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Kelly, Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  Highly accurate diagnostician with over 30 years experience!
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Kenmore refrigerator side by side. The fan in the freezer

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Kenmore refrigerator side by side. The fan in the freezer section runs constantly where as it used to shut off and only run occasionally. What is the cause?
Hi, thanks for using My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am anxious to help you fix your appliance! In most cases, the fan in the freezer runs when the compressor runs. Have you noticed the refrigerator running (compressor, too) excessively? How are the temperatures inside the freezer and fresh food sections? Can you see any frost on the back wall inside the freezer? May I please have your model number so I am able to provide you with accurate, model specific information?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. I.m at the house now. Model no. is .NNN-NN-NNNN Actually, I looked and there is frost built up on the back wall of the.freezer(inside).
Great, thank you! The frost on the back wall indicates that one of the three defrost components have failed; the heater, bimetal or control. You will need a meter to test which of the three are faulty. Do you have a meter to test continuity with?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
yes I have a simple meter
Okay, the easiest way to test is to remove the rear panel from inside the freezer. Once removed, with the coil still cold and frosted, test the heater and bimetal for continuity. Both are pictured below. If either test open (no continuity), that is the faulty part. If both test good, the defrost control is faulty. Let me know what the results of this test are.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
unfortunately once I realized it was frosted up I took the panel of defrosted it completely. Does that change anything about how to test it should be conducted?
Yes, but only with the bimetal. It must be cold so it closes to provide you with accurate test results. An hour or so of the refrigerator running should be adequate to be sure it has chilled enough to for it to close.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
okay the heating element tests good. waiting for the coils to get cold.
Okay, if the bimetal tests good, you will need to replace the control. Let me know what you read once the bimetal gets cold.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok. The bi-metal is good too.
Okay, so by process of elimination, that leaves only the control, number 5 in the pats breakdown, pictured and available below.

Control Assembly $141.22

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, thanks. You guys are a great resource. I will consider what I want to do with the refrigerator. Tgis is the second time the control board haz gone out.
You may have some luck unplugging the refrigerator for about 15 minutes to reset the control. Sometimes they glitch, similar to a home computer, and will reset with a power cycling. Please let me know if you have any additional questions and thank you very much!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I went ahead and bought the control board and replaced it, but the fan in the freezer still will not shut off. Is there anything else that can cause this problem?
The fan will run any time the compressor runs. Cleaning the coils at the bottom of the refrigerator and making sure the area around the cabinet allows for air flow will help. Most refrigerators have about a 70% duty cycle. They will run 7 out of 10 minutes, cycling as necessary. Several things affect this cycling, including ambient room temperature, amount of product in the refrigerator, the cleanliness of the condenser coils, to name the most important.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I will check out those things.
Sounds good, keep me posted!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
okay I've checked a few things. The compressor does actually continue to run withoit shutting off. I have actually moves does refrigerator now out of the house it was in and into my garage. Last night the temp in the garage was about 85. With temp settings on 7 for the freezwr and refrig, I got 20 degrees in freezer and about 60 in the refrig. initially I let it run for about an hour to get cold. Then I stayed with it for about 20 min continuously, but the freezer fan and the compressor never shut off. I did see that the coils need to be cleaned.
Allow it to run for 24 hours if it has been unplugged to cycle properly, an hour is not sufficient time. Watch the cycling after 24 hours and cleaning the coils to see how it performs. At midpoint on the dials, the freezer should be around 0-10* F and the fresh food about 34-38* f.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Will do.
Sounds good, keep me posted. Cleaning the coils will have a huge impact, especially with the temps being higher in the summer.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Ok, I let the refrig run for 24hrs and cleaned the coils. Howdver, it still would not shut off. The refrig side temp got down to about 10 degrees. is ther an internal thermostat? It is about 85 in mygarage but it still seems like it should shut down.
If the refrigerator got that cold, you have an issue with the control or the air damper not closing. If you turn the refrig down all the way to the lowest setting, does it continue to run?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I had it set on 5. I could turn it up to 7, but it doesn't seem like it would chamge anytbing as far as running continually.
Well, I suspect you have a control issue. There are several possibilities, but the control is the most likely to fail.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Would the control make the compressor run continously.
Sure, that is where the power to the compressor comes from. If you order the control through the link below, that company allows returns for an entire year. There would be no risk in replacing the control. If it didn't solve your problem, you can return it!

Control Assembly $141.22 <---- CLICK HERE FOR THE CONTROL

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thanks, I thought you meant a different control, may something specifically related to the air damper.

Just to make sure I'm on the same page here -- I have already purchased and replaced the part (the control board) using the link you had sent me previously.

However, the compressor and fan are running continuously which was the original problem. Does this mean the board I bought is defective?
In that case, likely not. Can you tell if the air damper is opening and closing when you adjust the controls?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
It looks like the air dmper does not open or close when the temp setting is changed.