Question about Refrigerators

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Hi- My frigidaire frs20zsh has stopped cooling on the refrigerator side. Freezer is colder, not great but keeping things frozen for now. Fan sound from refrigerator, but no air moving into the box. Compressor is running, a little bit warm. Any idea on how to troubleshot?

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  • tbugnitz Sep 05, 2009

    Hi O Guru-

    Thanks for the response.

    One clarification: the fan sound is normal, sounds like it usually does on the frig side. But there is no air flowing into the frig from the duct at the top of the box.

    It feels like cooling is going on from the compressor and coils, but no cool air getting into the frig side.

    Do the things you suggest still sound like the right steps?

    Thanks!




  • tbugnitz Sep 05, 2009

    OK, You are a genius! Pulled the back off, and indeed it was frozen over.

    The heater looks like a u shaped element that goes down through the coils, makes a u turn, and comes back up through the coils.

    Any advice on replacing that? The tube connections to the coils look pretty fragile, but I assume I need to remove the heater from the bottom of the coils. My idea was to gently angle the coils out at the bottom, and slide the heater element out. Does that sound feasible?

    Thanks!




  • tbugnitz Sep 06, 2009

    Hi-

    Thanks for you reply! What I discovered is that the coils at the back of the freezer were completely frozen over, blocking airflow into the an and then into the refrigerator (I assume that the air goes through those coils into the refrigerator?). I melted the frost off of the coils, and checked temperatures in both units after running over night, and things are within the right temp range.

    One suggestion I got from a Fixya guy was that the defrost heater element might be broken. On this unit it is a u-shaped element that goes through the coils. Is there any way to tell whether it is the the heater itself, or the switches and timers thatcontrol the defrost cycle?

    Thanks for your help!

    --Tom


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Sounds like the refrigerant is low. If the compressor is still kicking on and the temp is just not cool enough. The freezer is colder because everythings still frozen. It will take a couple of days depending on how much stuff is in it and how often its opened. I would have it recharged depending on how old the unit is and if it has R12 or R134 inside it. The older R12 will be very expensive to fill and may not be worth the cost but chances are you have the R134. Contact a HVAC/mechanical company and get a tech to come out. They will still want to diagnos the problem before jsut filling it $65 but normally it goes to the price of the repair. If its just filling you could see yourself only paying the $65 and be back up and running. Second would be the temp controller/ sensor and worse case scenario the compressor is failing and will need to be replaced ($100-$250).

Posted on Sep 07, 2009

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Based on your reply you probably ruled out a few problems on your own, but here is a run down of things to check.

1) Compressor & freezer evap fan are running - you obviously checked that.

2) Check temperatures - put in one of those frdige thermometer, I use the round ones with gauge - and check the temperature in your freezer - we want to rule out any other problems. Freezer temp should not be warmer than 10F - normal temps are 0F or colder - optimal / recommended -10F this allowes quicker recovery in case of power outage, and -10F or colder to keep your ice cream harder and not soft.
Your refrigerator section should be optimal 34F, no warmer than 40F.
Once you can confirm your freezer is cooling normally, you can rule out overfrost / defrost problems. Your compressor is running, your evap fan is running, now if your refrigerator section is not cooling, your compressor will run continually and you will notice your freezer getting way too cold.
2) Check for any obstruction in the fridge, anything blocking the vents ? You can try shutting down the fridge and removing the back panel from the freezer and looking for any ice buildup blocking the passageway to the refrigerator section - otherwise you may have problems with the damper that is stuck and not opening to allow the cool air from your freezer to flow in your refrigerator. You might be able to see if the flap is stuck otherwise you will need to have your unit serviced and do a complete check.

Posted on Sep 06, 2009

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Hi,
Stopped cooling. Check the backl of the freezer to see if the Coils are Frosted completely. The buzzing sound could be the frost touching the Fan in the back of the freezer behind the cover. Sounds like your Defrost heater has gone south.
1. unplug the Freezer, power down.. for safety
2. Clean all the food out of your Freezer,
3. Remove the shelves and Ice maker tray stuff.
4. REmove the panel in the back of your freezer
5. Is the Coil(Evaporator, Radiator)you see frosted up?
6. At the bottom of this coil. you should see a metal assembly that stretches accros the bottom of the coil with a wire connection on both ends. This is the Defrost heater.
Remove the heater and look to see if the heaterspring inside the glass tube is broken. If so, get a new one from Ebay, or www.repairclinic.com
Thank You for contacting Fixya.com

Posted on Sep 05, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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