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Mr. Chris

Whirlpool Top Mount Refrigerator

35 posts in this topic

The freezer hasn't been working for some time now.  I took off the inside back panel, cleared the drain hole and de-iced the coils.  Amazing it wouldn't work, eh?  The drain was clogged with pieces of paint that are flaking off the steel back panel.  After everything dried out - and all the popsicle sludge had been cleaned up - I pluggeed her back in and set it for 'normal.'  As of this writing, it's been almost 21 hours since the restart and ice making is going fine, but my ice cream is more like a milkshake and the popsicles are mushy (I don't want anymore sludge, ya know).

Do I give it more time or do I set the freezer for a lower temp (I haven't purchased a freezer thermometer yet, but my remote digital meat probe I hung inside prior to putting any goods in did read 'low' and it does read down to 32°F)?

Chris

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

Wait: you're saying your automatic icemaker is working but your ice cream is mushy?  That's odd because the icemaker won't make unless the freezer temp is below 17F.  Here's whatcha do:

1. Use a thermometer to measure the freezer temp.  Post that temperature.

2. post your model number.

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Model# ET20DKXSN01

It's a 19.9 ft3 fridge that is guaranteed to be 9½ years old (inherited with the house and the previous owners hadn't bought any appliances, so they inherited it, too).  It is almond and not bisque (or biscuit for those KitchenAid lovers), so that makes it 12-15 years old anyway.

I'll have to get back to you on the freezer temperature.  I don't have a thermometer capable of lower than 32°F as yet.  My wife has an automatic ice maker, but I don't.  Well, I am the icemaker, so it's automatic for her!  The cold air is introduced to the freezer compartment by vents along the entire top of the back wall.  The ice area is 'walled off' and the top section has cold air vented right onto it.  No surprise it freezes first.  We keep the ice cream directly under the ice making area (could this be why it doesn't freeze (there is less cold air circulating because of the ice area)?  That would explain the ice cream, but not the cans of concentrated juice in the door.  I don't even have the freezer section ½-full because I wanted it to reach temperature faster and all.

I will be moving the ice cream to see if this is more of a location problem.  Additionally, the ice cream is softer now than before I de-iced the coils.

Chris

p.s.  This is the first place I've seen (except on my Office Suite of products) with a superscript and subscript buttons!  Bravó!

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[user=238]cdelsig[/user] wrote:

Model# ET20DKXSN01

 

Couldn't get that model number to pull up, re-check it.

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Rechecked.  Posted model# is accurate.  I tried to pull up a manual online at whirlpool.  The item came up with no manuals online.

Chris

 

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I found a ET20DKXSW01 which is probably close enough to yours.

Hows that freezer temp?

 

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I've run into this sort of issue before. That little section under the ice shelf is intended only for storage of cubes. As you correctly state, it gets little airflow. Take a look at this picture which shows it in its "original" layout:

KRJHZWAI.gif

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Mad Mac,

Thanks for the exploded view.  The wall (item#26) connects to the bottom rack (#17)and also holds a smaller rack outside the ice area.  Inside the ice area, I have 2 shelves (#27) and the bottom wire rack the wall is connected to.  Item #30 is a 'door' that covers the front of the ice area.  I have 4 cube trays that I keep on the shelves and then there is the cube hopper (#35) which sits on the rack.  Under the rack (outside the ice area) is where we have traditionally kept the ice cream. 

I only spell this all out because I wasn't sure what you meant when you were refering to the area designed for storage of the cubes. 

The ice cream is still soft, both under the ice area as spelled out above and on the bottom level opposite side.  The freezer compartment is not loaded much so I am not concerned about poor airflow causing this issue.  It also seems like it is always on now, too.

Chris

 

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Okay, now I'm but a itty bitty grasshoppa here.  I do know that the damn thing shouldn't be iced up.  Again! 

Yeah, the temp. is under 32°F but things aren't freezing.  So, I remove the back panel again.  Lo and behold, the thing is iced up again!  Do I assume it wasn't dry from the first time and that is what caused this?

I am going to take a hair dryer to it this time and make sure it is dry.  Is this typical?

Chris

Xtreme Grasshoppa

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[user=238]cdelsig[/user] wrote:

Is this typical?

Not at all! You have a defrost system failure. Replace the defrost timer and the defrost thermostat.

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Degree of difficulty for this repair?

Chris

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Any way to test the thermometer and timer? 

What is the time estimate on the repair?

Any special tools necessary?  I have the basics...hammer, bigger hammer, even bigger hammer, etc. 

I could typify myself as all-thumbs, but I have a table saw, so I have no more thumbs (why do you think ice is as important to me as it is?).

Chris

 

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[user=1]Samurai Appliance Repair Man[/user] wrote:

[user=238]cdelsig[/user] wrote:
Is this typical?

Not at all! You have a defrost system failure. Replace the defrost timer and the defrost thermostat.

Question for Samurai: Are you a phyic??? You already know somehow that the "Defrost Heater" is ok??? or are we just ASS U Ming that the heater is ok????

Chris you need to check the "Defrost Heater" for continuity first to make sure it's not the problem, if it ohms out ok then do as Samuria says "Replace the DEFROST TIMER & DEFROST T-STAT"

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[user=36]Budget Appliance Repair[/user] wrote:

Question for Samurai: Are you a phyic??? You already know somehow that the "Defrost Heater" is ok??? or are we just ASS U Ming that the heater is ok????

 

This is a Whirlpool refrigerator with a calrod defrost heater.  How many of these have you ever replaced in your lifetime?  For my part, I've replaced exactly zero. 

The problem is either the defrost thermostat or the defrost timer.  Both are inexpensive parts and easy to replace.  Good service practice recommends replacing both parts when one goes bad to prevent a problem down the road. 

I'm not a psychic, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Exress last night.:moondance:

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Are you telling me that you've never seen the end burn off one of those calrod heaters in a Whirlpool.

Can't say I can remember ever having one burn out with no signs of being bad, but can't even remember how many I've seen that the end complete shorts out somehow and burns up causing much black sot and smoke all around the area of the black rubber end of the calrod wiring.

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[user=36]Budget Appliance Repair[/user] wrote:

Are you telling me that you've never seen the end burn off one of those calrod heaters in a Whirlpool.

 

No, I told you I never replaced one.  Since cal rod heaters fail in such spectacular fashion, leaving black soot and smoke all over the freezer, it's obvious when they fail-- no meter required... unless you rode the short bus to school and have lots of spare time on your hands.  The one case of a failed cal rod defrost heater I saw was on a 20 year old Whirlpool fridge.  The customer wisely opted to throw it out and buy a newer, more energy efficient unit. 

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Based on recent posts, I do believe I can rule out a failed calrod heater.  I surely would have noticed the soot when I opened the freezer up and certainly black smoke prior to that.  The lower element in my oven burned out once.  I was pre-heating the oven for dinner and saw flickering light from the window.  Imagine my surprise when I saw a flame candystriping the element.  Neat.  Also called for immediate shutoff and replacement two days later (Thanksgiving at the in-laws came first).  I can only assume the lower elements in a GE range are calrod like the burner coils.

I will be replacing the timer and thermo in the near future.  Until then I will enjoy my ice cream mousse.  Blech.

Chris

 

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Hi C,

          It seems to me that your unit is Frosting up too quick(frost not ice) right. If it's frost covering the whole evaporator also check your refrigerator door gasket and the freezer door gasket, also because you say your ice cream is mousse check the condensor coil underneath or behind and next to the compressor and make sure that the condensor fan is running.

                                          GoodLuck, FatMan:banana:

Ken'sApplianceService

Ken Jones

Rootstown,Ohio

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FatMan,

Icing up is the problem.  I thawed it out Friday and it was iced up again Monday.  I would have to imagine that's too fast.  I have checked the gasket.  While it looks almost moldy in some areas, it seems to seal all around.  I have not checked the fresh food area since I haven't really had much of a problem (though it isn't as cold as it was prior to Friday).

All the fans I have seen in the unit (behind the back wall in the freezer, under the fresh food section) all seem to work just fine.  Once I thawed out the freezer coils and unclogged the drain, the excess water drained down into the pan beneath the unit which is now dry.  That seems to be working as it should.

Chris

p.s.  Glad to see a fellow Ohioan.

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[user=238]cdelsig[/user] wrote:

I will be replacing the timer and thermo in the near future. 

Icing up is the problem.

NOW is "the near future". Take action NOW!;)

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At the risk of sounding like a moron (which is not too far off in this particular field), I did replace the 10-hour timer with the 8-hour universal timer recommended.  As far as the thermometer goes, though...uh...I didn't find it.  I need Batman (TV show with Adam West, not the current manifestations) signage telling me everything.  Searching the Sears parts website didn't show a thermometer as a part.  Yeah, I know, it has to have one.  I did find something that may have been the thermo, but it was different.  It is above the coils in the freezer section - the top 3rd of which was thickly frosted all the way across - with two wires connected to the wiring "cluster" and a ground from the cluster, to the fan motor (the replacement has no area for a ground, btw). 

The timer was quite different, too.  I found the timer (even with a Batman sign) and it is darn near twice the size of the new one.  I understand there have been at least a couple innovations and technological advances from when this was made to now that could concievably resulted in a vastly smaller timer.  My main concern is the lack of a grounding "prong" for the wire to clip on like the original.  Is this a problem?

After you clean up the beer you just blew out your nose when you read of my incompetence, would you counsel me in this?

Chris

p.s.  What is the 'dial' on the bottom of the timer for?  Is it a manual on/off that you need to actuate initially?  I was disheartened when I plugged the fridge back in, turned it on and got nothing in return.  Once I turned the timer 'dial' one click, the fridge came on.

 

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Hi C,  The part you found above the coils is the defrost thermostat, if you jump the two wires together going to this part the heater should come on, don't worry about the ground wire it's grounded when you clip it on to the evaporator  The dial on the timer is there to so you can manually advance the timer(no problem with you doing that)advance the timer until you hear the first click this will put it in the defrost cycle  You mentioned mold on the gasket, sure sign of air leak. Check the refrigerator door gasket on the bottom, can almost quarantee it's torn. You didn't mention if you pulled the unit out and checked the condensor fan motor and if condensor coil was clean, and how hot is that compressor? 

                                            Good Luck, FatMan                                          

 Ken's Appliance Service                                                                                             

Rootstown, Ohio                                                                                                

                                                                                                                                                                                                           

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Fatman,

Pulled fridge out in January to clean the coils and was quite disgusted with my findings.  Earlier this month, I vacuumed the coils again.  With a dog and an old fridge, I think I'm going to try to keep the "every 3 months" schedule going. 

All fans are working, at least as far as I can tell.  When you ask 'how hot?,' are you looking for an actual degree or just a "by feel" reading?  I suppose resting my digital probe on the compressor would give me some reading, but I don't know how accurate. 

I'm curious to see what the fridge temperatures are this evening since that gives the timer almost 20 hours to stabilize things.  I will go at the thermometer either tonight (depending on my disposition...was up very late last night) or my day off tomorrow. 

There is one tear in the fresh food gasket.  Bottom corner.  The worst area, visually, is the top section of the fresh food door.  Methinks that has more to do with lack of cleaning than a tear.  This fridge doesn't have to last more than a couple years.  I will be inheriting my parent's SxS when they remodel their kitchen and that could be any time now so I really don't want to drop another $55 for a gasket if I don't need to.  If we decide to keep this fridge and get rid of the one in the basement, I don't think I'll question the gasket purchase.  I will be purchasing a refrigerator thermometer (to keep in the freezer or the fresh food area) tomorrow so I can keep track of temperature.

Thanks for all the help.

Chris

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Hello again C,

        Repace the defrost thermostat and see if you can heat up that door gasket to try and straighten it out, if your going to fix it let's do it right and replace those gaskets. Remember you can get those parts here. As far as the temperature of the compressor goes, as long as you can put your hand on it and not get burnt:yikes:

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Well, the thermostat is replaced.  I also bought a fridge/freezer thermometer.  About 3 hours ago, the freezer registered 25°F and the fridge registered 42°F 15 minutes later.  I set the fridge to cool more with its own dial and the temperature at this moment is 39°F.  I am happy with those readings.  I am going to have to check the freezer temperature again, but I am making sure the thermometer is reading right (let it come to room temp and rate it against a digital thermometer). 

I want to make sure I have this correct, too.  My fridge has two controls, one for the freezer and one for the fridge.  The fridge dial has an electronic part connected to it and the freezer dial has a connection to a baffle that changes the amount of cold air from the freezer that comes into the fridge.  Is that right or does my refrigerator have it's own set of coils for cooling? 

I can see it would be easier to make the freezer cold with the baffle not allowing as much cold air into the fridge (which is what happens when you turn the dial towards "colder").  Is it correct that the compressor is controlled by the fridge control dial?  That is, does the fridge run more/more often (everything else being equal) with the fridge dial turned towards "colder?"

Chris

 

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