Author Topic: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems  (Read 10814 times)

Offline woozy_one

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Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« on: September 28, 2008, 09:54:48 PM »
Hello.  The other day I noticed that the fridge and freezer were both relatively warm on my 106 Coldspot top mount Kenmore (built 9/2005).  I pulled the rear cover off and cleaned everything out, but it actually wasn't very dirty since I had cleaned it around 6 months ago.  I found how to check the defrost cycle online by pulling the plug and turning the thermostat off, wait 30 seconds and plug it back in.  Using a kill-a-watt meter I monitored the wattage.  It was ~400W during the defrost cycle.  After a while I unplugged the unit, turned the thermostat to the recommended setting and plugged it back it.  The compressor kicked on, drawing ~100W, and the fridge began to cool.  I replaced the rear cover and pushed it back into place hoping that it was just a fluke.  At one point (I think before I checked the defrost operation) I monitored the wattage and it was up around 700W, which seemed a little high, so I unplugged it and then tried the defrost check.

Today I noticed it warming up again and the compressor wasn't running,  so I turned the thermostat OFF and then back to the recommended setting.  The compressor immediately kicked on and now it seems to be cooling correctly (~0 F freezer / ~40F fridge within a few hours).  All fans seem to be running as well and there was no ice forming anywhere in the freezer (although I didn't check behind the inner rear panel).

From reading online it seems like the starter relay in these go out occasionally, but would the compressor kick on at all if the relay was bad?  I assume it could be an intermittent problem with the relay, but does that usually happen with these, or do they usually catastrophically fail?  What else could be bad that turning the thermostat off and then back on would reset it and the compressor would kick on and start cooling correctly?

I hate to admit it, but being the engineer in me tends to enjoy messing around with this stuff anytime I have a problem. 

Off to put an RC car battery in my Swiffer Vac :)

Thanks!!

Model 106.76232402

Nick

Offline whirlpooltech

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2008, 10:03:00 PM »
Quote
From reading online it seems like the starter relay in these go out occasionally, but would the compressor kick on at all if the relay was bad?

The compressor would not run at all if the start relay was bad.

Quote
I assume it could be an intermittent problem with the relay, but does that usually happen with these, or do they usually catastrophically fail?

Never seen a intermittent one yet.

Quote
What else could be bad that turning the thermostat off and then back on would reset it and the compressor would kick on and start cooling correctly?

I would replace the thermostat, part number: 2210491

Offline jayman73

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2008, 06:50:27 AM »
Hello.  The other day I noticed that the fridge and freezer were both relatively warm on my 106 Coldspot top mount Kenmore (built 9/2005).  I pulled the rear cover off and cleaned everything out, but it actually wasn't very dirty since I had cleaned it around 6 months ago.  I found how to check the defrost cycle online by pulling the plug and turning the thermostat off, wait 30 seconds and plug it back in.  Using a kill-a-watt meter I monitored the wattage.  It was ~400W during the defrost cycle.  After a while I unplugged the unit, turned the thermostat to the recommended setting and plugged it back it.  The compressor kicked on, drawing ~100W, and the fridge began to cool.  I replaced the rear cover and pushed it back into place hoping that it was just a fluke.  At one point (I think before I checked the defrost operation) I monitored the wattage and it was up around 700W, which seemed a little high, so I unplugged it and then tried the defrost check.

Today I noticed it warming up again and the compressor wasn't running,  so I turned the thermostat OFF and then back to the recommended setting.  The compressor immediately kicked on and now it seems to be cooling correctly (~0 F freezer / ~40F fridge within a few hours).  All fans seem to be running as well and there was no ice forming anywhere in the freezer (although I didn't check behind the inner rear panel).

From reading online it seems like the starter relay in these go out occasionally, but would the compressor kick on at all if the relay was bad?  I assume it could be an intermittent problem with the relay, but does that usually happen with these, or do they usually catastrophically fail?  What else could be bad that turning the thermostat off and then back on would reset it and the compressor would kick on and start cooling correctly?

I hate to admit it, but being the engineer in me tends to enjoy messing around with this stuff anytime I have a problem. 

Off to put an RC car battery in my Swiffer Vac :)

Thanks!!

Nick
check if your getting power to the relay if not then check thermostat ect if yes then maybe a bad compressor or relay i have seen compressors start when cold and then then its like the windings open up when she gets warm (just a thought)

Offline Repair-man

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More on engineers:
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2008, 07:46:08 AM »
Oldie but goodie:

There was an engineer who had an exceptional gift for fixing all mechanical things. After serving his company loyally for over 30 years, he happily retired. Several years later his company contacted him regarding a seemingly impossible problem they were having with one of their multi-million dollar machines. They had tried everything and everyone else to get the machine fixed, but to no avail. In desperation, they called on the retired engineer who had solved so many of their problems in the past.

The engineer reluctantly took the challenge. He spent a day studying the huge machine. At the end of the day he marked a small X in chalk on a particular component of the machine and proudly stated, "This is where your problem is!"

The part was replaced and the machine worked perfectly again. The company received a bill for $50,000 from the engineer for his services. They demanded an itemized accounting of his charges. The engineer responded briefly:
 

One chalk mark ............ $1
Knowing where to put it ..... $49,999
"It's only expensive if someone else fixes it for you" -
The Virtual Repairman   www.repair2000.com

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2008, 09:19:17 AM »
ADAPTIVE DEFROST CONTROL TIPS
The following procedure will initiate the defrost cycle on Inglis/Whirlpool refrigerators with adaptive defrost control DTT
1. Unplug refrigerator
2. Turn Cold Control to “off (Compressor is off)
3. Plug in refrigerator
The defrost cycle has now been initiated. The DTT has a bypass/test point for diagnosis. To terminate defrost manually:
1. Unplug the refrigerator
2. Turn the cold control “on” (Compressor is on)
3. Plug in the refrigerator
The defrost cycle is terminated and refrigeration cycle resumes.
Maytag requires a jumper between L1 & Test on the adaptive board, when the cold control is closed. This changed in all the 2003 Maytag models where the cold control has to be cycled on & off three times in less than six seconds, and left in the on position - eliminating the jumper procedure. G.E. Arctica usually requires a jumper between J4 and J9 on the main control board. The jumper must be left in place for defrost diagnosis. Knowing the method to "force defrost" and using a clamp-on ammeter for diagnosis eliminates the time-consuming emptying of the freezer, evaporator cover, and testing the heater, defrost thermostat, and in some cases the NTC thermistor with an ohmmeter.
Frigidaire (01/18/02 all mechanical defrost timers eliminated from their SxSides). To force a defrost the light switch must be toggled
Frigidaire A.D.C (Automatic Defrost Control) – AdaptiveTo initiate defrost cycle toggle Fresh Food light switch - 5 times in 6 sec.
- To cancel defrost cycle toggle F/Food light switch - 5 times in 6 sec.
- After defrost cycle test cancellation, compressor runs immediately, 1 min. delay for evaporator fan.
- After regular (non "forced") defrost – 6 min. delay for compressor
- 7 min. delay for evaporator fan
- Vacation mode: if heaters on for less than 6 min. or F/Food door not opened for 24 hrs -------- then 72 hr. defrost timing interval is set up. When door later opened, defrost reverts to previous pattern.
- Two different boards (not interchangeable). Top mount board may be subbed temporarily to a standard defrost timer ------- SxSide cannot be subbed (evaporator fan is controlled by A.D.C.)

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Offline JWWebster

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2008, 09:24:19 AM »
If you have that adaptive defrost board in that machine then I would start there. I tried to look up your model number and it would not come up so I thought since you was the engineer type you would appreciate the post. I have sold a lot of those adaptive defrost boards. Seems they were mounted inside the freshfood section next to the cold control. Pretty dumb place to put electronics. But I ain't an engineer.
May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline woozy_one

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2008, 10:33:56 AM »
First off, thanks for the info and the engineer story :)

I woke up this morning and the fridge and freezer were once again relatively warm and the compressor and fans weren't running.  I gave the panel that houses the thermostat a little love tap and everything kicked on.  I'll check it again when I go home for lunch, but it's starting to look like the thermostat might be having some issues (thanks to Whirlpooltech and Jayman for steering me towards this).  Maybe I'll pull the thermostat and check for pitting or wear before ordering anything.  All my food is pretty much ruined, so it won't hurt much to play around with things for a few days.  My model does have the adaptive defrost board, so I'll look at that as well.


Oh, JWWebster....I've met plenty of engineers who are, how should I say this, slightly less than intelligent.  (Who knows, maybe I fall into that category as well  ;D )  All I know is that if I have a problem with my car that I can't figure out, I call my brother, who's an ASE certified mechanic.  He's dealt with many more failures than the engineer who designed the failing part. 

Offline jayman73

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2008, 10:48:54 AM »
First off, thanks for the info and the engineer story :)

I woke up this morning and the fridge and freezer were once again relatively warm and the compressor and fans weren't running.  I gave the panel that houses the thermostat a little love tap and everything kicked on.  I'll check it again when I go home for lunch, but it's starting to look like the thermostat might be having some issues (thanks to Whirlpooltech and Jayman for steering me towards this).  Maybe I'll pull the thermostat and check for pitting or wear before ordering anything.  All my food is pretty much ruined, so it won't hurt much to play around with things for a few days.  My model does have the adaptive defrost board, so I'll look at that as well.


Oh, JWWebster....I've met plenty of engineers who are, how should I say this, slightly less than intelligent.  (Who knows, maybe I fall into that category as well  ;D )  All I know is that if I have a problem with my car that I can't figure out, I call my brother, who's an ASE certified mechanic.  He's dealt with many more failures than the engineer who designed the failing part. 
sound like you got it by the love tap good job

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2008, 12:53:35 PM »
Tapping on the control console may have made the thermostat kick in but their may be corrosion on the connector between the adaptive defrost control and its quick disconnect. Check that before you spend any money. By the way I used to be an air craft mechanic and I am ASE certified for auto air, I did that one just for kicks.
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 01:03:01 PM by JWWebster »
May the hinges of our friendship
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About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline woozy_one

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2008, 01:11:31 PM »
I'll be sure to clean all the connections and let it run a few days to see how it does before spending any cash...I'm usually pretty 'frugal', so this is right up my alley.  I did notice that the adaptive defrost control is housed right by the thermostat, so I could definitely see how tapping on the panel could have an effect on it as well.

I went home for lunch and I could tell some food had begun to thaw in the freezer, but the compressor was running.  The issue definitely seems intermittent.  I'll tear into it tonight and see what I can find.

My brother (the mechanic) also went for airline mechanics (graduated from ATA in Indy), but that was back around 2000-2001, so things didn't pan out so well for him after 9/11.

 

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2008, 01:49:23 PM »
You can make more money fixing air conditioners than aircraft.
Our one Chance of getting the bling bling around here was when AirBus won a contract to build refueling jets for the Air Force. Boeing cryed so loud washington stopped the bids and froze the program. Claimed AirBus was not an American company, own by France and should not be building planes. Hay did anybody tell yall the planes was going to be build at good old Mobile Alabama?
We were gonna use the old Air Force Base to build the Air Force Planes, that would have been sweet. Dumbass Boeing had to go and screw that up. :tickedoff:
« Last Edit: September 29, 2008, 01:56:10 PM by JWWebster »
May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline woozy_one

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2008, 11:05:44 AM »
Well I pulled out the adaptive defrost control and thermostat last night end all of the connections looked clean.  I played around with the thermostat a little with a multimeter checking continuity across the switch and it seemed pretty solid when shaking it.  I didn't tear into the thermostat because it didn't look like there was an easy way of doing it without prying it apart and possibly causing damage, so I'm not sure how its innards look.  I stuck it back together and it's been holding temps since 5pm yesterday.  I guess if it starts acting up again I'll start swapping out parts.

Thanks again for everyone for the suggestions!!

Offline whirlpooltech

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2008, 11:21:17 AM »
Quote
I guess if it starts acting up again I'll start swapping out parts.

Or you could replace the thermostat and be done with it.

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2008, 11:28:58 AM »
I'm with WT change the thermostat.
May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline woozy_one

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Re: Kenmore/Whirpool fridge cooling problems
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2008, 12:35:22 PM »
True, if I go ahead and change out the thermostat now it will probably save me from losing more food in the future.  I'll get one ordered.

 

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