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Whrlp Master Tech
Whrlp Master Tech, Whirlpool Master Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 9595
Experience:  30 years Appliance Field 15 yr with Whirlpool Corp. 9 yrs Whirlpool Technical Assistance Line
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My Whirlpool refrigerator temperature fluctuates wildly. The

Customer Question

My Whirlpool refrigerator temperature fluctuates wildly. The freezer was at -15 yesterday, 30 degrees today
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
Hello from JA My name is***** will be glad to assist you today. I have been servicing ALL Major Brands of Appliances for 34 Years, and have over 100,000 in home repairs and over 60,000 phone and internet repairs under my belt.What all do you have in the freezer at this time?Do you hear the freezer Evaporator fan running?And on the rear freezer interior wall do you see any frost or ice on the wall ?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Freezer packs.
Yes, but not constantly.
No. none. The repair guy had the back panel in the freezer open and there was no frost whatsoever.
Last evening I took a closer look under the fridge. The was a considerable amount of dust build up on the condeser coil that couldn't be reached with the vacuum was pretty dust covered. I actually used our leaf blower and blew every last speck out from under there.
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
what do you mean by freezer packs? the ice packs or that the freezer is packed.and is the freezer fan running?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
When I say freezer packs I mean the kind you'd use in portable cooler to keep food and drinks cold. The is also a cold compress us for icing down sore body parts. Yes the freezer fan runs but not constantly. I opened the freezer yesterday after work and it had risen to 30 degrees. The fan kicked on while I had it open and 2 hours later the freezer temp was down to -8.
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
ok so then it sounds as if the freezer is more or less empty except for these packsAnd if the freezer is empty you have nothing to hold the cold temperature , so when it does cool it get nice and cold ,but when it reaches temperature it then warms back up quickly , and if it also goes into defrost behind the rear freezer interior wall it get to 45 degrees to turn of the defrost heater. so that will raise the freezer temp and if you have nothing (food wise in the freezer) it will the temp will go up then as it advances out of defrost it will cool back down again .If everything is working when it is supposed to work and the tech verified that .I would recommend putting some 1/2 full plastic containers of water for them to freeze and see if the temperature level out
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The freezer is now about 1/4 full with the packs and cold compresses. It had been over 2/3s full but we had to toss all the food because of these temperature fluctuations. Our fridge had risen to nearly 60 degrees when both it and the freezer were well stocked. If a freezer and fridge full of food couldn't hold the temperature will bottled water make a difference?
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
ok if it was full of food and you had issues .is the condenser fan under the unit in the rear is it running? you may have to pull the unit out and remove the lower inspection cover. to see this.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I'll check this weekend and get back to you.
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
ok Just copy the conversations URL address and paste it to your favorites and reply back when you can then
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The fan looks like it is running fine (see attached video, I had to rename the mp4 extension to get it to attach). Yesterday when we left home the freezer was at -4 degrees and the fridge was 35. When we returned home in the evening 12 hours later the freezer was at 28 degrees and the fridge was 46. The compressor did not kick on while I had the freezer open. I turned the freezer temperature control down to the zero setting then right back up to 5 (max) and that kicked it on.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Right now the freezer is 12 degrees and fridge is 42 and the compressor is not running. Turning the freezer temperature control down to zero and then back up does not turn it on, although I did hear/feel the "click".
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
ok when you had the compressor not running was that rear condensing fan running ? and the rear cover when you looked at the fan and took the video did you put the cover back on the unit?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry, I didn't check that. I assumed the fan and the compressor ran in unison. I did put the back cover on when I was done. I check that this evening.
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
no this control every component has it`s own relay ,yes they used to run as one (the compressor and the Condenser fan ,but not on these newer electronic controlled designs.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The fan is not running without the compressor (and vice versa).
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
Ok you need to verify that both fans and the compressor are running when the unit is not cooling well.And this unit has a 8 hour mechanical timer which means it advances into defrost for every 8 hours for 30 minutes or until the defrost thermostat opens at 45 degrees.and that means the less items in the freezer the warmer the entire freezer will get when the unit is in defrost and just coming out of defrost.Just like a glass of iced tea the more ice in the glass the longer it will stay colder
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I assume you meant "verify that both fans and the compressor are running when the unit is not as cooling well". I can verify that this was what the service tech checked when he was here. He said my refrigerator had no issues with defrosting so I assumed the fans were running as expected, or at least the evaporator fan was. If you need need me to verify the condenser fan is running on its own as well do you have any suggestions on how to do that?
We had packed freezer packed full before and well lost well over $100 worth of food because it all spoiled, but we still left in there because we knew it needed to be full to run correctly. Nothing has changed whether we have the freezer 80% full or 25% The fridge still pushing 60 degrees at it's warmest. I'll be honest this is very frustrating. It seems to me as a non-professional that the only issue I have is that my refrigerator is not recognizing when it needs to turn on. Once it does start cooling it does a great job getting to where i needs to be in a reasonable amount of time. Getting cold enough has never been a problem. Run at 40 (not 60) and turn off at 32. If it did that the freezer issue would be taking care of itself, would it not? Is that not a simply thermostat issue?
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
yes when the unit stops cooling you need to verify if both fans and the compressor are STILL running or not ,The freezer Evaporator is what cools the entire unit both freezer and fresh food .if one is effected both ar effected the freezer is harder to detect because it is colder and has to rise much higher to see the difference.And I can go by what the tech has told you or we can check these thing for sure ,because his test did not find anything ,but you still have a problem.And I`m guessing here but either the condenser fan or the compressor is shutting off to be able to make the temperature fluctuate so much
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
So how can I tell if the fridge is not cooling when it is running? All the evidence I've observed to this point indicates it is cooling like a champ. I can tell you that I have never seen the temperature rise or even stay the same when a 3 are running for any period of time. Perhaps I've never been around it when it is defrost mode. If I check it while it is running and go back 20 minutes later it has always been much colder. If I am actually near it when it shuts off it is always cold (the fridge is at or below 32 and the freezer is at -10%ish). As I've said, the fridge never seems to shut off to soon, it just doesn't turn on when it needs to.
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
if you find it close or above 32 degrees just check it to see if all the are working ( both fans and the compressor)
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The freezer or the fridge? The freezer usually never gets that warm and the fridge rarely gets that cold.
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
does not really make a difference Freezer or fresh food section ,when you see either section has warmed up ,just check to see if everything is running or not.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, when it was cooling last evening all three were running. It was running when we got home. Fridge was 32and the freezer was 12. I che
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Correction. The fridge was 32 and the freezer was -2. This morning the fridge was 44 and the freezer was 14 and none of the three were running
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
ok so the temps this morning are still with in range the fresh food is 2-3 degrees higher then I would like but the unit may have just come out of a defrost mode also.Lets let it run for a few days and see how it acts . when it is cooling it cools great ,but we need to be able to find out when the temps go up what is shutting down to cause it to go up .On average the freezer temp may go up and down 10-20 degrees and the fresh food temps possibly 4-6 degrees when running properly
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I added a 30 pack of bottled water to the freezer last week and have been tracking the temp daily since. The added frozen water seems to have regulated the refrigerator temp. All my observations were between 32 and 40 degrees. The freezer on the other hand has only gone below zero once and is regularly in the 10 to 20 degree range. This is with both setting turned to maximum.
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
ok and 0 or 10 -20 is below freezing ,what temperature are you wanting the freezer to maintain?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, your fridge should be set at or below 40 F (4 C). Your freezer should be set at 0 F (-18 C).
Expert:  Whrlp Master Tech replied 1 year ago.
Well in my 34 years of doing service repairs in south Florida I can tell you very seldom will you find a unit where the freezer maintains 0 ° normally 10-15 ° is the coldest you will see.Now if it was winter and the house was cooler you might get the unit down to 5-10°And if it gets to 0° when it cycles off ,or you open the door ,or the unit goes into a defrost mode the temp will rise up.If you still feel there is something wrong with the unit I would Recommend you call for a in home service call.