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nesdon

Kitchenaid KBRS22ETSS01 freezer steady at 25deg

22 posts in this topic

Our fairly new fridge has suddenly failed to hold the requested temp in the freezer. The fridge section maintains the set temp and the evap fan seems to be running. The freezer stays constant at 25 deg but when I try to use the "-" button to lower it, the lower temp shows on the display for a few seconds, and then returns to the actual temp, where it stays. 

 

I read the fridge warm flowchart, and have not yet checked for an iced evaporator, although I think if that was the case the fridge section would be out of range as well. The flowchart suggests a faulty damper, but other threads suggest a possible thermostat problem. I am ready to pull it out and tear it down, but since the values (nothing is warm) in the flowchart are not really what I am seeing, I wanted to see if I anyone has any other tips to help me focus when I have it apart.

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

Check and make sure your condensor fan is running. It's the fan in back that's cooling the compressor.

When the compressor is running the fan should be running.

Edited by tpoindexter

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Brother Tpoin is correct, check for dirty Condenser coils and a runninng condenser fan.. Make sure your compressor is running as well (controlled by high voltage board). If all of those appear fine, check evaporator frost pattern. If iced up near the bottom of the evap then you may have a drainage problem that is addressed in a bulletin that covers your model... ie change your drainage tube to a p-trap tube. So you may want to check to see if your drainage is working properly. Frost can also occur if your drainage tube does not have a check valve or duckbill grommet on it (the bulletin advises removing any existing duckbill gromet and replace with a P-trap but some models are missing the duck bill completely causing interior condensation)

If no drainage/condensation issue and all else appears fine, then you probably have a problem with either the freezer thermistor or your control interface. It is not unusual for this interface(called a Utah control board, a close relative to the problematic Jazz control boards) to fail and can cause defrost failure or simultaneous defrosting while cooling.

btw, your freezer setting indicator will default to the current setting after you input your set point, so what you are seeing is normal. It also strongly suggests that your freezer thermistor is fine since it is sending the proper temp info (I've rarely seen these fail anyway).

And yes, it is possible that your fresh food section can reach its normal operating temps even though you have a defrost issue. Most people do not notice this since they don't perceive or feel a problem when their freezer is 25 degrees. Some models will just continue to feed the ff section as much cold air as possible, keeping the temps low. This results in less food loss.

Send us a couple of pictures of your evap taken in 45 min intervals or normal operation ie after each picture put the evap cover back on and wait 45 minutes before removing cover and taking another picture.

Edited by DurhamAppliance

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Both fans and the compressor are working. There was a small patch of ice on the evaporator cover right below the thermistor housing. 
When I pulled the cover the evaporator was iced as shown, covering the connections and just the top corner of the evaporator.

 

It's a bit of a hassle to reinstall the cover and close it up as this is a lower drawer unit and I had to pull the drawer glides to get into it. So I have not reassembled it to wait and take another pix. Is this necessary given what is shown?

 

I have it turned off and am defrosting it.

 

fridge_evap.jpg

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that looks like a sealed system failure. but Seeing another photo will tell for sure whether you are having incomplete defrosts and defrosting and cooling simultaneously.

Edited by DurhamAppliance

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I've put the cover on and the drawer back in and have restarted it. I will take another picture in about 30 min. It was reading 45 when I restarted it.

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During this test, it's best not to turn off your fridge at any point. Doing so will require adding a lot more time between intervals. We need to see pictures while the fridge is operating normally.

Edited by DurhamAppliance

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It's been running for about an hour, and has dropped to 31. The thermistor and housing were behind the cover tho, and i did not replace the grate that directs the evap fan flow.

 

fridge_evap2.jpg

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If this continues and you are certain the defrost heater isn't turning on unnecessarily. and your compressor is running then you have a terminal event and time to go shopping for a new fridge. I would like to see one more picture after a few hours of operation to be sure.

btw have you confirmed the accuracy of you temp readings using a separate thermometer? Never mind, I think your freezer thermistor is next to the refrigerant line, giving the impression your freezer is 31f when, by the looks of your evap, that's an impossibility.

Edited by DurhamAppliance

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Ok 90 min later. Damn. Reading 34 deg. 

 

fridge_evap3.jpg

 

Not sure what the defrost heater is or how to tell if it is on. 

 

I  guess they don't make them like they used to or something. This is the first fridge I have ever bought new, and that was 2 years ago. Almost every used fridge i ever bought lasted for decades. Double damn.

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This is the Kitchenaid warranty. I guess I jsut need to call a factory authorized service company if it is indeed a failure of the sealed system.

 

"SECOND THROUGH FIFTH YEAR LIMITED WARRANTY ON CAVITY LINER AND SEALED REFRIGERATION SYSTEM PARTS

In the second through fifth years from the date of purchase, when this major appliance is operated and maintained according to instructions 

attached to or furnished with the product, KitchenAid will pay for replacement or repair of the refrigerator/freezer cavity liner (including labor 

costs) if the part cracks due to defective materials or workmanship. Also, in the second through fifth years from the date of purchase, KitchenAid 

will pay for factory specified parts and labor to correct defects in materials or workmanship in the sealed refrigeration system. These parts are: 

compressor, evaporator, condenser, dryer, and connecting tubing. Service must be provided by a KitchenAid designated service company."

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Looks like you have a leak in the system.

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Luckily you bought it labeled as a KitchenAid, otherwise it would only have the standard 1 year parts & labor warranty even on the sealed system.

 

I'm pretty sure KitchenAid, Sub-Zero, Viking and maybe Wolf, (if the make refrigerators),  are the only manufactures that have the extended warranties for the sealed system anymore.

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Man that's sweet! Let us know what happens.

Edited by DurhamAppliance

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I will post the results. Tho as a former auto mechanic, I know how companies twist themselves around to avoid covering their warrantees. I just hope they don't try to blame it all on some $300 logic board.

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Sadly, it looks like my fridge is 5 years 4 months old, meaning I am governed by the 6 to ten year conditions, meaning I have to pay for the labor for this repair. They offered a $300 flat fee to repair along with an additional 1 year on the warranty. I'm guessing the labor and diagnosis will likely hit about that, making it the way to go.

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They arranged for a service person to come, and he confirmed it is a freon leak but said that it would be too hard for him to fix as he claimed that for this model some sections of the system are inaccessible. He charged me $50 to tell me what I already knew, but hopefully it moves the warranty process forward.

Triple damn!

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Its a  leak in the low pressure side which would be in the evaporator or the heat exchanger. The evaporator can be replaced but the heat exchanger is inside the back wall and I don't know if there  is a replacement part for that. If it was out of warranty I would replace the evaporator and drill a hole through the back wall to run a new heat exchanger down the back. Thats considered a modification and the manufacturer may not approve of that kind of repair. Some technicians may do it, some may not.

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Kitchenaid will probably just send another company out to reevaluate. What the tech should have done was installed a UV dye drier and a low side valve, let it run about a week, and them come back to look for leaks with a UV light. That is exactly what Whirlpool would have made us do before they would replace that fridge when I worked at Sears.

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The result of all this was that after Active Appliance in Van Nuys Ca (where I was referred by Kitchenaide) came out, Kitchenaide then said I was no longer eligible for the flat-rate repair offered by Assurant, and that it was now going to cost $600 for labor. I fought some, angered that Active did not tell me that their involvement would nix the flat rate.

 

After talking numerous times to Kitchenaide and Assurant, I let Active do the repair so as not to lose my $60. They claimed they replaced the whole sealed system, for a labor charge of $600, with the parts covered by Kitchenaide.

 

They made This repair Jan 5th, and then on Feb 15th, the same symptoms returned, more severely. Everything is running correctly, but their is almost no cooling taking place, 55/61 indicating I assume that the refrigerant has leaked out due to some repair fault.

 

Now they say the repair only has a 30 day warrantee, and we will have to pay for the labor again. This seems utterly insane to me. Can they do this??

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Assurant didn't cover the labor? I thought they covered all repairs. 30 days does seem a bit on the low side of coverage. Personally, I think they should make good on their repair. You can just replace parts on a whim saying yep this may be what is leaking unless it's a Frigidaire top mount fridge, then you know it's an evap/heat exchanger leak :) We always had a 90 day warranty at Sears. There is no way to replace the entire sealed system because some of it is built into the walls. He should have installed a UV drier to verify no leaks, and hopefully he did when he made this recent repair. I don't even understand why companies even touch sealed systems if they aren't going to do it right. Most smaller leaks will take time to leak out and 30 days is not a sufficient warranty on a repair like that. I'm sure California the state of many laws has something to protect you over something like this, but I don't know.

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Assurant wasn't involved, this was on the mfg warranty. We do have a Ca Bur of Appliance Repair, so...

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