Fridge/Freezer not cooling :(

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Old 04-11-09, 02:40 PM
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Question Fridge/Freezer not cooling :(

Hello, just looking for some help on a fridge problem I have.

The past week we noticed the fridge and freezer were starting to warm up a bit. At first, we thought maybe someone just hit the settings controls, so we set to cooler. It is only getting warmer. So today I decided to start investigating.

First pulled off the panel on the rear section of the fridge. Found the fan housing or whatever it is called completely covered in dust. Cleaned this off as best I could and tried to let cool. Fridge still only getting to 51 F and freezer to 36 F.

Then decided to start taking apart the interior parts inside the freezer.

Before I go further. This is a side by side refer.
Hotpoint Model HSS221FFC CC with Ice maker.

Removed Ice maker components. Then the guard that covers the evaporator/coils. Found all this covered in frost. Along with everything else behind it covered in frost. I have been researching a lot of posts online trying to find as much as I can about this. A lot leads to possible bad fan motor and/or board.

Tested resistance across motor leads. Do these seem close to what they should be?
Red/White: 1.7k ohms
Yellow/White: 402k ohms

Am currently letting the fridge defrost before go into testing voltage and such to the motor.

I also read that if the motor fails. The board will be shot also. I understand that the board could be bad to. But is it a definite?

Will update later with more info. Just posting now to see if I can get any more ideas on where to go or what else to look for on this subject.

Thanks for your time.
 
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Old 04-11-09, 03:22 PM
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Was the evaporator fan running? And if you have a condensor fan at the bottom, if you have coils on the very bottom under the unit, was it running as well? Both should run with the compressor.

Heavy frost on coils, but not heavy ice? You want a uniform frost layer, but not a blanket of ice.
 
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Old 04-11-09, 10:48 PM
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I am unsure if the evaporator fan was running or not. I could not hear anything. And could not see it because it was covered by a shroud.

The Condenser fan I could see running from the back of the fridge at bottom with the cover removed. Though the speed seemed to be slower than what I would expect. But I have no clue what it should be.

The coils themselves were pretty much covered in ice. Could barely see any of the actual metal. Any wires around the area were also covered. Thermistor and other parts also covered. Pretty much saw nothing but Ice when I removed the cover. (This all on the inside of freezer, along the back)

Tomorrow morning I will be putting it back together without the shroud over the evaporator fan so I can test a few things there.

Couple more questions

Will the or should the condenser itself and fans kick on when either door is opened?

Do I need to put all the ice maker components back in to test the evaporator fan? Or should the fridge work without those parts in?

Can I test for voltage at the plug where the evaporator fan would plug into? Or does it need to be plugged in and reading a fan speed to keep operating and i would need to actually probe into the wires themselves when running?

And last, is there a capacitor anywhere near the compressor I should look out for? Or would it be encased anyways and I shouldn't need to worry to much about that atm?

Thanks again.

Edit: Also. I see no coils underneath the unit. Just looks like a plastic tunnel created and set up for the condenser fan to blow heat out the front bottom of the fridge.
 
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Old 04-12-09, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by shaefner1 View Post
I am unsure if the evaporator fan was running or not. I could not hear anything. And could not see it because it was covered by a shroud.
OK

The Condenser fan I could see running from the back of the fridge at bottom with the cover removed. Though the speed seemed to be slower than what I would expect. But I have no clue what it should be.
These move quite a bit of air -yet without a super amount of speed or noise.

The coils themselves were pretty much covered in ice. Could barely see any of the actual metal. Any wires around the area were also covered. Thermistor and other parts also covered. Pretty much saw nothing but Ice when I removed the cover. (This all on the inside of freezer, along the back)
That ice has got to go. Defrost it by method of either time with it exposed and cover off, or with a hair dryer. You may have a defrost component issue going on here that is causing your problem. You can ohm meter and volt test wires and parts.

Will the or should the condenser itself and fans kick on when either door is opened?
Actually, most makes have the fan running if door is opened or not. They simply keep running if the compressor is running. But if anything, there are old fridges I have come across that have door switches that shut OFF the fan when the door is opened, to keep from sending out cold air unnecessarily.

Do I need to put all the ice maker components back in to test the evaporator fan? Or should the fridge work without those parts in?
I don't deal with ice-maker fridges very often. But I'd imagine it should run without them. Often, there are fridges that do not even have them hooked up -and they work.

Can I test for voltage at the plug where the evaporator fan would plug into? Or does it need to be plugged in and reading a fan speed to keep operating and i would need to actually probe into the wires themselves when running?
You can test the voltage when unplugged. If the compressor runs, you shoud have that voltage, as long as YOUR refrigerator does not have a door switch other than the light switch-door switch.

And last, is there a capacitor anywhere near the compressor I should look out for? Or would it be encased anyways and I shouldn't need to worry to much about that atm?
I'm not sure what you need to know. If the compressor runs, everything electrically about it is fine, including the capacitor.

Thanks again.
You are welcome.

Edit: Also. I see no coils underneath the unit. Just looks like a plastic tunnel created and set up for the condenser fan to blow heat out the front bottom of the fridge.
You may have type of condensor whose coils are wrapped around in a circle in front of the fan. Check that out. With the fan down there, you indeed do have coils of some type down there. That is the idea of the fan. And are you sure the fan is blowing it out the front? Usually they suck in the front and out the back. But I can't say conclusively every model does this. I'd ask an appliance parts store about this if I was not sure.
 
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Old 04-12-09, 12:43 PM
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Yes, there is coils in the rear/bottom of the unit. Reason I figured it sucked in from back and blew out the front is because our cats always lay in front of the fridge. Usually our cats park wherever they find extra heat.

So I let the unit sit open all night to defrost. As far as I can tell. The fridge has no defrosting of its own.

Put the evaporator fan back in and plugged the fridge back in. Nothing came on but the lights. So I went ahead and put it all back together. Plugged back in again. Let sit for 10 min or so and finally both the compressor fan and evaporator fan both kicked on.

Let sit a couple hours now. Freezer temp at 2 F and fridge at 40 F. These are pretty close to where it needs to be. Just a hair high.

Just waiting to see how long this fix lasts... As all i did was blew all the dust off the coils around the condenser fan and defrosted the freezer.

These coils were completely covered in dust. No air movement even possible. Is this part of the system what is used for displacing the heat away from the fridge? And if the heat cannot be displaced. Would that then cause condensation to start forming inside the freezer. Which then leads to that condensation freezing... Which then leads to it building up more and more and more. And causing the fridge to of course not work.

If that did not make any sense. Somebody please let me know. Am just hoping that cleaning off those coils can get me a no cost fix here.

Thanks
 
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