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Puzzle with replacing defrost timer in Kenmore 106.8559280


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15 replies to this topic

#1 DaveK

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:06 PM

Kenmore side-by-side, appears to work fine, but was frosting up. Defrost timer looked bad, so replaced it, but after a couple of weeks, frosted up again. Cycling the timer makes it defrost fine, so the problem is that the timer clock motor doesn't seem to be running like it should. The replacement timer for this model is #482493, which is a "generic" replacement timer with detailed instructions. After re-study of instructions, and careful observation and testing, I've concluded that either the instructions are wrong or this timer will not in fact work in this fridge.

Replacement timer instructions give three options for install on that have to do with when the timer clock motor runs - and the black wire for the timer motor is supposed to be connected to one of the timer plug terminals accordingly. I've tried to figure out which one to apply, which is hard because the writing diagram is missing.

I originally hooked the replacement timer up just like the old timer, placing the black wire for the timer motor on timer terminal #1. What I have now observed is that the timer motor only runs when the fridge is either defrosting or if the thermostat is satisfied. When the compressor is running, the timer motor is not running. This explains why it can't keep up with the defrosting. The timer instructions describe this situation as an installation error, but the other installation options don't work either. The three options:

Continuous run - there should be a white wire on the timer plug, i"m guessing terminal 3, so that timer motor runs continuously. There is no white wire there, so this is out.

Version 1 cumulative compressor run - which matches the color coding for the timer plug described in the instructions: terminal #1 is the black hot wire, #2 is pink connecting to defrost heater, #3 is red connecting to one side of the thermostat switch, #4 is orange connecting to other side of thermostat switch. But the instructions say to hook the loose black wire to terminal #2, which means the timer motor only runs while defrosting is happening, so this is wrong. My original installation hooks the loose black wire to terminal #1, which doesn't run the timer while the compressor is running.

Version 2 cumulative compressor run - says to hook to the loose wire to terminal #1, but color codes for timer plug do not match at all.

So it looks like the instructions don't apply at all. I'm thinking the only way I can get this to work is to rewire the connections for a "continuous" run hookup, connecting the black wire to terminal #1 - the hot feed (black), and disconnecting terminal #3 (the other end of the motor?) from the thermostat and connecting to a white neutral wire available nearby, and feeding the thermostat from terminal #4. But I can't tell what's in the rest of the fridge without tracing some wiring since the diagram is missing. Is attempting this a bad idea?

Is there in fact a timer that will work as-is?

Also, the back cover on the compressor compartment is missing - is this a problem for the air circulation over the coil?

Thanks!

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#2 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 06:09 AM

You do need the back cover on so air is pulled across compressor and keeps it cooled correctly but that isn't your defrost problem.

Hook the timer up the way you think is wrong, (Version 1 cumulative compressor run), but corresponds to the wire colors going to your defrost timer.

These work kind of weird and they can throw you off if you don't understand what is going on. The timer will run when in defrost and as soon as it clicks out of defrost the timer motor will stop and the compressor will start to run. Once the defrost t-stat/terminator is satisfied/closed the defrost timer motor will start to run again anytime the cold control calls for cooling.

I'm going by memory and don't have the tech sheet or wiring diagram in front of me but I believe the defrost timer neutral is supplied thru the defrost heater and defrost t-stat when in run/cooling mode.
William Burk (Willie)
Willie's Budget Appliance Repair
Eureka, CA 95501

#3 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:59 AM

I can't find a wiring diagram for your Fridge (yet)
unless you can upload it somewhere, and post the link here ..
also, I don't see the Defrost Timer on the parts list diagrams at searspartsdirect
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#4 DaveK

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:45 PM

I'm not following your comments about the version 1 cumulative compressor run hookup - that's what I originally had, and have left it at for now, but when I advanced the timer out of defrost, and cycled the thermostat control on and off, the timer motor would run when the compressor was not running, and stop when the compressor came on. This might defrost often enough if the temperature control is not set for too cold, but it doesn't match how it is supposed to work according to the instruction sheet. Since I don't have the diagram I can't tell whether there is some other component involved or exactly how the timer motor neutral return is done.

I got the replacement timer through a local appliance parts dealer who had it in stock. The same part number came up at repairclinic.com for the Kenmore model number. If it isn't at searspartsdirect, does that mean an exact replacement isn't available?

The circuit diagram wasn't in its usual place - probably because the back cover was long gone.

To explain: I'm working on this for a program run by a local charity to provide major household appliance repair to low-income people. If we can't fix it, we try to replace with a donated used appliance, but these days, donations are in short supply. So if I can get this unit up and working, it would help a lot. If the back cover is essential, I need to do something about that too.

Thanks again!

#5 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:56 PM

so ... where is the Defrost Timer physically located on that model ?
(or which page in the searspartsdirect.com diagram ?)
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#6 DaveK

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:33 PM

I should have check searspartsdirect before.


The timer is in a metal box housing the thermostat and light bulb socket in the upper right corner of the fresh food (oops, beer) compartment.
Its in "air flow and control" diagram, item #9, listed as 482493 (same number as what I got) and described as a "functional equivalent" - but I've been burned before by a Sears part that simply would not fit in the same space without major surgery-

#7 DaveK

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:40 PM

@Budget Appliance Repair: I re-read your message - you mean to follow the instructions including the loose black motor wire placed on terminal #2, which I think is the defrost heater connection? I don't see how it will get any juice when not defrosting - and I think this was so when I tried it out. That's why I'm not understanding your suggestion.

Thanks!

#8 SANTA

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 07:50 PM

Hey DaveK, put one of these in there and be done with it. Those extra wire timers can be a nuisance. Or try hooking up your timer without the black wire installed.Posted Image

#9 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 11:16 PM

found similar Whirlpool model wiring diagram
you have:

“Version 1”
Cumulative compressor run application

Timer Motor only runs when Compressor runs
(Timer Motor only runs when the Cold Control calls for the Compressor to run)

Fridge wires:
1 – Black Wire
2 – Pink Wire
3 – Red Wire
4 – Orange Wire


Loose wire to Terminal # 2
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#10 DaveK

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 09:44 PM

Thanks, but I need to be able to test this and make sure it is working after I switch the loose wire to #2. Can you tell from the diagram how the motor will get powered when not defrosting? If there is a return path through the defroster heater, then maybe the defrosting thermostat was open at the time I did my testing.

#11 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 09:59 PM

... If there is a return path through the defroster heater, then maybe the defrosting thermostat was open at the time I did my testing.

yes,
after it's done defrosting, the Defrost Thermostat would probably be open (warm)
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#12 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 05:17 AM

Exactly, then you have to wait a few hours until the unit has pulled down to temp, (probably under 15 degrees in the freezer would be fine). Then check to make sure the defrost timer is running, (when the compressor is running/cold control is calling for cooling).
William Burk (Willie)
Willie's Budget Appliance Repair
Eureka, CA 95501

#13 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 08:16 AM

from similar Whirlpool model ED19AK1LWR0
tech sheet 945511
Posted Image
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#14 DaveK

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 09:59 AM

Thanks everybody - this really clears it up - a tricky circuit there, running the timer motor power through various other components. I think the previous timer was misinstalled, which along with the lack of circuit diagram, confused me. If I had just followed the instructions it should have been fine. At least I know more now!

I'll pay the owner another visit and switch the wire to #2 without engaging the defrost cycle and check to see that it indeed runs with the compressor.

Thanks again!

#15 DaveK

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:59 PM

Yep, that did it! Thanks, everybody!

#16 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:13 PM

:woohoo:
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become an Apprentice to get repair manuals and lots of other goodies.
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