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Tyler Z.
Tyler Z., Appliance Doc
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 81874
Experience:  9+ years being an appliance technician with factory training.
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Kenmore Elite Mod 53709201 Fridge not cooling (60* F) Freezer

Customer Question

Kenmore Elite Mod 53709201
Fridge not cooling (60* F) Freezer freezing (below 27*)
Cleaned very dirty/blanketed coils still not cooling. I think the fan that transfers cold air from freezer is not blowing. How do I troubleshoot this?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 2 years ago.
So the first thing you need to do is pull everything out of the freezer and remove all the shelves and shelf rails. Remove the screws going into the lower back panel inside the freezer and remove the back panel. If the fan above the silver coils isn't running, then you indeed need to replace the fan motor that you suspect is bad. If the fan motor is running, then look at the silver evaporator coils below the fan. Are they packed with frost from top to bottom? Some frost on top but not the bottom? Lightly frosted from top to bottom? etc...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
fan is spinning strong, coils slightly frosted at the bottom
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 2 years ago.
OK that's a big problem. It means you have a freon leak I'm sorry to say. The coils should be lightly frosted from top to bottom any time the refrigerator is trying to cool. You'll want to call warranty if the unit is less than 5 years old because it is likely covered under warranty for the repair. If not, it would be a $350-500 repair.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Went back to look after the door was closed for a while. Now more frosted bottom to almost the top.
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 2 years ago.
Ok that looks good. So if the fan is running and the coils are lightly frosting from top to bottom either the unit is working again or you have a bad thermostat or the compressor is overloading and cutting out when it shouldn't---those would be the options. You'll have to put it back together and just monitor it. If the refrigerator shuts off all the fans and motors and it never gets down to temperature, you need a new thermostat. If the refrigerator runs continuously but never gets cold enough, your compressor is overloading and cutting out and you'd need a new compressor.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
there is no air flowing inside the fridge at the top left vent. should there be?
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 2 years ago.
Not while the cover is off for the coils or the air can't flow properly. But even when it is on, the air flow is minimal at best. Also, if there was a problem with that vend (called the damper) then the refrigerator would warm up but the freezer would be TOO cold and that isn't what you're experiencing at all so there is no point in looking for something that can't cause your problem as that will only confuse you further.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
no flow after the covers were replaced.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
the freezer has no problem cooling to 0 degrees. fridge does not get below 58.
The vent/damper never opens. is that a faulty damper or thermostat?
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 2 years ago.
OK so that would be a bad damper assembly if the freezer temperature is correct. If a thermostat was bad, the freezer would actually not cool properly either since they use one another to cool. Just replace the damper and you should be good to go again.
Expert:  Tyler Z. replied 2 years ago.
Hello again. I'm just following up because I haven't heard back from you and I see this question is still open. Is there anything else I can help you with?