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Our Kenmore refrig 106.74252400 prefers manual defrosting


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8 replies to this topic

#1 jmatthew

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 04:55 AM

Masters of Appliantology:

We own a Kenmore Coldspot 106.74252400, S/N ER3129257 refrigerator.  Early this summer, we had a lightening strike somewhere in the hinterlands that caused our electrical power to cycle and subsequently fail.  When the power was restored, the refrigerator would not work.  I found the problem to be the overload on the compressor.  I replaced the overload and all seemed good (had a non-alcohol malt beverage to celebrate.)

Well, a few weeks later, we found the fresh food compartment warming up and the freezer developing frost.  I removed the icemaker and the back panel.  I found the condensation pan frozen over like the Green Bay on a cold winter day.  I defrosted the coils, opened the air ducts, and believed (wrongly) that the problem was the defrost limit switch.  I removed the ADC pcba and could not find any visual issues with the pcba-I know, not much of a troubleshooting step, but I do not have the pcba schematic.  I cycled the refrig through a manual defrost cycle using both option 1 and 2 on the wiring schematic.  The ADC pcba would 'click' and the heater would warm up (measured at over 170 F when I quite checking.)  I did pay closer attention to the sounds the refrig made throughout the weeks that followed.  When I perceived it going through a defrost, I would hear 'trickling' which should indicate condensation draining, right?

(stay with me, there is more...)

The second time the condensation pan froze over, I installed the fix that uses 12 gauge wire wrapped aound the calrod heating element (heater resistance is 36 ohms.)  Again, I expected all to be well.

(maybe now is a good time to grab a beverage, and return...)

Yesterday, my wife found frost developing in the freezer, again.  Here it is , our 31 wedding anniversary, and I am performing preemptive defrosting.  I did take some photos, but the camera stayed in the car with my wife uses for work, so I will post them soon.  And, again I found the condensation pan iced over and frost in the center of the coils.  When I triggered a defrost cycle, the wires I wrapped on the heater did warm up, and started melting the ice, but the defrost cycle did not last longer than 5 minutes and the frost remained.

So, since repeating the same fix expecting a different result is a sign of insanity, I am humbly asking for assistance.


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#2 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 08:42 AM

When you say the freezer is frosting up, are you seeing the white, fuzzy ice on the evaporator like this:

Posted Image

Posted Image

Or are you seeing frozen, clear water?

If it's the fuzzy, white frost, then you have a defrost system failure and the copper wire fix ain't gonna fix it.

#3 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 09:01 AM

106.74252400 Wiring Diagram
.

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#4 jmatthew

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 04:32 PM

Thank you for response, Master...

I would say my refrigerator is similiar to the first photo.  Does this point to the adaptive defrost control pcba as the culprit?

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#5 jmatthew

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 04:34 PM

Thank you for the wiring diagram!!


#6 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 04:44 PM

That doesn't look overly frosted as it would in a defrost failure. However, it does look suspiciously like a evaporator fan failure... unless you manually defrosted it recently. How long has it been running since you last thawed it out? If just a day or less, the photo will not be diagnostically useful.

#7 jmatthew

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Posted 09 October 2009 - 05:11 PM

The time between defrosts is three weeks.  I don't understand why the condensation pan freezes over, though.


#8 Chat_in_FL

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Posted 11 October 2009 - 03:17 AM

[user=56484]jmatthew[/user] wrote:

The time between defrosts is three weeks.  I don't understand why the condensation pan freezes over, though.



A known issue in high humidity areas. The moisture freezes in the drain. See the frost concetrated just above the drain area? The Whirlpool fix is to place a Heat_Probe in the drain and a Duck_Tail on the other end of the drain line. (This is a Whirpool sourced Kenmore).

The heat probe melts any accumilated ice in the drain during the defrost cycle. The "duck tail" grommet acts like a check valve to prevent moisture from migrating up into the freezer from the condensate pan.

BTW, I can't see if the copper wire actually goes down into the drain in the pic, but making it tight enough around the heater to be effective is a trick. The drain probe clamps on the the heater.


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#9 jmatthew

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Posted 12 October 2009 - 12:15 PM

Thank you for the info.

As you may have noticed, my wire wrapping skills need refinement.  However, the two wires do enter the condensation drain, and proceed down the tube until a restriction was encountered.  As I was observing the manual defrost cycle, the wires did melt the ice over the drain hole, but the defrost heater did not melt the frost off the coils.  Is that because I had the back panel off and the heat was not concentrated in the evaporator area?

So, I have noticed that when I open the freezer door, the fan seems to blow some 'fog' at me; more during the summer, and less now that the heat is on in the  house.  We have also observed frozen water droplets on the freezer back panel and on the return air ducts, which tend to freeze over prior to the need to defrost.

I am also concerned about the mention of a weak evaporator fan.  Should I replace it?  It does seem to be circulating air, since I feel air flow in the fresh food compartment.

To Summarize:

1. tweak the wire heaters I installed. OR
2. Order the Kenmore High Humidity fix.
3. Replace evaporator fan

Enjoying a Kaliber is always a good addition to problem-solving and repairs.





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