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Tim Alan
Tim Alan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 1256
Experience:  Amana, A&E (Whirlpool) ,and Maytag factory service
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I have a Whirlpool fidge that is cold in the freezer dept below

Customer Question

I have a Whirlpool fidge that is cold in the freezer dept below but hot in the top refridge section above. The model # XXXXX XXXXX and serial # XXXXX What do I need to do. I have turned the switch up to 7 but with no luck.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Hi my name isXXXXX will try to help you with your issue. That is a result of restricted airflow from the freezer compartment to the refrigerator. Normally it's a defrost problem and ice has built up on the coil thus blocking the airflow. It also could be a bad fan motor too. Look inside the freezer and check to make sure that the fan is working and also check to see if there is frost buildup on the rear back panel inside the freezer. Let me know what you find.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
There is frost buildup on the back wall of the freezer compartment. I can hear the fan running too.
Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Ok then the unit is not defrosting and ice has buildup and is blocking airflow. You have a part failure, most of the time it's a bad defrost thermostat but also could be the electronic control too. Just a minute and I will locate a tech sheet and we can test some things, I will be back in a few minutes.
Tim Alan and 3 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Ok we are going to try a forced defrost with the control. You will be pressing on the control buttons at the top of the refrigerator. Open the doors on the refrigerator and hold down both of the door switches at the top, the control should be dark and then press the refrigerator - button that is the minus button or lower temp button 3 times. Then release the door switches and f and d should come up then press the refrigerator - button one more time. An S should come up when it does press the refrigerator + button and an l should come up. The unit will be in a defrost mode then you can close the doors and open the freezer and see if it defrosts and it could take a while, if it defrosts it's the control if not it's the dfrost thermostat.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I have held the door switches down and when the lights are out, then pressed the minus button 3 times and the f and d does not come up. It still shows 4 which is what the temp is set on. I tried this 3 or 4 times with the same results.


Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Ok lets try the service test and see if that works, do the same thing but press the refrigerator + key instead of the minus. If you cannot get it into the test mode unplug the unit or turn the breaker off for 5 minutes and then try it again. When you have it in service mode an s and an e should be on the display. Let me know when you get to that point and leave the doors open.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok now we have an E
Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Ok press the refrigerator + key once more
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

The fan motor just cut off. Does this mean the feezer is defrosting?


Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Ok it's in the service test mode what is on the display?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Nothing, it is not lit up.
Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Ok press the + one more time the refrigerator + one more time
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Now there an S showing. I just pressed it once.
Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Your only getting 1 symbol there should be a symbol in the freezer display and one in the refrigerator display.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The freezer says 1 and the fridge says S. I had the freezer compartment open while it was off and the freezer fan started back on and both the top numbers when back to 4. I started the process back over again after shutting the freezer compartment and have it back to freezer 1 and fridge S again
Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Ok we know what is wrong it's the control the s means there is a closed circuit through the heater let it go now and it should defrost this may take a while to fully defrost. To permanently repair the issue the control will need to be replaced, I will get the part number for you.
Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Electronic control

PART NUMBER: 12868513


this is the part number when you have it fully defrosted it will give you 3-4 days before it becomes plugged up again. The control is located in the control box, the entire control box can be pulled down it is held in with tabs, remove the door latch at the top and start in one of the corners of the control box insert a small screw driver in between it and the liner top and pull down, go from right to left and work your way across the front until it is loose.

Expert:  Tim Alan replied 5 years ago.
Item 5 is the control