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fridge/freezer not cold enough  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2005 05:03 pm
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rcsays
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Howdy. 

Here's the problem... my Tappan refrigerator (freezer on top, fridge on bottom) is not getting cold enough.  The freezer is just cool, not cold.  In fact, it isn't even as cold as I would expect the fridge portion to be.  The fridge portion is even warmer.

Prior to posting, I did a search on this forum and dug up some information that helped me start to diagnose my problem.

I cleaned the dust (there wasn't much to begin with) off from the coils on the back of the unit.  The coils were quit warm, even hot in some spots.  I thought this was normal to disperse heat.

I verified that the blower fan in the freezer is working.

Now I'm wondering if maybe the thermastat is broken.  But I don't know where to find it.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

 

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 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2005 05:09 pm
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kdog
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check for an ice buildup on the rear panel of the freezer- press on the panel, if you feel a crunchy substance,coils are iced up and require defrosting,which means a component in the defrost circuit has failed.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 29th, 2005 06:51 pm
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rcsays
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I just pulled a corner of the panel back and yes, there is some frost built up in there.  Not a lot of thick ice though.  Just some.  I'll unplug the fridge and let it melt and see what happens.

Is there a way for me to diagnose and repair/replace WHICH component in the defrost circuit has failed?

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 Posted: Thu Jun 30th, 2005 11:44 pm
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rcsays
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Okay... I unplugged the fridge and defrosted it.  Waited a day... plugged it back in... waited a day... no change.

What next?  Is it the thermostat?  Where is the thermostat?

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 Posted: Fri Jul 1st, 2005 02:38 am
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Pegi
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Let us check some things first.  You said the compressor was hot/warm and the condenser was hot/warm in places, this means the compressor is running.  So this means the thermostat is working, this is the same thing as a cold control.  Now if there is a fan by the compressor see if it is running.  See if the fan in the freezer is running.  If all of these are running take a look at the frost pattern in the evaperator coil, the whole coil should be frosted.  The compressor and the fans all run thru the thermostat is series, so if the compressor is running all of the fans should be also, and this means your thermostat is working and you will need to look to the compressor/sealed system having a problem.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 1st, 2005 01:52 pm
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rcsays
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There is not a fan by the compressor and the fan in the freezer is running reliably.  The frost pattern on the coil behind the back plate in the freezer is lightly frosted as you said it should be.  So it sounds like the compressor/sealed system is the culprit as you said.

Is that typically something that is fixable?  Or is it typically not worth the expense to repair/replace and should I consider buying a whole new fridge instead?

I've got company coming from out of town in a couple of days so I gotta get this resolved pronto!

Thanks for all the help! 

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 Posted: Fri Jul 1st, 2005 05:38 pm
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If the whole evaperator coil is frosted do not see you having a sealed system problem???  Is the whole coil frosted or just part of it??  How hot is the compressor and the cond. coil???  Is the compressor staying on or kicking off on the overload??  Make sure the blade on the evap. fan motor is not slipping on the motor shaft.



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 Posted: Fri Jul 1st, 2005 06:26 pm
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rcsays
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The whole evaporator coil was lightly frosted evenly.

The compressor is really hot.  Too hot to leave your hand on without burning yourself.  There is a little square box mounted to the side of the compressor that is extremely hot too.  I don't believe there is a fan near these items to cool them.

I'm not sure what you mean by the evaporator fan.  Where is that?  Near the compressor?  The only fan that I have seen & heard so far is the one in the back of the freezer... the one that circulates the cold air into the freezer.  The compressor seems like it stays on all the time at this point.

Are we heading towards the theory that the compressor is not being adequately cooled?  If there is supposed to be a fan running near the compressor, that could be a fan.  If so, please advise how/where I can find it.  Thanks again!

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 Posted: Fri Jul 1st, 2005 06:35 pm
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Pegi
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That does not make sense,  the whole box warming up.  Are you sure the evap motor is blowing the air into both sides of the ref.?



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 Posted: Fri Jul 1st, 2005 11:48 pm
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rcsays
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Then I'm describing something wrong.  Sorry, although I'm handy, I'm just trying to learn to distinguish which part is which now.  I just went to the "Repair Clinic" section of this website to check to make sure my definitions are right.

The condensor coils along the back of the fridge are warm in some sections and hot closest to the compressor.

The little box attached to it (condensor motor?) is equally as hot.

I was mistaken about the evaporator coilsinside the back of the refrigerator (behind the back plate in the freezer).  They are lightly frosted at one 8" section of the coils... not sure if this is the inlet point or the outlet.  The rest of the coils are not frosted but are cool to the touch.  Is that my problem?  Should most or all of the coils be frosted?

The motor on the side of the compressor/condensor unit sounds like it's running all the time.  However, there is no fan present on the compressor or condensor motor.  Again, the compressor itself is very hot.  Too hot to leave your hand on.

The evaporator fan is spinning at on it's motor reliably.

Again, this is a freezer on top, fridge on bottom unit.  The problem is that neither the freezer nor the fridge section are getting cold enough.  I have the energy saver option turned off and that did not make a difference.

I'm guessing we're getting close to nailing this down.  Again, I TOTALLY appreciate your help!

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 Posted: Sat Jul 2nd, 2005 03:09 am
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Pegi
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Yes, with only part of the evaperator coil in the freezer frosted you have a sealed system problem,  low on freon or more likely, the compressor is going down. You need to unplug this box and go buy a new one, Whirlpool, Roper, Estate.



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 Posted: Sat Jul 2nd, 2005 03:40 am
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rcsays
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Ugh.  Oh well... Thanks again for your help.  It's great that you folks offer this service online.  I learned a lot!

Looks like I need to hit Sears tomorrow.

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 Posted: Sat Jul 2nd, 2005 04:40 am
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Pegi
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You are welcome...happy shopping....:P



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