fridge thermostat temp. range

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Old 11-16-14, 02:52 PM
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fridge thermostat temp. range

Hi all,
bought a new Kenmore refrigerator, it's the basic 18 cf model from Sears,
< $500, perfect for apartments.

The operation of the main temp control is mystifying, not sure if it's
working properly. I set it between "normal" and the highest position.

The thermometer I placed in the fridge, shows me that the range of temps
goes down to about 30 degrees right after the compressor cycles off,
and all the way up to 40 (or just above) before it comes on again.

No matter how cold I set the control, it always goes up to between 40 - 41 degrees during the on/off cycle.

Is this the way it's supposed to work?
Thanks for any info.
 
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Old 11-16-14, 02:57 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

The temperature where the thermostat shuts off the compressor and the temperature where it turns on the compressor should move together. The difference between the two is called the differential.

That differential should be between approx. 3-8.
 
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Old 11-16-14, 03:11 PM
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I've already had the fridge replaced once, after just 10 days, a build up of ice droplets
in the freezer. The repair dept. advised get it replaced, since it's so new.

I've now had it for 6 weeks. The min/max temps do not appear to move together. Quite often
I've come down in the morning, open the door the first time in 8 hours and it's setting at
40 - 41 degrees as I mentioned - no matter how I set the control.

Thanks very much for your description of the differential. I wonder if it's a bad design,
or a faulty thermostat(s) - (the first fridge I returned behaved the same way)
 
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Old 11-17-14, 09:32 AM
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Just out of interest I lowered the thermostat about half way from the center
and monitored the temps yesterday evening and this morning. The range
seems to be about 38 - 42 f.

Ideally, I'd like to have a range of 34 - 39, but it doesn't seem possible with this
fridge. It always goes up to at least 40 F before the compressor cycles back
on.

I'm scratching my head as to why it works this way.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 09:39 AM
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Is this a refrigerator/freezer? If so is it a self defrost model? Send us model number.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 10:24 AM
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Hi Norm201,
it's the basic Kenmore-branded 18 cu ft fridge-freezer from Sears.

Sears.com
 
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Old 11-17-14, 10:58 AM
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Per your link...Frost Free Freezer saves time with hassle-free operation

The frost free feature typically kicks in at off hours (or when unit is not opened for long periods of time, usually in the early morning hours) and will heat the freezer to dissipate frost. This same heat is blown into the refrigerator section and can increase the temp. This I believe is normal operation. Perhaps the temp differential is not quite right but I would continue to reduce temp control down until you reach desired coldness in the morning hours. Try to limit how often you open the unit. Is the surrounding area any warmer than necessary? Perhaps butting up against a stove?
 
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Old 11-17-14, 12:37 PM
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Position-wise the unit is in a good location, by itself in the corner.
Ambient temps in the surrounding area low 70's F.

I had turned the thermostat up beyond the "recommended" setting, got a range
of about 30 - 40 F. Big differential, too low at the cold end. I'll play with it a little
more to see if Can get a better compromise.

Thanks for your help.
 
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Old 11-17-14, 06:35 PM
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Are you taking your temperature readings with a thermometer sitting on a shelf?

If so that would explain the wide temperature swings.
If you want to closely monitor temperature in a fridge you would need to put a thermometer in something that has mass, like a container of water, that will give you more accurate readings.
This is what is done to monitor temperatures for products that have strict temp requirements.

Try it and you will likely find the fridge is ok.

Oh.
Could the fridge be considered full?
If not that is another thing that would cause wide temperature swings.
And, does it freeze food?
 
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Old 11-18-14, 10:25 AM
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I set the control just past the recommended setting and got a range of 35 - 40
(as measured by the thermometer on the middle shelf). This seems acceptable.

However, the temps in the top freezer (with the fresh food compartment set as above)
are between 0 and 13. This seems a little high to me. That's with the
freezer control set to "coldest"

Neither compartment are full, but probably @ 80 - 90% of capacity. Still room for air
to circulate.

Both the fresh food compartment and the freezer have a recommended setting.
Set their way, I get about 36 - 40 (or just over).

Adjusting the fresh food compartment colder still, to make the freezer get colder, gives me a
range of 30 - 40. << why is this differential getting bigger ?
 
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Old 11-18-14, 01:18 PM
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I am not familiar with exactly how the thermostat is set up on your fridge.

Normally you will have a dial for the freezer and fridge compartment.
One is a thermostat and will cycle the compressor and the other is a damper door.
Depending on where your thermostat is sensing you need to balance the setting of the thermostat and the damper door.

My preference is that because a fridge freezer is not really meant for long term storage of frozen foods I try to set the controls for the coldest fridge compartment with t e warmest freezer temperature.
This will make the compressor run less.

Air temperature in a fridge or freezer is a poor way to determine cycling like I have said.
If you want to monitor the freezer temp and smooth out the swings put a thermometer in salt water.
 
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