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To frost or not defrost


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11 replies to this topic

#1 drumhopper

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 06:37 PM

I have an Amana SQD26VW refrigerator from 1999 that doesn't seem to always defrost the coils when it goes into defrost mode. I have replaced the thermostat switch and have a new timer on order, but I'm not sure that is going to fix things.

The refrigerator refuses to turn on the compressor and cool the fridge when the coil frosts up, which is everyday. If I manually turn the defrost timer to defrost mode, it may or may not defrost the condensers.

Should the condensers frost up this fast and so much as to deter the system from cooling? If this is normal, then what can I do so it defrosts correctly?

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#2 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 07:04 PM

[user=3241]drumhopper[/user] wrote:

I have replaced the thermostat switch ...

Are you referring to the defrost thermostat-- the metal button on the evaporator?


#3 GLC

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Posted 23 September 2005 - 07:45 PM

[user=3241]drumhopper[/user] wrote:

I have an Amana SQD26VW refrigerator from 1999 that doesn't seem to always defrost the coils when it goes into defrost mode. I have replaced the thermostat switch and have a new timer on order, but I'm not sure that is going to fix things.


The refrigerator refuses to turn on the compressor and cool the fridge when the coil frosts up, which is everyday. If I manually turn the defrost timer to defrost mode, it may or may not defrost the condensers.

The compressor should shut down when the unt it goes into defrost. When it comes out of defrost (after 20 minutes or so) the compressor should come back on. If you are turning that timer from defrost to run (compressor) within 3 minutes that compressor will not start right back up. Wait AT LEAST 3 to 5 minutes before going back to run, or before unplugging it and plugging it back in.

Should the condensers frost up this fast and so much as to deter the system from cooling? If this is normal, then what can I do so it defrosts correctly?

It is supposed to defrost every eight hours, for 20 minutes. For those 20 minutes the system should shut down except for the light bulbs and the defrost heater which is mounted with the evaporater. YES it will begin to not cool as well if frost builds up on the evporater which restricts air flow needed.
Unless specifically asked otherwise, remember to test with the unit unplugged, or breaker off.
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#4 drumhopper

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 05:36 AM

Are you referring to the defrost thermostat-- the metal button on the evaporator?

What I meant as the defrost thermostat is the left dial in the refridgerator that controls the temperature in the freezer.

Wait AT LEAST 3 to 5 minutes before going back to run, or before unplugging it and plugging it back in.

I simply turn it until it clicks and the system shuts off. I leave it there and in 20 to 30 minutes it turns back on. At this point, some times the frost is gone, and some times it is not.

YES it will begin to not cool as well if frost builds up on the evporater which restricts air flow needed.

It seems to me that not only does it not cool as well when frost builds up, but the compressor won't even kick on. The fans will continue to run for hours, but not the compressor when there is frost. Once the frost is gone then the compressor turns on as needed.

#5 GLC

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 05:57 AM

Good Morning - I can not find the model nimber to come up for a pic for me.
okay - first - If its the model I am thinking the dial inside the frig section near the freezer divider wall is opening an closing a hole which allows the cold air that is "made" in the freezer to blow into the frig section. The knob on the right in the frig section is the "cold control" which turn the compressor on and off when the frig section says it's cold enough.) But you said left knob so I am guessing that you mean the baffle that allows the air flow but does not cut off the compressor.

The knob on the right side in the frig section would be the actual cold control and that one tells the frig compressor to cut off and on by temp.

If the timer goes around by itself and then back to run then the timer is not bad.

If it has still not melted the frost build up either the defrost heater is bad or the defrost terminator is bad.
The defroast heater is easy to see and locate with the evaperator. The defrost terminater is a little (about 1 - 1 -1 1/2" in size with two wires that go into it). It sits on top of the evaporator with a clip holding it there.
Again without having a pic I am going from memeory. I do recall some models (old) that it was against the back wall over top of the evaperator held there with a clip. While that defrost terminater is cold and sitting on a very cold line or frost, test it for continutiy. It MUST be very cold so it is calling for it's contacts to be closed. The reading with it very cold should be closed...continuity.
Then check the heaters for continutiy. Remember to test witht he unit unplugged. And remember to test any part for continutity you must remove one of the wires or you will get feedback and a false good reading.

Going for the morning coffe...let us know how you make out.



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#6 Pegi

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 06:37 AM

***It seems to me that not only does it not cool as well when frost builds up, but the compressor won't even kick on. The fans will continue to run for hours, but not the compressor when there is frost. Once the frost is gone then the compressor turns on as needed****   For the coils to frost up the compressor has to be running.  If the compressor was not running the coils would be hot and dry, so this does not make much sense..
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#7 GLC

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 06:42 AM

[user=533]Pegi[/user] wrote:

***It seems to me that not only does it not cool as well when frost builds up, but the compressor won't even kick on. The fans will continue to run for hours, but not the compressor when there is frost. Once the frost is gone then the compressor turns on as needed**** For the coils to frost up the compressor has to be running. If the compressor was not running the coils would be hot and dry, so this does not make much sense..

Exactly
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#8 Pegi

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 06:49 AM

Reference # 0023 is your defrost termination thermostat, these are known to be erratic, you might start by replacing it.  Ref. # 0063 is your defrost heater, might see if it has some burnt wires at the heater. However if the heater does come on when you turn the timer into defrost just some times, I would replace that termination thermostat on the evaperator coil to start.   This is your complete model number, without this your frig cannot be looked up to see what is in this unit....

SIDE BY SIDE REFRIGERATOR - SQD26VW-P1315203WW



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#9 drumhopper

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 03:53 PM

***It seems to me that not only does it not cool as well when frost builds up, but the compressor won't even kick on. The fans will continue to run for hours, but not the compressor when there is frost. Once the frost is gone then the compressor turns on as needed**** For the coils to frost up the compressor has to be running. If the compressor was not running the coils would be hot and dry, so this does not make much sense..

The compressor does run when the coils aren't frosted up. It will run until it frosts up, then shuts off. After that it won't turn on again until it's defrosted.

Thanks for tips on what parts to look at. I'll check into it in the morning and see what makes sense. I am not quite sure how I would check the defrost terminator though. (Electricity is not my strong suit).


#10 Pegi

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Posted 24 September 2005 - 04:35 PM

Check it with your ohm meter while it is still cold....see if it moves the needle to the right.  If not it is defective.
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#11 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 06:12 AM

Here's the defrost thermostat you need, CLICK HERE.

I keep 5 of 'em on my service van because I go through 'em so fast. Easy job, two mugs on the world-famous SUDs-o-meter.

#12 drumhopper

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Posted 25 September 2005 - 06:53 AM

Well, I tested both the heater and the defrost thermostat this morning. Both tested correctly with continuity. However, I also know that the thing is working correctly, for the moment. I suppose I can wait until it isn't and check it then. Or, I could just order the defrost thermostat.

It sounds like they can be flaky and maybe I should just replace it and hope for the best.




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