Whirlpool Refrigerator problem

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Old 03-22-15, 04:40 PM
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Wink Whirlpool Refrigerator problem

I'm new here so I hope I'm doing this right. I have a Whirlpool SxS refrigerator/freezer, model ED22TQXGW00. It works fine for several days and then either freezes everything, even in the refrigerator side; or it quits cooling in both the refrigerator and freezer, long enough for the stuff in the freezer to thaw, then it starts working correctly again. The main trouble seems to be that it quits cooling by its self and then starts again. I think the part about freezing everything has to do with us turning the refrigerator control knob to a warmer or colder position to see if it will come on again correctly. It always seems to and works fine for several days (3-5 days), then lets everything in the freezer thaw again. I have cleaned the condenser, which was dirty, but don't know what to check from there. Of course, when I'm trying to think of what else to check, everything seems to be working properly. I'm retired now, but spent 40 years doing auto mechanical work, including AC systems; and as a construction electrician and rebiulding electric motors. So I probably have any of the tools or test equipment or meters required to fix this, just no experience on a refridgerator/freezer. Leaves me unsure of where to begin. I hate intermittent problems; seems like you can never catch it when it's acting up, so each thing tests good when you try to check it, then acts up again when you put it all back together. I'm thinking there must be either a temperature sensor bad somewhere or a control for the automatic defrost that isn't working right intermittently. Any ideas of where to begin or what the problem might be will be greatly appreciated. I hate the idea of just randomly replacing parts that could be good or bad. Would rather spend a little extra time diagnosing it first, but have no problem with replacing some parts if they aren't too expensive. Thanks in advance for any helpful ideas or procedures to test and fix this.
 
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Old 03-22-15, 04:44 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Most important question.... was the evaporator frozen over ?

Your fridge has a mechanical thermostat and one electronic damper between the fridge and freezer.

Since the problem is affecting both sides.... I'm pretty sure it's the thermostat. Part # 2198202. Just to confirm.... the compressor wasn't running and then when you played with the thermostat it started working again.

One online company that carries the part along with an installation video.
Whirlpool Refrigerator Temperature Control Thermostat 2198202 Repair Clinic
 
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Old 03-23-15, 10:42 AM
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I did not check the evaporator. Did not take the cabinet apart, but the airflow between the 2 sides seems good whenever I check it. Playing with the thermostat seems to have some affect some of the time. Generally, if I turn it way down or off, then back up to the highest setting, the compressor comes on. However, it seems that if it was already set fairly high, turning it down and back up has no effect. But it will come back on by its self at some point, maybe 10 minutes to an hour after I've turned it down and up. Other times it will quit working long enough for frozen things to thaw (usually at night when we are sleeping). Then when we wake in the morning, the ice has partially melted and is now freezing back together as a solid piece. But it has come back on automatically like it should. From what I can see in the parts book, it looks like the thermostat is just a rheostat. My first thought was that if it is, there may be a bad contact point in it, as I've seen many of these go bad (in other devices) at the normal contact position. But normally if that happens, adjusting it slightly up or down will generally make a good contact point and eliminate the problem. Then it's just a matter of cleaning it, or replacing it, in order to be able to obtain the desired temperature setting with a good contact point where it was previously set. Am I correct in assuming that I can test the thermostat just like any other rheostat? Hook an ohm meter or amp meter up and it should give a smooth swing reading as it is adjusted. If it goes to a certain point and then has a vastly different jump up or down in the reading, it indicates a bad spot internally and should be cleaned or replaced.
 
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Old 03-23-15, 09:36 PM
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The thermostat is a capillary device. It's an on/off switch that is activated by the temperature where the end of the bulb sits. The t'stat has a standard microswitch in it but the housing is not designed to come apart.

I've never been 100% successful taking them apart

When I service fridges I use two thermometers. I track the fridge and the freezer. If it's a t'stat problem..... the temperatures will change the same in both sides. If only one side changes it tells me what to look for.

I re-read your last post and I'm fairly certain you'll need to replace the t'stat.
 
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Old 03-26-15, 05:27 AM
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Thanks very much. Reading your reply made me stop and think again. I hadn't thought it through completely the first time. (Not unusual for me!) After your reply and looking at the parts diagram, I realized that the thermostat is a 2 part device made as 1 unit. While the control setting is a rheostat, I was completely forgetting about the temperature sensor part which is a capillary device as you say. I'm assuming a bi-metallic type. I had not looked at the parts diagram close enough and thought the control adjuster and sensor were 2 separate parts like some furnaces or AC units, where the sensor screws into the controller. I'll replace it and hopefully it will cure my problem. I'll let you know, and thanks again.
 
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Old 04-11-15, 12:43 PM
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I replaced the thermostat and the defrost timer. Everything seemed to work fine, except that after replacing them, everything was freezing no matter where I set the controls. Freezer was reading -20 and fridge was reading 28. Kept trying different settings every few days. Finally got it to where it read 0 in the freezer and 37 in the fridge. That lasted several days, then it started going up again. 20 in the freezer and 40 in the fridge. Turning it down has had no effect. Seems to be staying around these temps but warming slightly each day. Any ideas?
 
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Old 04-11-15, 09:52 PM
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When you replaced the thermostat.... did you put the copper bulb in the same location ?
 
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Old 04-12-15, 03:30 PM
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Yes. But now that I checked further, the evaporator was completely frosted over and encased in ice. The fan is working and it has continuity through the heater. The defrost timer that they sent me was not the same as the original, but is supposed to be a proper replacement. The defrost terminating thermostat was completely enclosed in frosty ice at least 1/2 inch thick. I had no good way to test it, but am told they will not function correctly when covered in ice. I defrosted everything and put it all back together. Everything seems to be working properly now. I'm just wondering if I should go on and order the terminating thermostat so that I have it in case it is bad. Is it possible that it had just built up enough frost and ice on the evaporator, before I replaced the controls and thermostat, that it would not defrost properly, or allow the terminating thermostat to function? From what I can tell, if it's building up frost on the evaporator, generally it is either a bad terminating thermostat, bad defrost heater, or a slow or non running fan. Since I have continuity through it, I'm assuming the heater is functional; which leaves the terminating thermostat since the fan seems to be working properly. Am I correct in my assumptions?
 
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