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bernie_windham

Rust on rear sheet metal - Kenmore Elite #2534449370

5 posts in this topic

We've got a Kenmore Elite side-by-side. Have noticed an area of rust on the sheet metal cover for the back of fridge. It's on the right when you look at the back, about half way up. That is, behind the freezer section. The rusty spot is a few inches long and is sometimes damp. 

My thought is maybe part of the freon loop is close to the back in that area and is causing condensation on the sheet metal. 

Could anybody confirm that or suggest what else might be going on? 

Thanks much!

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

On some units a capillary tube can separate from the refrigerant supply line to the evaporator.  When this occurs, frost can travel further along the tube away from the evaporator and through the liner and cabinet.  Moisture forms on the outside of the galvanized metal panel and eventually turns to rust.  A low charge or overcharge of refrigerant can also cause these symptoms.

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Thanks PDuff. If that's the case, would it be a life-shortening situation for the fridge? Wondering if I could just deal with the sheet metal rust with some emery cloth and rustoleum paint, and then let it be.

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As long as the unit is cooling properly and other components are working properly, fans, icemaker, etc, and that some sealed system repairs can be costly, then yes.  Scratch and patch.  Maybe even cover the affected area with insulated or aluminum tape to cut down on the condensation.

 

As far as life shortening, a quick visual inspection of the frost pattern on the evaporator will tell the tale.  Remove the inside rear panel of the freezer section to expose the evaporator.  There should be an even sheen of frost across the width and length of the coil.  If you find a partial frosting of the coil or a large buildup of frost at the top, then you may consider repairing the sealed system.

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The only fixable thing I can think of that may be causing the problem is if the heat exchanger or wiring harness plug is not sealed well where it passes through the freezer liner. If there was a leak there, over time ice would accumulate in the insulation  untill its saturated and that may be the cold spot you're seeing on the back of the unit. Of course you'd have to remove the evaporator cover from inside the freezer to check that.

 

If there looks to be no problem there I would just cover the  spot with some fiberglass insulation and then cover that with a layer of foil tape. It won't be pretty but it will solve the problem.

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