Kenmore Bottom Freezer Refrig quit cooling


  #1  
Old 07-02-05, 08:34 PM
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Kenmore Bottom Freezer Refrig quit cooling

Have a two year old Kenmore bottom freezer refrigerator 596.62234200 that has quit cooling both in the top and bottom areas. It's pretty much been running constantly for the last day or so. I can hear a relay click every once in awhile, I assume to turn the compressor on, then I hear a different noise for about a half a minute, then the relay clicks again and the noise stops. The condensor fan is operating OK. There was alot of hair in the condensor that had built up and I cleaned that, but didn't help. I took the back off the lower section to expose the compressor etc, and the compressor was VERY hot to the touch.

Read on an earlier post about a similar problem to leave it unplugged all night and try again in the morning. If it works, it's probably a defrost problem, if not a compressor issue.

My biggest question is should the compressor be VERY hot when everything is working properly, or what would cause it to be that way??

What other info should I post here to help with troubleshooting??
 
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Old 07-03-05, 08:43 AM
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Yes, the high side line can burn you to the touch. Especially when you have a fault in the system.

The dirty coil that you cleaned, was preventing the unit was operating correctly. The coil overheats, then the compressor works harder to force the refrigerant through the lines. Eventually several things can happen. Such as the motor becomes overloaded, then the safety switch shuts the compressor off. After the safety resets, the compressor tries to start again but cannot start. They cycle repeats itself endlessly every few minutes.

Eventually, a switch, or the motor will burn out.

Unplug the unit for several hours to let the internal pressures equalize and allow it to cool. Plug it back in and see if it works.

If it continues to trip, your options are:
1. Replace the starter relay which may be burned up by now. (usually mounted on the compressor shell)
2. Install a 'hard start' capacitor to overcome the extra juice needed to start the weakened motor.
3. Replace the compressor. (however, most people just buy a new frig)
 
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Old 07-03-05, 09:17 AM
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Lugnut,
Thanks for the info--very informative. Your observations fit my situation exactly.

Update on the 'frige. I observed before plugging in that the drain hose area was dry so I don't think the defroster failed. I would think there would have been water there as the 'frige warmed up???? I unplugged all night and plugged it back in this morning. The compressor started immediately and from what I can see everything is working OK. There is cold air blowing from the rear of the freezer and also cooler air coming into the back of the 'frige. There is ice forming again in the frezzer and the temp in the 'frige when I put a thermometer was 46, now 42 after a few hours. It is again making all the "normal" noises, no more clicking of the relay to try to start the compressor.

Couple questions yet::

1) The compressor is still pretty hot to touch, is that normal even when running OK?? Not so hot I can't keep my hand on it, but pretty hot.

2) Is there anyhthing else I should do at this point besides just monitor it?? Just make sure it shuts off and cycles when the thermostat calls for operation??
 
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Old 07-03-05, 09:24 AM
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Yes, they are all hot to the touch. That is normal.

If you have a small fan blowing over coils under the unit, then check that the fan is blowing when the compressor is on.

It sounds like it is working now. It will let you know when it is sick with either the clicking noise or no cooling. Sounds like you are done.
 
  #5  
Old 07-03-05, 09:25 AM
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"It's pretty much been running constantly for the last day or so."

what does that mean=the compressor has been running constantly, or starts then immediately stops, or never starts???

"Have a two year old Kenmore bottom freezer refrigerator 596.62234200 that has quit cooling both in the top and bottom areas"

no cooling at all or not enugh? Is the fan blowing in the freezer section when the compressor is on?

Turning it off do let it defrost manually is an option. You may want to see what the evaporator coils look like if they are clean you have another problem. If they are laoded with ice let's hear about it.

It is possible that a dirty condenser is the culprit but not too many people ever clean their condenser coils until there are symptoms like decreased cooling not no cooling. Two years worth of normal crap will not imo cause a no cooling situation. I have cleand many condensers that are completely loaded and the ref is just not cooling properly.

The purpose of the condenser is to remove heat that is picked up by the evaporator. The fan blows the heat away and cools the compressor in the process.

I wrote the following to post earlier but never did. I will add it now. BTW I would never tell anyone that came out to do warranty work that the condenser was dirty. As far as they are concerned you cleaned it twice a year otr more.


Doesn't sound good---for kenmore. I am a little confused----is the compressor constantly running or does it shut off.

If you didn't spring a leak it sounds like the compressor is shot or a blockage of some sort. The compressor should not be all that hot when the compressor is running the evaporator fan in the freezer should be on and blowing air into the freezer. Is this happening? Is it blowng at all. Do you hear anything

One other unlikely thing might be if it wasn't defrosting.Meaning a bad adm[adaptive defrost module] or one of many other devices that control defrost if the adm is not on your ref.

The evaporator coils would be all iced up and there would be no real cooling effect. When the ref goes into the defrost mode it turns off the compressor though. If it never goes into defrost mode[defrost timer-no adm]and the temperature never goes down the compressor will try to cool until it does.


Are the ref and freezer both warm or not cold. The two tubes coming out of the compressor ----how do the feel -- one cool one warm. Can you provide a link to and exploded view of you ref from www.sears.com.


I am not a mechanic but know a little about this stuff
 
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Old 07-03-05, 09:56 AM
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I have an after thought. Do monitor the frig to see if it is running 24 hours a day (except for the defrost cycles, i.e. 20 min twice a day or so). If so, this could be a sign of a leak in the door seal which can shorten the life of a unit.
 
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Old 07-03-05, 12:24 PM
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Something in this link my help you.
http://forum.doityourself.com/showthread.php?t=212796
 
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Old 07-03-05, 06:07 PM
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Thanks guys for all the replies!!

Joneq--I up until this point didn't know much about how 'friges operate, so some of your questions I didn't know how to answer. I wasn't sure if the compressor was running or not--all I knew was the temperature in my 'frige and freezer were rising. Now I know you can just touch the compressor and tell if it's working by the vibration. Not sure if the fan was blowing any air into the back of the freezer, but if it was it was "hot" air!!

Now I've read and informed myself the basics about how a 'frige works. Since plugging back in this morning, the compressor started immediately along with the condensor fan. Cold air is blowing in from the back of the freezer. My wife said she was in the kitchen after lunch and the 'frige had shut down. She said the freezer was 0 degrees and the 'frige was 40 degrees. I had the controls set at 3.5 A little later it was running again as we were in and out a number of times today. Everything seems to be functioning as it should I believe. Still not sure exactly what happened yesterday, but the coils were really plugged with pet hair.

I'll keep an eye on it to see how it's working. The only thing I'm still concerned with is the compressor. It really is quite hot to the touch, although it has been running alot today trying to catch up from being off all night and who knows how long it hadn't been cooling effectively. There are two coils running in or out of the compressor. One of them is also very hot and the other is just warm. Somewhat confused--Lugnut says the compressor will be "hot to the touch", but Joneq says "the compressor should not be all that hot". That's still up in the air for me, but except for that it seems to run until the temp controls say it's cold enough, then turn back on when they demand more cooling!!
 
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Old 07-03-05, 06:57 PM
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Hot is a relative term. 122 degrees will cause a second degree burn in 2 minutes. 131 degrees = burn in 11 seconds. 140 degrees in 2 seconds.

When the condensor is clogged, it can become 140 degrees.
 
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Old 07-03-05, 08:33 PM
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Lugnut,
Just checked and the 'frig has again shut off. THe compressor is quite hot, but not sure how long it would take for the second degree burns!! I have also had the lower rear panel off all day to monitor the compressor and fan, so maybe it doesn't cool as efficiently open like that. I guess as long as it shuts off and restarts with a demand it would appear to be functioning. I'll keep a vigilant eye on the operation for a few days.

So what you're saying is the compressor will get quite hot at least to the touch, especially running as much as it has today to play catch-up?? Again right now it would be my only concern. Thanks for all your input, much appreciated!!
 
  #11  
Old 07-03-05, 09:17 PM
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you definitely need to cover up the back of the ref. to keep the flow of air over the coils and not in and out the back.
 

Last edited by joneq; 07-03-05 at 09:35 PM.
  #12  
Old 07-04-05, 04:35 AM
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The hot line is not a useful measure for diagnosis. They all get hot to some degree, depending on efficiency, age, style, etc. If the line was never hot, then that would be a problem. If the unit is cooling properly, then your concerns about the hot line is not warrented. Better to keep your eye on the frig inside temps.

And your right about being less efficient with the back panel off. The fan will not move air across the bottom condenser without the panel.

So if I understand you correctly, the unit is cooling and is cycling normally after 24 hours. If so, then all is good for now.
 
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Old 07-04-05, 05:53 AM
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Got up this morning and the 'frig was shut off, freezer was 0 degrees and 'frig was 38 degrees. Had some activity in and out and it turned on and running now. THis morning the compressor was only warm, not hot, so probably didn't run near as much during the night and had a chance to cool down.

Am going to put the back cover on now and then just monitor inside temps for a few days.

Really appreciate all the help and advice on this forum--great job and thanks to everyone. This site is now officially bookmarked!!
 
  #14  
Old 07-09-05, 07:46 PM
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Just reading thru the thread, very interesting, I have a 25 year old R12 fridge that I have been experimenting with (grandmothers old fridge she got a nice new one with ice/water in the door) After a few minutes run time the compressor shell temp approaches 130f (before and after refrigerant conversion) as measured with a contact Fluke temp probe. I guess that is normal for the older units?? It cools great with what I perceive to be good system pressures since it was converted to R420A refrigerant due to a line tap incident that lost part of the original R12 charge dang it (installed line taps low + high side) .05psig low and 144 psig high at 90f ambient, it never fails to start and interior temps are right at 5f freezer and 36f fresh food section). Just wondering if anyone else had experienced this high compressor shell temp (maybe compressor is getting ready to die?) anyway I will be giving this unit to a neighbor for their garage so I will be able to monitor it. I am impressed with the R420A it seems to really cool well. Does anyone know what the superheat should be at the compressor suction line inlet? They attach the cap tube to the suction line and it adds a bunch looks like about 65f on this one that seems real high but just don't know. The subcooling is running right at 6f measured at the condensor outlet not sure what that should be either. The compressor is 1/4hp and is drawing 2.9 amps. Don't want to hijack the thread just kinda rambling if anyone wants to ramble with me come on LOL
 
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Old 07-13-05, 08:54 AM
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Update on my Kenmore 'frig,

Sears showed up yesterday and replaced the compressor and overload relay. It has been running now for 24 hours and freezer is still 0 degrees and 'frig 38 degrees. Seems to have been the problem as over the weekend it would basically run and cool fine until it reached shut off temperature. The problem then was it would never cycle back on, the overload would just click. After unplugging for a few hours everything would work again until it reached shut off temp. I plugged the 'frig in yesterday morning about an hour before the repairman came and he said when he took the back off the compressor was way too warm. He said the motor inside was definitely stuggling.

All was covered under the 5 year compressor warranty even the service call. So hopefully we have that solved and fixed. Really appreciate all comments, replies, and help from everyone. Have definitely bookmarked this site for future assistance and may even be able to help someone else out after my experiences!!
 
 

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