Question about Refrigerators

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I have a Kenmore Elite Trio refridgerator/freezer model 596 73502201 that was bought new 5-6 years ago. The freezer (bottom) is working fine, but I hear knocking noises occasionally. The top (fridge) has stopped cooling. The lights stay on (I has to remove the bulbs), but no cooling. What can I check?

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  • 19 more comments 
  • joanispud Apr 02, 2011

    1. Yes, we saw a little build up of frost.

    2. No, we do not hear the fan blowing...but the freezer is holding its temp at freezing and the fridge stopped cooling on Thursday night.

    3.There is no cold air being blown up to the fridge.



    It seems like the compressor is running, but not the fan.

  • joanispud Apr 02, 2011

    After taking off the back we realized that the fan is in fact working...but still no air in the top. Also, did I mention that when this whole thing started the light would not go out in the refrigerator and when I took the cover off of the lights to unscrew them that the plastic around the light area was bubbled and brownish (burned) and extremely hot!

    We will have to get a volt meter. Where should he be using the volt meter on the back, he is confused about that. He also said that we don't have a "mother board" as shown in the volt meter video.

  • joanispud Apr 02, 2011

    After taking the back off, we realized that the fan is in fact working....but still no cold air in the fridge. Did I also mention that when this happened on Thursday that the light was on the fridge and I had to remove the cover and unscrew the extremely hot bulbs. The plastic around the bulbs was bubbled and brown (burned). We will have to get a volt meter. But what exactly is my husband to check. Also I have been cleaning the fridge with the freezer closed and we just checked the freezer again and it is all frosty! Any other comments/suggestions?

    Thanks

  • joanispud Apr 02, 2011

    Yes we have taken off the back panel. There is no frost on the copper tubing, but they are cold (not freezing cold though). The light bulbs are out. The damper door is open as far as we can tell.....by sticking fingers down it. No cold air!

  • joanispud Apr 02, 2011

    It wasn't in the volt meter video...it was in one of the other trouble shooting video links. It confused my husband also at the time because it was a GE....just forget about that...and no we are not chatting with another tech. So what do we do now? Do you want a pic of the back for any reason?

  • joanispud Apr 02, 2011

    Are you still with me?

  • joanispud Apr 02, 2011

    It was the back of the fridge that we had taken off. We have everything out of the freezer and he's working on getting to the wall of the INSIDE!!! What's next?

  • joanispud Apr 02, 2011

    Any idea how the side rails come off?

  • joanispud Apr 02, 2011

    Can't get the side rails off =:0(

  • joanispud Apr 02, 2011

    Isn't that the deli drawer in that diagram?

  • joanispud Apr 03, 2011

    Is there something that releases the metal rails and then the screws are underneathe? Can't figure it out!

  • joanispud Apr 03, 2011

    Can we continue this tomorrow? What time are you on?

  • joanispud Apr 03, 2011

    Okay..we finally got the back panel off...and no, the fan is not running. What we heard before I guess came from the back of the fridge. What do we do now? (Yes, I know I said we would continue tomorrow, but we made progress!!)

  • joanispud Apr 03, 2011

    The fan that circulates the air in the fridge is definately NOT working. The condenser coils are getting cold and the fan in the rear works is lowing air across the coils. Should the fan (inside the fridge) run all of the time once the coils are cool?
    As far as the light switch, does this include the sockets where the bulbs are screwed in? Does that NEED to be replaced too?

  • joanispud Apr 03, 2011

    Did you get our last comment 2 hours ago??!!

  • joanispud Apr 03, 2011

    We checked the voltage coming into the evaporator fan and it showed 120 volts AC. Checked defroster switch and had resistance., registered 40 on the ohm scale. Do you think the defroster switch is ok? How do we go about removing the door switch? Where exactly is it located?

  • joanispud Apr 03, 2011

    Would the fan have caused the door switch to go bad or visa versa? Or just a coincidence?

  • joanispud Apr 03, 2011

    My husband checked the light switches and found that they show continuity after plugging the fridge back up. The lights now seem to be working fine. I'm confused! Do we really need to change the switches out now? Arg!!

  • joanispud Apr 03, 2011

    We are gong to try and get the evap. fan locally tomorrow. We will keep you posted. Thanks for your help.

  • joanispud Apr 05, 2011

    Hi Justin-We installed the evaporator fan in about an hour ago.....but it hasn't kicked in! The fridge was unplugged all night and all of today and the freezer is getting cooler, but nothing still up top. Does it take a while for it to kick in?

  • joanispud Apr 05, 2011

    Hello...are you there?

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  • 257 Answers

Hello Joanispud,

I understand that you are having a problem with you Kenmore Elite Fridge. You state that the bottom freezer is working fine. However, the top section the fridge is not cooling at all. There are a few possible solutions that can cause this problem lets see if we can not go over them and fix the problem that you are having.

First thing I would check is the evaporator fan. The fan is located at the rear of the top of the freezer section. The fan circulates the air from the freezer thru the evaporator coils and up to the fridge to cool it. You will be able to hear or possibly feel the air circulating in the freezer. If it is not you will need to remove the drawer unit, remove the rear cover panel to access the fan. This will require a 1/4 nut-driver or 1/4 socket and ratchet. The fan will have three wires the only one that has to be put on the same place is the ground (green wire). I have located the evaperator fan at partselect for $36.18 part #2003659, at the following link http://www.partselect.com/PartDetail.aspx?Inventory=2003659&SourceCode=7&ModelNum=59673502201

The other possibility is the condensor coils are dirty. The coils are located at the bootom of the unit. The collect dust and dirt and should be cleaned twice a year. The things you will want to use to clean it is a long skinny brush and a vaccum with a crevis tool. Brush and **** as much of the dirt as you can from underneath of the unit. This will also help to make you compressor run cooler and last longer, as the unit will be able to remove heat faster.

More than likely the problem is the first one. However, you should still clean your condensor coils as stated above it will help your unit to survive alot longer. If you need in futhure assistance please do not hesitate to post back to this thread I would be more than happy to assit you in any manner that I can.

I have also located you a door switch with a video that you can watch inorder to change it out. This will stop you lights from being on all the time as the switch is no longer closing the circuit. The switch #937, cost $10.35 and is at the follow site with the video http://www.repairclinic.com/Refrigerator-Switch-Parts?s=t-596+73502201+-%3d%3da4c35 the switch at the top of the page with video.

Thank you for choosing FixYa.com

Justin

Posted on Apr 03, 2011

  • 6 more comments 
  • Justin Burnett
    Justin Burnett Apr 03, 2011

    Before you take anything apart make sure that you unplug the unit as you do not want to be shocked. As always when working on electrical appliances there is a possiblity if it is plug in.



    Justin

  • Justin Burnett
    Justin Burnett Apr 03, 2011

    After reading you comments you need to go with solution to and check you condenser coils as the tubes in the back of the fridge should be ice cold. The fan and the defroster help them to not produce ice on them. However, when the fan stops working they will ice over pretty quickly. I believe that your condenser coils are dirty and they can not get rid of there heat. There is also a fan under there that blows across the coils, pan and compressor you may want to see if it is working.



    Justin

  • Justin Burnett
    Justin Burnett Apr 03, 2011

    The Fan (the one in the back of the Freezer) that circulates the air is what is not allowing your fridge to cool. The fan should not run all of the time, but should run until the fridge is cooled. The switch does not included the socket. However, if you where able to remove the light bulb there should not be anything wrong with the socket.

    Justin

  • Justin Burnett
    Justin Burnett Apr 03, 2011

    Just logged on.

  • Justin Burnett
    Justin Burnett Apr 03, 2011

    I posted a video that show you how to replace the switch it is on the same site as the switch part. There is nothing wrong with the defrost unit. Those fans go out often I am surprized that is lasted 6 years without being replaced (the fans are not made up to the standards they once where).

  • Justin Burnett
    Justin Burnett Apr 03, 2011

    You do not have to but would recommend you order one so that next time the switch acts up you will have one on hand to replace it with.

  • Justin Burnett
    Justin Burnett Apr 03, 2011

    You should be able to find it at any appliance supplier as they are a common item and inexpensive. Thank you I will look forward to your up date.

    Have any more questions please let me know

    justin

  • Justin Burnett
    Justin Burnett Apr 05, 2011

    NO, the fan should start right off the batt. Do you have the ability to check if power is going to the fan.

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  • 262 Answers

Hello

First thing to check......

1.)Open the freezer door....look at the rear panel.....do you see any ice/frost built up on panel?

2.) When the compressor is running do you hear a fan running in the freezer section? The fan will be just behind the rear panel you just checked.

3.) The fan you have checked blows the cold air up into your refrigerator.
here is a link that will show you where the air is suppose to come out of. Part number 16 on the drawing.It is located either in the rear middle of bottom,rear middle on back panel or on the rear upper left hand side of the refrigerator, all three are at the very top shelf area. Where your controls are located.
Click on the link http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/part-model/Kenmore-Parts/Refrigerator-Parts/Model-59673502201/0582/0161000/M0307112/00006?blt=06&prst=0&shdMod=59673502201

Note part number 18....this is the damper door which opens and closes depending on the temp you have set. When you want colder temps you set your fridge to a colder setting thus telling the door to open wider allowing more cold air to be blown up from the fan in the freezer section. For warmer temps the door will close. Sometimes this door will break and not allow air into the fridge.
Put your hand next to the vent/opening and if the fan in the freezer is running feel for air being blown into the fridge section.

Please post results.

Keith

Posted on Apr 02, 2011

  • 12 more comments 
  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    Since we saw frost/ice build up and did not hear the fan then we will need to take off the back panel of the freezer. There should be four- six screws that will be needed to be taken out to expose the evaporator coils. This is what coools the entire unit.

    The fan will be mounted on top of the coils.



    Please watch the videos that I have posted. They will help you in understanding the issue at hand.

    The videos will show a side x side and a top freezer....the top freezer is the same as your only your freezer is on the bottom.



    I'm also posting a how to use a volt meter in case you don not know how. Knowing how will help you in determining what part is bad on the unit. Well worth the small investment ....you will be able to use this to help with anything that has electricity running through it.



    Please after watching the video(s) and taking off the back panel post the results that you find.



    Please do not attempt to repair until posting and I get back with you.



    This video will show you a defrost issue which is in your freezer and the cold air return that must take place to cool your refrigerator .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnRKj7_Bt...

    How to check the defrost heater...whenever changing the defrost heater....ALWAYS CHANGE THE DEFROST THERMOSTAT ALSO!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=311BiD76i...

    You will need to learn how to check the appliance parts with a multi meter. You can purchase one at your local hardware or at Lowes/Homedepot for between $8.00 and $12.00

    click on the link to learn how to use a volt meter and how to check the units parts.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nddAA5IAU...

    This video will show you a defrost issue which is in your freezer and the cold air return that must take place to cool your refrigerator .http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnRKj7_BtNw

    How to check the defrost heater...whenever changing the defrost heater....ALWAYS CHANGE THE DEFROST THERMOSTAT ALSO!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=311BiD76iYg

    You will need to learn how to check the appliance parts with a multi meter. You can purchase one at your local hardware or at Lowes/Homedepot for between $8.00 and $12.00

    click on the link to learn how to use a volt meter and how to check the units parts.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nddAA5IAUik

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    The volt meter video is to be used as a reference only.The volt meter is for checking the defrost heater.



    As for the rear back panel of the freezer....where you saw a frost build up. Have you taken off the back panel? Is so.....what did it look like? Did it look like the one in the video?

    It should have only a small amount of frost on it. If it looked like the video then the fan can not **** up the cold air from between the evapoator coils and send it over to the refrigerator side.



    If it has a heavy frost and or icing on it then we need to check the defrost heater for continuity with the volt meter.The video shows you how to check this part. It is located under the evaporator as the first video showed.



    As for the light buld....it would have a big impact on the refrigerator temp. Take out all the light bulbs in the refrigerator side. Let's concentrate on the freezer section first.



    You can also take apart the damper door cover (inj the refrigerator section) and ensure that this door is open. If it is not open....open it manually then see if you can feel cold air being blown over.



    Please post answers to all.



    Keith






  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    I'm confussed as to where you saw a Mother Board in the volt meter video.
    I have a procedure for this but it is only for a GE model. I clicked on the links I sent you and I didn't send the one with the mother board.....Were you chatting with another tech at some point?

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    I think the system is running sloooow tonight. I just received the whole message you sent previously....the freezer section is frosty.



    We need to take off the back panel to the freezer so we can check the defrost heater as shown in the video.



    Unplug the unit.

    Take a blow dryer and defrost the freezer evaporator coils with the blow dryer.

    On the very bottom of the evaporator coils will the the defrost heater. Check for continuity on it as shown in the video.

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    Are you speaking of the panel inside of the freezer section against the back wall of the inside of the freezer?

    Or the back panel on the outside of the refrigerator unit where the compressor is located?

    There are alot of silver tubes and copper tubes in the evaporator section. I'm not so sure we are looking in the correct location.


    We need to take out all the food in the freezer and pull out the shelves. Then take off the side rails.
    Now take off the back rear panel inside of the freezer section.

    Is this the one you have taken off?

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    I'm here......just waiting on the answer of what panel you have taken off......



    the one inside of the freezer or the one on the outside of the refrigerator lower backside against the wall.


  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    Each rail should have two screws holding them on. You may have to move them forward to expose them

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    Here is a link for the side rails parts diagram

    click on the link http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdir...



    See part number 18 on the lower drawing....there are two screws holding it on.

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    you still may be able to take off the rear panel without the rails coming off.
    I always take them off,gives me more room to manuver the panel off.

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    You may need to use the blow dryer to expose the rear panels screws....they may be covered with frost. Also the rear panel may be frozen stuck shut...use the blow dryer to thaw it out.

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 02, 2011

    Yes it was....here is the proper link http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdir...



    Same thing though....four screws though. try sliding the support/railings to expose the screws.

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 03, 2011

    If I remember correctly the whole rail comes out as one piece. Have you tried moving the rail to line up the screws so you have clearance to take them out?

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 03, 2011

    here is a link that might help.It has alot of different rails that show you how to take off.



    click on the link http://fixitnow.com/wp/2010/09/19/replac...

  • Keith Drake
    Keith Drake Apr 03, 2011

    Just leave a message on this post and I will answer. I'm off and on all day and night on the weekends. You guys enjoy your evening and don't worry we will get it repaired.

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