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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 57557
Experience:  7+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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Hi, I hope you can give me some guidance. My Kitchenaid side-by-side,

Customer Question

Hi, I hope you can give me some guidance.
My Kitchenaid side-by-side, built in refrigerator (Model: KSSC42QMS01, SN: Q54614745) is alarming. The "Call Service" light is off. Temps in the refrigerator and freezer compartments seems to be normal and the unit is cooling.

The problem started as a soft ping with a growling noise (loudest in the freezer compartment) that coincided with the cycling of a fan/motor. The cycle was approx every 5-10 seconds. I opened the top of the unit and noticed the condenser fan running but would briefly lose power when the ping sounded. Condenser was very dirty so I shut off power and cleaned the coils.

Ping/alarm problem persists so ran the diagnostics (Filter reset button and power button on control panel) Test 1 & 2 pass. Test 3 sounds the alarm and briefly fails (code 02) then passes with code 01. Since the test is for Evap motor speed I'm guessing it takes a couple seconds to come up to speed. Step 4 successfully runs the condenser fan. Other tests pass. When forwarding past test #7, the alarm sounds continuously and flashes 37 in the refrigerator temp display. Now the alarm is mostly on (call service light still off). Google search of the problem points to the control board (2303934 apparently replaced by PS2360723). Unfortunately this board appears to be no longer available. Refrigerator was made in 2004.

On additional oddity, when I open the refrigerator or freezer door, the alarm turns off. Close the door and the alarm comes back on. Seems to be related to the box light as I can simulate this by manually activating the door light switch at the top of the door. Also I pulled the control board housing and verified the noise if coming from the buzzer on the control board.

Am I in the right ballpark with the control board? I may have found one on eBay for $300 but I hate to spend the money if the problem is somewhere else. Any help or advice would be appreciated. By the way, I'm very comfortable doing the repair and I have volt meter.

Thanks in advance. Tom
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 11 months ago.
Hello, and thank you for using this service. I'll be helping you with your problem today.

So this is actually a very well known issue on these built-in Kitchen Aid refrigerator. Unfortunately that main low voltage control board under the sheet metal cover that you hear the pinging coming from is just going bad. There is just no way you can fix the issue without replacing that control board. The part number you'd need is W10219463 but as you likely know, the part is no longer available and has been for about 2 or 3 years now. If you can find the board on Ebay, you can order it there---otherwise you'd need to remove the board and send it to some place like Core Centric, and they will refurbish your old board---but then you're without a refrigerator for a few weeks.

Please remember to rate my service before you leave. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. You can continue asking follow-up questions until you have all the information you need even after rating my service. Thank you!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi Tyler,


Thanks for the quick reply. You are right that these things are pretty scarce. Found one on eBay for $799.


 


Based on your experience and the problem I'm having, is this something that I should consider a ticking time bomb or, given the box is still cooling, can I treat this as a minor annoyance and deal with the noise?


 


On additional tidbit of info: I noticed some cycling going on when I was putting things back together. One of the four relays on the board is clicking but I can't tell which one. The on/off cycle now appears to be variable 30-45 sec but sometimes goes for a couple minutes.


 


Also (bonus question here) would you by chance know what part(s) usually fails on the board?

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 11 months ago.
The refrigerator will eventually stop cooling, so it needs to be fixed. It stops the cooling fans from running on and off so until you replace that board, you could run into some major cooling fluctuations.

As for what particular part on the board fails, that I would have no idea about since Kitchen Aid doesn't even make the board and doesn't have the schematics to the board to determine which part on the board fails.

It's an expensive unit so you pretty much just have to bite the bullet and replace the board. It's never been re-designed so you may get another 8-10 years before it happens again, but it is common enough that I would expect to see it happen again if you own the refrigerator long enough.

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 11 months ago.
Also, the cost to have the board refurbished is about $200-300 just as a cost reference. Please remember to rate my service before you leave. If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. You can continue asking follow-up questions until you have all the information you need even after rating my service. Thank you!
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 57557
Experience: 7+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
Tyler Z. and 5 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.

Hi Tyler,


Just wanted to follow up on my issue. Thanks to you I got the refrigerator back in service yesterday evening only 24 hours after you responded to my questions. It was indeed the control board. Thanks to Google, I found a company that repairs these boards and it turned out they are somewhat local. I put some dry ice in the refrigerator and freezer, pulled the control board and drove it to the repair facility.


 


The company is FixYourBoard.com in Austin, TX. They charged $220 for the repair and offer a 2-year warranty. I paid a $50 expedite fee and the board was repaired same day. I highly recommend them. Apparently they repair a lot of these.


 


As an aside and to cover my butt just in case, I called a local appliance repair company. They couldn't get anyone to me until Wed. The tech would have to troubleshoot the problem (wouldn't take my word for it) and if it was the board, they would have to try to find a replacement. If they couldn't find a replacement in 48 hours the tech would return and pull the board and they would send for service (2-4 weeks). Board repair plus three service calls would have been close to $700.


 


Thanks again for your help. You helped make this an easy and quick repair.

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 11 months ago.

Awesome, I'm very glad you were able to get everything resolved. Thank you for posting back and letting me know your situation.

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