Question about Refrigerators

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Freezer is not cooling properly. I feel cold air blowing out the front grill to the left (as I look at it) of the water filter. I vaccumed the coils yesterday. Rant the refrigerator in defrost mode and restarted it. After a couple hours, the fridge and freezer were at the right temperature. When I woke up this morning, the freezer was at 40 degrees farenheit. What are the possible problems for the freezer and fridge to not cool properly?

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  • romanwhitt Jul 04, 2010

    I have side by side kitchen aid refrigerator KSRB25FHSS04. The freezer is not cooling properly. The fridge is not either. I cleaned the coils. The fan is working. the compressor is hot. I turned off the fridge yesterday,turned off the temperature and manually started the defrost mode. After defrosting, I turned the firdge and after a few hours, the firdge was at 40 degrees and the freezer was at 0 dergees. This morning when I got up, the freezer was at 40 degrees and the fridge was a little warmer. I see no frost buildup on any componenet underneath the fridge. In fact there is not mositure of any kind. What would ou suggest I check next? What are the possible causes for this cooling isue?

  • romanwhitt Jul 04, 2010

    Thank you so much for the assistance. Especially on the fourth of July. I opened up the relay and see burn marks and some broken parts. Your help probalby save me hundreds of dollars in havig a repair man come out to figure this out for me. This website is awesome and so are the experts that respond to these questions. Thanks again and have a happy fourth of July.

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HI. I will list below the necessary areas of concern here. You must check all the areas for faults or a non-functional stated.

A. Evaporator Fan-- Make sure that this fan is rotating and operation when the compressor is on and running. This fan is the main air mover. It is mounted near the evaporator behind the freezer concealment panel.

B. Condenser fan- Check to make sure that this fan is indeed rotating fast. This is a crucial area of concern. It is located near the compressor platform, nest to the condenser coils.

C. Compressor - Check this device to insure that it is cycling, properly. This unit must cycle on and off in interval. If it is not cycling, this will be the culprit. If it is cycling properly, place your palm on the smooth round top section. If the compressor is hot to the touch, the coils of condenser fan may be suspect.

D. Main PCB - This is the main control board. It is mounted near the compressor assembly, just behind a access panel, or it may be unconcealed, mounted on a bracket near the compressor platform. Check the board for burn marks at the jumpers and relay sections. If you notice nay discoloration on the board, this will indicate that the board has been compromised. I don't suspect the board as being the culprit at this time, but inspect it to be sure.


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Posted on Jul 04, 2010

  • 3 more comments 
  • romanwhitt Jul 04, 2010

    I removed the cover on the back bottom portion of the fridge. I only see one fan there. It is to the right of the compressor and is sucking air from the compressor area and out the other side of the fridge. You mentioned a second fan, I'm not sure where that second fan is located. the compressor is quite hot. I don;t hear the compressor kicking on and when i feel the compressor it does not feel like it is running. I do however hear a clicking sound on a white plastic box that is attached to the compressor. It seems like it clicks when the compressor tries to come on. Does this help narrow things down?

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Jul 04, 2010

    Ok, The second fan(evap fan) will be located inside the freezer compartment, just behind the evaporator concealment cover panel. With that said, I think we may have found our culprit. That plastic device mounted to the compressor will be your overload start up relay. I think that component has failed. I will post a very through testing procedure below. This procedure will cover the testing points for the relay and compressor unit. Test that relay first to confirm failure.

    THE RELAY

    The compressor relay starts the compressor. A fault relay can result in the compressor failing to cycle on. The relay is accessed from the lower rear of the refrigerator. The compressor relay can be accessed by removing the terminal cover box. The cover is held on by tension or with a retaining clip. On some units. the relay may not be covered at all.(each model may vary). Beneath the terminal cover(if equipped), you will find the compressor relay, and the overload protector as well. The electrical terminals of the compressor motor are located here also. Remove the compressor relay by pulling it straight off from the compressor, gently. Pull the wire off of the side terminal of the relay. It is connected with a slip on connector. Firmly pull the connector, do not pull on the wire. You may need to use a pair of needle-nose pliers. Inspect the connector and terminal for corrosion. If either is corroded they should be cleaned or replaced. There are two types of relays you may encounter, wire coil and solid state. If the relay has an exposed wound wire coil it can be tested for continuity. Otherwise, the relay is of solid state design and requires specialized equipment for testing. Test the relay with a ohm(multimeter), for continuity. Set the meter to the ohms setting X1. With the relay upside down, place the probes into the terminals labeled "S" and "M"(the labeling may vary on each model). The meter should display a reading of zero ohms, indicating continuity (or if using a continuity tester, it should light up). With the probes still in place, turn the relay over. You should hear the click of the magnetic switch engaging. The meter should now display an ohm reading of infinity (or the tester should not light up). Turn the relay upside down again, place the probe on the "S" terminal and place it on the side terminal labeled "L". The meter should now display a reading of zero ohms (continuity). Turn the relay over and the reading should change to infinity. With the relay upside down place one probe on the "L" terminal and the other probe on terminal labeled "M". The meter should display a reading of zero ohms. Turn the relay over and the reading will stay the same, zero ohms. Now, if the relay fails these described tests, it should be replaced asap. If the relay proves to be functional, move onto the compressor testing procedure.

    COMPRESSOR TEST PROCEDURE

    The compressor is accessed from the lower rear of the refrigerator. Generally the same proximity of the relay. The compressor motor can be accessed by removing the terminal cover box. The cover is held on by tension or with a retaining clip. The main testing points will be the actual terminal post that hold the relay, gently pull the relay of the terminal box on the side of the compressor, and use the relay holding probes for testing. Once the relay is removed, Place one probe on any terminal and then touch the other probe to each of the other two terminals. The multimeter should display a reading of zero ohms. Be sure to set your meter to 1X before beginning. Now move the first probe to a different terminal and test the other two terminals with the other probe. Finally, move the first probe to the last terminal and test each of the other terminals with the other probe. Every test should have continuity with the multimeter displaying zero ohms. If the compressor motor does not pass all of these tests, the compressor will require professional service. Now test the compressor for ground. With the multimeter still set to X1, touch one probe to bare metal on the compressor housing (it may be necessary to scratch away a little paint to expose the metal). Touch the other probe to each of the three terminals in turn. None of the terminals should have continuity; the multimeter should display a reading of infinity. If any of the grounding tests show continuity, the compressor will require professional service.





    • NOTE_ IF both devices test out ok, the main control board will be the culprit.

  • romanwhitt Jul 04, 2010

    I removed the relay switch from the side of the compressor. with the slightest shake you can hear things rattling around inside the relay switch. Based on this thread, http://www.applianceblog.com/mainforums/..., I'm thinking that the relay switch has gone bad. I tried testing this with my multimeter but I don't have an Ohm setting called X1. My ohm settings are 20M, 2M, 200k, 20k, 2k, 200))) and an arrow pointing to the rights touching a vertical line. My relay switch also has three terminal none of whick are labeled as you mentioned. Mine are labeled 4 and 1. Basically there are two posts for the black and white wire connectors then there is a third post whihc had a red wire connected to it. If you thik the rattle sound indicates a bad relay switch, please let me kow. If not, please help me with the testing of this part given the details I described above. Thank you.

  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Jul 04, 2010

    Ok, that relay has failed. There is no need to test it, due to the fact that, the internal parts of the affected relay are compromised. There should be no rattling at all;concerning the relay at hand. It is safe to replace it, at this time.



    • NOTE_ Be sure to inspect the main board for discolorations at the jumper sections and power relay boxes.Some relays failed, due to mechanical issues, but other causes will be voltage spikes that originate at the main board. I don't suspect that there are problem with your board, but check it to be sure. A simple visual inspection at the board will be fine.


  • Michael Masters
    Michael Masters Jul 04, 2010

    Always happy to help. Have a great day and god bless:)




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Ok, to star with can you give me the make and model of this unit should the following information not be sufficient?

Typically cooling problems such as you are describing are the result of one of three things.
1. Defective compressor.
2. No defrost occurring as it should be.
3. No condenser fan motor operation causing compressor to over heat and shut down and cooling to stop.

1. I do not suspect a defective compressor as you stated that after defrost it did run at normal temperatures at least part of the night.

2. Refrigerators usually defrost once every 6-8 hours in the warmer more humid summer months. Depending on the brand and model of your fridge, you may have either a mechanical timer that operates defrost mode or possibly an electronic control board.
With mechanical control models the frequency of defrost is pre-determined and there is no variation on timing.
With electronic models the refrigerator actually monitors run times, door openings, and off times to formulate how often it should defrost itself.

A defrost issue sill usually make itself evident by a distinct layer of frost accumulation on the cover for the evaporator (cooling) coils. Depending on the style refrigerator you have the coils are going to be inside the freezer compartment and located behind the back wall. Check for frost build up on the rear panel of the freezer. If you see this, keep in mind the cooling coils behind that panel are about 3 inches thick on average so if you are seeing any signs of frost there is a lot more behind the panel.
No defrost is usually a result of:
-a failed defrost heater, located at the bottom of the coils and should check "closed" for continuity test
- a failed defrost thermostat, located on the top of coils and should also read closed when frozen. The job of this component is to turn the heater off when it gets up to a certain temperature in the evaporator compartment to prevent thawing out any food.
-a failed defrost timer or control board. Defrost timers can be manually turned into defrost mode when being checked, and a quick check of the heater operation after advancing it will confirm the timer is not advancing on it's own. Electronic board testing varys by brand.

3. Stalled condenser fan motor. This item is located in the rear of the refrigerator at the bottom next to the compressor and is intended to draft air across the condenser coils located under the fridge. Should this fail the coils and compressor will become super hot and cause the compressor to shut off on it's thermal protection device.
Look for the obvious, (something caught in the fan blade). If you find nothing blocking the fan blade, and it is not running when the fridge is running, you either have a bad fan motor or a defective control board not sending the voltage to the motor.
In a pinch you can leave the back off the fridge and set up a small fan to cover for the bad part until you get a replacement fan or board. Have done this many a time to keep a fridge alive while the part is on order.

Good luck and let me know how you make out.

Posted on Jul 04, 2010

  • romanwhitt Jul 04, 2010

    I have a Kitchen Aid side by side refrigerator, model number KSRB25FHSS04.

  • romanwhitt Jul 04, 2010

    I removed the back panel on the fridge, Kitchen Aid Side by Side model number KSRB25FHSS04. The compressor is hot, the fan is running and I see no frost build up anywhere underneath the fridge. The coils are clean and frost free. What do you suggest I check out next? I have only removed the cardboard backing from the bottom of the back of the fridge. Not sure if I should take more things off for further investigation. Please let m eknow what you would do next. Thank you.

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