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I have a Westinghouse frostfree rj25m upright fridge/freezer. The freezer is working fine but the refrigerator won't cool. I want to fix it myself as it is an old fridge and really not worth spending $300 with a repair man.

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I am not sure if your freezer is working correctly if the fridge compartment is not at the right temperature. The way refrigerators work is that the fridge compartment is indirectly cooled by the freezer. The evaporator coils that cool the freezer, also cool the refrigerator. There is a fan in the freezer section that draws air from the refrigerator and blow them over the coils. The vent to the refrigerator could be blocked by debris or ice build up if the defrost circuit has failed. In order to check, you need to remove the back panel from the freezer section to check the condition of the coils/vent. Also check the fan in the freezer and see if it is operating. If the coil is encased in ice, then the defrost circuit has failed and that needs to be fixed otherwise the freezer will not cool to the correct temperature.

The way the defrost circuit worksis that normally the compressor has power for 8 hours, then the timer cuts power off and sends power to the defrost heater for about 45 minutes. The heater is attached to the coil and warms up the coil to melt the ice. When the coil reaches about 40 deg F, the thermostat which is in series with the heater, opens up cutting off power to the heater. This prevents the freezer from getting too hot. After the 45 minutes are up, the timer switches the power back to the compressor again to restart the 8 hour cooling cycle.

Any of the three components can fail causing you not to get the defrost cycle to work. Typically the timer stops advancing so you either stay in permanent cooling or defrost mode. Or the heater burns out so it can

Posted on Mar 13, 2011

Testimonial: "didnt know where to start at first, but this was enough info to help me out and fix the fridge. thanks."

  • Shelley Humphries Mar 13, 2011

    I have a Kenmore model# 253.73754300. The problem I'm having is the freezer works but when it goes into the heater/defrost mode, it won't shut off the heater . The freezer compartment will get completely warm nearly hot, defrost everything and then after a while the cooling system will restart to freeze again. It will then work normal until the next cycle when it happens again.Would the problem be the thermostat or timer switch?

  • Stephen Lam Mar 14, 2011

    Hi voodoolady24,

    When the fridge is in defrost mode, the heater should never go beyond about 40 deg F. If everything is melting in the freezer during defrost, the problem is with the defrost thermostat. It looks like a round cylinder that is connected in series with the heater. Its job is to cut the power to the defrost heater when it senses the coil has reached 40 deg F to prevent the heater from over heating the freezer. Have the defrost thermostat replaced. It should be available at your local appliance repair house or online such as repairclinic.com. Hope this helps you.

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