Question about Kenmore 52632 / 52634 / 52639 Side by Side Refrigerator

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Kenmore refrigerator 5260 not cold

Hello all,
I have been searching this site looking for a solution to my frig probelm and came across this post that seems to be a very similar problem:

Six year old frig all of a sudden got warm, about 60 degrees.
Freezer seems to be working well, aprox 5 degrees.
Took all of my food out and defrosted frig/freezer. Did find ice accumulated on evaporator coils and drain hole for the evaporation pan was clogged with ice.

I've located the defrost thermostat, defrost heater but haven't found the defrost timer as of yet. I have a Kenmore Elite Side by Side Model # 106.52603100
I also noticed something else kind of strange: The metal strip that separates the frig side from the freezer side gets very warm when frig is plugged in.
Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks in advance


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  • 5 more comments 
  • Doobidoo27 Jul 18, 2008


    Thanks for the reply.

    Sorry for the ignorance, but what's the best way to test both the heater and bi-metal thermostat? What kind of readings am I looking for with a meter, etc?

    Also, I did figure out after plugging the frig back in only for a few minutes last night that between the doors got "very hot" in a matter of minutes. It starts getting warm at the bottom and then travels up the entire distance and becomes very hot to the touch. I have already thoroughly cleaned the coils by vacumming underneath (just as recently as yesterday morning) and this is something that I do every few months. So if my coils are clean, what else could be causing this excessive heat?

    Thanks again for your help,


  • Doobidoo27 Jul 18, 2008


    Thanks for all the advice thus far.

    I checked the heater, read 24.5

    Checked the bimetal and it read 0.00 cold and 1 warm (no register)

    I'm guessing from these readings, the parts seem to be working okay???

    Where do you think I should go from here?

    Any suggestions would be great.

    Thanks again,


  • Doobidoo27 Jul 19, 2008


    Thanks again.

    I will try plugging it back in and see what happens. I'll keep you posted either way.

    One thing that I did think was questionable about the bi-metal is this: The first time I tested the continuity, I took it to someone's freezer, let it sit an hour and it tested out at 0.00 which is a "good" test. I then later tried to test again from home by putting it in a bag filled with ice and ice water and I couldn't get it to read. What I was thinking was strange is that wouldn't the bi-metal sitting in a bag of ice for 30 minutes to an hour be long enough for it to get cold and register a reading? I was thinking that maybe the bi-metal is acting up and possibly on its way out even though I did get that good reading the one time???

    Also, the control board that you're speaking of, what exactly is that? Are you talking about the control board that has the electronic temperature display in the immeadiate top front of the refrigerator, or are you talking about the air diffuser that's in the back top left of the frig? And is there any way to test this part?

    Again, thank you so so much for responding and taking the time to help me get to the bottom of this.


  • Doobidoo27 Jul 19, 2008


    Thanks again.

    Your response time is awesome.

    I found a local appliance store that has the bi-metal in stock. I'm on my way to go and get one and will install ASAP.

    I'll keep you posted if this fixes it.

    Thanks so much again,


  • Doobidoo27 Jul 22, 2008


    Well, it's been two days with the new bi-metal installed and the frig is wonderfully cold and the freezer is perfect and seems to be defrosting fine thus far.

    So I just wanted to thank you for all of your help. This service that you provide is just wonderful and I thank you immensely for all of your effort......Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!


  • mtbonnel Jul 28, 2008

    Freezer in sideby side kenmore not frezzing. Strips on side of door hot to touch. Cleaned out freezer vacumed coils took panel off back and cleaned grate. Let set for about sizx hours turned on but freezer not working. Any suggestions?

  • Anonymous Aug 04, 2008

    Hi, I seems to be having a similar problem, My refrigerator side is on the highest setting as well as the freezer side. The refrigerator doesn't seem to even get a bottle of sada cold enough. I clean my coils and the bowl in back seems to be hot and the sprip in the middle between the doors are hot too. It looks like the vent where my cold air comes out might have some frost under the vent. I am not sure what to do at this point. Thanks in advance for any help you could offer.



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  • 481 Answers

  • the defrost timer on your machine is actually integrated within a control board/air diffuser. hopefully that is not the problem (expensive).
  • i would start by testing the heater and bimetal thermostat in the freezer. (note: the bimetal thermostat will only have continuity when below 40 degrees.)
  • the heat you feel between the doors is normal (if it is not too hot). 
  • some of the heat that is released by the machine is intentionally released between the doors to prevent condensation.
  •  if it seems warmer than usual then you might need to clean the coils under the machine and make sure the airflow under the machine is not obstructed at all. 
  • if the coils are dirty then they will not be able to release the heat properly and the heat will be released in other areas like between the doors.

Posted on Jul 18, 2008

  • 1 more comment 
  • Mike Durland
    Mike Durland Jul 18, 2008

    to test the bimetal and heater all you have to do is to make sure electricity can flow thru it. from one wire to the other. it is called continuity. here is a website on how to use a meter to test continuity if you want to learn.


    if the refrigerator is turned off and you plug it in,
    it starts to remove the heat from inside the refrigerator to the coils and the space between the doors.
    since there is a lot of heat to move the coils and this space will get very hot. 
    but when the refrigerator has been plugged in for a day or more then the refrigerator does not have to move
    too much heat to maintain its temperature so it will not get as hot. if the coils are clean and the fan is running under the machine
    then i would not be too concerned about the heat between the doors

  • Mike Durland
    Mike Durland Jul 19, 2008

    i would plug it in and try it again, it could be that the wires were not getting a good connection.
    the only other thing that i can think of is the control board, and i have not found one for sale at regular parts sites, so you may have to order one from sears.

  • Mike Durland
    Mike Durland Jul 19, 2008

    • the bimetal is probably bad, when a bimetal goes bad it sometimes  works intermittently.

    • i am having a hard time trying to find what your refrigerator uses as a defrost timer. when i pull it up at it shows the air diffuser, but when i look it up at other sites it shows a $220 circuit board. so i don't know how to help you on that.

    • hopefully its just the bimetal acting up.



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