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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 Kitchenaid side-by-side refrigerator (KSP22F) with

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I have a Kitchenaid side-by-side refrigerator (KSP22F) with a strange problem. It is around 8 years old and the ice dispenser stopped working soon after we purchased it. About 5 weeks ago I had a serviceman in who was looking at other appliances and I asked him to see if he could tell what was wrong. He removed the motor from the freezer door and said that might be the issue then placed it back where it went. Within a day or two after that I started to notice that the items in the refrigerator that were not totally contained in plastic (like butter, milk in cartons, produce, etc.) started to taste strange. I also started to notice an off smell in the water that was being dispensed and in particular, the ice cubes were bad tasting as well. I took every single thing out of both the refrigerator and the freezer, disposed of the ice and anything else that was not wrapped in plastic, and clean every component of the interior with a bleach & water solution. The smell was gone, but within about 2 days it started coming back. Today, when I came home from work, I opened the refrigerator door and found that the lights didn't come on and that the interior of that part and the freezer had warmed up quite a bit. I checked the plug and it was fine, so I then checked the breaker and found that it had been tripped. Any idea what is going on?
Hello, My name isXXXXX you for choosing Just Answer, It is my pleasure to assist you today. Can you open the refrigerator section and look on the side wall or the ceiling and get me the full model number of the refrigerator off the tag ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Bryan,


I double-checked the label inside the refrigerator side and that's all there is to the model #. I did see that it's from 2004 as well. Is there another spot to see the model # XXXXX that is not enough?

are you looking at the model number tag itself or the one on the door ? the model tag with have both the model number and serial number on it. graphic
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I was looking at the one on the door. Give me a couple of minutes to look again, please.

okay no problem
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Got it!


Serial #: SR3557075

Okay perfect ! now I need you to pull the refrigerator away from the wall and get behind it. listen for a click or buzz about every two to three minutes coming from the bottom where the compressor is. can you do that ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yep. Here goes...

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay - so, it's an Embraco compressor - if that matters. No noise at all. It was warm to the touch and everything under there seemed to be connected like it should be (meaning I didn't see anything hanging or dislodged).

okay does it feel like its vibrating ? running ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No motion whatsoever. Even the fan that's underneath there is still. One other thing - I reset the circuit breaker about 3 hours ago. It has chilled the insides again.

the fan next to the compressor isn't running either ? try spinning it with your finger and see if it starts spinning. is the fan in the freezer running ? this may be in a defrost cycle if not.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

At first, the fan underneath rotates in both direction when flicked but stopped dead soon after. There's was nonoise of any type in the refrigerator or the freezer. I opened the freezer to check for the airflow and then I heard something kick in. I checked the fan again and it's now spinning freely. I pressed my ear on the back of the unit up high on the freezer side and could hear it running as well.

okay it was in a defrost cycle.the defrost cycle shuts all fans and compressor down. feel the compressor now is it vibrating ? (running )
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, it's now vibrating.

okay well what you need to do next is see if there's a frost pattern developing on the evaporator coils in the freezer, this however requires removing the panel inside the freezer behind your food. can you do that ? we need to see whats going on with the coils to tell if there's a compressor issue. I'm concerned about the freezer warming up as you said it did.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

It only warmed up because the circuit breaker was tripped (only for the fridge - none of the others were set off). Do you think I still need to take it apart? Before that happened, it's been running as usual and has been cold - mostly it stinks really badly, even after scrubbing it out. It's a strange smell - not food related. More like a mechanical odor with a hint of chemical to it.

well that's a concern also. does the smell seem like it could be a plasticy burning type smell ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, not really that. It's a lot like when you leave a refrigerator closed up and off for a long time. Just nasty. Plus, it's so strong that when the door is opened, you can smell it from a room or two away.

okay, do you smell it in the back down by the compressor ? there a defrost catch pane under the refrigerator that can sometimes get to smell like stale water stagnant water and there a drain hole in the freezer that the water goes down to go to the pan. the smell can come back up the drain and get drawn into the freezer and refrigerator by the fan. can you see the pan underneath ? does it smell in behind the refrigerator at all ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Found the drain inside the freezer (it's on the back wall about 5 inches above a sloped back). It appeared clean, dry, and clog free. I then got behind the unit again and saw that there's a large white pan of sorts under the freezer side. It's dry but has a lot of black crud in it and looks like it had some wetness at some point in time. I'm not sure how to remove it so I can smell it - front or back access?

well on that I don't believe you can remove it. if it does come out it would be through the front and you would probably need to remove the water filter assembly to get it out, my theory on the smell is its coming from a couple of sources, the water filter should be changed as well as the water chiller tank. they use a tube rolled up rather than a tank now days. Reservoir(NNN) NNN-NNNN        Main Product Viewwhen the filter gets bad it let stale water travel through the water tank and into the ice maker. now you should check the ice maker by removing it and smelling it. I'll bet it smell awful . theres a heater in the ice maker to release the ice and when it comes on while dumping the ice it heats that smelly water up and thats what you smell going through the refrigerator.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Bryan, I think you're dead on with the idea about the heater in the icemaker. In thinking back, I ran the fridge for a day or so with the icemaker off (after I had thoroughly cleaned it) and it was not perfect, but much better. I'll do what I can to remove the icemaker and see if what you suggested does the trick. Plus, we had put in a new filter at the same time as the cleaning (and we have the plastic tubing), so I'm thinking of replacing that as well as the tubing. Start fresh!

Thanks for your help. Laughing

That's what usually causes that kind of smell. I hope that works for you. there's not much else that can cause that. have a great night and thanks, XXXXX XXXXX a wonderful Thanksgiving also! well wishes, Bryan
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