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Whirlpool refrigerator


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13 replies to this topic

#1 Lisa

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 01:11 PM

For the past two years my seven year old Whirlpool (ET21DK  XDN05) has had the defrost drain tube freeze up with increasing frequency.  Then the defrosted water backs up into the bottom of the freezer, refreezes, blocks the air vents and I get no cooling in the refrigerator.  The freezer is too cold, ice cream rock hard, even on the warmest setting.  Water also drips into the refrigerator, and sometimes food in there freezes even on a warm setting (before the airvent get blocked)

I have to defrost the freezer and thaw the tube every month now.  The tube drains freely when I do.

I had a repairman today who claims that this a Whirlpool design flaw, the fan sucks frozen peas or rice grains into the cooling area, they fall into the tube, they block it and it freezes up.    He ignored everything I said about the increased frequency of the problem, the freezer being too cold, that I've thawed it out before - he said he sees this a couple times a month. 

So, he charged me 95 dollars to defrost my freezer.  There was no solid object in the drain tray that coould have blocked the tube.  I refused to pay him unless he guaranteed his work - he wouldn't so I told him I would keep everything in the freezer in ziplock bags as he suggested and send him a check in two months if the problem did not recur, along with an abject apology. 

I think he is talking through his hat  - the fan could not lift a sesame seed off a shelf and there was nothing in the tube but ice all along.  All the dozen times I have done this there has never been anything in the tray but water.

So what do I do now?  Was he right -is this a Whirlpool design flaw?  I think the tube stays real cold when the fins defrost but why?


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#2 exsearsguy

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 04:17 PM

lisa, make sure your fridge is tilted slightly toward the wall. That way the defrost water will drain better. One other thing that might help is a piece of  ALUMINUM wire,not copper, wrapped around the defrost heater and then stuck into the drain hole.

#3 Tarheel Technician

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 07:00 PM

Just curioius as to why ALUMINUM wire and not COPPER?

#4 exsearsguy

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 09:27 PM

if the wire touches the evaporator it can cause electrolysis. if this happens your evaporator begins to leak. Also aluminum is easier to bend.

#5 Tarheel Technician

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 08:07 AM

Oh, ok. That's interesting. Thanks for the info.

#6 nickfixit

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 05:00 PM

Whirlpool makes an aluminum heat probe that can be installed easily. It costs about 10 dollars. It clamps on with a screw so it stays tight to the heat element and conducts heat real good. It works much better than a wire.

The part Whirlpool Number is 819043 (Sears part div 46, source 106)

If you use this part, do not use the little piece of tubing. It's not worth the effort. Just mount the probe to the heat element with it down the drain hole. Make shure it's tight.

This is a common problem and an easy fix. I think the defrost elements are too far from the drain hole. Plus, they seam to warp and move higher away from the drain hole.

This will end your drain freeze problem.

Nick

" Giving numerical data to Sears management is like giving a monkey a machine gun. No one knows for certain what will happen, but you can be sure of two things... It will be real messy, and only the monkey will be unharmed"

#7 Lisa

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 05:33 AM

Samurai, I have to say I feel partly responsible, because I didn't stop him when it became apparent that he wanted to do nothing different from what I had already done a dozen times before.  I kept hoping that he would listen to me, or see something that I hadn't seen when he had it opened up, with him being an expert and all. 

But he is also responsible, because I told him exactly was going on and what I had been doing, and he could have told me on the phone he was going to come over to my house and charge me 95 dollars to do what I had been doing, so I should keep doing it myself.  Maybe he figured I was doing it wrong.

So if he is an honest man, he dismisses everything a homeowner (maybe because I'm a woman) says and totally discounts her experience with her appliance.  That's not being a good repairman - it's ignoring data. 

If by some freakish chance his fix holds, I will pay him everything and apologize.  If it freezes up again I will install that Whirlpool rod.  If that works I will tell him what I did and figure the knowledge ought to be worth it to him and his customers (the two or three he has every month with this problem.)   If the rod doesn't work, I'll send him half the fee because I feel partly responsible.

I  feel sorry for this poor man who believes he was ripped off.  But the problem I hired him to correct was this thing freezing up REPEATEDLY.  He did not correct that problem; he never intended to correct that problem and he should have told me he didn't know how to.  His ad said repairs were guaranteed - it didn't say certain repairs - and he would not give me a guarantee.

Lisa


#8 Lisa

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 05:50 AM

One more question for you experts - could this have anything to do with the freezer being too cold?  Just that the tube is too cold because the freezer is too cold?  I can live with the freezer being too cold - it's the ice build up and warm refrigerator that are the big problem - but I would like softer ice cream.


#9 The Seven

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 07:14 AM

[user=570]Lisa[/user] wrote:

For the past two years my seven year old Whirlpool (ET21DK  XDN05) has had the defrost drain tube freeze up with increasing frequency. 

I get no cooling in the refrigerator.

The freezer is too cold,


Not counting the recent "repair", did you have any repair before? Is so, could you recall what have been done.

It sounds that you have a "minor" defrost problem. The "frost" is not melted satisfactorily during the defrost cycle. The frost is graduately building up and you have done the right thing to defrost it manually once a month.

The "minor" defrost problem could be caused by "insufficent defrost heating"; such as
a) defrost thermostat should cut-out (OFF) at about 70F, but you may have a "bad" one which cut-outs too soon ; or
B) defrost timer should provide a "good" contact to the heater, but you may have a a "bad" timer with "pitted and high resistance" contacts ; or
c) there could be a " high resistance connection" in the heater circuit.


(B) and © could be checked by measuring the voltage between the terminals of the heater when the timer is advanced to "defrost cycle".








The Seven

#10 Lisa

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 08:25 AM

The Seven, no other repairs.

Those are the kind of tests I was expecting the repairman to do.  I'm not sure I'm up to the job- if I get a voltmeter and measure the voltage between the terminals is it supposed to be zero or something close to it, to show no high resistance?

I don't even know where the timer and thermostat are - I didn't see anything obvious when I had the back off the freezer compartment - or are they under the shield with the setting dials and lights at the top of the refrigerator compartment?

Would I need to buy a repairman's manual to tackle this job?  I do know I'm supposed to unplug the refrigerator before I start fiddling with these things, except for measuring voltage of course.  I really just wanted a competent repairman to start with.:(


#11 drjew

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 04:48 AM

I whole-heartedly agree with you.  My brother-in-law is an electrician and if he wires something and it don't work the customer don't pay.  If someone says they are going to fix something and it ain't fixed they shouldn't be paid either.  I have found that it is getting harder and harder to find competent repair techs these days that won't absolutely rape you with the fee.  Auto dealer service fees are the worst.  That's one of the main reasons I try to do it myself to start with.  Also, I really love being able to say that I fixed it myself.  This is the greatest forum on the web as far as appliance repair is concerned.  Good luck with your problem.:huh: 

#12 Mad Mac

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Posted 03 June 2005 - 05:11 AM

I've used the heat probe Nick mentions on many occasions, seems to do the trick. As he says, don't bother with the insert, more trouble than it's worth.
Mad Mac....Pray to God he's out there....somewhere.

#13 lo

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Posted 10 June 2006 - 09:18 PM

What a sweet forum this is. Thanks for the info about the heat probe. This is going to fix my Whirlpool freezer model EV200NXGW03, which has never worked properly. I'm going with the AL wire method rather than give Whirlpool another dime.

So far, I have a Whirlpool Quiet Partner II that I just threw out, less than a year old, due to faulty heater circuit control, a Whirlpool built in oven than has never been able to preheat, and a Whirlpool freezer that has never been able to defrost.

LO
Whirlpool...could be worse
Should be delivered from a hearse.
Brand new it's nearly dead
Less than a year you'll surely dread ...buying
Whirlpool ..well it could be worse.

#14 nickfixit

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Posted 11 June 2006 - 02:24 AM

Spend the money on the heat probe. I've seen many of the homemade wire repairs fail. The factory made part will work better and stay in place because it is clamped on with a screw.

Nick

" Giving numerical data to Sears management is like giving a monkey a machine gun. No one knows for certain what will happen, but you can be sure of two things... It will be real messy, and only the monkey will be unharmed"




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