Question about Kenmore 53542 / 53544 Side by Side Refrigerator

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Frost buildup I have a Kenmore side by side refrigerator. I just noticed that there is frost on the back wall of the freezer and the refrigerator, fresh food section, is not as cold as the setting indicates. Ice Maker is fine but I cannot figure out what the problem could be.

Posted by carcrazy on

  • 3 more comments 
  • carcrazy Nov 16, 2007

    The defrost heater looks ok and seems ok. I melted the frost with a hair dryer and it has been ok for 2 weeks but is now building again. Tried to check the timer but not sure where it is in the fresh food section. I think it may be on the right hand side behind the temp control plastic. Should I turn the screw on that and see if the defrost heater activates? Then turn it back to turn the refreigerator back on?

    Thanks for the help

  • carcrazy Nov 17, 2007

    Melted frost from coils. Refrigerator did turn off but does not appears as thought heater came on. From your comment I should next check the defrost terminator? If so, that is on top of the heater unit? There are alot of wires on the top of the heater. One last question..... If I replace the heater there appears to be 2 parts to the heater within the assembly. Do you know if this comes as one unit when I order? From the parts list it looks like 2 different parts.

    Thank you very much for your help.

  • carcrazy Nov 19, 2007

    Defrost did not come on. Seems like the heater is not too difficulat to replace. I have a parts list but there is a reference part number of 230 that has two different parts listed. My model is a Kenmore 363.50227000 and the defrost ref part is 230 for part nos. wr51x10032 HEATER & BRACKET ASM and wr51X10031 HEATER HARNESS DEF ASM. I assume this is what you meant in that it comes as a kit? Sorry for the quesitons and I thank you very much for your help.

  • carcrazy Nov 27, 2007

    Need help one more time. When I go to I key in the part number from the original parts list and a selection of 4 parts come up for each part number. I keyed the part number in for WR85x0282 which has a description of LOW SIDE ASM. I selected the first part # for refrigerators and freezers and the part was returned as Evaporator. I selected the other available part with the same number and that description came back as LOW SIDE ASM. This is happening for all the part numbers I key in. How do I know which is the correct one to order?

    Thanks again for all the help.

  • carcrazy Dec 28, 2007

    Have just encountered another problem. The defrost unti I installed seems to be working properly as there is no longer any frost buildup. Now I have just noticed that ice is forming around the water drain at the bottom of the freezer. The drain was completed covered in ice. I melted it yesterday but it seems to be building again. Is the drain clogged? I poured hot water down the drain after melting the ice around it.

    Thanks for the help.



1 Answer

Gerald Griffin

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  It is not defrosting.  You have to remove back wall of freezer where frost is and take hairdryer to melt away frost.  You need to check defrost heater.  This is on bottom of evaporator coils.  It has wires going to it on both sides.  This has to be checked for continuity.  If ok on top of coils is a round unit called a defrost terminator.  This needs to be checked for continuity also.  This must be done before you defrost coils.  It should have continuity when its cold. 
  If these are ok you probably have a bad timer or defrost board. 

Posted on Oct 25, 2007

  • 2 more comments 
  • Gerald Griffin
    Gerald Griffin Nov 16, 2007

    Yes. Turn slowly until you hear a loader click. The compressor will turn off. Give it a few minutes to see if the defrost heater comes on. DO-NOT TOUCH HEATER! I use a damp paper towel to touch heater to check. If it now comes on , replace defrost timer.
    If it still doesn't come on, suspect defrost terminator. This is on top of evaporator coils. It is about an inch around with 2 wires. UNPLUG UNIT! Either unplug wires or cut if no connectors. Put the 2 wires together that went to terminator. Not the 2 on terminator. Make sure they don't touch anything. Plug unit in and give a few minutes. If now comes on, replace terminator.

  • Gerald Griffin
    Gerald Griffin Nov 18, 2007

    The heater will come as a kit. Often it will be just one defrost coil in the replacement kit. That's the way they come now. It will come with wiring too.
    Check the defrost terminator first. It is on clamped to top of coils of evaporator. It is about an inch around and about an inch thick.
    UNPLUG UNIT! Either unplug wires or cut if no connectors. Put the 2
    wires together that went to terminator. Not the 2 on terminator. Make
    sure they don't touch anything. Plug unit in and give a few minutes. If
    now comes on, replace terminator.

  • Gerald Griffin
    Gerald Griffin Nov 19, 2007

    I think what you need is the kit. Think it may come with harness and new defrost terminator. If it only comes as 1 heater, it's ok. Just install in bottom location.

  • Gerald Griffin
    Gerald Griffin Nov 27, 2007

    They are all wrong parts.
    You need wr51x10031. This is the heater with harness. Google this part number, can be had elsewhere.



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