Question about Kenmore Elite 22.4 cu. ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator with Adjusta Cube Ice Maker

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Fridge compartment too cold.

Regardess of temperature setting - ti is freezing some things.

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  • Anonymous Jan 02, 2009

    Kenmore Elite 19 cu. ft. purchased new and working fine for 3 months. Now the refrigerator compartment is freezing the vegetables and sometimes the milk. I adjusted from the default setting of 4 to the lowest possible setting of 1. There has not been a change in temperature, which stays at 25-27 F

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  • 31 Answers

Most bottom mount freezer units work by diverting some of the cold freezer air up to the refrigerator through a duct that vents to the top of the refrigerator A thermostat in the refrigerator closes a flap in the duct when the refrigerator is cold enough.

It seems like the thermostat or flap is not working in your refrigerator. You can troubleshoot this by turning the refrigerator to the full warm setting and turning the freezer knob in the cold direction until you hear the refrigerator turn on. Place your hand near the vent at the top of the refrigerator, if cold air comes out that means the flap is not closing like it should.

If the flap is not closing, it might be frosted open. Pop the plastic vent off (they are usually held in with snaps) and inspect the flap. It should open when the fridge knob is turned in the cold direction and close when it is turned in the warm direction. If there is no frost jamming the flap, and the flap is not moving, the thermostat is likely defective. See the pictures below, one is flap open and the other is flap closed.fridge compartment too cold. - c0498df.jpg67c95ca.jpg

Posted on Jan 07, 2009

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Note also that frost build up increases time to freeze your food on the freezer. it also causes your fridge an increase in electricity consumption.

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Now that you see how the thermostat works, let's look at what happens when the fridge is placed in an unheated space - like a garage. In winter time, the temperature can drop considerably below 38 degrees. If the outdoor temperature remains cold enough, for long enough - it will affect the thermostat in the fridge. The temperature inside the fridge could drop below 38 degrees, preventing the thermostat from telling the compressor to turn on. Meanwhile, the temperature in the freezer compartment slowly rises from the normal -10 to 0 F degrees. It will continue to rise until it is the same temperature as the fresh food compartment or until the thermostat in the fresh food compartment tells the compressor to turn on again. This means the freezer contents will thaw.

If the temperature in the garage is even in the 40 to 50 degree range, the loss of cold in the fridge may not happen often enough to keep the compressor coming on often enough to keep some freezer items frozen solid - such as ice cream. Remember, water freezes at 32 degrees F, other products may require lower temperatures to remain frozen, and could thaw at 28 or other temperature.

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Check out these tips that I wrote about that... it is a great place to start trouble shooting your unit...and something that you can do rather then calling a repair person to do a simple thing for you...

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There are garage refrigerator kits for people who put fridges in un heated garages in the winter. They just simple electric heaters that warm the fridge's thermostat to cause the compressor to run more often. This helps the fridge to maintain temperatures better in the freezer compartment. The same thing can be accomplished by putting a small wattage bulb in the refrigerator compartment. Just remember to remove it during the warm weather otherwise you will pay a large electricity bill in the summer months.

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The compressor is cycled on/off by the fresh food temperature setting. The freezer setting controls a panel, or door if you will, that allows cold air to be blown into the freezer.

Since both compartments are getting too cold, the most likely culprit is the fresh food thermostat control, since it controls the compressor cycle. Try setting it to a higher setting, even if it's above normal. Use a manual thermometer to check the temperature of the fresh food compartment and compare it to the control setting. The readings should be the same or very nearly the same.

I assume your refrigerator is controlled by a solid state controller (i.e. a printed circuit board). Some of these allow for calibration of the thermostat to coincide with the actual temperature of the fresh food compartment. That would most likely have to be done by a service technician unless you have expertise in the field.

If calibration is not an option, if you can live with the thermostat setting not reflecting the actual temperature, a free fix is to simply set it higher than you actually want it to be, recognizing that the actual temperature is 'X' degrees lower than the thermostat setting.

The freezer compartment temperature will be similarly affected, and can be controlled by the freezer temp setting, which is actually nothing more than setting the position of the panel which allows or restricts air from being blown into the fresh food compartment from the freezer. Again, the compressor is cycled on and off by the thermostat in the FRESH FOOD compartment which gets its cold air from the freezer compartment.

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