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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 81832
Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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We own a 13-year-old KitchenAid built-in 36" freezer-on-bottom

Customer Question

We own a 13-year-old KitchenAid built-in 36" freezer-on-bottom fridge (KBRL36FKS01) that has a freezer issue. Freezer door not sealing properly so everything in the refrigerator is freezing up. Current repairman believes that there is a leak somewhere in the system that is causing the freezer to run too much, causing the refrigerator freeze issue. He did a test of the system and noticed a presence of a leak that can't be identified. He also found coolant (green color) in the evaporator pan underneath. He says the only way to fix the problem is to do a rebuild, compressor, evaporator, coils, etc. Does this sound correct?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
Hello, and thank you for using this service. I'll be helping you with your problem today.

So to be clear, is the refrigerator or the freezer section too warm? Or is the refrigerator just too cold and things are freezing inside the refrigerator?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks. The refrigerator top shelf freezes everything. The freezer makes ice, ice cream stays pretty hard, but the temp reset button always flashes. when I set the freezer temp to negative 1, it jumps to negative 7 and the refrigerator temp (set at 46) starts blinking. Repairman says he believes there is a leak because when he put the pressure gauge on the system, it registered negative 10, telling him there is a leak. Does that help?

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
That does help. The pressure should read around 0 and if he's getting a reading of -10 then he is correct that there is a leak. These older Kitchen Aid units do require you to replace almost the entire refrigeration system when there is a leak which is really unfortunate, but it sounds like the technician has diagnosed the problem correctly. The unit will continue to run all the time trying to get the freezer down to the set temperature even if the refrigerator section has reached the proper temperature. One thing I would check is to make sure the fan up by the compressor is running. If the fan isn't running, that can cause the compressor to run inefficiently and create the same symptoms. But if the fan is running, you do need a complete rebuild which normally costs about $1300 or so here in Colorado.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

That makes me feel much better. Thank you.


We are being quoted $1800 in Atlanta. One last question: Is it worth doing the repair or should we consider a new unit? It seems to be approaching a number in which we might need to think about a new one.

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
Most people around here do the repair because it's definitely not cheap to replace the appliance. If you repair it, you will likely get about 8-10 years without needing another service.

Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 3 years ago.
I'm just following up to see how your appliance is doing since I haven't heard back from you and this question is still open. Is there anything else that I can help you with today?