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Kenmore refrigeration problem - evaporator

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Mar 23, 2014, 12:46 PM
AlisonM
Kenmore refrigeration problem - evaporator
I have a 5-6 year old Kenmore 106.5653 cold spot refrigerator that is not cooling enough (both sides). The condenser is clean, the compressor is running (hot), the compressor fan is running, and the freezer fan is running. I've emptied out things so there is no blockage. There is an uneven frost/ice pattern on the evaporator coils. I've read that this means there is a "refrigeration problem" (no kidding!), but as this is a bit vague, I'm wanting to see if I can figure out a bit more specific information. Especially potential cost to repair. I don't even want to put $100 toward a diagnosis if it's just going to cost half the price of a new refrigerator. Any ideas?

evaporator

Mar 23, 2014, 01:09 PM
nona
frost on the coils usually mean low refrigerant. You need special equipment to check for and find leaks, also special equipment to service it.
You really only have two options, either call a serviceman to find and fix the unit or replace it
I've had experience ( unsatisfactory ) with sears repair people and products, If it were my problem, I'd replace the unit with something other than a sears product
Mar 23, 2014, 01:25 PM
swschrad
to service that unit, the repairman is going to have to clamp on tapping valves. they all leak. so you're going to have continuous maintenance until the compressor finally stops trying to pack gas that isn't there.

if it's still under extended warranty, fix.

if not, replace.

modern higher-speed compressor systems do not have the life expectancy of the old 50s and 60s fridges, which basically ran until they died all over. we got 30+ years out of an old Hotpoint latching-door unit at the folks' house. almost 25 years out of the replacement. today's compressors run at twice the speed, so they are likely to last half as long. and they're all Chinese, to boot.

in your case, it could be the defroster timer or heater has failed, and that is worth fixing. same cost give or take, but you don't open the sealed refrigeration system, and it could run for the average 12 year life, meaning another 6 years of life. it's a toss of the dice, but frost on the coils means I'd check the seals with a dollar bill, and if OK, call the man.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Mar 23, 2014, 02:11 PM
AlisonM
I checked the gaskets all around with dollar bill and while I didn't have to work hard to get it out, there was at least some resistance.
swschrad, can you explain the bit you were saying about the compressor (and the conclusion that it would be better to replace as we don't have a warranty) vs. what you said about the possibility of the defroster timer/heater being worth fixing?
Mar 23, 2014, 02:29 PM
AlisonM
Oh, also - but don't quote me on this, because I could be remembering incorrectly - I think that months ago I started hearing a whining noise intermittently from the fridge. Hasn't happened in a while and the cooling problem didn't start until way after I stopped hearing that noise. I didn't know if that might be relevant.
Mar 23, 2014, 03:12 PM
Re-mdlr
There have been problems with refrigerators where they 'freeze' themselves, I have seen this for myself. They will not work properly because part of them is frozen. It's easy to try something -- just unplug it for about 24 hours, then plug it back in. I think it has to do with the defrost cycle freezing up.
Mar 23, 2014, 03:32 PM
AlisonM
Sorry, I forgot to mention I already did that. It refroze with the same pattern after the defrost all day. I even put a space heater on it.
Mar 23, 2014, 08:05 PM
CommonwealthSparky
quote:
Originally posted by Re-mdlr:
There have been problems with refrigerators where they 'freeze' themselves, I have seen this for myself. They will not work properly because part of them is frozen. It's easy to try something -- just unplug it for about 24 hours, then plug it back in. I think it has to do with the defrost cycle freezing up.


You bet me to the answer, RE-mdlr !!! My 2ยข addendum is that the defrost cycle {heater} is not turning on. That's from my limited knowledge of refrigeration issues. Wink


Popeye only reached for the Spinach can as a last resort...
Mar 23, 2014, 08:19 PM
swschrad
defrost in your typical fridge consists of a little cycles-around timer, a small heater, usually in a glass tube, and a little fan and motor. they are located behind either the top of the fridge section, or under the liner on one side. the three parts are not expensive. removing the gaskets, the liner in one piece, replacing the bad part, and reassembly is what runs up the costs. Sears around here charges $150 to turn the key in the truck.

if you are REALLY handy, you could DIY this. once you break the interior one-piece liner, it's a whole 'nother ball game. there are other things like the thermostat/light box that probably have to come out before the liner can be removed.

since it recurred, my bet is the defroster.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Mar 23, 2014, 08:28 PM
swschrad
quote:
Kenmore 106.5653

try adding another 5, the model number is probably 106.55653. Sears has no factories, they order X number of freight cars of appliances from whatever maker they like in a feature range, this one may be a Whirlpool under the badge. Sears model numbers are almost always a 3.5 matrix.

if this video shows what looks like your fridge, it's a snap to fix this one, no heart-lung machine or welder is needed Wink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U950xyscTMg#t=18

definitely DIY. I have not used this vendor, repair clinic, getting my parts locally, but a box of all the parts is probably in the $100-125 range. using a DVM to check the heater resistance might save you from ordering that part.

there's a bunch of testing of the parts possible, but I'd personally shotgun the timer and thermostat because of the difficulty of testing them. the motor could be tested with a clip-lead cord, it should be 120 volts, but I advise against that. clip-lead power cords can be dangerous even in wary and skilled hands. if the fan turns easily, and a DVM shows resistance on the leads, I'd call a shaded-pole motor good. even the $2-5 Harbor Freight DVM is perfectly good enough for a handyman.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Mar 23, 2014, 11:18 PM
AlisonM
106.56536400 is actually the full model number. I left off the last few - usually they don't mean too much.

That video does look easy - and the model is similar. My part is a Whirlpool part, 2196155.

I realized later today that the fridge is older than first thought. Manufacture date June 2005. So we were considering replacement. But if all it takes is an $18 part, maybe not. But then again, I'd have no idea what other parts to try other than this. Someone I talked to earlier today wondered about the thermostat, too.
Mar 24, 2014, 09:45 AM
AlisonM
... but would a problem with the thermostat cause the uneven frost and ice pattern?
Mar 24, 2014, 03:14 PM
ron45
Here's a good thought....
If you throw the $18 at it and the thing works, you just saved yourself a lot of money.

If it doesn't work you can still save some money, check this out there may be something similar in your area.

https://www.peco.com/Savings/P.../Pages/Overview.aspx

Why pay to have things taken away. Did you know you can get paid for recyclable material..??

We have a recycle place near us that takes most anything worth recycling, imagine getting paid for your junk.

...

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ron45,
Mar 24, 2014, 03:47 PM
swschrad
a good dealer will haul and recycle the old fridge for free. my suspicions would be, in order, the timer, then the heater, then the stat. mostly in the hospital, our fridge and freezer issues were usually the fan or a low charge. the low charges can be traced back to installing saddle valves to recharge the darn thing. at home, we've had one fail, the heater itself, due to shipping damage from having the fridge (baby diaper green) trucked to a body shop to repaint it. and of course, we've had two compressor failures ourselves.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Mar 24, 2014, 07:02 PM
AlisonM
Ha! We have to PAY the man to take away and recycle appliances in our area. I wish we had someplace that actually paid us.

I am searching for the parts. I've found the thermostat and heater but am still looking for the timer. I'm not even finding it in my parts list that came with my fridge.
Mar 24, 2014, 10:11 PM
beers1
have you tried to locate the parts by MODEL # and SERIAL # sometime the model # is the same but the serial # has the store or company that sold (sells) the unit, with a very slight difference in a part used in it .

This message has been edited. Last edited by: beers1,
May 30, 2014, 11:06 PM
MissPink
thank you for shareing I having same problem

fengshuiwin
May 31, 2014, 12:10 AM
Re-mdlr
bumping