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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
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Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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Refrigerator question. I have a 14.8 cu ft , top-mounted refrig/freezer.

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Refrigerator question. I have a 14.8 cu ft , top-mounted refrig/freezer. Frigidaire. The freezer seems fine, but the bottom part is assuming room temp.
Hello, and thank you for using this service. I'll be helping you with your problem today.

If you open the freezer door, do you hear a fan running inside the freezer? Also, if you look at the back panel inside the freezer, is there frost build up on the back panel?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Yes. Fan is running in freezer. There is complete frost-over of the back vents in the freezer. I assume that is where the refrigerator gets its cold air from?

So you are correct, the refrigerator cools by that fan blowing air down to the refrigerator section. If it's packed with frost then the air can't circulate down to the refrigerator. This sounds like a common issue and it means that your unit is not longer defrosting in the freezer so the refrigerator is not able to steal air to cool down. You'll need to either unplug the unit for 24 hours or remove everything of the freezer and remove the lower back panel inside the freezer to defrost it with a hair dryer. Once all the frost is thawed out, the unit will start working again. To make sure the problem doesn't come back, you'll need to replace the faulty defrost component. The most likely part that has failed is the defrost thermostat which is a 1" round device clipped onto the top of the silver coils. Below is a link to the part.

CLICK HERE for thermostat

If you have a multimeter to test, you can check continuity through the defrost heater at the bottom of all the frost as well as the thermostat. If either part doesn't have continuity, then that part is faulty and needs to be replaced.

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you. I had this exact problem last September. I did a complete shut down/defrost. When I fired it back up, it worked fine. I will do the same again now.

alright sounds good.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Some follow up thoughts: When I had the same problem last year a technician recommended that I replace the Defrost timer. The refrigerator magically fixed itself and worked fine for nearly a year. Then the problem returned. You recommended replacing the defrost thermostat. Would I be wise to order both the thermostat and timer replacement parts? Then, next time it happens, I have the spare parts on hand and I can just replace both. Thx... Terry

If you don't have a multimeter to test the thermostat, you can definitely order both parts, but normally just the thermostat is the part that fails. But if you wanted to have the part on hand in case the problem re-occurs, then you can order both.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I do have a multimeter. Now is the time for me to be doing this, while the fridge is off and foodless. Also, is it located behind the back panel of the freezer? Thx

yes, it's located behind the freezer panel where all the frost was building up. The thermostat is a 1" round device clipped onto the top of the silver evaporator coils. If it doesn't have continuity through it, then it needs to be replaced.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thanks so much. I will go exploring now.

ok good luck.