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- > Do-It-Yourself Appliance Repair Help > The Kitchen Appliance Repair Forum > Sears not-so-ColdSpot needs constant defrosting

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Sears not-so-ColdSpot needs constant defrosting  Rate Topic 
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 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2005 09:25 pm
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tiffofdoom
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I have a 20+ year old Sears ColdSpot side-by-side frostless refrigerator. The model number is 106 7661610.
And it's "frostless," no more.

Both the freezer and fridge sides are warming up, more and more frequently. There's a LOT of ice building up on the freezer coils, and though defrosting helps, here lately we're having to defrost it every couple days, just to keep it cooling at all, and the fridge side STILL doesn't seem to get quite cool enough.

It seems obvious (to me, at any rate) that the problem is somewhere in the defrost system, but how can I narrow it down to the actual component(s) that need replacing? And is there any other area I should be considering?
We plan on replacing the refrigerator as soon as we can, but I'd much rather repair it, if it wouldn't be too expensive, or beyond our capabilities, so that we'll have more time, and can afford the size fridge we really need, rather than what we can afford right now.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated; neither my husband nor I have more than the most basic knowledge of refrigerators.

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 Posted: Mon Jun 20th, 2005 10:00 pm
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Pegi
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You have a defective defrost timer, bi-metal, or heater.  You will need to see which has failed.  Turn the defrost timer until the box goes dead except for the light and see if the heater under the evap. coil in the freezer comes on, do this test when the freezer is down to at least 10 degrees.  If the heater comes on you know the problem is the defrost timer,  If it does not come on then either the heater or defrost termination thermostat is bad.  You will need to test these to see which it is or just replace both.



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 Posted: Tue Jun 21st, 2005 11:37 pm
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Samurai Appliance Repair Man
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This link might hepya:

http://fixitnow.com/2004/04/mailbag-diagnosing-refrigerator.htm



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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2005 03:12 am
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tiffofdoom
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Thanks for the advice! I'm going to try and take a look around in there tonight for the timer (as it needs defrosting, yet again), once the kids are in bed and not underfoot. Do any of you know where I could find diagrams specific to this age ColdSpot or similar?

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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2005 07:32 am
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tiffofdoom
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I defrosted the freezer again, but didn't have any luck finding the defrost timer. Checking behind the panel that covers the coils, I found what looks (to me, anyway) like a defrost thermostat, and possibly the heating element, but no timer. I didn't notice anything else, other than the evap fan/motor. Of course, the timer could be staring me right in the face, for all I know.:D

We're going to just drag the fridge out, asap, and check the back, but in the meantime, have I indeed found the heating element and thermostat? And, looking at the pics I've posted, does anyone have any idea where the defrost timer should be (or actually SEE the damn thing)?


Behind panel, full shot.


Fan area.


What I assume is the heating element, though it looks soldered in, so I'm not sure how we'd replace it, if needed.


Defrost thermostat?

I apologize for the quality of pics, but I can't get close shots without the flash washing them out, and I can't get ANY shots, without the flash.

Thanks again, for any and all help.


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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2005 07:39 am
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exsearsguy

 

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It might be behind the front kick panel or in the freezer section behind the controls.

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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2005 11:26 am
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Budget Appliance Repair
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Remove kickplate and you will find the defrost timer just under the refrig section behind the kickplate. Should see a flat plate with about a 1/2" round hole through it. That's the access to the defrost timer.



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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2005 11:34 am
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FatMan
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exsearsguy wrote: It might be behind the front kick panel or in the freezer section behind the controls.It is behind the kick plate( bottom left front corner)

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 Posted: Wed Jun 22nd, 2005 04:13 pm
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Pegi
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Just a warning here, what you have marked as the defrost heater is part of the freon lines!! Do not touch this area.  The defrost heater is located at the bottom of the evaperator coil, and has 2 wires attached to the ends of the element.



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 Posted: Thu Jun 23rd, 2005 04:27 am
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tiffofdoom
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Edit: this should have been in reply to Budget Appliance Repair, but for some reason it's posting at the bottom.

Thanks! I found the timer exactly where you said it would be. I turned the knob 'til the fridge cut off, and the defrost cycle should have begun, but no dice - even after ten minutes, the heating elements were still cold, and the coils still iced up.
Since I did hear a "click" and the timer did cut the fridge off, can I assume it's okay? Also, is there any way of figuring out whether it's the heater or the thermostat that's the problem, or possibly both? I'd hate to buy both parts, if only one needs replacing.

Last edited on Thu Jun 23rd, 2005 04:29 am by tiffofdoom

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 Posted: Thu Jun 23rd, 2005 04:32 am
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tiffofdoom
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(reply to Pegi)

No worries; I don't touch anything, 'til I know exactly what it is, lol. I knew that didn't look right, but for some reason I didn't even notice the black heating element, until after posting and looking at the pic again. I figured someone would probably identify the right part though, so thanks for chiming in!

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 Posted: Thu Jun 23rd, 2005 11:45 am
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Budget Appliance Repair
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I would suspect the defrost t-stat/terminator, those calrod defrost heater rarely fail. The only way to know for sure is to unplug the frig and use your meter and probe into the defrost heater wires and check the heater for continuity, probably should be around 20-40ohms somewhere.

There is a possiblity that the contacts for defrost inside the defrost timer are burnt up also.



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