Freezer Coils Icing Up, Fridge Getting Warm (Kenmore Bottom-Mount)

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Old 11-03-15, 02:08 PM
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Freezer Coils Icing Up, Fridge Getting Warm (Kenmore Bottom-Mount)

I have a Kenmore bottom-mount refrigerator, model 596 69872991, serial# 0010160897.

It came with the house, so I don't know exactly how old it is. It worked fine for the first three years we were here, however. Then, sometime last year, it began having this issue. The freezer will slowly begin to get warmer, but never hot. You can still keep things in it, to an extent, but it's too warm for softer foods like ice cream. Eventually, the back wall of the freezer will ice over and the top refrigerator area will get warmer and warmer. The first time this happened, we emptied everything and turned the unit off to thaw out over night. The next day we turned it back on and and everything was fine for months. Then it happened again, and again, and again. Each time, it seems to go even quicker than before, with only a few months between.

Each time, I've taken the back panel off of the freezer to find the coils completely encased in ice. It's clearly blocking the ducts and keeping the upper fridge area from being cooled as well. On one occasion I even took a hair dryer to the ducts to make absolutely sure nothing was blocked. The bottom outside of the unit has also been thoroughly cleared of any dust. So following this logic, I continued to research the problem as well as I could and ended up testing the following things.

1) Defrost timer - I removed the from lower kickplate and turned the knob on the timer until it clicked, indicating the defrost cycle. It stayed like this for mayber 10 minutes before the unit started back up. I couldn't feel anything getting obviously hot inside, though.

2) Thermostat - I unplugged the thermostat and tested it against my multimeter. It read 9.8 while submerged in a glass of ice water. The device itself does look to be visually damaged though, with one side bulging with a blue ooze?

3) Defrost Heater - I hooked my multimeter up to the wires on either side and received a reading of 33.8 on it. The wire coming off the left side doesn't seem to be connected to anything, though? It's bundled up with the loose cables for the ice maker, which I do not have. Is this correct? There doesn't appear to be an obvious connector for it anywhere.

According to what I've been reading, this would seem to rule out a lot of the obvious problems. Is this correct? What else can be done to further diagnose this issue?

Thanks!
 
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  #2  
Old 11-03-15, 10:51 PM
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That looks like a defective thermostat. They get full of water, freeze and expand. You can bypass it in the freezer by removing it and connecting the two wires together and cap with wire nut. Put timer into defrost. The coil should get from warm to fairly hot.

DO NOT LEAVE THE THERMOSTAT OUT OF THE LINE - this is only for testing.
 
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Old 11-05-15, 04:25 PM
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Thanks!
I installed the new defrost thermostat. Now I am experiencing an entirely different issue. :\

When I first plugged the unit back in, it immediately started up. It quickly got itself back down to temperature, before halting. The issue is, it never seems to want to star the compressor back up. After it reaches temperature, it stops and gradually gets warmer and warmer for hours. I tried unplugging it again, and let it sit for a little while before plugging it back in. Once I did, it against started right up, got to temperature, and stopped.

This isn't a problem I had with it before. Did I inadvertently mess something up while replacing the thermostat, or was the problem simply not manifesting due to the previous, faulty part?
 
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Old 11-05-15, 06:06 PM
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I don't see what you could have messed up. Your fridge has a basic mechanical thermostat.... no electronic control board.

Try setting the stat to the lowest number. When the fridge shuts off.... wait a few minutes and then try setting the stat to the coldest. If you listen carefully you should here the stat click.

The compressor, the fan underneath and the fan inside the freezer should all start.
You may have to hold the door button in to activate the inside fan.

If nothing happens.... no click.... try tapping on the plastic around the stat and see if that has an effect. If still no... it points to a defective thermostat.
 
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