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Posted: 9/26/2004 12:48:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2004 9:11:37 AM EDT by Andrewh]
I have a side by side whirlpool/kenmore that is about 5 years old. We woke up to water on the floor, and everything in the freezer was melted down. The air in the fridge section still feels cold, but most things in there are sweating. The air blowing underneith is about room temp so I don't think it is cooling any. Is there something I can check? It sounds like it is clicking every few seconds.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 12:57:33 PM EDT
send an IM to DrFrige.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:00:34 PM EDT
drink all the beer..................fast!!!!!!!!!!
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:03:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2004 1:04:53 PM EDT by Ops]
the clicking you hear is the compressor overload. Either the start relay is kaput (simple fix) or the compressor is shot (not worth repair) Unplug it, make some arrangements like a cooler, and call repair service Monday morning. Good luck. Ops
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:05:31 PM EDT
can you tell me where the starter relay is?
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:07:12 PM EDT
Well, sounds like your problem is more immediate that this, but this can't hurt in the future


Try here and see what they may have to say about the problem(s)


Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:07:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2004 1:11:54 PM EDT by nightstalker]

Check here. Might be iced up. If you discover it is you could use a hair dyer to get it going again but that might not FIX it. Defroster not working properly possible.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:11:07 PM EDT
might be the compressor or a freon leak

best maintainence advice: thaw out your freezer to remove ice build up, and dont bang on the sides, might damage the coils
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:26:13 PM EDT
well, I took off the back panel. I found a black object that I think is the compressor with the relay mounted on the side. It could also be the accumulator, but I don't think so. The coils leading to it and away from it are cold, but it is almost to hot to touch. Probably a 4 count before you have to take your hand away.
I will check out the other sites. Thanks. Any other ideas?
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:30:25 PM EDT
couldbe froze, up,, happens when the drain line gets clogged,, and it just keeps growin ice,,blocking the air ways to the lower fridge from the frezzer.
it could also be the compressor relays,, there is usually two of them that piggyback each other. check for the iced up coils and drainline 1st,,it sthe easy fix to thaw it out. if itsthe relays those are also an easy fix,,if its the compressor,,, well,, toss it.....it aint worth the timeor money to repair it.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:31:40 PM EDT
I think Ops had the best diagnosis.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 1:31:42 PM EDT
you could try a 3n1 hard start assembly,it has a wiring diagram on it try an appliance parts house in your area.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 2:33:45 PM EDT
would the compressor be hot for either case? The compressor bad or the relay fried?
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 2:41:57 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/26/2004 2:59:52 PM EDT by warlord]
Defrost timer could be shot. It is located somewhere on the outside, probably cost $50-$75 at a refigeration store. Unplug and replace. Then take a hair drier and melt all of the ice off the evaporator coils and plug in the box, with a thermometer box to verify that it is getting cold.

If you want to be absolutely positively sure the defrost timer is the cultprit, get the Reader Digest Home Repair Manual at a Borders or Barnes & Noble bookstore and VOM from Radio Shack, the book will tell you how to test the timer.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 2:57:26 PM EDT
Could be the defrost thermostat. Had mine go out twice. Payed $150-200 to have it fixed. Less than a year later I did it myself for less than $15.

The fridge ran but didnot cool.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 3:17:55 PM EDT
Do you have any Tannernite??....
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 4:42:45 PM EDT
nope no tannerite.
Doesn't seem to be the defrost timer. I would have to guess it is the relay as I can still hear it ticking. I unplugged it for a few hours. There is no water in the pan under it, and the compressor finally cooled down. But it doesn't kick in.
Any ideas on how to get the cover off the relay. It doesn't seem to have any screws or any latches to get it off.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 4:51:03 PM EDT

Link Posted: 9/26/2004 5:50:39 PM EDT
gram okay. I got the cover off what the diagram says is the relay. Behind it I can see the capacitor. I can't seem to measure anything off of it, but my ohm meter might not go that far. It is labled 20uf somthing or other. With the cover off, and one lead to the capacitor unplugged, I plugged the fridge back in. You can see a spark which maded the clicking noise from teh relay, then a whine sort of noise that doesn't happen with the capacitor plugged in.
Any ideas? The relay is 20 bucks, I bet the cap is too. Just curious how do I tell which one is bad.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 6:02:13 PM EDT
Andrewh: is the evaporator coils iced up? How did you eliminate the possiblity of the timer being bad? You an unplug the timer and advance it manually. I'm not a repairman but the rest of the components in these domestic boxes are pretty reliable.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 6:30:28 PM EDT
I left it unplugged. I figured just like a house if it were the problem, the ice would melt and the compressor would at least kick in for a few min till it iced up again. The whole fridge is warm now. I had to throw in some dry ice and ice packs to try to save some of the food.
I can also see all the coils under the fridge. Is there another set on the inside you can see? The evaporator in the frezer isn't iced because it is warm in there now. I didn't take the panel off to check, but if it ain't cold there isn't any ice.
Link Posted: 9/26/2004 9:16:54 PM EDT
OK. the clicking noise is coming from the compressor area? do the lights in the refrig dim for a few seconds then when you hear a click the lights in the ref are bright again? Get the appliance parts store and get an RCO-410 Hard start pack. What you are gonna do is replace your relay, Capacitor and overload on your compressor and add this Hard Start Kit instead.

NOTE!!!!! remember where all your terminals are on your compressor There is a "Common, Start and Run" Usually the Overload (small black device about the width of a quarter and 3/4 of an inch thick) is hooked up to the common terminal. Hooking up the RCO Kit wrong can damage your compressor.

After you hook up the compressor and it still doesnt start. Guess what. Bad compressor.

The other thing you can do is check the sindings of the compressor with your ohmmeter. Check from Common to Run, Common to start. You should have resistance. if you have an open winding, dont bother with the hard start kit. Bad compressor.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 4:58:21 AM EDT
Thanks. Yes the lights do dimm and get bright again. I checked, not knowing which poles to check, but tried all the cominations, and they all have some resistence. Small, but still something there. I will try to locate the hard start kit when the stores open today.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 9:11:08 AM EDT
Thanks everyone. Got it fixed. Bought the three in one hard start kit and wired it up. Runs fine now.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 9:16:02 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Andrewh:
Thanks everyone. Got it fixed. Bought the three in one hard start kit and wired it up. Runs fine now.

I'm having trouble with my frig also. What's the "three in one hard start kit" and how much does it cost?


Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:41:38 AM EDT
RCO-410 Hard start pack, what drfrige recommended. On line it was about 35 bucks. Got it local at a u-fix it for 30 plus tax.
It replaces 3 parts all by itself. it gets rid of the relay, the overload and the capacitor. Simple to wire and is a univeral kit. Seemed pretty common. All the parts stores knew what it was, only one had it in stock though. Took like 15 min to put it in after I checked to make sure I was wiring it right.
Plugged in the fridge, no arcs or sparks and the compressor hummed right back to life.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 10:44:59 AM EDT
arfcom is amazing

Link Posted: 9/27/2004 6:55:23 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
arfcom is amazing

Yeah no joke... But I think one day when we will step over the line when we have an actual brain surgeon as a member give step by step instructions to remove a tumor.

Then we will be going too far.

Andrew... Glad it worked... Happy refrigerating!!
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 7:03:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2004 3:35:12 AM EDT by warlord]
Way too cool! Fixed the 'fridge for the price of a song. Can't ask for anything better. Best $20 membership you've ever bought. My mom had a domestic refridgerator guy come and just unplug a drain, and costed her $50 for 5 minutes of work, and most of it was filling out the invoice.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 7:07:15 PM EDT
Pat on the back for Drfrige! I think someone owes him a beer.
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 7:09:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/27/2004 7:10:37 PM EDT by Leisure_Shoot]

Originally Posted By DrFrige:

Originally Posted By DK-Prof:
arfcom is amazing

Yeah no joke... But I think one day when we will step over the line when we have an actual brain surgeon as a member give step by step instructions to remove a tumor.

Then we will be going too far.

Andrew... Glad it worked... Happy refrigerating!!

you mean like this "HOW TO TELL IF MY ANKLE IS BROKEN?"
Link Posted: 9/27/2004 7:18:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Andrewh:
Thanks everyone. Got it fixed. Bought the three in one hard start kit and wired it up. Runs fine now.

Great! Now stick your tongue on the freezer door and see if it sticks!
Link Posted: 9/28/2004 3:15:20 AM EDT
Mind if I describe my frig problem?

I got it used about 5 months ago, worked great until late July, when the fan quit working. Cost me $130 to have it replaced. About a month later, it quit working again.

They symptoms were the same: cold on the bottom of the freezer (it's a side by side) but warm on top of the freezer and all of the frig. Called the service guy out again and he replaced the compressor relay. He said it worked before he left (I wasn't there, since I work 10-11 hours per day). However, when I got home, same symptoms: cold on the bottom of the freezer, warm elsewhere.

Called the service company and they said the tech said that the compressor is out, cost is $500-$600. OUCH!!!!

But the dag gum freezer is still cold on the bottom, how can that be if the compressor is out? I haven't touched the refrig, yet it's still cold on the bottom.

Dr. Frig, please advise. Sorry, I am work and don't have the make/model for you. I think it's a Kenmore.


Link Posted: 9/28/2004 10:44:44 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/28/2004 10:50:55 PM EDT by DrFrige]
OK If it is a side by side and the bottom of the freezer is cold and the top is not and the refrig section is not, it sounds like an airflow problem, defrost problem or a bad can (compressor)

first what you are gonna do is have the refrig run for a while... at least a few days.

Do you hear a fan running in the freezer?

Is there 'snow' on the back wall of the freezer section?

If the fan is running and there is NO SNOW on the back wall, you may have to take the back wall of the freezer off. something like 15 screws... not a big deal. Take a look at the coils and see if there is snow on them. If there is, How much of the coil is snowed? (frosted)

Last but not least... does the model number on the refrig start with 363? Those were built by GE and some of them (depending when they were built) have had rotary compressors that were useless.

let me know.
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 9:24:23 AM EDT
Thanks. Here's what I know now:

- Freezer is cold at the bottom, frost on some lines, soda pop bottles still have ice in them after 2 weeks since it went TU; by this I mean the soda pop bottles are full of ice, not a mixture of ice and water;it's COLD at the bottom of the freezer.
- No fan running whatsoever.
- I looked at the model number last night and now know that it is a Kenmore but don't recall the model number. I think it started with a "365xxxxxxxx or so. I'll check tonight.

I called the company again and the tech called me back.

When I described the problem, he asked if I heard the fan and I told him no. That took him back somewhat and he immediately agreed to come back. The company called back within 15 minutes and said they would be out again today (the last time they said it would take 3-4 days).

Bottom line: I think it's what I suspected but have not said to the service company yet: their fan they put in late August went TU; either that a switch that controls the fan went TU.

I'll see what the service call results are today and post tonight along with model number.

Thanks for all help and suggestions. Like someone said, Arfcom is great!


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