a better match for your question. I've been working hard to find a new professional to assist you right away, but sometimes finding the right professional can take a little longer than expected.

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Michelle-Moderator
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

No answer so far. I did ask the previous professional to open the question to others.

Expert:  Michelle-Mod replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX continue to look for a professional to assist you. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance while you wait.

Best,

Michelle-Moderator
Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will help you with your freezer. I have done exactly what you said with the sensing tube by running it down the corner of the liner. The problem with the temperatures may be all in where you are taking the reading. A laser thermometer should not be used because you don't go by surface temperatures on a freezer. You want internal product temperature. The recommended procedure is to use a probe between packages that have been in 12 hours. This will be the food storage temperature and should be between 5 and -5 and most settings. I hope this helps. Let me know if there is anything that is not clear or you have questions. Dave
Appliance Tech Dave, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1517
Experience: 30 years experience specializing in Whirlpool, KitchenAid and Kenmore
Appliance Tech Dave and other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the response. I'm actually using an Accurite electronic refrigerator/freezer thermometer with two wireless sensors. I put both inside the same freezer: one between packages that are long-frozen (the freezer is 2/3 full) and the other nearer the thermostat bulb that's now exposed in the freezer compartment. Both read within 1-2 degrees of each other. The Accurite also records max & min temps, so I can see how big the temp swings are in the freezer, which are also about the same for both sensors. I also have a dial-type analog thermometer which also always reads pretty-much what the digital ones read, so I'm quite sure the freezer is truly experiencing wide temp swings. It's been doing it for months or more, I probably just didn't realize it until I put the electronic recording thermometers in. As I said before, it runs continually until the temp hits minus 15-18 degrees, finally shuts off, and won't turn on again until the temp is around 0 degrees, then repeats the same 15-18 degree temp swing all over again. Using the same two sensors in similar positions in our other chest freezer shows a temp swing of 2 degrees at most, confirming my suspicion that the thermometers aren't the issue. Replacing the cold control and moving the sensor bulb into the compartment itself had no effect. I'm stumped. There are only a few components in the darn thing, thermostat, relay, and compressor, and I feel like an idiot for not being able to troubleshoot it. My only other guess is a low Freon condition leading to uneven evaporator coil cooling causing uneven temps inside, but that doesn't make a lot of sense though. And I don't think inexpensive freezers even have a compressor time-out device to prevent damage from power glitches. Anyway, thanks for the help. It looks like I'm going to have to give up on the thing, and I hate giving up.


Thanks again!


 

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
I am with you as to being confused. Why would it let it get that cold at the sensing point on the thermo bulb? Low charge of refrigerant should cause it to get too cold in one spot but not cold enough overall. Do you get a good frost pattern all the way around on the sides?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for responding so quickly. As to your question: no, there's even frost on the back, front, and right-hand walls, but none on the left, which is where where the thermostat bulb was originally mounted inside. The repositioned bulb is now in the compartment itself, an inch or so from the left wall, but not touching it. Maybe I'll try moving it so it's farther away from the wall & see what happens.


Thanks again!

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
No problem. Keep me posted.

Dave
Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Sorry I forgot to reply. I did move the now fully exposed bulb around in the freezer compartment. No improvement. Bought new freezer identical to this one. Temp swings in this one are about 2-degrees. So I think I'm giving up!

Expert:  Appliance Tech Dave replied 1 year ago.
You proved the problem is not the thermostat so it must be a sealed system problem. With out food inside you may be able to see a problem in the frost pattern that was not apparent before? Dave

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