Amana Side by Side Refrigerator not working

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Old 07-06-11, 05:51 PM
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Amana Side by Side Refrigerator not working

Looking for some diagnostics opinions. Have a Amana 22 cuft side by side refrigerator model SXD 22S2L refrigerator that is a 1998 vintage. With the deep freeze and the fresh food controls at max the temp in the fresh food area is about 50-60 degrees F. The temp in the freezer area is about 30 degrees F. The lower back portion of the freezer section has about 1/2" of frost on the inside of the box and the slots at the bottom of that section (I assume for circulation) are frosted closed. The ice maker is not making ice but that I assume is because the freezer is not cold enough. I do not hear the compressor cycle nor does it appear to come on. The coils beneath the unit and the fan cover on the rear are clean and free of lint and dust. This is in a second home, and because of age, am toying with replacing the refrigerator, but none the less am interested on what the problem could be, simply for my own edification. I have not made the decision to replace yet because I would like to know what other thinks. If it is a simple fix I might stay with the unit. Thanks for any and all inputs.
 
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Old 05-28-14, 03:38 PM
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Amana Side by side refrigerator not working

I know that this is an old thread, but someone may come across it nonetheless. I had the same problem. Initially, the problem was that the water dispenser ceased working. Then, I noticed that the ice cubes were melting and running water down the door in the freezer compartment. Then, closer inspection revealed that the food in the freezer was actually melting and, additionally, the Fresh Food compartment was very warm.

I did all of the obligatory maneuvers such as clean the coils, replace the water filter (I had an extra one that I had bought), and allow the door itself to thaw out. The water dispenser worked again, but was inoperable the next morning. This was when I noticed that the food was really melting in the freezer! I checked and found that the the coils behind the freezer compartment were cold. Overly cold actually! But the top of the freezer was warm. Hmmmmm.

It turned out that the "Defroster Thermostat" was bad. I could tell immediately that it was bad as it was out-of-round and had an "exploded" look to it. There seems to be some tests that can be done with a VOM, but it was obvious in my situation that this unit was blown! However, just because it might not look blown, doesn't mean that it hasn't failed. It seems as if water can get into them. That water then freezes and expands and it blows it up!

A bad Defroster Thermostat does not allow the fan in the back of the freezer to come on and properly circulate the air. It seems as if it merely falls to the bottom of the freezer and causes the water dispenser line to freeze up. Very cold on the bottom, melting on the top!

The compressor was working way hard to try to keep things cold, but could not keep up due to the lack of air circulation. Hence, the top of the freezer got no cold air and everything towards the top melted. Additionally, the cold air that goes into the Fresh Food compartment actually comes from the movement of air from the freezer. So, no air movement, no cold air in the Fresh Food compartment either.

I replaced the "Defroster Thermostat", which is behind a panel in the freezer compartment. The Defroster Thermostat is a smallish round thing about 2 inches round that sits on top of the coils that get cold. The new thermostat had only two wires coming out of it. I cut the wires close to the old unit and spliced the new one onto the old wires. I used a few wire nuts and paid special attention to make sure that those wire nuts were up and away from the coils and pointing UP so that no frost or water-melt would get into them after I closed it up.

NOTE: An easy way to check to see if your fan is working is to simply splice the two wires that you cut right at the thermostat together (after unplugging the unit!) and noting (after you plug it back in) if the fan then operates. Mine did and this told me that the fan was good, but it was merely the defroster thermostat.

I put it all back together and everything works fine! Please note that you would have to put the panel back on as the panel itself directs the air to the proper locations. I read a few posts where someone left the panel OFF overnight and was disappointed in the temperature in his freezer and fridge the next morning. Without the panel on, the air does not move correctly!

$35 replacement part and zero labor costs.
 
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