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Appliance Guru
Appliance Guru, Owner and Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 14025
Experience:  Over 15 yrs. experience with 10,000+ in home repairs.
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Barry, I have an old refrigerator that's not working right

Customer Question

Hi Barry, I have an old refrigerator that's not working right and was hoping to get some help. The freezer works and is cold, but the top fresh food area is warm. I found a technical manual online: http://elektrotanya.com/whirlpool_ikea_900_162_28__cbi_641_w.pdf/download.html
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Appliance
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have taken a look inside. I don't see a back panel that is removable in the freezer section. I just see metal coils. In the top section, I don't see any paneling to remove. There is a dial on the top right side that goes from 1-7. The freezer part is cold and there is frost along the coils. The top part is just warm. Sometimes there is condensation on the top back wall.
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 4 months ago.

Hello and thanks for using this service, if you have been waiting do not worry or get upset. I am Appliance Guru an extremely experienced tech on the site and I try to get to as many customers as I can. I just picked up your question now. NOTE it takes time for me to type research and add links so please wait for me to respond back I can only do this so fast. Secondly I am not paid anything until you rate my service good using the STAR RATING LINK at the top of your page, the money is paid to the site not me directly.

Are the evaporator coils all caked in frost?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Are the evaporator coils the metal coils in the freezer part? Sorry, please assume that I know nothing about refrigerators.The metal coils in the freezer area are caked in frost, yes.
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 4 months ago.

Yes that is them, that means the unit is not defrosting. SO either the defrost thermostat is bad or the heater is bad most likely on the unit how handy are you?

All I ask is please use the Star Rating Link at the top of your page before leaving, that is the only way I am paid anything through the site and that will also get you a DIRECT LINK emailed to you to get back to me!.....tips are greatly appreciated so thank you very much for using this service. If you have any other questions just post back to me here anytime!

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Well, I don't have a lot of handyman knowledge, but if you can walk me through the steps, I should be able to give it a try. I'm in semi-rural part of town so I don't have immediate access to spare parts and such.I see that the top compartment doesn't have air vents or anything, just back plates that should get cold.
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 4 months ago.

Defrost the evaporator and get to the defrost thermostat that is clipped to the evaporator check it for damage like this one...if you see that it is bad 100% and the issue...let me know what you find.

CLICK HERE

All I ask is please use the Star Rating Link at the top of your page before leaving, that is the only way I am paid anything through the site and that will also get you a DIRECT LINK emailed to you to get back to me!.....tips are greatly appreciated so thank you very much for using this service. If you have any other questions just post back to me here anytime!

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
How should I defrost the evaporator? and will the defrost thermostat be out in the open and not behind a panel or anything? how should i check for damage?
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 4 months ago.

Use a hairdryer, hot water or a steamer to defrost it. You can leave it unplugged as well. Once defrosted you will be able to see the defrost thermostat clipped to the top corner of the evaporator, you can just visually inspect it there for signs of damage. Just like the picture I sent you.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
hi, sorry for the long delay. i havent had a lot of free time so this process may be slow.i took a look and didn't see any damage. to be honest, im not even sure i was able to locate the defrost thermostat. i tried to take a picture and upload it, maybe it can help some.
Customer: replied 4 months ago.
here's the picture
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 4 months ago.

That is not a self defrosting unit, if it is not cooling correctly now after being defrosted the unit has a sealed system issue and is not going to be repairable.

All I ask is please use the Star Rating Link at the top of your page before leaving, that is the only way I am paid anything through the site and that will also get you a DIRECT LINK emailed to you to get back to me!.....tips are greatly appreciated so thank you very much for using this service. If you have any other questions just post back to me here anytime!

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
that's too bad. so i guess there's not much we can do with it but throw it away. thank u for ur help.
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 4 months ago.

Yes sorry for the news!

All I ask is please use the Star Rating Link at the top of your page before leaving, that is the only way I am paid anything through the site and that will also get you a DIRECT LINK emailed to you to get back to me!.....tips are greatly appreciated so thank you very much for using this service. If you have any other questions just post back to me here anytime!