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Kitchenaid Side by side refrigerator/freezer

My ref/freezer which still works OK feels warm>>>hot to the touch. Especially on the front perimeter (4 inches around the sides and top) and between the ref/freezer doors (center divider). The is a slight burning smell and items in the ref occaisionally freeze.

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  • kovi0801 Feb 16, 2008

    cleaned the unit and the fan seemed like it was sticking. After claening it started to spin and the hot compressor cooled along with the sides/front of the refrigerator. A few days later the sides were hot again (sticking fan?). Not sure if I need to replace the fan (probable) or if there is a connection on the compressor that tells the fan to start bad?).

  • Anonymous Mar 27, 2008

    Exact same problem- the center divider and top border over the freezer regularly gets very, very hot. It occasionally cools off but then gets very hot again, hot enough to burn one's skin to the touch.


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When is the last time you cleaned the condenser coils the areas you describe are supposed to be hot there is a loop there to keep the door gaskets dry but should not be too hot pull the fridge out check to see if the fan is running on the compressor then unplug the unit and clean the coils the only other thin that will make it super hot if there is a leak in the low side of the system and has drawn air in see if cleaning the coils fixes it first and we will go from there

Posted on Feb 13, 2008

  • jgregory5685 Jun 09, 2011

    There wasn't a lot of dust behind the refrigerator down by the coils. I cleaned the coils and all other dust surrounding the area by the coils, fan and the condensing unit. I did not think that the fan was working, so I put a fan on the outside but in front of the condenser coils and the side of the freezer door was not as hot when I originally touch it. I might need a new fan.(?) Will check the side of the freezer tommorrow and see if it cooled down. I also have water in the drip pan. Is that normal?


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Hot side panels

Hello Robert - From what you have described, it seems like you may be referring to the perimeter hot tube. It is normal to be warm to the touch; however, since it may feel hot to you, I would suggest verifying that you have the proper clearances around the refrigerator. You can refer to your owner's guide for those specifications. If you do not have an owner's guide, you can download one at the manufacturer site. If the clearance is fine, you may need to clean the condenser coils. As part of routine maintenance, you can remove the toe grille (located at the foot of your refrigerator) by unsnapping the sides and lifting outward towards you. Now, using an extended vacuum attachement and condenser cleaning brush, remove dust buildup from condenser coils on left side underneath refrigerator. Cleaning condenser coils typically resolves this issue. But, if clearance is fine and the condenser coils are free from dust and you are still feeling too much exterior heat, you may need to check with a local service tech to determine what else could be causing this issue.

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The ref. is warm the freezer side melted and the ref. side is cool took off back panel i think it could be the condenser is is very hot to the touch i hear a clicking sound what is going on

Hello and sorry to hear about your problem. It sounds like you have a general compressor or control card failure.
You will need to call a service person.

I have tried to help you. please help me by Vote/Rate my response thanks.

If you live in the Denver area, I can help you.

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The motor is running, but the freezer is just cool and the ref. is warm. Some osf the lights are on and some are not.


The cooling coils for both the freezer and fresh food sections takes place in the freezer behind the panel. The fan in the freezer blows the air throughout the freezer and into the fresh food side.

First check to make sure the fan is running inside the freezer, you will be able to hear it when you open the freezer door. Then check to make sure the fan on the outside is running. You can tell by pulling off the grille on the bottom front of the refrigerator and feeling air come out on the left side, it should be warm air and not too hot.

If these are okay then look in the freezer behind the food and shelves. Near the bottom of the freezer look for a frost build up on the back panel. If there is a frost build up then you have a defrost problem. If you see a little frost on the panel that means there is a lot behind the panel that is blocking the cool air from flowing.

Let me know what you see and I will help you from there.


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The sides of my freezer are very hot while the top, front and back are cool to the touch. The freezer still is freezing items fine.

In the newer freezers and refrigerators they are mounting the condenser coil in the side panels of the freezer or refrigerator eliminating the large usually black frame work of tubing that used to be mounted on the back. This saves room but causes the sides to be warm as the heat is now dissipated by the side panels. You should have about an inch of clearance on both sides to let air flow over the side panels to cool them. I have a newer side by side and it also is feels quite warm when you put your hand on the side.

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Warm is ok for a temperature barrier , but , hot , usually indicates a condensor fan ( compressor fan ) not working , or dirty coils .

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