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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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My Whirlpool refrigerator runs briefly, freezes and cools,

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My Whirlpool refrigerator runs briefly, freezes and cools, then shuts off.
When it is off, my ice cubes begin to melt and I can't get it to start back up without shaking the refrigerator. Is there a switch going bad or a relay that need resetting? I have tried to raise the setting on the control knobs, but to no avail. Can I fix this or do I have to junk the unit?

Hi,Welcome to Just Answer, My name isXXXXX will be helping you with your appliance issue today.


can you get us the full model #?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
The model number is XXXXX Again the manufacturer is Whirlpool and it is a side-by-side refrigerator freezer with the ice maker and water dispenser in the door.
ok, you say you shake it and it starts again? is the fan in the freezer running before you shake it?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Nothing is running before I shake it. Sometimes even shaking it doesn't work. It has a mind of it's own. Someone suggested that there is something called a condenser switch (which activates the compressor) which could be causing the problem. What do you think? As I said, once it comes on, it does everything it should do, freezing and cooling the refrigerator compartment. It just seems that the timer is off to allow it to cycle off and then turn back on once the temp. inside warms up some.
I believe the defrost timer is bad,you need to check that first, this is located in the control panel inside the refrigerator section, if you look straight up where the controls are you will see a hole with the gray out of the timer in it, this is the defrost timer, it could also be the cold control that's bad, wiggle the knob on the cold control number nine on this diagram and see if the refrigerator starts, if it does that's bad, also take a flat head screwdriver and turn the little gray part on the timer and see if the refrigerator comes on, if so most likely your timer is bad, part number six on the diagram, it has to be one of the other, let me know and I will be to information on where the purchase the part, thanks, Bryan
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
You seem to be on the right track. As soon as I got your answer, I went to the unit (which was not running at the time) and opened the door of the refrigerator side. I just banged on the panel where the control knobs are and it started right up. Are the parts you suggested which need replacing something I should try to do, or should I get a repairman to come with the right tools to do the job?
What you can probably fix this yourself, there are screws going up through the control panel holding it on, unplug refrigerator in remove those and drop the control panel down, then you will see the parts I'm talking about, check for any loose connections sometimes these get corroded don't contact correctly let me know thanks, Bryan
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Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Bryan, I have dissected the control panel on the refrigerator and have isolated the cold control assembly. The lead running from the back goes where? Does it pull out, or do I have to solder the old lead to the new control knob? If I have to take the whole lead and knob out, how far into the refrigerator must I travel to get to the other end?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Still waiting for an answer. I have my refrigerator unplugged and am trying to disassemble the control knob. I need to know do I just pull the lead out of the housing or take the rest of the panel loose to get to the bulb end and pull the entire lead out to install the new control knob.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
What happened to my question? I still would like an answer. You advertised unlimited answers and allowed follow-up questions. Also what about my 30 day free trial? You quickly charged me for my previous inquiry. Please help!!!!
sorry I have had the flu and been extremely sick. the cold control just plugs in with two 1/4" connectors , you don't need to solder anything. you have to drop the whole control panel to get to it. sorry for the delay in answering.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
<p>Sorry to hear you have been sick. Hope you get better soon. But give me a bit more info. I asked about the long coiled lead which attaches to the back of the control knob. When I looked at mine, it goes into a white cable sheath toward the back of the refrigerator compartment along the top inside cabinet. Do I have to take the whole panel apart or can I just pull the lead out of the housing to get it out?  </p><p>Also I asked why am I being asked to pay additional money for additional questions.  I'm still working on the original problem and the ad says I get unlimited questions for 30 days.  What's up?  It's not the money, just the principle, you know.  Times are tight and so is money.  What do you estimate the cost of the control knob to be?</p>
ok, thats the capillary tube and that you cannot break on the old one when you take it out. this has chemical liquid in it and is dangerous like mercury, the new cold control comes with that, you need to drop the whole control and take it out of the refrigerator, slide the plastic tube off of the old one and put it on the new control. then install it the same way the tube was run before, it goes back to the rear of the refrigerator section and is usually wrapped around the damper in the back of the refrigerator, (inside) the diagrams are vague at best but you will see where it goes, it will run back to part # XXXXX on this diagram, in the left hand top rear of the refrigerator section. hope this helps, and thanks for your concern, I feel a lot better, thanks Bryan
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So I still have to take the inside of the refrigerator apart to properly connect this lead?

I really don't want to mess this up. What about the price of the part. Since it's as dangerous as you say, it must be pretty expensive to replace. It's not that I'm all thumbs, but I can't be without a refrigerator while I play with this, one shot will have to do!!!! I've gotten an estimate of $60 to $100 for the part, depending on the part number. Is this about right, or should I continue to shop around?

what I meant by dangerous is you don't want to break this tube it has harmful liquid in it, the part # XXXXX(NNN) NNN-NNNN Sears sells it for $67.19 but you can search the net for a better price with the part # XXXXX just goggle it. and yes you need to at least drop the control panel down and the back where the damper is.