Whirlpool Model ET20DKXAN00 Refrigerator/Freezer not cooling

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Old 09-03-15, 03:10 AM
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Whirlpool Model ET20DKXAN00 Refrigerator/Freezer not cooling

Hi everyone,
I have a Whirlpool ET20DKXAN00 refrigerator/freezer in my basement as a spare fridge. Yesterday I went downstairs and I noticed a bad smell in the basement. I could not initially determine the source, but as I went to the fridge and opened it, I realized that it was not working.The cooling in both the fridge and freezer had stopped, however the fan was still operating. The smell seemed to be on the outside of the unit, and no real bad smell came from inside.
The unit is older so I don't think it is worth a call to a service professional, but if it is something that I can repair myself I will spend some money on it.
Does anyone have any ideas as to what I can check? Are there some common items that usually go bad? I will check if the "coils" are clean, but it seems odd that I would get a bad smell and the machine suddenly stops cooling if it was the coils. I left it unplugged at the moment.

Thank you ,
Zack
 
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Old 09-03-15, 12:58 PM
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If there is nothing that had gone bad inside the unit then you may have smelled the refrigerant if it leaked out.

You will have to plug the unit back in and see if the compressor runs and if it does..... does it get warm/hot.
 
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Old 09-03-15, 01:50 PM
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Well I plugged it back in, and all that happens is that the fan kicks on. There does not seem to be a compressor start. It does blow air into the freezer/fridge, however it is basically warm air. Any ideas?


Zack
 
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Old 09-03-15, 03:52 PM
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Your fridge has a basic thermostat.

If you turn the thermostat.... I believe the fridge temp, to OFF. Everything should be quiet. When you turn it back up..... you should hear a light click come from the thermostat, the inside fan, the compressor and the fan down by the compressor should all come on.

Your fan under the unit may be bound up with dust. The compressor could have a start relay problem. If you can't confirm the fan coming on underneath... you'll need to pull the fridge from the wall and visually inspect it.
 
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Old 09-03-15, 08:01 PM
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When I plugged it in, I did attempt to adjust the temp controls. When adjusting the temp controls, nothing seems to be happening. All that happens is that the fan kicks on, with no cold air blowing.
 
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Old 09-04-15, 12:37 AM
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Does the fan come on with the thermostat in the OFF position ????

There should be nothing running with the timer in the OFF position.
Please confirm that.

Now turn the thermostat to ON or to a number setting. Does the inside fan now come on ?

There is a defrost timer located in the same area as the thermostat. If you hear the thermostat click when you turn it up and nothing else.... the fridge could be in defrost or stuck in defrost. You can remove the panel where the thermostat is to access the timer and manually advance it.

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Old 09-04-15, 05:19 PM
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Ok, so as you suggested I plugged it in with the thermostat in the off position. With the thermostat in the off position, nothing was running at all. As soon as I turned the thermostat up, the fan kicked on. I heard a very soft click, and the fan came right on. So based upon that test, I assume that the problem is elsewhere?


Thank you for all of your help!

Zack
 
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Old 09-04-15, 08:43 PM
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It sounds like the thermostat is ok since the inside fan came on.

Try leaving the unit plugged in for an hour. If nothing happens then you'll need to check the defrost timer or go directly to the fan and compressor under the fridge.

Usually, but not always, when the fridge goes into defrost..... the inside fan also shuts off so I might roll the fridge out and go directly to the compressor to check for power.
 
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Old 09-05-15, 04:02 AM
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I pulled the fridge from the wall to expose the back. There seems to be a thin cardboard cover over the compressor that is screwed in. When I remove that cover, where should I go from there? What part(s) could have potentially failed under there?
What most concerns me is the bad smell that emanated from the fridge when it stopped working.

I also have new motivation to fix it since I found out what a huge hassle and how expensive it will be to dispose of it. In order to get rid of it, I need to call in a refrigerator repairman to remove the freon then place a sticker on it indicating that the freon was legally removed. After that step is completed I need to get it outside and remove the doors and wait for the metal pick up next month! I guess the best thing to do if I can't fix it, is to simply buy a new one, since Lowes does free removal of the old unit with free delivery of the new unit.
 
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Old 09-16-15, 03:07 AM
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Bump.... Any idea what to do when I open up the back panel?
 
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Old 09-16-15, 08:33 AM
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You'll need to use a voltmeter set to read AC voltage and check for 120v to the compressor and the condensor fan both which are right behind the cardboard.
 
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