Question about Frigidaire FRS26H5AS Side by Side Refrigerator

2 Answers

Frigidaire FRS6HR4HW: Refrigerator Design Flaw? It's too warm!

I had this same problem with another FrigidAir side-by-side model and I can feel cold air leaking at the top of the gasket. The door to the fresh food compartment is also misaligned by nearly 1 cm. I felt it was the gasket but the repair tech replaced the thermostat control unit, instead.
It took 1 week to get the part. Now I am waiting a second week to get that same part because after the switch-out the refrigerator was even warmer (43-44 degrees).
The tech took out the door that keeps the cold air in the freezer section and now it is down to 27-29 degrees. So I don't buy new food to replace the spoiled food because it will freeze.
I have found MANY Frigidair models that do not keep the refrigerator contents in the safe range, or only barely so despite maxing out the "Cold" control knob. If I were to switch my knob to the factory default setting the refrigerator would be closer to 60 degrees. It's been this way since Day One but the first tech to come out claimed that since it was holding at 38 degrees or so in the maximum Cold position (number 6 on the dial), that it was okay.
Except it wasn't okay because after opening the door it would get upwards of 40, which the US Gov. FAQ says is too high. We got away with dairy and cooked foods but raw meat would never last to the next day without spoiling in the refrigerator well before the sell-by date.
The repair only made things worse.
I don't see back-wall frost. I only note that there is some leakage at the uppermost portion of the gasket that keeps my boxes of cereal on top of the refrigerator very cold.
The freezer works fine.
I would like to know if this sounds like a design flaw.
The part the tech pulled out on his return trip looks like a tiny, hinged plastic door between the two compartments. Is this a common design or some funky way Frigidair implemented the cooling that just isn't working?
Upon calling Frigidair, we were told that in the dial position of "6", which is where we have kept it ever since it was brand new, should be freezing our food, not barely keeping it safe for consumption.
Any thoughts?

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    NewsView Sep 12, 2009

    The factory thermostat was replaced because on setting number 6, which should have been the coldest, it was 38 degrees and raw meat often spoiled before the sale by date so that we could only defrost frozen foods, keep fruits, veggies and pasteurized dairy.

    The technician who came out on 9/8 replaced the thermostat, and then the refrigerator hit 43-44 in the coldest dial position and we began loosing food waiting 2 days for him to come back. When he came back, that's when he pulled the dampener door.

    He never looked at the coils, the ADC or any such thing. He said the gaskets were fine even though we pointed out that they leak cold air and that we've had to scrub off a bit of mildew from time to time where water condensation forms under a 2" area of the gasket at the top of the door.

    The model I have is FRS6R3EW, purchased in 2005. We noticed it wasn't keeping the food all that cold to begin with, but the first technician to come out a couple years ago said that 38 degrees was just fine, even though we pointed out that we had to max out the coldness setting to get it to stay at this high side of the normal temperature range. On a US government website, the recommendation is to throw out food held at more than 2 hours when temps exceed 40 degrees. After the technician came out recently and installed the faulty thermostat it hit 44 for two days. When we notified the technician, his solution is to order another thermostat.

    I get the feeling he has failed to do a thorough job diagnosing the problem. If so, he could install another thermostat next week, he could turn around and leave, it could take two or more days to get him back out, and we'll be back to square one waiting another week for a parts delivery.

    I can't afford to be without a refrigerator 3-4 weeks while the tech orders parts that may not address the real problem.

    Thanks for the advice! I'll be happy to read any follow ups you post, Sea Breeze!

  • NewsView
    NewsView Sep 24, 2009

    Since I first posted this question, the part (thermostat assembly & door between compartments, which I believe included the ADC) has been replaced a second time with the same result: TOO WARM inside the refrigerator. Incidentally, I noted the part the tech installed is really scuffed up and includes a yellow stain on the bottom of the white plastic that forms the underside of the rotary temp control dials. In other words, the part looks USED. The service company claims they use new parts and also claims the factory took over 10 days to deliver the aforementioned parts. Sadly, I'm back to square one on this problem.

    My take is this: It would appear this side-by-side Frigidaire refrigerator is incapable of being set to the factory default settings for the freezer and refrigerator and operating at safe temperatures. To get the unit to maintain at 40 degrees I have to max out the temp control knob. Meanwhile, the freezer portion is above zero by roughly 3 degrees despite infrequent use of the door. The last time this assembly was replaced, you may recall, the temp shot up to 44-45 degrees for two days and we lost much of our food before the company sent out another tech who confirmed that the repair was not a success. This week, we tried persuading the tech to stay long enough to confirm that the parts worked, but this was a different tech and he refused to do so. He left us, and this part is not functioning as well as the part the factory originally installed on this refrigerator before this repair ordeal started.

    Every time the extended warranty provider, which is also an authorized Frigidaire service center, orders a new part it takes over a week not including the time to book an appointment. I am really sick of this problem and at this point I have two impressions:

    A) The parts are not factory fresh. Perhaps the service center, which is connected to a major appliance retailer in my area, is "recycling" appliance parts. Conceivably, when the technicians take a refrigerator back that is a scratch & dent (rejected customer delivery) or has a sealed system problem or some other severe case that requires the entire refrigerator to be swapped out under warranty, it is stripping off parts to save $$$ ordering repair parts for their extended warranty customers. If this is the case, unwitting customers who call for repairs on models this retail chain sells by the hundreds every year are receiving parts off the damaged, returned or store demos. (I can't speak for the appliance repair industry but I know it happens all the time in the auto industry where referb parts are not uncommon ? but typically the customer at least is made aware of this reality.)

    B) The refrigerator itself suffers from a design flaw in one or more of the following ways: Once the hinged plastic door separating the freezer compartment and the refrigerator is in place, as is the normal configuration, for some reason it cannot, apparently, pass through enough cold air because the door jams, freezes or otherwise sticks shut. This may be a possibility because when the first "repair" consisting of a new thermostat assembly was installed and caused the refrigerator to shoot up to 45 degrees, the "cure" the technician delivered while waiting on the replacement for the faulty replacement part was to remove that hinged door, after which the contents of the refrigerator, without that door in place, began to freeze (average of 29 degrees). Thanks to another suggestion online, we covered the vent with 2/3 duct tape, which impeded the air flow and allowed the overly cold temp to rise to 34 degrees until the aforementioned parts came in. Well, after this supposed "new" thermostat/ADC assembly was installed, the temp again began rising. I mean, what's the odds that the original factory part, the "new" parts installed on the first repair attempt and now yet another replacement are ALL BAD? That's why I can't rule out a design flaw. Perhaps more Frigidaire owners would appreciate this if they had a temp probe in their side-by-side model to appreciate that it really isn't keeping food cold enough. Another aspect of the engineering of this model may be making a marginally functional refrigerator worse. Conceivably, in order to be more energy efficient let's say, the compressor Frigidaire paired to this 26 cubic model is underpowered and unable to deliver enough "forced air" so to speak. My comparison here would be to a small window air conditioner installed in a large room. Perhaps there is nothing wrong with the freon or the condenser per se, it is just too underpowered to cool the cubic feet of the room in which the a/c is installed. Same principal here. The way I see it, an underpowered cooling capacity matched to poorly sealing gaskets and poorly insulated refrigerator design would, in my mind, constitute a "design flaw" on the part of Electrolux, maker of Frigidaire. Therefore, Frigidaire side-by-side owners who have this problem, regardless of model, should consider the fact that the refrigerators are incapable of running at sufficiently cool temperatures when left at their factory default settings, and may not be keeping certain foods, particularly raw meat, safe for cooking. (Although with some luck, premature spoilage may not necessarily make one sick if the item in question is cooked sufficiently.)

    All of this is speculation, but I'd like some response to the possibilities I've described. Either I'm looking at a case where the parts are referb or stripped-off from returned or demoed product ? otherwise what is the odds that THREE of these assemblies would FAIL to allow us to keep food safe at Frigidaire's own factory presets ? OR the overall design of this refrigerator is inadequately engineered to keep foods fresh.

    Please consider helping me and others who have reported this problem here out with a little experiment of your own: Purchase an inexpensive temperature thermometer built for freezer and refrigerator use and check what your refrigerator temps are at the factory temp presets. Keep in mind that the US government food safety FAQ states that a refrigerator must be capable of keeping food at 40 or below during normal use. On the assumption that your refrigerator and freezer doors are opened occasionally throughout the day, that means your food should really be at least 5 degrees below that upper limit of 40 degrees so that a single door open for 10 seconds won't push your food toward 45 or 50+ degrees. By the same token, if we were to compare to the food safety standards of commercial food vendors (Health Dept.) the freezer segment ought to be well below 30 so that opening the door will not drive the temps inside the freezer to above the freezing point.

    Anyhow, I thought I would post a follow up since rarely on websites does anyone bother to report whether a solution or a repair succeeded or not on sites like this.

    So far my repair has been followed by another repair. Suggestions, anyone?

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  • Frigidaire Master
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Your refrigerator has 2 thermostats and an electrically controlled air damper. If a technician removed the air damper and someone has not replaced the thermostat for the refrigerator side I believe you have a poor quality service tech and if your refrigerator was worked on with someone with an ounce of a brain they surely would not leave the electrically controlled damper out and would not overlook the possibility that the thermostat probe is defective. Your refrigerator would be an easy fix if the people that were working on it knew what they are doing. You have a minor problem with your refrigerator and a major problem with the technician. Sea Breeze

Posted on Sep 11, 2009

Testimonial: "A very helpful lead! "

  • 3 more comments 
  • John Tripp
    John Tripp Sep 11, 2009

    Looking over the wiring diagram the electronic controled damper is getting its power from the adaptive defrost control. If that bord had your damper closed because the board is defective in that place on the board. The pourpose for the connection to the adaptive defrost is to close the damper during defost to prevent the heat from entering the fresh food section. Even if the thermostat is good that connection to the ADC is possibly the problem. Below is a link to the wiring and you will see the damper and wiring going to that board. Sea Breeze



    http://www.pcappliancerepair.com/model-f...



    If you have more questions or need help feel free to let me know, Thanks, Sea Breeze
    appliancepartsse@yahoo.com

    http://servicepartstec.blogspot.com/

    http://appliancepartsse.blogspot.com


    SEA BREEZE TIP's

  • John Tripp
    John Tripp Sep 11, 2009

    The purpose also is to open and close to help regulate the fresh food section temperature. Thanks, Sea Breeze

  • John Tripp
    John Tripp Sep 11, 2009

    241736601 Adaptive Defrost Control


  • John Tripp
    John Tripp Sep 12, 2009

    Thank You Very Much For The Rate! I just could not believe a certified technician would do something like that. I felt bad after my first comment and wanted to change the wording around. Getting the electronic vent operating properly is necessary. On the wiring diagram it also was clear that the ADC and the thermostat for the fresh food section work together to maintain the temperature settings. All three must work together, Again Thank You, Sea Breeze

  • John Tripp
    John Tripp Sep 12, 2009

    Here is another valuable link to manuals and service information. Might want to pass it on to the person that is working on your refrigerator. Frigidaire would not be very happy to hear that one of their service centers has did this to you. I think they would be happy to hear from you and may just be what gets the ball rolling to get your refrigerator fixed. Sea Breeze



    http://www.frigidaire.com/manuals



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Most Problems with Ref/freezer combo's are with the Limit settings on the cold controls. These tiny settings are usually under the control knob and are adjusted with a tiny screw driver or an allen wrench. Many time these are overlooked by service technicians.
The Limit switch settings adjust the timing of the "On & Off cycle between lower and high ranges. In other words, they can be set to turn on when the Temp gets up to 40 degrees, and then off when the temp drops down to 30 degrees, or what ever range Your appliance works best at. The Limit settings are usually set with the main Cold control in the center position. If Your fridge is a side by side, the Freezer section will usually have a separate Cold control located behind the Grill at the bottom, or a separate control in the Freezer compartment. Many Frigidaire side by sides use this means of separate cooling controls, and they go into defrost mode to eliminate Frost build-up. Hope this helps! Good luck!

Posted on May 29, 2010

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