Question about Kenmore 64802 Top Freezer Refrigerator

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Refrigerator/freezer stopped cooling during a heat wave

We went away for a long-weekend during which time a heat wave started. Before leaving we turned the temperature control in the fridge down (ie, warmer), in order to reduce energy consumption during our absence. When we returned the weather was much hotter and we found the refrigeration and freezing functions had stopped and everything was defrosted or warm. We turned the controls up (ie, colder) and a few minutes later the refrigeration started again and 2 days later all is working fine. The fridge is 2.5 years old and this is the first time this has happened.

Questions: 1) do hot summer weather and heat waves effect a fridge's cooling performance?
2) Could turning down the temp control have contributed to the fact the the fridge had stopped cooling?
3) What is the best thing to do during hot weather to ensure the fridge/freezer continue to cool properly?

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  • suzanne_laro Jul 10, 2010

    Thanks for the follow up advice. This is an excellent service!

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  • 1,218 Answers

Good day,
Turning the thermostat to a warmer setting should not have caused the machine to quit cooling. Actually, the engineers give you far less leeway than you might think.
The controls are more in a class of fine tuning, otherwise people would be getting themselves into trouble. The manufacturers simply design the warm and cold parameters in a fairly narrow range.
The best setting is normal. When away, the machine will run far less simply because of no door openings. Opening a door lets in large amounts of air every time it's done, which is where your cost to run it exists.
Two things. One, if the temp in the kitchen exceeded 90 degrees for any length of time, you are operating it beyond it's design range, however two, it sounds as if the thermostat hung up, causing your issue. You may want to have it replaced, but it would be useless to call anyone when it's performing normally.
There is no test on thermostats other than by observing their action when the machine is not operating properly.

Posted on Jul 08, 2010

Testimonial: "Thank for your advice. This answers a number of questions. However I don't understand the last sentence. Could you clarify? Thanks again!"

  • John Hall Jul 09, 2010

    Good day,

    Regarding the last sentence, the thermostat is a device that cannot in a practical way be tested by the use of a meter or any other testing device.

    I made the comment that calling a service tech to your house and ask them to test the thermostat for erratic operation would not be possible.

    Diagnosing a bad thermostat can be done if the machine will not shut off at any setting or not turn the machine on at any setting. If it is not either one of these two then the tech relies on the info he receives from the owner in making the decision to replace if needed.

    Unfortunately, a service call will come in where the customer states the machine went too warm or too cold but only on occasion but is working O.K. when the tech shows up.

    In that case the customers history of it's action will determine what the repair should be.

    Hope this helps.

    At this time I would leave it as is unless the machine acts up with the controls set at or near their normal settings.

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