Question about Kenmore Elite 22.4 cu. ft. Bottom Freezer Refrigerator with Adjusta Cube Ice Maker
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(disconnect the two wires plugged into it and twist them together) 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. You can post your model number into one of several appliance parts sites on the internet and search for defrost components to find your parts.
Posted on Jun 01, 2010
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
SOURCE: Freezer cold but not freezing
Check the settings for the freezer control. Refrigerator temperature control normally controls the run time of the compressor. if the freezer control is set to low the refrigerator temperature will be fine and the freezer will be warmer. Setting the freezer control to a colder setting will hold back more cold air in the freezer and reduce the air volume supplied to the refrigerator. Check and make sure the condenser coil is clean.
Posted on Jun 08, 2008
LOL ! SO in other words in plain english your repair man told you needed a brand new refrigerator - Ok from your description here we can rule out low refrigerant or compressor problems, defrost timer and controlboard issues. I too have waffles and they DO get frozen although not as hard as ice - the less water molecules they have the less they are frozen hard. but nonetheless, my waffles are NOT soft, neither is ice cream
What I would ike you to do is put one of those refrigerator/freezer type thermostats, you can get those round ones, place it in your freezer leave it there 24 hours and look again - Optimal freezer temps is 0F once compression cycles off - if you areusing the extra cold setting, -10F - For refrigerator don't go over 40F - optimal temp of 36-38F.
Another method you can place a bowl of water and use one of those probes and measure the temp of the water in your fridge. If your temps are within safety levels do not worry - your ice is frozen and your frozen food is frozen - Some ice cream tend to be softer, especially the extra creamy type. If your refrigerator has a dial to adjust temps, raise it slightly and wait 24 hours and check your temps again you might need to bump down the temps a bit - if you have a control panel and 2 settings they are usually COLD or COLDER, set it to COLDER and check again - in the COLDER setting your compressor will shut down once your freezer hits -10F that should be quite enough to have even your waffles and extra creamy icecream frozen - if some of the liquids in your refrigerator is too cold or freezes, set it back to COLD or re-adjust the dial. Once you determined that your freezer AND refrigerator are within SAFETY levels as per the food safety guidelines and using the proper methods of testing, then you have nothing to worry about. Make sure your fridge and freezer are not leaking cold air by checking your door gaskets using the famous dollar bill technique by closing the door on the dollar bill and trying to pull it out - if there is no resistence and can easily come out, you have a gasket leak - check in different places on the gasket. As long as you can determine that your freezer and fridge temps are SAFE don't spend a dime ! If your temps are NOT in the safe range you probably have leaky gaskets - if the compressor seems to run all the time, you probably have dirty condenser coils that need to be vacuumed cleaned or dusted off using a condenser brush.
Posted on Aug 17, 2009
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