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Kenmore Refrigerator not cooling

We have a side by side kenmore refrigerator - 3 years old. It was not cooling and food in freezer was defrosting. We checked and noticed the condenser fan was not working but started again when we worked with it. We cleaned the condenser coils of any dust (there wasn't very much) and after a couple of hours it started cooling again. However, after we pushed it back into place it started getting hot again and the compressor is clicking on and off. Right now the refrigerator is about 50 degrees. Any suggestions? Is the compressor going out? We paid $1,500 for this refrigerator new so it is not a cheap unit. Any help is appreciated.
Julie in New Mexico

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  • Kenmore Master
  • 4,654 Answers

No you don't need to change the compressor you need to change that fan and you need to change the start relay overload and capacitor that goes to the compressor. What is the model number of your refrigerator so I can look up your parts

Posted on Apr 04, 2017

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6 Suggested Answers

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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peyton32034
  • 410 Answers

SOURCE: Kenmore Elite refrigerator stops cooling - Relay keeps cycling

the relay on the compressor is most likely the culprit part# 8201786 you can buy it at the local sears parts and repair center it is very easy to replace it. your refrig compartment will start warming up soon. to prevent damage to your compressor probably a good idea to unplug the refrig until you get the part replaced..

Posted on Dec 18, 2007

hotuna
  • 288 Answers

SOURCE: Kenmore Elite refrigerator stops cooling - Relay keeps cycling

The compressor is locked up. Basically it is stuck. You can pick up at the local appliance parts store a hard start relay, Home Depot ,Lowes, or or those guys wont have it. Its not too expensive and is worth trying because your only other option is you need to replace the compressor. The part is called a kick start or hard start, the guy at the parts store will know what you are talking about. It is simple to connect and has the wiring directions on it. Sometimes this is all it takes. I have been able to get a stuck compressor to go by placing a short 2x4 on it and whack it with a hammer a few times. This is only a temporary fix though, as it will eventually lock up again, but emergency situation this saved the food. If the fridge has a fan back there make sure it works too, it may have been the original cause. Good luck.

Posted on Dec 26, 2007

  • 327 Answers

SOURCE: Kenmore 596.73502201 Not cooling. Compressor , fan, seal ok

If the refrigerator isn't cool, you need to answer some questions, then see if the compressor is running.

First, answer these questions:

  • Is the refrigerator completely dead? If so, see “It's stopped completely.”


  • Is the thermostat knob turned to the proper setting? If not, reset it.


Next, see if the compressor motor is running

The compressor is a football-sized case with no apparent moving parts. It's on the outside of the refrigerator at the back near the bottom. If it is humming or making a continuous noise and your refrigerator is still not cooling, there may be a more serious problem with one or more of several different components, we recommend contacting a qualified appliance repair technician for further help.

If the compressor is not running but you do have power to the refrigerator, there may be a problem with one or more of these:

  • The compressor


  • The Thermostat


  • The overload, relay, or capacitor


  • The defrost timer


  • The condenser fan motor


Cooling is poor For an overall understanding of how refrigerators should work, read about refrigerators in the How Things Work section of our website. A refrigerator or freezer that is cooling, but cooling poorly, may have a problem in one of several areas:

Evaporator coils
Condenser
Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils or a condenser that is clogged with dust, lint, and dirt. 

Evaporator coils Poor cooling is often the result of a heavy frost build-up on the evaporator coils. You can't see these coils without removing a panel on the inside of your freezer. A sure sign that there is a build-up is the presence of any frost or ice build-up on the inside walls, floor, or ceiling of the freezer. Such a frost build-up usually indicates a problem in the self-defrosting system or damaged door gaskets.

The refrigerator is supposed to self-defrost approximately four times in every 24 hour period. If one of the components in the self-defrosting system fails, the refrigerator continues to try to cool. Eventually, though, so much frost builds up on the evaporator coils that the circulating fan can't draw air over the coils. There may still be a small amount of cooling because the coils are icy, but with no air flow over the coils, cooling in the refrigerator compartment is quite limited.

Here's an inexpensive, though inconvenient, way to determine if the problem is with the self-defrosting system. Remove all of the perishable food from the refrigerator and freezer, turn the thermostat in the refrigerator to Off, and leave the doors open for 24 to 48 hours. (Be sure to have several towels ready in case the melting frost and ice causes the drip pan to overflow). This allows the refrigerator to defrost "manually." When the frost and ice build-up has completely melted away, turn the thermostat back to a normal setting. If the refrigerator then cools properly, it indicates a problem with one of three components in the self-defrosting system:

  • The defrost timer


  • The defrost thermostat (also called the bi-metal switch)


  • The defrost heater


If it still does not cool properly, there may be a problem with the refrigerant level or the compressor. You may need to consult with a qualified appliance repair technician to further diagnose the problem 

Condenser Self-defrosting refrigerators all have a set of coils and a cooling fan, usually under the refrigerator, that need to be cleaned regularly. If these coils get coated with dust, dirt or lint, the refrigerator may not cool properly. The coils may appear to be a thin, black, wide radiator-like device behind the lower kick-panel. To clean them, disconnect the refrigerator from the power source, use a refrigerator condenser brush (see the Appliance Accessories section) and your vacuum cleaner to clean the coils of any lint, pet hair, etc. You may not be able to get to all of the condenser from the front, it may be necessary to clean the remainder of the condenser from the rear of the refrigerator. 

Posted on Dec 19, 2008

  • 56 Answers

SOURCE: Food and water freezes but ice cream is soft

Check the door gasket seal.
Open the door for a few seconds and then close.
Immediately open the door again, and, if sealing properly, it should take more pulling force to open the door.

Posted on Mar 30, 2009

Sea Breeze
  • 4654 Answers

SOURCE: Freezer works Refrigerator will not cool down

The compressor should be OK this time because you caught it in time. But if the condenser fan stops you need to consider replacing the fan. I have had refrigerators do fine until the fan motor warms up and you are away, it stops. Don't think you should use the refrigerator until the fan is fixed. Sea Breeze

Posted on Apr 22, 2009

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I think the Adaptive Defrost Control may be your problem part number 12566102 You may find it inside the fresh food compartment and behind the controls where you adjust the tempertaures. I will return with photos and links, Sea Breeze

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Possibly a defrost circuit problem -

1) Bad defrost thermostat
2) Bad defrost heater
3) Bad defrost timer
4) Failed evaporator fan motor.

Look for frost accumulated inside the louvers at the back panel, top and bottom. If you see it, remove food from freezer and put in ice chest. Take out shelves, get hair dryer and warm the backside of the freezer, directing air down the louvers. Then leave to sit for 4-6 hours with the freezer door open. Put towels in the bottom of the freezer to catch any melted ice.
After period of time, plug unit back in and power the unit back up. Once you know it's cooling, empty ice chests back into freezer.

If there is a problem in any of the above components, then it will show up in 3-4 weeks witht he same problem again.

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