Question about Kenmore 73502 / 73504 / 73509 Bottom Freezer Refrigerator

6 Answers

795.77573600 smelled smoke, found upper light cover warped and fallen off top shelf food hot when i push in both door switches in the light remains on. other than that fridge works great. is there a known problem with this model first kenmore and dies just after the warranty not real happy with kenmore right now

Posted by mark condon on

  • 21 more comments 
  • vegasbaby Nov 25, 2007

    Oh my goodness!! We're having exact same problem. The holes where the screws go in were totally warped because the light stayed on and melted them, so, the screws couldn't hold the panel upright!! Then, to make things worse, I tried to plub everything back into the control panel, and now it just reads a bunch of twos across the board and won't reset!!! more Kenmore for me!!

  • JeanieF Dec 12, 2007

    Absolutley, the exact same problem.

    Had no intention of looking it up on the internet, until my repair appt. was a no show this morning--no show, no call, no problems for them. Have had unbelievable time trying to amend this situation, since all service appts. are made through an international customer service site. OUTSOURCED. They have hung up on me so many times, so many different countries, that when you finally do find someone willing to help you, you can never find them again. I AM SO FRUSTRATED!!
    I bought the Master Protection Agreement thankfully, so this will cover my cost of my baked food from this defective light--which if not caught was so hot, would have caused a fire, even in a refrigerator. Oops, back to the original thought-coverage of lost food. YEAH.! You have to keep it, to show the technichan who never shows up! When I questioned the very first suggestion of having to keep my spoiled food for the original 3 day appt.,
    I was told maybe the garage.
    At this very time, I am still attempting to call for the umpteenth time to NON, YURICA, TAM, & some other name I just couldn't get.

  • Srw406 Dec 23, 2007


    Smelled smoke, the light unit was warped and the food on the top shelf was warm. I found the light was staying on inside when the doors closed.

    The Sears repair man did not actually find the problem, but he replaced the light unit and both switches. It was fine for a few days, then low and behold, the same problem!!! He came back and it was working. He left and you guessed it, its happening again. He says it should be working because there is nothin else to fix. What am I to do?????

  • Anonymous Jan 25, 2008

    We have a Kenmore Elite Trio 795.77573600 that was purchased in Oct 2007. 3 months after purchase both door light switches failed causing the light bulbs to remain on for a day before we realized what was happening. The roof of the refrigerator and the light housing/lense got so hot that the housing/lense became molten plastic, fusing the two parts and the roof of the refrigerator bubbled and blistered. If this condition went undetected for more than a few days I truly believe the wiring for the lights would have melted and caused an electrical fire. I'm not going to settle for less than a new refrigerator when the Sears technician arrives. I'm hoping this is because of a defective switch that was corrected since production of my unit. This is unrelated to this condition, but the LED on two occasions went blank, but was corrected when the unit was unplugged and plugged back in, rebooting the onboard CPU I presume... I've owned a few refrigerators in my lifetime and this is the first that has given me this much trouble. If this unit dies in the near future I may opt for a low tech refrigerator next time. Bottom line, is I think this might be a lemon.

  • lkinley Feb 28, 2008

    Hey guys, we had this problem in July 2007. It is a computer board problem, the switches are not at fault at all. Either the computer is not instructing the lights to go off or the control relay is stuck on. I'm convinced it can manifest itself either way.

    The only way to fix this is to replace the computer, which is actually not that expensive if you are out of warranty. It is around $55.

    I got the local Sears to replace mine since corporate didn't want to -- they said it was a cosmetic issue. My argument was that if it happens again, those bubbles in the ceiling are going to catch fire. The local manager saw it my way and replaced it at his cost. I did have the Master Protection Agreement, although the fridge was only 8 months old.

  • lkinley Feb 28, 2008

    Seems the $55 price I quoted below is the 'cost' -- it was the price listed on the technicians screen. The part from is $89.99. Part number is 6871JB1431A

  • lkinley Feb 28, 2008

    Seems the model search is the better way to go, found the board for $59.99 that way. You need the "Pcb assy, main"

    Exploded view of fridge is at bottom of parts list page. To get there choose the bottom "Refrigerator parts" link.

  • robertkc Mar 04, 2008

    We just had the same problem. Lights stuck on all day with doors closed. Even with both switches manually pushed in! Melted the entire lighting housing and more. Definite hazard! Luckily we are still under warranty. Service man is scheduled in two days. Have had another issue with the ice maker. Not what I would expect from a $2600 Kenmore Elite refrigerador.

  • DDCard Mar 04, 2008

    We just had the exact same problem. Around 11 p.m. Sunday night my husband went into the kitchen and noticed the smell of smoke -- he opened the fridge and discovered the light was putting out a great amount of heat and the fixture was starting to burn. I had to use an oven mitt to get one bulb out but the other was stuck and I finally found the way to disconnect the lights all together. There is bubbling on the top of the fridge and the fixture cover is melted. We called Sears that night and received NO help. In fact, when my husband became angry and asked for the 1-800 number in Chicago, he was hung up on numerous times. He emailed the next morning and this is the response we received:

    Please include the following line in all replies.

    Tracking number: UT20080303_0000000335

    Dear :

    Thank you for visiting, we appreciate hearing from you.

    While we do not expect any appliance or product to fail within a pre-determined amount of time, there is always the possibility that this may occur. While it is unfortunate that problems have arisen, we do offer the option of purchasing our protection agreements both at the time of purchase, and when the warranty expires, in order to safeguard your investment.

    Due to the fact that the unit is not covered by either the manufacturer's warranty, which is usually valid for the first year of ownership, or protection agreement, the responsibility of cost for repair of the refrigerator falls on the consumer.

    By sharing your feedback with us, you have made it possible for us to address the issues and/or rectify the situation. Further, your forthright comments will enable Sears to achieve excellence in everything we do.

    If you have any questions or concerns, or would like to discuss the matter further, please feel free to contact us at 1-800-469-4663.


    Manny R.

    Sears Holdings Corporation

    Needless to say we will be pursuing further but don't have high expectations for a good outcome. We will not shop Sears again.

  • Anonymous May 13, 2008

    Lights stayed on with door closed and melted light housing in the top or refrigerator. Now everything in the frig. stinks! Unsrcewed bulbs (after cooling and cut power) and the frig. seems to be cooling. Lots of ruined food of course. Now raising the issue with Sears!

  • anniejrusso May 15, 2008

    Our Kenmore Elite Refrigerator was not 2 years old when the interior light stayed on when the doors were shut thus ruining the light fixture as well as refrigerator contents. Fortunately we were home when this happenned. We had a Sears Repair Tech come out and he said it was a bad control board and light does not turn off as a result. The Tech said the newer models have a different control board fixing the defect. The cost to replace the control board with the new version and replace the burned up light fixture was $500. We did not have it fixed but unscrewed the light bulb and put the plastic cover back up.

  • rcfla86 Jun 30, 2008

    The lights stayed on with door closed and melted the light housing in the top of refrigerator. I took the lightbulbs out and it works OK. The light hosing is too melted to put the cover back on. Its just 2 years old. I am calling Sears now.

  • mmarinese Jul 07, 2008

    We came home from being gone over the 4th of July weekend and found the same problem with our lights not turning off. All the food in the frigerator was warm or hot and had to be thrown away.

    We just installed this refrigerator/freezer last November but we purchased it in March of 08, so our warranty is also over. We have purchased many Kenmore products over the years and untill the past few years were very happy. I don't believe they make a quality product anymore.

    This sounds like a manufacturer defect.

  • MadMom39 Jul 10, 2008

    Bought the Kenmore Jan 07. Lights melted off July 08. You guessed it---the warranty is out. My story is the same as all of the rest!! Opened fridge, butter melted (along with other hot food). Sears won't cover it. Offered me $100 gift card. Ya, like I would buy something in that store again! I would say that some sort of recall should take place or else a class action lawsuit on this defective product!! I guess it will take a house burning down before someone wakes up!!

  • resourceful1 Jul 10, 2008

    PLEASE contact the US Consumer Product Safety Commission if you have experienced the bulb housing melting/potential fire problem with your Kenmore Trio refrigerator. Please file a report even if you experienced the problem months or years ago, and even if your problem was fixed under warranty or if you paid to have it fixed.

    You can file a report at their website at:
    or you can call them toll-free at 1-800-638-2772
    or by send an e-mail to [email protected]

    I have already called to file a complaint, but more people need to do so if Kenmore is going to do the responsible thing and fix these dangerous units.

    Sears/Kenmore is clearly aware of this safety problem, but they will not repair it for free as they should. Kenmore wants $500 to fix this problem.

    If enough people complain to the Consumer Products Safety Commission, the manufacturer of this product will be forced to recall/fix the product.

    Please file a complaint before someone loses their home, or someone loses their life because of this defective product.

  • Anonymous Jul 14, 2008

    This is the 2nd time that this has happened to our unit. This time, when I called I reported the problem as a fire hazard and informed Sears that I wanted the unit replaced. The 1st time the repairman replaced all of the switches and the bulb housing. This time, the top of the fridge is melted. I am also going to call the local fire department and file a report, this way, if something does happen, I have non-biased record. I am printing out ALL of these reports to show the repairman. Good luck to all!

  • manderpsi Jul 18, 2008

    We had the same problem today with our Kenmore Elite refrigerator. Opened up the frig today to the smell of something burning. Evidently the light bulbs are not turning off when the doors close.
    The light sockets were brown from the heat, and the plastic light housing had melted. The inside roof of the frig was also melted and warped. In fact, the heat was so bad that the cabinets above the frig were hot to the touch. We were about to leave for a long weekend. It's a good thing I checked it out today, or we could have come home to smoldering embers!! We purchased it in Dec. of 2006, and, of course, Sears is standing by their "it's out of warranty" claim. I also asked if they had any other complaints of this nature with this frig, and, of course, the answer was, "No, this if the first we have heard of this problem." Well, I'm not giving up with them yet. I'm going to print out all of these complaints and take them to the store manager where we bought the unit. I think this goes way beyond a standard warranty issue. This is obviously a serious manufacturing defect!! I also filed a complaint with the USPSC

  • getfit4u Jul 27, 2008

    July 26th, 2008. Awoke to smell something burning and figured out the lights were not turning off. Of course everything on the top shelf was ruined. I have called Sears and they are coming out on Monday the 28th, 2008. I have since found numerous issues regarding the lights. I will also be taking this up with Sears corporate. 

  • kritter6 Sep 01, 2008

    You can add me to the list - last night I opened the fridge and smelled something burning. The light cover was warped and falling off and part of the entire light assembly had melted and was hanging off the roof of the fridge. Like everyone else, my fridge is only 2 yrs. old and out of warranty. I am planning on calling Sears tomorrow and I will also be printing out these complaints and taking them to the store and show the manager. Not that I expect them to do anything about it. ....

  • Jane0901 Sep 05, 2008

    In October 2006 we brought from Sears a Stainless finish Kenmore Elite 25 cu. ft. TRIO French Door Bottom Freezer Refrigerator, Model 795-77543. On August 2008 this Refrigerator MALFUNCTIONED.

    I had left the house for about 2 hours, when I came back and I opened my refrigerator doors the heat and smell was awful. At once I could tell the interior light was the source of the heat. The push-in switch on the door frame was not working. As I tested, the switch was pushed in the interior light continued to stay on and the circulating fan was not working, as well. The plastic over the light fixture was partially melted, the light fixture was scorched. The food products on the 2 top shelves and doors had to be thrown away as well as some other iffy products. After removing all the food items in the refrigerator, cleaning the inside because of melted food products (e.g. stick butter in tray on the door), and opening and closing the door so many times in a row to do this process of empty and cleaning; the light switch on the doors began to work properly again. After several hours and many tests later all seem well as the refrigerator began to cool down again. When pushing the light switch on the doors, this time, the light went off and the fan turned on. So, again I re-loaded my refrigerator with what was left of the food products not ruined.

    My first concern is the lack of confidence we now have that this failure/malfunction won't happen again. If it does happen again, and not caught in time, the possibility of a fire seems inevitable. Since the refrigerator is now working properly I consider this a DANGEROUS MALFUNCTION to consumers. Of course, the warranty on this product is now expired. We paid Sears $2,346.98 just less than 2 years ago for a SAFE Refrigerator.

    The loss of some food items are small compared to the loss our home and/or our lives. As a long time, loyal customer of Sears, I expect to see Sears stand behind their products, especially in the concern of safety to consumers and respond with solution to the malfunction of this refrigerator.

    I have file a complaint with Sears by telephone & email. Sears reports that there in NO recall for this 795-77543 model. The manufacture warranty has expired, so the cost of this repair is passed to the consumer. I filed complaints with the CPSC and other website that consumer could reference.

  • Anonymous Sep 23, 2008

    My $2,100.00 Kenmore Elite Trio Model#79577549600 was delivered in Sept. of 2006. This past July 2008, I noticed a strong, burning plastic smell when I opened the fridge door. I found the housing unit for the light bulbs to be extremely hot. When I took the cover off, the bulbs were so hot I had to unplug the fridge first to let them cool down. The burning smell was the lightbulb socket actually burning. Apparently, the switches on the doors weren't working, so the lights were not going off when the doors were closed. Of course, when my husband came home from work, everything was back to working properly so I got "Are you sure the door wasn't left open??" Well, two days ago (9/21/08), the same problem occurred and this time my husband was there to see it. We were out all day on Sunday. When I opened the fridge, a strong burning plastic smell came out. The lightbulb socket is completely burned now, the lightbulb burst from the extreme heat and the plastic housing has melted so bad I cannot put the clear plastic cover on. I now have the second lightbulb (which had minor socket discoloration) unscrewed for fear of a fire. My fridge will remain dark until this problem is put on the recall list. Of course, because I didn't purchase an extended warranty, Sears was USELESS and Kenmore was even more is USELESS.


  • jill_ash Sep 24, 2008

    I just had the same problem last night, 9/23. Lights wouldn't turn off when the door shut, plastic melted and discolored. Technician is coming on Monday. I have reported the issue to CPSC and Consumer Reports.

  • 8qwe Dec 14, 2008

    I have the same problem with the 795 light staying on. I can't figure out how to get the bulbs out. I don't see any release tabs on the light cover and wonder if the whole temp control assembly needs to be removed



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Same problem here. A simple, cheap solution: LED bulbs. has an appliance blub #57896 for 11.99.

Only draws 1.3 watts, read: no heat. So who cares if it stayso n?

These bulbs are supposed to have a 60,000 hour service life.

Posted on Aug 31, 2008



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I just saved my fridge / home too, smelled what I thought to be an electrical fire when I opened the Trio doors, immediately looked at the bulbs as a probable cause, and sure enough, the base of the bulb sockets were burned-brown and the plastic housing was to hot to touch without a hot-mit.
Unscrewed the bulbs and set aside out of children's reach and combustable materials.

I'm filing a complaint and service repair today. 8/3/08

Posted on Aug 03, 2008


Yup, I'm addting to the list of Kenmore Trio Bottom Freeer refrigerators whose interor lights will not turn off. Same story on the cost-to-repair.

My IT tech say son had a sime, inexpensive answer: replace the buls with LED units. www.ledlights has a 25 lumen unit #57896 that only draws 1.3 watts (read: no heat) for $11.99

[email protected]

Posted on Aug 31, 2008


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Replacement light socket on 795 and LG trio refrigerators come with a bi-metal that cuts off the lights to prevent this from happening. If you have one repaired that has melted, make sure the socket asm. is replaced with the other melted parts. It will come with the socket, harness and bi-metal. Bi-metal will mount on the top of the metal light cover, just use 2 small metal screws to mount it.

Posted on Aug 07, 2008


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Same here. Bought unit Feb. 07 and then today the unit was hot. Luckily I caught it in time and took the light bulbs out or the whole unit would have melted (as stated in other comments). I'm also printing this page and will file the Consumer Products Safety Commission report as suggested.

Posted on Jul 21, 2008

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