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Old 09-17-2010, 02:54 PM   #1
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Kenmore fridge stops cooling with frost in freezer


I am a newbie DIY-selfer and searched for this kind of issue on this forum. The others who had a similar issue had freezer that continued to work fine. Mine seems to not, so I am posting the question.

I have a Kenmore/Sears refrigerator with a bottom freezer (fridge compartment is on top). Lately I noticed that the fridge compartment is not getting enough air or no air while the freezer seems to be getting a lot of frost buildup. I did a manual defrost (turn off the refrigerator, let it all melt over several hours, dry it up and turn back on) and the air in the fridge section seems to improve and things seems to work for a day or two. Then the same problem recurs - the air circulation to the fridge compartment decreases and then stops and the freezer had frost buildup.

The little knob at the bottom that I thought gets the defrost to kick in, does seem to be turning - I see the notch in the turning knob go full 360 degrees.

What may be the most likely root cause? I now have the refrigerator in this manually defrosted state. What should I check? Thanks in advance.

Last edited by donnoit; 09-17-2010 at 02:59 PM. Reason: reformatting, missed mentioning freezer frost re-build up
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Old 09-17-2010, 03:31 PM   #2
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Kenmore fridge stops cooling with frost in freezer


The timmer could still be bad.. It may not be switching to defrost even though it is turning.. By what you describe it's freezing up ( not going into defrost)

Last edited by kenmac; 09-17-2010 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:14 PM   #3
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Kenmore fridge stops cooling with frost in freezer


Thanks Kenmac.
The timer seemed to work because when it kicked in, the condenser and Evaporator fans would stop and the compressor would stop, though the defrost-heater would not come on during the defrost cycle.
When I jumpered across the thermostat during the defrost cycle, the defrost-heater started heating which verified that it wasn't bad and that the timer was doing whatever it should. I also verified that the drain tube was not blocked (someone on some site had warned about it too).

Finally, I noticed that the thermostat had a loose connection at one end. When I fixed that, the heater started heating again during the defrost cycle. Hope this was the only problem. Fridge seems to be working now..need to keep watching for a couple more days.

Hope my experience helps others.
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Old 09-20-2010, 07:59 AM   #4
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Kenmore fridge stops cooling with frost in freezer


From experience, it sounded as though the defrosting heater had gone out. Not sure of what make you have as different companies are awarded the Sears contract for any of their products from year to year. I just replaced the defrosting heater (which was a small pair of tube lights) on a GE in one of my apts and the symptoms you describe were identical - EXACTLY. Glad you found the thermostat connection problem.
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Last edited by jackofmany; 09-20-2010 at 08:02 AM.
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