Kenmore Upright Freezer not freezing

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Old 10-13-19, 01:04 PM
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Kenmore Upright Freezer not freezing

Hi I have a 17 year old Kenmore upright freezer model 253.21411103 . The food inside has been thawing the last few days. Did some reading to learn a little and:

- the seals around the door seems to be tight.
- the fan is blowing and cool air is coming out
- the coils are internal so have never cleaned them
- the compressor is hot to the touch. And it looks like heat from it has been melting the underside of the freezer for so.e time.

any ideas? I'm pretty handy and figured I'd try to troubleshoot before just getting a new one.
 
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Old 10-13-19, 01:34 PM
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You're going to need to check the evaporator coil and see if it's frozen up. You may have a defrost problem. Check in the back of the freezer..... there should be a heated drip pot that should have some water in it. If no water... no defrost.

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Old 10-13-19, 01:55 PM
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Sounds like a defrost problem.

Remove the cover at the back of the freezer compartment so you can see the evaporator/freezer coils.
Check the coils if they are frosted over to the point that the fan cannot pull air through them then it is a defrost problem.

If it is a defrost problem could be the defrost heater, the defrost thermostat or the defrost timer.

Look up the unit on the Sears parts site.
Looks like the defrost timer is mounted at the back.
You will probably only see a hole as it mounted to the back of a bracket.

Pull the freezer away from the wall and turn the defrost timer control with a flat screwdriver .( door switch may have to be held shut)
It only turns in one direction.
Turn it till the fan goes off.
You are now in defrost.
Check the heater under the evaporator coils.
Be careful that you do not burn your fingers!!!
If it is on then the timer is bad.

If not on it is either the defrost heater or the defrost thermostat.
Unplug the unit and the above.
The heater should be about 20 ohms.
The defrost thermostat should close when frozen.
 
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Old 10-13-19, 02:25 PM
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Ok thanks all. I've got it pulled out from the wall and unplugged the last hour plus. Gonna go try all that now.
 
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Old 10-13-19, 02:41 PM
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Update

Ok so the coils on this model are located inside behind a panel. And to me they look really clean. Expected worse after 17 years of nonstop running. What do you think? Is a defrost problem still a possibility?

also I took some pictures of the bottom back. Is that black thing the compressor? That's the part that was really hot and seems like its melted away the bottom of the freezer. Unless it was molded that way? There is what looks to be a burn mark.

Freezer pics https://imgur.com/gallery/nMDXdQU

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Last edited by PJmax; 10-13-19 at 03:20 PM. Reason: imported 2 pics from link
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Old 10-13-19, 03:22 PM
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You need to check the coil just after unplugging but after an hour that looks like there was no major ice on the coil. That would mean the defrost is working. Are you sure the fan is actually working ? There isn't much left that could cause a problem.

I put an arrow where the drain pan is located. That should have a good bit of water in it.
 
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Old 10-13-19, 04:16 PM
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Ok a couple of things...

First I plugged it back in and it's running. Fan is definitely running. I can feel the air hit my face, lightly, when I open the door and with the fan cover off. I'll let it go and see how cold it gets.

Also I checked the drain pan you drew and arrow to and was maybe 1/2 full of water at most. Definitely not overflowing. Not sure of that's good or bad.

Finally I mispoke earlier when I said the seal was all good. I went over it more carefully now. Almost all of it is nicely sealed except 3 areas. Could these be the problem? The food on the doors was most impacted while the food inside was less thawed. EDIT: I'm feeling closely around the seals and I dont feel any air leaking. The freezer is on and the fan is blowing air. It just doesn't feel that cold.

Freezer seal https://imgur.com/gallery/I35NArn
 

Last edited by bheron; 10-13-19 at 05:31 PM.
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Old 10-14-19, 06:42 AM
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Plug the unit in and let it run for 15 minutes or so.
Now look at the evaporator coils they should have a fairly even coating of frost on them.

If there is no frost or just frost in one area (usually where the freon enters the coils) then it is a sealed system problem and not worth fixing as you need a pro and it will be expensive.

"unplugged the last hour plus"
Not sure I understand the above.
If you had it unplugged for a couple hours with the door open then it may have defrosted on it's own so the test/diagnosis may be incorrect.
 
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