Question about Kenmore 73503 Stainless Steel Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

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Refrigerator won't work after winter shut down at camp


We have a home that we turn off electric on over the winter where temperatures can get well below zero in the winter. We have arrived to open for summer and the refrigerator won't cool (2 summers old). the fans are working - is there something that we need to do after being "dormant" for 7 months of the year to get it started?

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  • TFeld May 03, 2008

    If this is the case - is there anything that can be done to prevent other than leaving the electricity on all year? Thank you for your assistance!



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This is a problem we frequently run into in a situation such as yours. Refrigerators are meant to be used in continuous operation. Using them seasonally will let the high side condenser tubing, internal to most cabinets, rust through and loose the refrigerant charge.

Posted on May 03, 2008


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Why is the refrigerator side is freezing food

First some fridge 101, the refrigerator/freezer models cool by directly refrigerating the freezer section and the refrigerator section is cooled when "some" of the cold air from the freezer is directed over to the refrigerator side (typically by a fan) to keep food fresh and not frozen a temperature controlling damper opens and closes to regulate the temperature of the fridge by introducing more or below freezing air into the cabinet. In older models where the freezer was on top the air simply "gravity" drained into the refrigerator cabinet, if the food was too cold you turned the fridge knob up and less air sank from the freezer to the fridge, simple but effective.

When you adjust the temperature level it controls the freezer temperature and this turns the compressor on and off to keep the food frozen. There is typically a knob or lever and some even have electric dampers that open and close to direct more or less air from the freezer and direct it to the refrigerator cabinet based on your temperature requirements.

Now that you know how it works there are a couple things to check. If the condenser coil is plugged with dust the internal system pressure will rise and in some cases make the fridge an over achiever and can chill too much so check/clean the condenser coil. Check the freezer temperature control and turn in up, also make sure the fridge temperature control setting is not set too cold.

Finally as the temperature changes around the refrigerator it will have an effect on the inside of the fridge too so expect to turn it up and down as the environment changes, down in the summer and up in the winter.

Hope the novel helps to resolve your issues.

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Bottom freezer stopped working, then started working. Would this be a problem with the thermostat or blower fan? During this period refrigerator half had no problems.

Hello Steve:

My name is Peter. I am a retired field service refrigeration technician.
You do not have a problem. It sounds like your refrigerator is running normally.
Your compressor and fans will run based on the cooling demands set by you on your temperature settings. Once the temperature has been reached your compressor or fans will stop running.
If your compressor is running all of the time then you have a cooling problem.
You refrigerator will also shut down about every 8-10 hours for about 15-20 minutes. This is when your refrigerator goes into the defrost mode. Your refrigerator shuts down and the heater around the cooling coil turns on to defrost the cooling coil. This is where the term; "Frost Free", comes from.

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Hi there,

This sounds like a bad capacitor to me. You can replace it with a new one, just make sure you mark the electrical poles correctly when you remove it so you won't have any problems placing them back when you get a new one.
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1 Answer

Refrigerator was shut down for winter. now that we plugged it back in the refrigerator and freezer are not coming down to temperature.

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You might want to clean the condenser grill and make sure that there is front to back air flow at the bottom.

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Fridge freezer kept in cold garage. Freezer works from time to time but fridge stopped work. Could it be a thermostat problem or due to temperature of garage?

The problem is with the garage temperature. The temperature sensor for the refrigerator is in the fridge compartment, but the evap coils are in the freezer. Refrigerators were designed to work in an air conditioned space. When they are put into unheated spaces, it does not work well. The fridge thermostat typically is set to 40 deg F. If the outside temperature is close to that, then it does not turn on the compressor as much so the freezer will have a hard time staying below freezing.

There are garage refrigerator kits for people who put fridges in un heated garages in the winter. They just simple electric heaters that warm the fridge's thermostat to cause the compressor to run more often. This helps the fridge to maintain temperatures better in the freezer compartment. The same thing can be accomplished by putting a small wattage bulb in the refrigerator compartment. Just remember to remove it during the warm weather otherwise you will pay a large electricity bill in the summer months.

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Would like to put older side by side refrigerator in our garage. I was told in the winter, when it gets cold the freezer side will not keep foods frozen. I had an older top freezer refrigerator in the...

It could be a problem depending on how cold your garage gets in the winter. Most refrigerators depend on the compressor turning on to cool the freezer section and that cold air is used to cool the refrigerator section. If your the temperature in your garage gets in the 30-40 degree range in the winter. The compressor may not turn on sufficiently since the refrigerator is typically around the 35-40 degree range. This will cause the freezer to warm up to the fridge temperature and your freezer items will defrost.

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1 Answer

I am shutting down my camp for the winter. is

make sure to drain and disconnect the water lines, also make sure that there is no water left in the drum, other than that- that's about all you can do

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