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Amana Bottom Freezer/Fridge Mod# BX21VW MFG NO P1326002WW  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2006 12:47 pm
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whynotmi
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Hello! First off, I can't even claim to be an appliance grasshopper, more like an egg as I'm so unschooled in applianceology.

My 6 yo Amana fridge/freezer has stopped cooling. A few days ago I noticed that I'd left the fridge door ajar. (Not a can, ajar.) I have no idea how long it had been open but the fridge was barely coolish and there was condensation on my beer bottles. I hit my head a la "coulda had a V-8" closed the door and went on my merry way.

Last night I noticed that the fridge seemed warmer than usual and realized I hadn't heard it kick over in a while. I unplugged it for 10 minutes and plugged it back in. (Hey, it works for 'puters sometimes so I figured why not try it.) When I plugged it back in I heard a fan kick on but nothing else.

This morning the fridge is warm.

I read the posting on the first steps but am such a novice (honestly, still in egg stage of grasshopper development) I don't have a clue which panels to unscrew in the back or what I should be looking for.

Please, between laughs at this pathetic doofus, can you offer some advice in terms even a 5 year old could follow?

Thanks,

Newcastle Brian

 

 

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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2006 03:24 pm
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trouser chili
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The last time my Amana side by side fridge pooped out it was the bi-metal. Also known as a defrost limiter or defrost thermostat, here's a good thread about mine and another member's experience.

http://applianceguru.com/forum1/8191.html

Last edited on Tue Dec 5th, 2006 03:30 pm by trouser chili

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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2006 03:43 pm
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Chat_in_RI



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whynotmi wrote: I noticed that I'd left the fridge door ajar. This morning the fridge is warm. 

can you offer some advice in terms even a 5 year old could follow?




Your air ducts (supply & return) are probably blocked with frost from the door having been left open. The 5-year-old solution would be to manually defrost the unit by shutting her down and letting the blockages thaw.

Other remedies include hot water (messy), hair dryers (possible heat damage), and/or ripping things apart... Which I hestiate to go into since you claim you "don't have a clue which panels to unscrew in the back or what [you] should be looking for."


Let me know if you want to give something else a shot...



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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2006 03:47 pm
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whynotmi
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Hiya Trouser Chili,

OK. Ummm. I read the threads on the bi-metal thingy. So, I'm thinking my next step is to get one of those meter thingys, open up the back panels and root around for stuff. Is that about right? The reason I ask is because, currently, I don't even have the tools needed to open the back panel. I know. What the heck am I thinking trying to help myself when I don't even have a set of wrenches. Still, maybe this dog can learn a new trick... who can say? At least the weather has cooperated by dropping to a nice 15 degrees so I can store things in the garage for a bit. :D

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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2006 03:54 pm
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trouser chili
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Yeah, if you don't have the tools to do the job, you could buy some. But honestly I think Chat_in_RI might be more on the right track. I never used a multimeter or continuity tester to check my bi-metal. It was obviously failed (split open).

You really need to know if all your fans are spinning or not. In my case the evaporator fan (inside fan) and compressor were not spinning/running, but the condensor fan (outside fan) was. This is how I first start out with any fridge problem. Checking those three things. Then I fee the lines coming out of the compressor. One should be warm or hot, the other cold, real cold. If they're not, then the thing has lost it's coolant and is beyond my help.

Last edited on Tue Dec 5th, 2006 03:59 pm by trouser chili

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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2006 03:59 pm
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whynotmi
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Hello Chat In RI

Thanks for the reply. If there is a frost build up problem where would I see it? I opened up the panels in the back of the box where the compressor (?) seems to be. I don't see anything icy back there. Should I be looking somewhere else?

 

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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2006 04:09 pm
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Chat_in_RI



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Frost would be hidden from view, behind the evaporator cover in the back of the freezer.

Put you had over the vent at the top of the refrigerator and feel for air flow.

Then try it again with the freezer door open - if the flow dramitically increases, then you have blocked return ducts (behind the evaporator cover)...



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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2006 04:19 pm
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whynotmi
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Just plugged the fridge back in and checked the air vent. Very little "draw". When I opened the freezer door the "draw" definately increased. Thanks for the quick and easy test this 5 year old mind could follow. :) I'll leave it unplugged and see if thawing solves the problem. If it doesn't, well, I'll get back on here and find out about the next steps.

Oh, I don't mean to be a pain here but one more question at this point... How long do you recommend leaving the unit unplugged to let it thaw? I have nice winter time food storage in the garage right now so I can leave the fridge off line for a while. And with the fridge empty I can give it a good cleaning.

Cheers

Newcastle Brian

 

 

 

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 Posted: Wed Dec 6th, 2006 02:18 pm
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whynotmi
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Following up on my fridge...

I left it unplugged over night and plenty of water drained out of it. This morning I plugged it back in and it started right up. Air flow through the vents seems good. It's been running steadily for about 45 minutes now and the fridge is coolish but not cold. I touched the tubing to the compressor and one is very hot while the other is barely cooler than room temp.  :?

So, I guess I have 2 questions:

1) after 45 minutes of running how cold should my fridge be (setting was at 5 of 7)

2) if, as I fear it is, there's something really wrong with the fridge what's my next step?

Your help is deeply appreciated.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 6th, 2006 03:04 pm
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Pegi
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The frig will take 24 hours to cool down and start cycling...close the doors, set the controls in the center and leave it alone till tomorrow...the temps of the freon lines sound like correct....it will take at least 24 hours for the food side to cool down, not so long for the freezer....opening the doors will cause it to take longer however...



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 Posted: Wed Dec 6th, 2006 03:45 pm
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whynotmi
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Pegi and all,

Thanks to you and the others for your help and advice! I'll let you know how things go tomorrow.

Cheers

 

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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2007 09:54 am
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whynotmi
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The return of warm beer. Sigh....

Hi Again,

I'm having the same warming up problem as I did in December. After the December melt down I defrosted the coils and everything worked great. In April of 07 it got warm again so I defrosted and started again. It's a couple weeks later now and the fridge is warm again.

As stated in an earlier post, I'm a complete mechanical clod. Rather than risk life, limb and appliance I'm thinking I should just call for a repair. I know I'm a weak, potentiall foolish, grasshopper so please don't smack me in the head. That said, what should I look for when calling a repair person? Are there specific questions I should ask? What should I expect in the way of testing and diagnostics when the repair person is here?

Thanks for any and all help.

Newcastle Brian

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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2007 10:19 am
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Poobah
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You defrosted in April, is it iced up again? Is the freezer still cold but not the fridge? Has it quit cooling altogether (both sides)?........

1) it sounds as if you've had a defrost issue before which could be the heater or the bi-metal (as described before), or the defrost timer (down behind the front toe panel)

2)if it has quit cooling altogether and the compressor isn't runing I would suspect the overload/relay assembly

these are just a few things....give us exactly whats going on and we'll go from there



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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2007 11:40 am
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whynotmi
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Hi,

I'm not sure if it's iced up again, I guessing so since it seems to be doing exactly what it did in the past when there was ice build-up. That is, the bottom freezer seems fine but the fridge is just coolish. The fan works and I hear a hum but have not recently noticed the clunk of the (what I assume is) the compressor kicking in. It happened the first time in December 06 after I'd left the fridge door ajar over night. I unplugged the fridge and let it thaw. Huge amount of water came out and I plugged it back in a day later. Ran fine for several months Then in March it started to get warm again. I unplugged and let it thaw, much less buildup than before given the amount of water that puddled under the fridge.

I could unplug and defrost again but would rather not lose my freezer foods if at all possible.

I have checked the air intake grill under the left hand crisper drawer. Seems clear. A couple weeks before things started warming again I did notice that veggies in the left side crisper (bottom drawer of the fridge portion) were icing up sometimes. The air grill at the top of the fridge (that appears to be the cold air flowing into the fridge) passes a small bit of air through and a somewhat greater amount of air if I open the freezer door.

Reading other threads I'm guessing that I need a new tstat or something.

If there is anything else you'd like me to describe please let me know. I don't have any sort of meters or such like so can't tell you anything mechanically specific.

Sorry I don't have more info at hand.

Newcastle Brian

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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2007 11:58 am
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Poobah
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For starters I couldn't find your model # I found a 5002ww...but that shouldn't matter....I'm going to say you do have an defrost issue and if you work quickly you should' nt lose much if any food.....remove the bottom panel in the freezer to look for ice build-up.....after removing the panel remove the toe grill on the bottom......on the right side the will be a silver metal looking box with a little hole in it...inside this hole will be what looks to be a slotted button, this is the defrost timer turn it with a screwdriver one click at a time (cw) until it shuts everything down (this is defrost mode) you should see (feel) the heater come on and start to melt down the ice if so good ......most of these ref. have a chamber on the far left side behind the panel that is an air return from the top (little square grid located in the floor of the fridge back left under drawers) this keeps air flowing......if it is iced over you will get no flow, after opening the freezer door it will draw in air and blow alittle harder which is what yours does........check this and post back



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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2007 01:43 pm
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whynotmi
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Hi

Thanks for the quick replies. WHen you say the bottom panel do you mean the "floor" of the freezer section inside? The back "wall" of the inside? The panel at the back outside? Sorry to aske what may be a very basic question but I did saw I'm a mechanical dork. :)

Thanks

NB

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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2007 02:29 pm
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Poobah
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The air return vent is usually under the drawers in the floor of the fridge (back left), the panel I want you to remove is the one in the back of the freezer



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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2007 04:46 pm
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whynotmi
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Hi,

Ok, I pulled the back panel and indeed, it's a wintery wonderland back there. Massive frost build up on the coils, as well as the boxey thing on the left side and a sort of loop of either tubing or wire on the left side. That loop thing is so covered in frost I can't tell how thick it might be and so can't tell what kind of material it might be.

I pulled the toe grill and clicked the thingy (on this model it's a red knob sticking out of a black box rather than silver) until it the fan went off. I'll keep an eye on it (with towels at the ready) and see how it goes. I'll let you know.

Is it likely that adjusting this will take care of the problem or might there be another underlying cause for the frost build up? Just wondering because this seems far too easy a fix. Not that I'd complain if this does the trick mind you. :D

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your time and patience with me. :)

Would love to be sipping a nice Community Coffee iced tea right now. Sweetened of course.

Cheers,

Newcastle Brian

 

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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2007 04:55 pm
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Pegi
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If the defrost heater comes on you know it is ok and is getting voltage which would tell you the defrost timer is not advancing and needed to be replaced, if the heater does not come on and the timer cycles the frig back on usually within 30-45 minutes, depending on the timer, then you would need to see if the heater or defrost thermostat might be bad...or both....to see if the heater comes on and the timer advances be sure the frig is plugged in and the thermostat is on for good measure...



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 Posted: Mon May 7th, 2007 05:19 pm
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Poobah
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Words of wisdom to live by...by Ms. Pegi........I have replaced more than a whole bunch of timers on these here style boxes and a few def. thermostats (bi-metals) this is what tells the heater when to come on and go off.....you can only check this while cold......if you have to take a meter and check for continuity (ohms- little upside down horseshoe mark) if it doesn't read its bad........also check the heater the same way but it doesn't have to be cold......good   luck....check back



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