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Side by side freezer frost in the back and food thawed out....the freezer is a 9 and fridge 5...What should i do? it is a couple of years old...

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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 Jul 06, 2010

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You can confirm it is the timer, by tracing the wires from the compressor to a little 2 by 2 inch box which is the timer. On one side there should be a round hole with a plastic cam. You should be able to turn that cam with a flat screw driver or a coin. Just give it a slight turn until you hear a click. After you turned the cam, the compressor should start. If it does, then it is the timer.

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1 Answer

FREEZER MAKING ICE, BUT FOOD IS THAWING


If you have a Freezer on the top model Kenmore, with warm temps in the fridge, AND water dripping onto the top shelf of the lower fresh food compartment (FFC), this is usually caused by a clogged defrost drain. Since Kenmore is not an actual manufacturer of anything, they take other brands, i.e. Kitchenaid, GE, Frigidaire, etc., take their names off and put on a shiny Kenmore nametag. This is a common problem with Kitchenaid refrigerators. You can determine if your Kenmore is made by kitchenaid by looking at the model # tag. the first three digits will indicate the manufacturer, Kitchenaids begin with the sequence, 106.*.If this is indeed how your model # begins, keep reading. Since the water cant go down the drain tubing to the pan at the bottom of the unit, it builds up on the freezer floor, eventually blocking the air return vents from the fridge to the freezer, and the vent from the freezer to the fridge. YOu can check this very easily. Look at the ceiling of your FFC, near the back. toward the sides you will see two square holes, about 2" square, stick your finger and feel around the inside of those holes, do you feel any ice/frost, or do you just feel styrofoam, you might even see frost/ice below the level of your ceiling? This drain usually gets clogged with defrost water that does not completely drain, then of course it freezes, eventually plugging up the drian hole located at the level of your freezer floor, behind the back wall. The water keeps accumulating, and freezing, on the freezer floor, eventually filling in and clogging the air vents..no air flow , the fridge wont cool. The easiest way to resolve this, empty out all contents and store someplace cold for 24 hours...a 2nd fridge, outside in a cooler if its cold like here in chicago. After its empty, unplug, open both doors and blow a fan for 24 hours. Prepare for an abundance of water due to melting ice.
After you defrost, you can plug it back in and it will be fine, HOWEVER, I suggest you take the back freezer wall off, you might have to take a floor cover off first, likely 2-4 screws in both the floor and the back wall. When you have the evaporator exposed, you will see a black cal rod defrost heater underneath the evaporator, as well as your drain hole just to the right of center underneath both heater and evaporator. Take a piece of 12-14 gauge solid, not stranded wire, removing the insulation and exposing the entire 6-8" piece of copper wire. wrap the wire around the diameter of the cal rod heater, 3-4 turns should be sufficient, and stick the other end of the wire down that drain hole. This will melt any ice that will build up in the future, everytime your unit goes into defrost cycle, so this wont happen again.

If air vents are clear of frost/ice, next thing to check is the back wall of your freezer, does there appear to be frost/ice/snow on the back wall? If so, your unit is not defrosting. On most Kenmores, this is usually caused by your defrost timer, located in the canopy mounted at the top of the FFC on Top freezer models, or your defrost thermostat, which is clipped onto the evaporator coil inside your freezer. Again, if its a 106 model Kenmore, this thermostat will have a pink and a brown wire coming into/out of it. My suggestion, if it isnt defrosting, change both. tjhe defrost control will connect with a plug, but you will have to hard wire the thermostat, ( cut wires from old, strip wire, and connect using wire nuts and electrical tape.)

Since y ou mentioned the water accumulation, more water recently, my diagnosis would be the former versus the latter, as the lack of actual defrosting coincides with lack of defrost water, however I'll never say never.

If your unit is a side by side model, check for ice on freezer floor...clogged drain. Check again for frost/ice on back wall, not defrosting, check same two parts, (the heaters rarely go bad on Kitchenaids, but never say never) You should also check for air flow into fridge, even if no frost / ice visible on back wall. Open the FFC door, and locate the air vent near the top, back of the fridge, on the left wall. While depressing the door switch, AND WITH THE FREEZER door closed, put your finger/hand near that vent. Do you feel any cold air? If you dont, you could have a bad door damper, not uncommon, or a bad damper control--> the temperature control WITHOUT the off or "0" position.

If any of this seems a bit overwhelming, I suggest you have a reputable repair technician check your fridge.

Oh, and lastly, you WILL NOT have two compressors, one for each compartment, nor will you have two sets of defrost heating elements, one for each half.
ALL cooling for 99% of refrigerators made in last 25 years takes place in the freezer, with the fridge being an empty box, except for an air intake vent, and an air exhaust vent which leads directly back into the freezer. When a refrigerator unit seems to still be cold in the freezer, but not cold enough or not cold at all in the FFC, its ALWAYS going to be caused by lack of air flow. But as you can see, there are a few things that can cause that lack of air flow.

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1 Answer

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and PLEASE give a Thumbs Up for the effort. The Raz Shack

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1 Answer

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It would appear to me the system has a leak. Allow me to explain. When a fridge/freezer is "lo" on gas it causes the compressor to run far longer than usual. As a consiquence the motor overload shuts it down, potentially for a very long time, hence the contents thaw. The major clue to this a frost pattern on just one wall. Have a tech visit to confirm, but I suspect you'll be out of luck as far as a repair goes. Chest freezers are not easy to repair "lo side" leaks, which is likely what you have, because the evap. coils are in the walls. sorry, but I hope that helps in some manner. good luck

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