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Kenmore Fridge Not Staying Cold


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29 replies to this topic

#1 educatedguess417

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:26 PM

Here is the unit I am asking about:

 

Kenmore 106.72102100

 

Serial No: EL3614765

 

Mfg Date: 09/01

 

Type: 21TFA95

 

This is an older unit with the freezer on top.  I need to decide whether to keep this unit running.  I love this fridge, but it doesn't stay cool in the summer. Appreciate any insights gleaned here.

 

Here's the deal: I had a Sears repair guy come out. He cleaned out the dust in the bottom and said this would fix the problem. It didn't. I called them back and they are coming again this Friday.

 

Here's the condition. The top freezer runs at about -10 Farenheit. He told me if the freezer ran at that temperature, it would be fine in the lower fridge. But the fridge is running at about 50 degrees F. It is fine all year long except for the the summer months.

 

He told me that there is no separate cooler in the bottom fridge, that all the cool air flows from the freezer above. My question is: Is it possible there is a broken fan or lever causing the air to not flow down? How, exactly, does the cold air get from the freezer to the fridge? Could this somehow be blocked, and that's causing the problem?

 

He explained that this unit is a "closed" system, so any major repairs are not worth it, I should just buy a new fridge.

 

What is the fix for this condition, and is it fixable at a reasonable price?

 

I have taken a vacuum to the bottom of the fridge and cleared out all the dust and dirt. Again, the Sears repairman said this would fix the problem, but it did not.

 

What do I say to him? Do we need to take the fridge out and remove the rear cover? Is there more cleaning that should be done back there? If so, how and where? Or is this unit beyond repair?

 

In short, what do I tell the Sears repairman to check?  Can this be fixed for a reasonable price?

 

Thank You Very Much.



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#2 Gnominator77

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:44 PM

If the freezer is at -10F then the fridge should be a lot lower than 50F. Make sure the fan is running in the freezer when it's running. If I was running this call I would check to see if there is ice build up in the freezer section at the back. A lot of times the drain backs up and causes the trough to overflow icing up the air passages preventing air from properly blowing into the fridge section. If you can take the back panel of the freezer off and check for ice buildup. There's nothing wrong with the sealed system if it's getting down to -10F. Possibly just an airflow problem.



#3 educatedguess417

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:51 PM

Gnominator77, that's what I figured too: if it's getting that cold, the cooling system itself must be fine. 

If there is ice buildup, do I turn off the fridge for a day to let it all melt?  What would be the longterm fix for this?  Or is this anything else that could be replaced or changed, assuming I do find ice buildup.

 

Thanks Very Much!



#4 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 09:54 PM

depends where the ice build-up is ...

don't defrost it till you find it

OR if the Evaporator Fan isn't working ..

... Fridge Light staying ON ?


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#5 tpoindexter

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:01 PM

If you have ive buildup you probably have a drain that needs to be cleaned.

Could be a broken dampner not letting enough cold air in the fridge.

can you feel air blowing through the vents in freezer and fridge when compressor is running?


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#6 educatedguess417

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:47 PM

RegUS, yes, both the lights in fridge and freezer are lighting up.  I'll keep checking to see if the fan is running.  Tpoin, I will check for air flow when fan is running.



#7 educatedguess417

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:51 PM

Poindexter: I just checked.  The fan is running.  Fan is running fine.  Airflow is very strong in upper freezer, very weak in lower fridge, so something appears to be blocking it.  No sign of any frost or ice, at least looking from front.  Your thoughts?



#8 tpoindexter

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 10:56 PM

If you adjust the dampner does it increase or decrease air flow in the fridge part?

I think somethings wrong with the dampner arm or something is blocking the diffuser from letting air through.

To get any further you'll have to start taking it apart to see what's blocking it.


Edited by tpoindexter, 16 July 2013 - 11:30 PM.

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#9 educatedguess417

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:18 PM

poin, excuse my technical ignorance, but how do I adjust the dampener?  Where would I find that in the fridge?  Is the dampener different than the temp control?



#10 tpoindexter

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:43 PM

You say this has been going on along time, but, you haven't complained of water dripping inside the fridge. No water problems, no ice build up, and, the length of time you've had the problem makes me believe it must be dampner, or, something else blocking the difuser.


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#11 educatedguess417

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:53 PM

tpoin: that makes sense to me.  It has been two summers now, and no sign of ice or dripping water.  Where does one find the dampener on a fridge like this?  From the front or the rear?  In the freezer compartment, or in the fridge compartment?

 

Thanks again for all your patience and help with this.  I really appreciate it.



#12 tpoindexter

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Posted 16 July 2013 - 11:55 PM

poin, excuse my technical ignorance, but how do I adjust the dampener?  Where would I find that in the fridge?  Is the dampener different than the temp control?

In the fridge. Open the door, squat down and look up inside the fridge. You should see them both.

This is your dampner knob. It controls how much air your letting into the fridge.

Knob-damper-2302536-00711191.jpg

 

This is your thermostat. It controls how cold your freezer gets.

Knob-thermostat-2200863-00724406.jpg


Edited by tpoindexter, 17 July 2013 - 12:08 AM.

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#13 educatedguess417

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:03 AM

That picture looks like the dial for the temperature control.  Is the "dampener" just a more technical name for the temperature control dial?  If so, I have had them both turned up to maximum cool temp for weeks now.  This model has separate controls for both the freezer and the fridge sections.   

 

The fan is blowing just fine.  Airflow is very strong in the upper freezer; however, airflow is VERY WEAK coming into the fridge.  That means, obviously, that something is blocking the airflow.  I suspect the blockage is NOT due to ice, since there is no sign of ice, frost, or water dripping.  

 

So we're now down to what is causing the blockage.

 

This is cool.  We're almost there.  

 

Any more thoughts before bedroom?  You have been so helpful.  Thanks so much! 



#14 educatedguess417

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:07 AM

Okay, thanks for the pix.  Where would I find the dampener knob on this particular model?  There are two temperature control knobs in the upper part of the fridge compartment, one designated for the fridge, one for the freezer.  I don't seem to see another knob for the dampener.  Is it on the rear of the fridge, or inside one of the compartments and accessible from the front?  I feel this is probably the issue, if I can find the dampener knob on this unit.



#15 tpoindexter

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:09 AM

The fridge one is the dampner


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#16 educatedguess417

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:14 AM

Okay, well, that one is turned all the way up, and has been turned all the way up for weeks.  But still weak airflow into the lower fridge compartment. 

 

Let's let this sit for tonite, and I'll check back in tomorrow.

 

Thank you so much.  G'night.



#17 tpoindexter

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 12:17 AM

The knob attaches to the small piece which connects to the larger piece and moves it.

Damper-Control-Assembly-4387121--0095054


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#18 Budget Appliance Repair

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 05:29 AM

You need to pull down the control panel section that contains the two control knobs.   This style can break the linkage to the damper control dial, pretty common type problem to find on this style especially if defrost drain gets plugged at anytime and the water comes down the air passages and freezes the damper control rod and someone then tries to turn the control knob with a frozen damper it will snap the little peg off the control dial.  Once this happens the dial just turns freely without moving the damper arm.


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#19 educatedguess417

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 08:50 AM

Sensei: Cool.  So if I find some broken parts in there, what would be the best place to buy replacement parts?  Just go to Sears, or is there another good place that might be faster or cheaper.  Thanks so much.  I'm gonna take this apart today and see what I see.

 

Thanks Again.



#20 micabay

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Posted 17 July 2013 - 09:03 AM

Also, call an independent service tech that isn't from Sears... Sears have shown you their quality of work on a very simple fridge to work on.

As far as it bein a sealed system problem, sound unlikely. An airflow problem isn't usually a valid reason to condem a fridge either.




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