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Frigidaire plhs267za - side-by-side - can't control temperature on fridge side

37 posts in this topic

Good day!

Periodically, I lose control of the temperature in the fridge.   The fridge is 9 years old.  We purchase a home 3 years ago that included this fridge. 

Several months after purchasing the home, the entire fridge side froze overnight, along with its contents (the worst freezing was on the top shelf).  This occurred despite the fact that temperate settings hadn't been changed at all.  Upon adjusting both the freezer and temperate dials down a bit, things got back to normal for a while.

Since then, it has frozen over every couple of months without warning.  Other times, the temperature hovers over 40 degrees and we have difficulty getting the temperate below that level without things freezing on the overnight.

The settings on both the freezer and fridge thermostat range from 1 - 6 with 3.5 being marked as the factory setting.  Our dials have to be set between 5 and 6 to get the temperature down to the high 30's (barely cold enough)...in doing so, we periodically experience an entire freezing of the fridge side and the cycle repeats itself.

I checked under the fridge (where the fans and coils are) and it was extremely dusty.  I did vacuum things out, but no change in temperature.    I'm certainly not a handyman, but in reading other posts in this extremely valuable forum, perhaps my problem is the "Control housing & air damper control kit"?  Or, maybe the thermostat?  Something else?

Any expert opinions out there?  Thanks a bunch in advance.

 

Lee

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

Those have issues with the control and damper - it's likely you'll need a control/damper kit RepairClinic part #948779

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Okay...I'll look at replacing that part.  Thanks.

Is it a pretty easy job to replace that part?

Also, I'm always curious to what actually broke...is it simply an issue that the part that controls the opening and closing of the damper door isn't getting consistent signals?

Thanks again.

Lee

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Thought I'd ask one more question before I went ahead and ordered the "control/damper kit RepairClinic part #948779".

This post and many others on applianceguru suggest exactly what "kdog" mentioned...a control/damper kit that needs replacing.

While the refrig. section of the side by side hasn't frozen in the last 3 weeks (my initial problem), I know that it's just a matter of time and this needs to be fixed.  That said, lately my issue has been mainly about the refrig being too warm...often it's between 40 - 45 degrees.  When I change the thermostat dials to colder settings (both the freezer side and refrig. side dials), nothing happens.   I end up doing nothing and eventually it gets close to 40, but still not cool enough.

Would this suggest that I may also need a new thermostat as well if the fridge isn't responding to changes to both dials?  (I should note that when the refrig side was freezing and I could hear the unit motor cooling things, I'd turn the freezer dial down and by the time I hit "0", the motor would stop)

I ask this follow up question because the damper kit is over $400 (I'm in Canada) and if the thermostat may also need replacing, am I sinking too much money into a 9 year old fridge?  Any thoughts on the idea of simply investing in a new fridge?

Thanks again.

Lee

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The damper assembly comes with a new thermostat.

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Thanks for your help appl.tech.

And thanks for the installation PDF that you posted below...I just ordered the part and will use the instructions try to install it once it arrives.

Lee

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Let us know it you get stuck.

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<<<This post and many others on applianceguru suggest exactly what "kdog" mentioned...a control/damper kit that needs replacing.>>>

 

*****************

 

I've replaced many of these (more than I care to remember).

Frigidaire had some calibration issues with these controls...

 

Some useful info here...

 

http://frigidaireservicetips.com/pdfs/259_April_2001_SB.pdf

Oops--never mind. This was already posted earlier.

Good Luck...

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You guys are good dudes.

I'll keep you posted...thanks again.

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Well...the part is here.  I'm a couple hours into it and the only issue so far is that I can't disconnect the two waterlines behind the filter.

As a result, I can't pull out the front control box (with dials for freezer, fridge and water filter).  So, it's making it pretty tricky to work on connecting the wiring for the two sections of the control box.  (For the life of me, I can't figure out how I'm going to tape the freezer cap tube to the damper control!)

I'll keep trying, but thought I'd throw it out there...am I just being a wimp (not being able to pull the two water tubes out of the back of the filter housing), or can this be done without actually getting the 2 control boxes out of the fridge.

Thanks again.

Lee

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I believe you're looking at John Guest fittings...

john-guest-install-7.gif

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Ahh the John Guest fittings, you need to compress the small centre part of the fitting inward as you pull the tube outward

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Crazy stuff there...thanks.  Got them off in seconds after the explanations.

I actually managed to get everything together up until now...only issue is getting the side control box flush with the side of the fridge...wires are getting in the way.  In the one I took out, the circuit board was exposed and the wiring (running from the front freezer/fridge control knobs fit nicely under the circuit board via a clip.  In the new one, the circuit board is enclosed and there really isn't much space.

Ah well...I'll just rip it out and try again.

Thanks again.

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Finally got the part installed last night.  Prior to the install, I had freezer/fridge set at max settings for weeks and couldn't get the fridge below the low 40's.

The fridge door had been open for 3 hours, so needless to say, the inside of the fridge was room temperature when I finished up last night.  Prior to hitting the hay, I put both the freezer and fridge at the midway factory settings (3.5 out of 6).  Six hours later, the fridge was still around 44 (but at least the damper control had kept he door open).

So, 20 minutes ago, I increased the freezer setting to 4 and the fridge to 5 and will wait and see what it looks like when I get home this evening.  (shortly after increasing the dials,  the damper door closed...I'm guessing this is because I increased the freezer dial?)

Anyway...any thoughts on the fridge only getting to 44 degrees after it's first 6 hours?

Thanks again fellas.

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May take 24 hours to reach proper temps. No need to mess with the controls, just be patient.

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Sounds good appl.tech...I'll resist the temptation to grab those dials. I'll wait and check in tomorrow.

Thanks again.

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To appl.tech, kdog and others, thanks for your help in diagnosing this issue and for helping with the install.   So far, no freezing in the refrig. side and things in the refrig. are cooler.

With a setting of 5 out of 6 on the refrig side (freezer set to 3), temperatures are consistently at 40 degrees on the top shelf.  I'm not sure it's as cold as it should be, but things are cooler (temperatures used to be 44-45 degrees when it wasn't freezing things).

Again....THANKS for the help.

Lee

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glad your freezing stopped.

whats the temp in the bottom of the frige?

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43 degrees closer to the bottom of the refrig.

Settings are still freezer on 3 (of 6) and refrig dial just over 5.

Freezer temperature is reading 10 degrees.   (I've checked the freezer temperate a few times since installing the new part and it's been 10 just about every time...there was once when it was 0, but just once).

Just prior to the install, I had cleaned out all the dust from under the fridge and the fan in the back (as a newbie at this, I'm not sure I cleaned out everywhere I needed to, but unless I needed to take off the back panel, I think I got all the dust.)

I'm guessing 43 degrees is still a bit too warm?

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The Compressor on that model is controlled by the Temperature of the Freezer.

The Fridge Temperature is controlled by a mechanical Damper Door and the Evaporator Fan.

If the Freezer temperature is happy, I don't think the Compressor will run.

If the Fridge isn't cold enough, the Damper Door will stay open, but I don't know if the Evaporator Fan will run.

Is the Fridge empty ? (shouldn't be)

and/or are you opening the Fridge Door too often ? 

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Both sides are full at all times.   The fridge door is opened often throughout the day (3 kids).  That said, the readings I take are usually in the morning after several hours of no doors opening at all.

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is the Damper Door open ?

does the Evaporator fan run good ?

what's the frost pattern of the Evaporator Coils ?

post pictures somewhere   http://www.imageshack.us/

and post the link here ...

 

 

 

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Damper door is currently not open...with the help of this forum, I replaced the damper door assembly just under 2 weeks ago and the damper door was opening fine.   I initially was getting refrig readings at 38 degrees near top of fridge on current settings, but just over the first few days, it's settling in at 40.   On the advice of appl.tech, I took readings in lower section of refrig and it's 43 degrees. 

As for the Evaporator fan and the frost pattern of the Evaporator Coils, I'm too much of a newbie to know where to begin looking.  

I'll do some checking, but if anyone can point in the right direction on where to find the Evaporator Fan and Coils, I"ll report back with the findings (and pics.)

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