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Appliance Guru
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Experience:  Over 15 yrs. experience with 10,000+ in home repairs.
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I have a Kenmore Bottom Mount refrigerator model #69872. Both

Resolved Question:

I have a Kenmore Bottom Mount refrigerator model #69872. Both the fridge and freezer are warm. Virtually no cooling at all. I have cleaned the condensor coils, checked the defrost timer, checked for ice on the coils (they are clean and frost-free), checked to be sure the lights are going off, confirmed both fans are working and the compressor appears to be operating as well (it was hot to the touch at first, but now is just warm and I can feel it vibrating). What now?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 5 years ago.
Hello and thank you for using this service.

If the compressor was hot to the touch it was probably not running. If it is running and vibrating now and the freezer fan is working and blowing air it should cool down. The compressor may be bad or the relay that controls the compressor may be defective. That is very common. Sometimes it tries and tries to start, but can not and the compressor will get very hot. Then it may finally start and run.

Now you have to make sure all of this is running,

Freezer fan
Condenser Fan(next to compressor)

If all of that is running it should be cooling. The compressor relay would be one of the most common things to fail and would cause the compressor to be hot to the touch. Check this stuff and see what is happening
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you. Sounds logical. Freezer fan and condensor fan are definitely working. Compressor appears to be as well. How do I determine if it is the relay or the compressor that is bad? I do note that the air blowing in does not feel very cold...
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 5 years ago.
There really is not a test you can do on the relay, but what you can do to see if it is not working is unplug the unit and plug it back in withing a few seconds. This will cause a short cycle on the compressor. The compressor will humm and then click off on the overload. Now in about 5 minutes it should try and start again once it has cooled down. If it humms again for 10 secs and clicks off again either the relay or the compressor is bad.

Do you have the complete model number off the unit...there should be 3 numbers a dot and then about 7 more numbers.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 5 years ago.
Ok this clears things up,

On that particular unit you will more than likely see TECUMSEH with a blue Indian head on the compressor. They had numerous compressor failures on that unit and have supplied a new one to take its place. The best test is to short cycle the compressor...unplug and then plug it back in. If the compressor makes a twangy buzzing noise when it tries to start...not a low pitched humm then your compressor is junk. I have seen so many of those compressors go bad on that unit it is crazy. That unit probably is 6-8yrs old. Check this out and see. It will not be feasable to fix as the compressor codt and installation will run you about 600-700 from a company to do as you need licensing for the freon to get it done.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I am taking more of your time than I should, I think. The compressor says "matsushita" on it. I short-cycled it and the fan made more noise than anything. Compressor just starts to vibrate softly. I know that twangy sound you referenced; we used to have a freezer that did that (a Kenmore, now that I think about it). So, I guess we're stumped?With everything running properly seems like it should be cooling down, but it's not.
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 5 years ago.
Ok if all is running and nothing is cooling down, then you may have a sealed system leak or failure in the compressor and it is not pumping freon. If that is all running you can remove the back freezer panel and look at the evaporator. if the unit has been running for at least 1hr the evaporator should be frosty looking and if you lick you finger and touch it it should stick. The entire evaporator should be frosty not just part of it. If it is not and just looks like bare aluminum with no frost then there is a failuire in the sealed system and you will not be repairing that either. Check it out.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Evaporator is totally frost-free and not even cold to touch. I think I better shift to Craigslist and find a new fridge! Thanks for your help. I appreciate you hanging in there with me.
Expert:  Appliance Guru replied 5 years ago.
Yes what kind of gives it away is the fact the you unplugged it and plugged it back in asnd the compressor started right back up. That is not normal at all. Something may be broken off inside and it is not pumping at all, then the compressor will start right back up as there is no load to stop it.

Please read below before leaving...thanks and have a great weekend!
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