Question about Refrigerators

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Temperature variation in freezer on Whirlpool ED22TQFXN

No matter what I set the freezer temperature control to on this refrigerator, ice creams is always very, very soft.

I bought a digital thermometer and put the probe in the freezer. Typically the temperature is -5 to 5 degrees F. However, at times it goes as high as 20 degrees, even without opening the door. Should there be such a variance in temperature, and why does it go as high as 20 degrees without turning on the compressor?

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  • ChupacabraZ Jan 02, 2008

    Sorry, thought that was part of the post :)

    ED22TQFXN00 is the model number from the serial plate. Built in 1998, side by side with water/ice in freezer door if that helps.

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 02, 2008

    Nothing is blocking the vent. It's a Whirlpool. Ice seems to be normal, but ice cream is very soft. Ice cream sandwiches can be flattened easily.

    I have caught it near 20 degrees several times today since I'm home. The digital thermometer records minimum/maximum temps, and if I reset it and check after 8 hours, min is around -5, the max will always be near 20 degrees even without me opening either the refrigerator or freezer side.

    I'm attaching a picture of the model tag as well.


  • ChupacabraZ Jan 02, 2008

    Are you thinking that this thermostat is intermittent? Both control knobs (I'm guessing for the thermostat) are in the refrigerator section. There does appear to be a removable panel that would give me access to this area.

    I found an on-line source of parts with a schematic, I'll check there and see if it looks like what you're talking about. Seems to make sense though. The temp hit 21.6 max last night, so something would seem to be amiss with the thermostat...

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 02, 2008

    I went ahead and ordered the thermostat and should have it by the time I go home today. I'll post back with the results in a day or two. Thanks!

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 03, 2008

    New thermostat has been installed, now to see if it makes any difference! :) I'll reset the thermometer once it's cooled everything down again and see what my max temp is on the freezer after the replacement.

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 03, 2008

    At first I wasn't sure the new thermostat was helping, but after everything had a chance to cool down I reset the thermometer and checked it this morning. The Min temp was -1.5, and the Max was 5.5, so it looks like the thermostat was probably the culprit. The ice cream sandwiches are also firm instead of squishy. I'll reset it again before I go to work and check when I get home, but I think it's fixed!

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 03, 2008

    I guess I spoke too soon :(

    Checked the thermometer when I got home, min temp of -2, max temp of 24F. Ice cream sandwiches are squishy again. Freezer and refrigerator were not opened at all.

    Any idea what else might cause such strange behavior? I have already vacuumed off the coils underneath the refrigerator, are there any other coils that might be icing over? Defrost circuit on the fritz?

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 04, 2008

    No worries, the thermostat was a likely culprit and was on my list of things to try and replace anyway. Don't feel bad at all!

    I did open the back of the fridge and vacuumed off what I could. The compressor fan is definitely running. I also took off the evaporator cover in the freezer and checked the evaporator, there's no major buildup of ice on it like I thought there might be. The evaporator fan is running as well.

    I repacked the items in the freezer so as to be sure there's plenty of airflow, especially to the air intake at the very bottom of the evaporator compartment in the freezer (it's behind a drawer).

    I'm going to let it run again for a while after repacking and double-checking that nothing is blocking any of the ducts.

    Thanks again for the assistance, and don't worry about the thermostat. Like I said, I was heading down that road anyway :)

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 04, 2008

    A picture is worth 1,000 words. Didn't see any frost anywhere underneath it. The water drip tray had a little water in it but nothing much.

    Left side (from rear)

    Right Side (from rear)

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 04, 2008

    OK, thanks for looking. I'll give it a bit to see if rearranging the contents and tapping on things behind the condenser panel might have made any difference before I throw in the towel :)

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 04, 2008

    After doing some more reading, it seems like the temperature in the Freezer getting into the 20s might be normal, IF it's for a short time after the defroster heater kicks in. I guess I'd only be able to determine this if I could plot the temperature over time and see when, and for how long, the temperature is getting up into the 20s.

    The min/max may be deceiving, since it could be getting into the 20s only once every 12 hours (defrost cycle) and for only a few minutes. That would be enough to fake out my thermometer, and may explain why last night it never got above 5 degrees.

    I may just crank up the coldness in the freezer some more and let it go at that :)

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 04, 2008

    I moved the thermometer to the refrigerator section and will see how consistent the temps are on that side.

    Do you know how the defrost heater works on these models? According to the parts guide I found, it's a bi-metal defrost thermostat. I wonder if there's any chance that this thermostat might be bad, and is running the defroster more frequently or for longer than it needs to thus heating up the freezer compartment?

    The thermometer for the fridge itself seems to measure the refrigerator side air, so if the defroster heater was running extra long it might not affect the temp on the refrigerator side as much.

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 04, 2008

    I found this also in regard to a defective defrost mechanism:

    (but fairly rarely) both heater and cooling system can be energized by
    the timer at the same time. This can result in thawing then refreezing
    of food in the freezer compartment often leading to freezer burn on
    that food. In most cases the evaporator coil will remain mostly in an
    un-frosted state. The defrost heaters will cycle on and off as the
    defrost thermostat opens and closed due to the temperature it senses.

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 04, 2008

    I did notice that sometimes after the compressor shut off, I could literally watch the temperature in the freezer compartment rise a degree a minute. I don't know how hot the defrost heater coil gets, but I wonder if that would explain the rapid rise in temperature I saw in the freezer if it were running excessively?

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 04, 2008


    I pulled the cover off the evaporator while the unit was running and measured the temperature of the heater coil and the evaporator coil with a non-contact infrared thermometer.

    While the compressor was running, the evaporator coils were below zero, around -6 to -10 degrees, However, the heater coil was 40F! There's no way that coil would be 40 degrees unless it had power going to it, which as I understand it should NOT be happening at all when the compressor is running. That would also explain the rapid rise in temperature in the freezer after the compressor shuts off.

    So it would seem to me that I've got a faulty evaporator heater circuit going on...

  • ChupacabraZ Jan 05, 2008

    I ended up replacing the defroster timer, which seems like maybe it did the trick. It's been 24 hours since I replaced it, and the temps in the freezer have ranged from -3 to +5 degrees. Nothing into the 20s like it was doing before.

    Thanks again for your help!



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If the freezer is frost free, then I could be that your temperature probe is placed near the defrost heater line. This might account for the periodic temperature jump.

Posted on Mar 18, 2015


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Need your model number for unit reply but dont rare me till we are done get model num off serial plate in fridge

Posted on Jan 02, 2008

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  • robert samples Jan 02, 2008

    on the left hand side of refridgerator section there is a vent close to half way down make sure nothing is blocking that vent -5 to 8 is about right how often is it going to twenty degrees and what brand is it how is you ice normal or wet

  • robert samples Jan 02, 2008

    ok partner you need to change the thermostat in the freezer section its under the cover where the knob is in the freezer section remove the screws there pull it down and reverse procedure to install thermostat have two settings cut in temp (turn compressor on) cut out (turn compressor off) your cut out is good-10 -5 your cut in is two high 20 should be about +5+8 un plug the fridge so you dont get bit the freezer control runs the compressor the fridge control just opens a damper door to control air flow that will fix it by the way excellent testing on your part

  • robert samples Jan 03, 2008

    right on my friend the mid point setting is standard then go from there

  • robert samples Jan 03, 2008

    im pretty sure thats it based on your testing dont forget my boxes lol

  • robert samples Jan 04, 2008

    The only thing i can think of would be a partial restriction in the freon line. For that you will need a tech but most sealed systems promblems are under a 5 year warrenty. Now It's up to you and can start getting costly at this point. Your warranty has ran out. Should you call a tech at this point, then tell him all you have told me its a rare problem but it happens caused by a small or tiny peice of trash in your freon line resticting your freon flow. Also if the fan that cools your compressor isnt running, at the same time the compressor is that can cause the problem your describing. I'm so sorry but I gave you the best advice based on the info you gave me. I hate to have people spend money for nothing. It's so much easier hands on, but I'm disabled and still trying to help. Please replay if you need me will be gald to help anytime on any appliance.

  • robert samples Jan 04, 2008

    I'm not going to leave you till we get it fixed. I'm just built that way I've just been a tech so long it's in my DNA. Never found one that could whip me yet. Just keep giving me info I'm here for you. Now we know it's not the thermostat, or the defrost thermostat. You said both fans are running, and no frost on the evaporator. Does your compressor have a white box on it where the wires come in, or any frost on any of the freon lines? Please replay

  • robert samples Jan 04, 2008

    Sorry no frost on freon lines, and no white compressor relay. So you must have a partial restriction in your freon lines sealed system problem. Have to call a tech, or get a new frig your choice. If you had the proper equipment I would walk you thur it but now our hands are tried. Still let me know how it turns out .

  • robert samples Jan 04, 2008

    you can try but specs say should not get to 20s ok sorry about that but should get new fridge or call a factory tech as they can help some times but make sure they are factory authorized ok my friend i speak the truth at all times this is my best advice but feel free to check with others and im still here for you let me know ok at this point with out putting gauges on your unit it i caint say my friend

  • robert samples Jan 04, 2008

    Partner the defrost timer wont kick in in till the unit has run 8 hrs. Then it kicks in for 30 min. In that 30 min it will defrost. After that it will run for 8 hrs again.



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