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Old 08-15-2007, 07:59 PM   #1
jfrizzell
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Default Calling all Refrigerator Experts

Any help would be appreciated. I may call a repairman tomorrow if I can't figure anything out tonight, but I'm hoping maybe it's something simple.

I have a Sears (Kenmore) side-by-side refrigerator/freezer that is approximately 4 years old. Two nights ago we noticed water dripping out of the ice cube dispenser. Closer examination revealed that the ice was melting...and so was everything else in the freezer. Everything came out and went into our deep freeze.

I was concerned about the refrigerator side as well and put a digital meat thermometer in there to check. It was 38 degrees. No problem. The next morning, the fridge side is still working great and now the freezer side is cold again. Last night the freezer side was back to not working again.

Any thoughts on what the trouble might be? I've thought maybe a bad defrost timer or defrost thermostat, but I'm not sure. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I know there are a few refrigeration gurus on the board.

Thanks,
James

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Old 08-15-2007, 08:25 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like you have the problem pegged.

The other problem is it's a Kenmore.

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Old 08-15-2007, 08:35 PM   #3
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Make sure you don't have a ton of cat hair/dust on the coils underneath/on the back.

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Old 08-15-2007, 08:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobby_M
Make sure you don't have a ton of cat hair/dust on the coils underneath/on the back.
Thanks. I checked that as well. I did have some of both and cleaned the coil, but it hasn't helped the situation.
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abracadabra
Sounds to me like you have the problem pegged.

The other problem is it's a Kenmore.
Yeah, probably wouldn't have been my first choice, but it came with the house.

Now I just need to figure out where the timer and thermostat are located and test them.

One other thing to note, the compressor seems to be humming louder than normal. Of course they always hum, but it seems like when it kicks on, it's humming louder or higher pitched than normal. Could that be an indication of a failing compressor?
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Old 08-16-2007, 05:12 AM   #6
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Might want to do a power off defrost on the freezer side as the defrost systems are usally unable to deal with a major frost build up. Sometimes the door is left open enough to let in sufficient moisture to completely ice up the freezer coil and the defrost system only partially defrosts the coil, which gives similar symptoms. The typical defrost cycle is every 8 hours, 15-20 minute duration. Some of the timers are behind the inlet grill at floor level, or next to the compressor in the back. Look for a 3" square box with a central shaft with a screwdriver slot in the center as that is used to manually advance the timer to the defrost cycle.

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Old 08-23-2007, 08:52 PM   #7
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Quick update on the fridge - it's the compressor. The repair guy came and looked at it today. Of course he doesn't have a a compressor with him and has to order one so it's going to be a bit longer.

The good news is the compressor is covered under the 5 year warranty. The better news is that I've convinced SWMBO that we need a spare fridge to use in the mean time...and then use as a kegerator! So now, I'm searching for deals on fridges.

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Old 08-24-2007, 01:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abracadabra
The other problem is it's a Kenmore.
No offense, but I've had good luck with Kenmores... Especially if you get the Sears 5 year warranty on them. After you've had one repaired a few times, they tend to become die hard reliable.



Also, if he has a side by side... The refridge is normally cooled by the freezer by adjustable vents.
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Old 09-22-2007, 03:54 PM   #9
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Hey frizzel,

I'm not too sure about the nature of the issue with the type of refrigeration equipment you are using but I've had the pleasure of finding books about refrigerator repair at the local library.

In your case it appears the compressor let go. I replaced a defroster coil and a timer on the old fridge I use for cold-ageing my beer and it works just fine. Parts: about $80.

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Old 09-24-2007, 03:03 AM   #10
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It turned out to be a bad compressor. Had it replaced and life is good again. Oh and the end result was we decided we needed another refrigerator "just in case". That of course will be the kegerator in the garage!

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