Question about Kenmore Side by Side Refrigerator

2 Answers

I have a Kenmore 363.58897894 Side by side. Fresh food side temp is around 60 degrees. Freezer will still freeze to low to mid teens. Although I am a novice at refrig repair, it seems that there must be a air duct from the freezer side to the fresh food side probably controlled by the temp control which may be the problem. I've checked to make sure all the little ducts are clean and unobstructed. I've vaccumed the lint from under and around the coils as well as behind the unit. Any guidance would be appreciated.

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  • edan711 May 26, 2011

    I've finally reached the back panel in the freezer side. Your solution is probably the correct one as the coil section does contain ice and I am currently letting it defrost. The access to the complete coil area however appears to be much more complex than taking out a few screws. There are 2 vertical rails on each side in the rear that run almost the full length of the freeezer. The panel is metal and is located behind and is captured behind these rails. The rails appear to secure the icemaker on top and the ice dispensing auger drive below that. It's difficult to tell the best way to proceed. I can"t tell which screw removes what.
    The only aide I have is the searspartsdirect.com parts detail diagram. It still leaves me confused due to lack of physical assembly detail. Is there any other source for a assembly drawing?
    Thanks for your guidance.

  • edan711 May 27, 2011

    I replaced the thermostat as suggested by kndcook. I reassembled freezer and turned on. After a hour or so running it appeared same as before. It gets cold in freezer but fresh food side negligible. Tested continuity of old thermostat using cold and heat and it appears to function properly.
    Any other recommendations?

  • edan711 May 30, 2011

    CaptainHawk1 has provided what appears to be a concise and complete description with all options in a understandable fromat. While I have not implemented them yet, my understanding and confidence will now let me proceed as time allows.
    Thanks

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The answer to this question lies in the way the freezer/fridge combo works. The freezer is where the cooling coils are located. Then air is moved over the coils and circulated through the fridge side by a small blower or fan. The problem arises when the air is not circulated for some reason.

Hi! Thanks for using FixYa.



The reasons the air is not moving is usually two reasons

  1. The fan or blower has failed.
  2. The coil is covered over with ice and blocks the air flow.


The first reason is pretty simple to fix, you simply replace the air circulator and things are good again.


The second reason can be more difficult.


1. The timing device that runs the defrost cycle of the refrigerator is defective.
2. The heater coil that melts the water is shorted or not working

Usually the first thing to check is the heater coil. If there is resistance through the coil then most likely it is still good.


The timing device can be an advanced defrost control board or a mechanical timing device.
If the heater coil checks out to be good then the problem should be the timer.

For most situations, unplugging the refrigerator and allowing it to defrost on it's own will get you going temporarily, till parts can be shipped to you. That will melt the ice and give you a few days or a couple of weeks till it ices up to the point where it will not work again.

So you can see, the problem can usually be traced to one of three things.

  1. The fan or blower
  2. The timer device
  3. The electric heater coil

Posted on May 28, 2011

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Remove everything in the freezer, take a screw driver and remove the plastic panel that covers the coils and electrical. Check to see if there is frost on the coils in the freezer section. The problem you are describing is caused by the defrost timer in the freezer. There is a cycle that takes about 48 hours to complete. The coils start to freeze, the fan turns on to blow cold air into the fridge and when it gets a certain temperature the defrost timer kicks in to keep the coils from freezing solid. They trigger a heating element on some models and just fans on others and they defrost the coils. This sequence also starts the fan on the fridge side to bring in the cold air. The defrost timer looks like a fat nickel with three wires attached to it. Unplug the fridge, Cut the two wires and remove it. Any appliance store has them. They cost about $ 22.00 (American dollars). To install the new one, its just two wires and takes only minutes.

Posted on May 25, 2011

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1 Answer

The freezer works fine but the refrigerator will not get cold.


On most new refrigerators there is damper that opens and allows the cold air from the freezer to circulate through the fresh food side.
I have seen this same problem caused by over stuffing either the freezer side and or the fresh foods side. On the sides of the fresh foods section there are normally vents which allow cold air from the freezer side to flow. If these are covered up, the air cannot circulate and without air circulation, the temp rise.

Both freezer side and fresh food side work because air is allowed to circulate around your product. I saw a refrigerator that the bottom half was 70 degrees and top half 38 degrees. The shelf about halfway down was completely blocking airflow. Threw out a bunch of boldly items and bags, rearranged items so air could flow and unit started working properly again.

If the damper is not opening, I have seen them freeze shut. It may have to be thawed.

There is also on some models a recirculation fan that gets turned on to circulate cold air from freezer. If this fan burns out or is blocked, it may need to be replaced.

You can go to searspartsdirect.com with your make and model number and get a complete drawing and parts breakdown for most refrigerators. And more important, you can buy them and have the part typically in two days at your door.
Hope this help!

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1 Answer

PSC23NSTESS FREEZING VEGTABLES


Side by Side ModelsIf foods, such as fruits and vegetables, in the refrigerator are freezing, it can be caused by several things. First, check the controls. They should be set at "C" and "5" or "5" and "5". The proper fresh food temperature is between 38 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer should be between 0 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • If food in the bottom of the refrigerator is freezing, this could be caused by a refrigerator not having enough food to absorb the cold air.
  • If food in the door is freezing, move the door bins up or down so they are one notch away from freezer vents (Side by Side models only).
  • The fresh food control should be at the normal setting of 5.
Freezer on Top Models
First, check the controls. They should be set at "C" and "5" or "5" and "5". The proper fresh food temperature is between 38 and 42 degrees Fahrenehit. The freezer should be between 0 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Since the cold air coming into the fresh food section originates in the freezer above, the rear of the top shelf will be the coldest spot in the fresh food area. Avoid placing delicate items that freeze easily on the back half of this shelf.
  • If food is freezing in the produce (fruits and vegetables) or meat pan, it may be that the temperature controls are not set high enough. Since cold air naturally falls, the pans can get too cold if the refrigerator is not running long enough to maintain good air circulation. Adjust both controls up one notch.

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The temp in the fresh food side would climb because air could no longer pass over the iced-up coils in the freezer side.

For me, the faulty fresh food side sensor made the computer always thing the fresh food side was too warm, making it constantly run the compressor (thus icing up the coils).

If you do not have a coil icing problem in the freezer, then your fresh food side temp sensor may be telling the computer that the fresh food side is already cold enough.

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Move the refrigerator to a room that is at least 50 degrees F.

Temps on most refrigerators are regulated by the fresh foods temp. If your garage is let's say 35 degrees, the fresh foods temp will most likely never raise enough to turn the refrigerator on. With the refrigerator never running, the freezer compartment will warm to 35 degrees, resulting in everything melting. Even if garage is a bit warmer, say 45, the refrig will not run long enough for the freezer to maintain a low enough temperture. If the garage temp falls to below freezing, say 20 degrees, the food in the fresh foods compartment will freeze. (outdoor beverage dispensers have internal heaters to prevent product from freezing !) Please don't rate this if not a Fix-Ya for you, as anything else lowers my score.

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Really most folks have to keep their setting on their fridge on about a 6-7 or-8 setting with the amount of food that is kept in the fridge now.
YOU CAN KEEP AN EYE ON THE RELATIVE temp if you like by placing a fridge thermometer in the appliance. Optimal fresh food should be around 40-43 degrees F on average to keep things on the cooler side without freezing.
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1 Answer

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I've had my Samsung RS267 LASH side by side for almost 2 years now and the coils froze recently. The temperatures displayed - relating to the refirgerator side - bounce around when the coils freeze. My freezer thank goodness is still working properly. The repairman indicated that the heating element for the refrigerator coils was bad. Unfortunately he had to order the whole unit (coils, heating element, etc.) since he couldn't replace just the one part. Samsung takes their time sending the parts - we've been waiting for 10 days now. The Samsung warranty covers the compressor, evaporator, condensor, drier and connecting tube for 5 years parts and labor so we should becovered. You might be covered as well - depending on when you purchased your refrigerator. I did purchase a separate extended warranty from Lowes when I bought the refrigerator and I'm glad I did. My extended warranty included $250 in food spoilage covering our food loss due to the breakdown. Hope this helps......

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Assuming the temp inside the freezer is at around 0 or -2 degrees, it should dump ice every ~50 minutes or so. Again, depending on temp's, an Ice Bin should fill within 24 to 48 hours. If your freezer temp is running at around 10 degrees, everything will obviously still be frozen (below 32), but the ice maker will take longer to freeze the water than it would if it were at 0 degrees. Open both doors and place the palm of your hand on the partition between the freezer and Fresh Food compartments... (where the door gaskets seat when they're closed). The temp of the partition should be about 5 or 10 degrees warmer than body temp., If it's hotter than that, you found the problem. Either the condenser coils are dirty and need a good cleaning OR your condenser fan motor (the fan in back, near the floor in the compressor area) is failed or about to fail.

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2 Answers

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Unless specifically made for use in a garage most units won't work properly. The owners manual should say what the temp range for proper operation is (usually 55F is the low range). This is because the refrigerator section doesn't need to be "cooling" to maintain 37F if the temps on the outside are below 55F. These things are made to work in a 70F room and will not work properly if under 55F. Stupid thing thinks it's cold enough so it will never turn on, the refer section will stay cold/cool due to outside temps but since the compressor never runs the freezer will just be the same temp as the refer section (at best). Sorry, but in order for a freezer or refrigerator to work in an unheated space it must have the temp control device controling the freezer section NOT the fresh food section. In other words, that model will not work in a garage unless the temps are above 55F always.

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