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Evaporator is half warm and half cold - Refrigerators

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Please don't rate this solution, as I know this is not what you really would like to hear.
If your refrigerator has been running for some time (say 30 to 60 minutes) and the first part of the evaporator is cold, but the last part of the evaporator is warm (ie: grab a hold of it with your hand and the little frost that may be on it melts back from it right away) then you have one of two conditions:
1. A refrigerant leak. Very difficult to locate and repair, and costly. If not under warranty, cost to repair is generally prohibitively high. Adding refrigerant without finding the leak may get you a day to a year or more of new life, but the problem will re-occur as you still have the leak.
2. A low capacity compressor. As the unit ages, the seals inside the compressor wear and result in decreased efficiency of the compressor, eventually to the point that it is unable to pump enough refrigerant to cool satisfactorily. A new compressor would fix this problem, but again, if out of warranty (which these generally are) makes it not ecconomical to do.
The diagnosis in either case is really that it is time to buy a replacement refrigerator.

Posted on Jul 11, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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This does not make any sense because the fridge section gets cold air from the freezer via the damper mechanism that allows air into that compartment. The usual complaint is that the freezer is not that cold and the refrigerator is warm.
If your evaporator behind rear freezer panel is covered with ice the issue is with the defrost mechanism/heater element.

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To produce cold air, the evaporator needs to be free of ice so that air can flow past the cold fins. Often the thought is to turn the dial and make it colder, but this actually makes it worse as the fins ice up quicker. Turn the unit off until fully defrosted. Turn the temperature knob half way and switch the unit back on. Alter the dial so you achieve a temperature of 4'C. Also putting warm food in the unit will cause condensation on the fins. Also, hot humid weather can do the same.

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A heat pump is an air conditioner that reverses its refrigerant flow. In the cooling mode, the evaporator is cold to the room and its condenser is hot. In the heating mode, a valve reverses the refrigerant flow and makes the evaporator warm and the condenser cold.

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watch this video I made. this is subzero with low level of freon (almost out). same situation on all refrigerators and freezers. you can see ice at the begging of evaporator. if there would be a little more freon evaporator might of frost up at the top might frost half of evap other half would be not even cold.

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The kenmore 20 frostless deep freezer is cold in the lower section of the freezer but the upper half is warm the setting is maxed out. the air that is blowing across the coil appears to be warm. that leads...


The evaporator coil must be lightly frosted from the top to bottom. This proves that all of the r-134a freon is still present in the system. If you visiblely see that it is not (half frosted the other half warm?no frost) then this is a sign that the r-134a freon has leaked out. Another way to determine for sure is to use refrigeration gauges to check the pressure.

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Lower half of fridge side is freezing upper half is warm


The fridge gets its cold air from the freezer through a vent(damper) between the freezer and fridge.The fan in the freezer blows air through it. Make sure this fan is running. You may have to hold the door switch in for it to run. There is a flap you adjust with the fridge temp. control. Make sure it's opening and closing when you adjust the fridge temp.
The problem could be the electronic control if you have one or the mechanical linkages.
OR


The evaporator coil behind the cover on the back wall inside the freezer will ice up under normal conditions. Every 8 to 10 hours for around 20 minutes the defrost timer (or in most newer models the electronic adaptive defrost control) will turn the defrost heater on to melt the built up ice. There is a defrost thermostat which prevents the heater from overheating the freezer by breaking the heater circuit when the temp reaches close to 32 degrees F. The entire cooling system shuts off during the defrost cycle and starts back when the timer advances through the cycle.

If this ice is not melted it will continue to build up until the air can’t flow over the coil to circulate the cold air through the freezer and into the fridge. The temperature change in the fridge is usually noticed first followed by the freezer.

If the defrost thermostat is bad it can prevent the heater from coming on OR it won’t turn the heater off when it gets too warm. It is clamped to the evaporator coil at the top to sense the temp. If it appears to be misshapen it is bad.
With an ohm meter it should show continuity when cold and none when warm.
You can also bypass the thermostat to see if the heater comes on then. If it does then you know the thermostat is bad and needs replaced.

The defrost heater is located on the evaporator. It is in a tube which is at the bottom and can also go up the sides of the evaporator. On some types you can see a burnt spot if it’s bad. With an ohm meter it should show continuity from end to end when disconnected from the wiring in the freezer. You can also test the wiring for voltage when it’s in the defrost mode.

If you have a defrost timer you can test it. It can be located under the fridge behind the kick panel on the front. Some are in the fridge with the controls at the top. You can turn the defrost timer till it clicks and everything shuts down. The heater should now come on. If it does, replace the timer because that means the timer is not running. If it doesn't, check the heater and defrost thermostat. Turn the timer again till everything starts back up to end the defrost cycle.

If you have an adaptive defrost control instead of a timer, replace it if the heater and thermostat test good. It is located in the fridge with the controls in some models and on the back in others.

If you need help finding your model number see here> http://www.appliancepartspros.com/modelnumber_locator.aspx

To locate your timer, motherboard, control or adaptive defrost control , enter your model number and search for the part or post back on Fixya.
http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/index.action?psid=26129238&sid=PSx20071217x00001a

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