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kylemeadows

Warm frig with new evaporator fan

21 posts in this topic

Hello all,

I have a Kenmore freezer on bottom model 106.9631680. Two days ago, the frig portion suddenly became warm, while the freezer was still cold. The evaporator fan was not working, so I checked the voltage which appeared correct, and then replaced the evaporator fan and motor unit. Voila! The fan turned on immediately once I plugged the frig back in, and the frig proceeded to fill with cold air from the freezer. All was well for about a day, then the next morning I wake up to a warm frig again, and no action from the evaporator fan. Could this be a faulty thermostat?

Thanks!

 

 

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Sound like a problem with your defrost timer or cold control.  Any frost buildup on evaporator?  If evap fan is not running, try manually advancing the defrost timer located in the control section and see if fan starts.  Also check if the compressor is running.  If the compressor is running both evaporator and condenser fans should be running as well.  Try adjusting cold control, see if fan starts.

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If the compressor is not running as well, access the thermostat.....while moving the knob back and forth check for any sparking. If you see sparking then replace it. If not, rule it out by bypassing it. If the fridge runs continuously without further problems then replace the thermostat. If it cuts off, then more than likely a timer problem.   

 

 

You also stated you checked the fan motor for voltage and it was correct. If so and the original fan wasn't turning, then now it suggests either another bad fan or you had a bad fan as well as a bad timer/thermostat.  Not unusual but It would give me some pause.  Make sure to check to see if compressor is running...if it is then you may have a short in the evap fan harness.

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Thanks for the replies.

Well, there are some new developments... I thought the compressor was working okay, but then it shut off for awhile and the freezer started to defrost. Then there were some rather loud knocking sounds and the compressor restarted. Still no action from the evaporator fan. Before the compressor stopped, I tried adjusting the cold control and nothing happened. Also before the compressor stopped there was a thin, even coating of frost on the evaporator. How do I manually advance the defrost timer?  Is that the switch that says "Moisture control-Set here to reduce exterior cabinet moisture"? Is there only one thermostat, and is it in the frig cabinet, next to the cold control? Am I asking enough questions?

In the time it has taken me to write this, the evaporator fan has now resumed working and is once again blowing cold air into the frig!

Also, no sparks coming from thermostat that I can see. (provided the thermostat is the one in the frig cabinet.)

Edited by kylemeadows

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Timer should be in control console.  Might have to remove fascia to access.  But it seems like a problem with the thermostat.  Try bypassing t-stat like Brother Durham advised.  Also check your power supply, cord and outlet.  Any lights flickering?

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Just to make sure I'm calling things by their correct names:

A=defrost timer, B=thermostat, C=cold control (air balance), D=moisture control?

DSCF0474_resized.JPG

 

To bypass the thermostat, I'm guessing just disconnect the two power leads and jump them together with an alligator clip?

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You're mostly right.  In  a refrigerator, "thermostat" and "cold control" refer to the same device, labelled B in your excellent photo.  The item you have labelled as C is the damper control, which regulates the amount of cold air (all of which is produced in the freezer) from the freezer compartment into the beer compartment.  Item D in your photo is the mullion heater control.  The mullion is that part of the cabinet that contacts the door gaskets.  A mullion heater is used to keep off the inevitable condensation that forms anywhere cold surfaces contact warm, humid air, such as door gasket surfaces.  

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To bypass the thermostat, I'm guessing just disconnect the two power leads and jump them together with an alligator clip?

bingo!  I keep a wire with spade ends on both sides...alligator clips works well also.  Regardless you want to keep it insulated with electrical tape or something. You don't want to accidentally short something.

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I'll give it a try! Thanks.

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On some refrigerators the fan motor is wired in series with the defrost bimetal.Not sure if this one is, but check the tech sheet. Ive seen the flaky bimetal cause the evap fan to present itself as defective when in fact it was the def bimetal all along. Specifically some of the older Amana side by sides. Check your diagram.for me.

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 106.9631680

I can't find a wiring diagram for that model number

If you have one and could scan & upload it somewhere ...

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On some refrigerators the fan motor is wired in series with the defrost bimetal.Not sure if this one is, but check the tech sheet. Ive seen the flaky bimetal cause the evap fan to present itself as defective when in fact it was the def bimetal all along. Specifically some of the older Amana side by sides. Check your diagram.for me.

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I suspect telefunken is right, the fan might not run unless defrost bimetal is closed, bimetal could be failing or...a sealed system problem (those strange knocking sounds). If the evap ain't cold enough bimetal might not close to run fan

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I found the wiring diagram for the similar model

Whirlpool EB21DKXBW00

Both Fans are wired together with the Compressor

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Reg did you want to share? You said you found a diagram but didn't link to it.

 

I googled images for "EB21DKXBW00 wiring" and "EB21DKXBW00 tech sheet" and got nada.

 

Appliance parts pros doesn't have it listed as one of the parts diagrams either.

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Thanks Reg.

 

Ok, electrical is my thing... just don't ask me to go within 1000 yds of a wig wag washing machine. I'll run away screaming like a little girl.

 

This thread is suffering from "overcomplicating the simple" syndrome.

 

The thermostat return side, evap fan motor hot side, condenser fan motor hot side and motor overload hot side are all the same electrical point. If you lose one you lose them all unless what you're dealing with is a crappy wiring connection.

 

If you lose it at the thermostat then you'll lose compressor, condenser and evap as a matched set. They'll all go down together. As I understand the description, this is NOT what's happening.

 

Don't get caught up in worrying about the compressor turning off and the unit defrosting (as in heater making sizzling sounds). This is a normal, good thing. If it defrosts for hours and hours and your food gets warm then that's not so good but you didn't specify which it was in your description. Since you said everything magically came back on I'm going to take a leap of faith here and hope that what you saw was a normal defrost cycle.

 

Don't get distracted (SQUIRREL!!!!!) by the fact that there was a thin, even coat of frost on the coils. You have no idea how many refrigerators wish they were running well enough to have that coating be like a thin, even coat of paint. It's a sign that the cooling system is operating not well, but perfectly... it also has absolutely nothing to do with the problem at hand.

 

If you lose the evap motor but the condenser and compressor are still running then we can draw some conclusions:

 

  1. Your thermostat is fine. If it wasn't then neither the condenser fan motor nor the compressor would be able to run at all.
  2. The defrost timer is in normal run mode, not defrost mode. If it went into or got stuck in defrost mode then, again, you'd have no condenser fan motor or compressor action.

This, my dear Watson, leaves us with the evap fan motor and it's associated wiring... and the motor is new.

 

You said that you tested the voltage at the fan motor before your replaced it and that voltage was good, while the old motor didn't work. Here is the big money question:

 

When you tested the voltage at the evap fan motor you tested the power coming into it on the red wire but where did you put your other meter lead?

 

Did you put it on the white wire right there as close to the evap fan motor as possible or did you ground your other lead by touching it to some piece of metal on the cabinet of the fridge?

 

  • If you have no motor action but the motor is good then it has to be an issue with power in OR the return path.
  • If the voltage is shared with other things and they work, the voltage supply is fine.
  • This leaves us with a wiring issue between the voltage supply (thermostat) and the evap fan motor OR between the evap fan motor and Neutral.

This means that you have to carefully check for voltage between the cabinet metal and the white wire at the evap fan motor while it's plugged in and the condenser motor is running. You need to see if that 120VAC supplied to the motor is showing up on  the white wire side of that motor, indicating a "bad ground".

 

If, during this check, your 120VAC is in and out (when measured at the RED wire) while the condenser motor is running just fine then this means you have a wiring issue between the thermostat and the evap fan motor but it's in a place where it doesn't affect the connection between the thermostat and the condenser fan motor.

 

Short version: High probability that the connector you plug the motor into has a bad connection on one side or the other. Be sure to do your checks on the evap motor side of the connector so that you're checking the connector itself. Don't get tunnel visioned thinking it has to be an issue with the power side (red)... a bad connection on the white (ground or return) side will kill it just as dead and is a lot easier to overlook.

 

That's all there is to it. See how simple that is?!? :woot:

Edited by Vets Appliance

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This thread is suffering from "overcomplicating the simple" syndrome.

 

 

 Lol and then you proceed by giving the most complicated answer of all.  I think what you will find is that the techs are providing answers but are aware that the description of the problem itself may not be accurate. For instance, he said the evap fan wasn't running, then he said compressor wasn't working. That does not necessarily mean this was happening at the same time. Of course if it was, then thermostat, timer etc would be out of the question. Therefore, through site experience, we've learned to provide possibilities otherwise we would ask a question like "is one running and the other one isn't" then wait for an answer then respond. Takes too long. I think you realized this in the midst of your response and it became more complicated than initially intended. 

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Actually what happened was that I do feel the real answer is going to be a simple matter of a bad connection, leaning towards a bad ground, and this is why I felt that getting into the t-stat and a bunch of other discussion about things around the defrost controller were overcomplicating things. However...

 

When it came time to explain the reasoning for suspecting a bad ground or bad connector I re-read the OP, and replies by the person who made the OP, and then I tried to write the explanation in a way that would be understood.

 

I can tell you, Reg or the grand master fermented and pickled one to be sure that you haven't overlooked a possible bad ground and that's all I'd need to say. That is pretty simple...

 

But walking a home owner through this stuff in a way that ensures they know exactly where to check (at the connector on the evap side) and the reasoning why... that takes a small novel. :wink:

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I agree, but there are many times because of the medium, things get "lost in translation" therefore process of elimination can be the best tool. It prevents things from being overlooked. Also, remember this is an "academy." Here, the learning/teaching process is important as well. Someone with a similar problem may benefit from this thread even if his solution is different from the op by understanding the thought processes of a tech.

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And if it turns out the new evap motor is bad...well that would be kind of funny, unlikely but could happen. Sometimes simple problems can be real buggers to find. Verify voltage at motor!

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