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bobvanhalder 06-29-2008 03:54 PM

Kenmore fridge not cooling, freezer ok
Kenmore model 253.62812202 Top Mount Refrigerator. Freezer ok. Fan for fridge not running. I took the cover for the evaperator coils off and the fan started running. I did notice that the coils had some ice on them and there was some ice in the drain. I removed the ice in the drain and assumed the defrost would take care of the coils.
Now a week later the renter calls me and says the fridge is not working again. Obviously there is something else wrong. I have told the renter to empty the freezer, leave the freezer door open, and unplug the fridge for for 3 or 4 hours. I'm thinking that this will get the fridge running again for them temporally, but I need a logical plan to figure out what is wrong.
Any ideas?
Thanks very much.

DangerMouse 08-01-2008 08:03 PM

check your fan SPEED, i had to replace mine because it was too slow to do it's job. it happens.
if still under warranty, they'll mail you a new one free, at least they did us.

rosehillraymond 08-01-2008 09:59 PM

Member MdangermouseM
I would be interested in knowing how to check the fan speed. Seems like a good technic to know. I assume one must also be able to sense when the speed is too slow to do the job.
Best Regards

Newbie bobvanhalder
I think the evaporator is in the freezer. So, if the freezer is OK why take off the cover. Are you referring to the cover behind the fridge maybe?

Mike Warner 08-01-2008 10:57 PM

Don't go buying and replacing parts yet, but the simplest solution I can guess at is the defrost timer ($28.99) which is located in the front bottom left-hand corner. You can manually put the fridge into defrost by turning a small recessed knob with a screwdriver. The refrigerator should come out of the defrost cycle and start running again if the defrost timer is working . If the fridge won't come out of the defrost cycle, then manually turn the defrost timer again with a screwdriver to start the cooling cycle. I'm not sure how much time the defrost cycle takes, but I would guess no more than 45 minutes. If the refrigerator gets cold again, then replace this part.

If the defrost time is working (the refrigerator's compressor motor automatically comes back on) then the defrost timer is OK and you have other problems. The cheapest one being the drain tube (where defrost water travels to the bottom pan of the refrigerator to evaporate) which may be clogged with gunk. This would back up water which would freeze. You can check the bottom pan when the refrigerator is on defrost to see if some water flows into it.

Did you get water in this bottom pan when you turned the refrigerator off? If so, then the tube is not clogged. AND, if the defrost timer is OK then you have either a defrost thermostat or defrost heaters which are not working. You need an ohm meter to check continuity through the defrost heaters, which involves removing everything from the freezer, then exposing the evaporator coil. There is a strap-evaporator/heater ($9.98) and a defrost heater kit ($25.60) which can be replaced. A defrost thermostat is a small button like object clipped to the evaporator coil. It is normally closed until it heats up, and thats when it breaks the circuit to the defrost heater. Sometimes these small defrost thermostats go bad (are open circuited), but your defrost heater is still good. If your defrost heaters show continuity through the ohm meter, then the defrost thermostat is probably the culprit. You can probably get on from an appliance parts store, or scavenge one from a junked refrigerator.

I like Kenmore appliances mostly for the fact that you can get the parts from Sears, and see the various parts diagrams of each model on their website. My dryer is 25 years old, and my fridge was at least that old (and still working) when I downsized to a smaller, more efficient model.

It helped being a major appliance repairman (if only for 9 months) 35 years ago.

Good luck, nowadays a service call costs at least $50, when and before they show up at your door.

Mike Warner

DangerMouse 08-02-2008 07:01 AM

in our fridge the fan in the freezer IS the fridge's source for cold air. if the fan is going too slow, it causes freeze ups. simply removing the cover in the freezer and looking told me it was too slow. hardly rotating at all. if it's not spinning away happily, i'd look into that first as it seems the cheapest to fix! however, as the others state, it could be other things as well. i was just sharing personal experience, your problem sounds a lot like mine. *good luck*

Mike Warner 08-02-2008 11:13 AM

MdangerousMouse is right insofar as the fan is a key point in keeping the refrigerator cold. There has to be cold air being pulled down off the freezer evaporator coil to cool the bottom part of the fridge. I did have to replace a fan once because it didn't move enough air.

A freeze up around the fan like you first found may have stopped the air circulation. Likewise the freezer evaporator coil has to have air circulation through it. A defrost problem in the evaporator coil blocks air circulation with ice buildup even if your fan is OK.

Best Regards,

sv9779 10-22-2008 10:31 PM

Was the ice causing the fan to stop??? If the blades were clear of ice and the motor wasn't turning, you just need a new fan motor (They can stall and go intermitant). The fan not running will cause the coils to frost up because it runs constanly trying to cool the frig. If the ice was hitting the blade and stopping the fan then follow the post about checking the defrost cycle. How old is the frig?? Some of those motors had thier share of problems. If it was a defrost problem the heater bimetal is a likley suspect. Almost no problems with heaters and and very little problems with timers.


hvaclover 10-22-2008 10:52 PM

How old is that frig? Timers and fan motors are mostly DC these days.
Check for a plugged drain too or a weak defrost termiation switch.
Worst case scenario is a system problem: leaky valves in compressor, restriction. or just slightly low on refrigerant.

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