Question about Refrigerators

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I have a Maytag Plus MTB2156AEW refrigerator. The freezer freezes; although I just defrosted it and cleaned off the vents 2 days ago, and it is starting to frost again. My original poblem is that the food storage part of the refrigerator is is only reaching 50% when I have it set on the #9 out of a possible 1-9. The freezer is set on 5 and freezes fine, except it has been frosting up on the back panel and on the right side as I face the freezer, and the frost starts to cover the vents. I also am trying to figure out what the contraction is on the left panel of the freezer. I decided to push a metal wire that is sticking out down to see what would happen. I started hearing a noise after that every now and then, like a motor was trying to start, but couldn't. The sound comes on for about 2 or 3 seconds and then stops. This is a refrigerator purchased from someone else, and seemed to work okay for the first 3 months I have had it. I did put a new refrigerator door seal on the food stroage door, because I could see where the seal was warped. I am tired of living out of the freezer, and moving things back and forth. Freezer something, and then put it in the food storage part to thaw it out. I am wondering if it is just cheaper and more efficient in the long run to purchase a new refrigerator. Thanks, Richard

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The problem is the "Mother Board" and although many here argue with me about this I talk from experience.

Posted on Mar 17, 2011

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This is a frost free refrigerator. The fact that you have frost build up is a sign that the defrost circuit has failed, causing the vents to become blocked and not allowing the refrigerator to cool properly. It can be fixed if you have some mechanical abilities.

The water source that is causing ice build up on your coils comes from the air. The coils are below freezing and the water in the air are freezing on to the coils. Your problem is that your defrost circuit in your fridge has failed. It is made up of three parts, the defrost timer, defrost heater, and thermostat.

The way it works is 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't heat up the coil.

To start, check the defrost timer. It looks like this:


I have a Maytag Plus - slamfix_44.jpg
It's located in the temperature control box in the refrigerator compartment. On the side of the timer, there is a round cam that can be turned with a straight screwdriver. Turn it until it clicks. With the fridge plugged in, the compressor should stop and the heater should be turning on and getting warm. Look and listen for signs of melting ice on the coils. There should sounds of ice crackling and water dripping out the drain tube below the fridge. If there is no ice melting, the problem is with the heater/thermostat.

Unplug the fridge and remove the back panel in the freezer compartment. The heater is usually mounted on the bottom of the coil. If you have a meter you can check the heater for continuity. If it open, it needs to be replaced. You can get replacement parts at your local appliance repair supply or online such as repairclinic.com.

To help you locate the parts in your fridge and replacement parts, this link will give you diagrams for your refrigerator. http://www.appliancepartspros.com/partsearch/model.aspx?model_id=44882&diagram_id=28491069#d28491069

Hope this helps you, let me know if you need any additional help.

Posted on Mar 17, 2011

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