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Kenmore Bottom Freezer 596.73504201 Top Refrig. Stopped, Freezer Still Works

Kenmore Bottom Freezer 596.73504201 Top Refrig. Stopped, Freezer Still Works

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Old 08-21-14, 01:44 PM
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Kenmore Bottom Freezer 596.73504201 Top Refrig. Stopped, Freezer Still Works

Discovered that the upper refrigerator has stopped cooling altogether but the bottom freezer staying very cold. Unable to find a repair manual and the parts list gives no clues (nor any at Kenmore either). Where should I start looking? What and how should I test?

Thank you!
 
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Old 08-21-14, 06:25 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

I'm looking at the manual for your fridge and it appears to be a basic unit with mechanical thermostat. However the picture shows a side by side unit. (par for the course)

You have a mechanical thermostat that turns the compressor on and off which in turn controls the freezer temperature. The fridge uses flowing cold air to cool it. There is a coil in the freezer that a fan blows thru. Some air blows thru the freezer and some thru the fridge.

Check for air being blown thru the unit. You should hear the fan start if you hold the door button in. There is a damper that should be mechanical and connected to the fridge temperature knob. In the link below the part is question is #18. You need to see if it's open.
Kenmore Refrigerator Controls Parts | Model 59673504201 | SearsPartsDirect


A defrost problem (iced up coil) can also cause issues as the cold air won't flow thru a blocked coil. In the next link it shows the cold coil and the fan in the bottom of the freezer.
Kenmore Refrigerator Evaporator area & rollers Parts | Model 59673504201 | SearsPartsDirect

When you open these links up you'll see diagrams of the parts. If you click on "view full size" the diagram opens in a new page. Click on the new diagram and it will be a large diagram that you can navigate around with your cursor or arrow buttons.

Basically you need to check for an iced up coil and moving air.
 
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Old 08-21-14, 09:58 PM
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Halfway There (I Hope)

The damper control appears to be open; that is, the flap is down, as it is in the parts picture. I am assuming that is open.

The fan (am assuming just one) sounds as though it is on nearly all the time, door open or closed. The small block of vents on the back, at the rear (bottom), is lightly blowing cool air out from the inside.

So, if this is the case, then the damper is open, but no air comes through, warm or cold.

Prior to this, I turned off the fridge with the freezer switch, removed the small hose from the water valve, unplugged the unit and moved it out to a larger area. I vacuumed what I could from the front with a small but powerful shop vac; there was a lot of cat hair and dust in front of the coils, less on the coils themselves as far as I could see. I opened up the back and used the shop vac to, first, vacuum what I could, and then used it to blow through the unit, and got more dust/hair. I have yet to locate a "coil brush" and knock off the remaining hair from the coils.

I put the back plate on with three screws for safety and ease of removal. I will get a brush tomorrow. It the coils get cleaned, will I need to then turn off the fridge so the ice melts off the coils? Or will there be additional steps? Anything else I need to be doing or on the lookout for?

Thank you again! It is comforting to me to know there are resources such as this available.
 
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