Isn’t it time to know what you don’t know?

Click here to check out our structured, online appliance repair training courses for rookies and experienced techs.

FAQs | Repair Videos | Academy | Newsletter | Podcast | Contact

Stay connected with us...

Samurai on Facebook - become a fan today! Sign up for our free newsletter and keep up with all things Appliantology. Subscribe to our YouTube channel for lots of appliance repair tips and help! Follow the Samurai on Twitter and get timely morsels of Appliantological Wisdom! Subscribe to our MST Radio podcast to learn secrets of the trade.
risktaker99

Maytag side by side fridge--warm on food side

28 posts in this topic

Model #RSW22E0DAE

There is frost on the back wall of the freezer portion. The fridge side is warm (62 degrees). I know you made reference to those electronic adaptive boards but I am not sure if this model has that since I don't know when it was made. It came with the house that we bought 4 years ago. Also, how do I determine if it is this part or one of the other parts.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

According to the wiring diagram for your fridge, you don't have an adaptive defrost control board, just a good ol' timer. You should remove the back inside wall of the freezer so you can get some eyeballs on the evaporator. If it's socked in with fuzzy ice, you have a defrost system failure. Some guidance on that here:

http://fixitnow.com/2004/04/mailbag-diagnosing-refrigerator.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, I manually turned on the defrost timer...no water came out the tube under the refrigerator. How long do I wait?

Does it make sense that the freezer won't be that cold if the coils are caked with ice as indicated by frost on the front of the back panel since it probablhy isn't defrosting properly?

On this model, is the defrost heater enclosed in a glass tube? What part # do you recommend for the defrost heater and the defrost thermostat? Also, do I have to remove the icemaker first in order to remove the rear panel in the freezer on this model?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ah, Grasshopper, why ask for advice if you were going to ignore it?

Go back and read my instructions in my previous post. Eyeballs on the problem, that's the stage we're at here.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I removed the panel from the back of the freezer section. I removed the cover from the back of the food section to expose the defrost timer. I then plugged the fridge back on.  The compressor kicked on as did the fans. I then turned the red dial on the defrost timer until it "clicked". The compressor and fans shut down. I looked at the heaters to see if they came on. They did not. I removed the plug from the wall. I manually defrosted the coils with a hair dryer. I then jumpered/bypassed the defrost thermostat from the circuit to make sure that the heaters were the culprit. They were because they still didn't light up on liftoff. I then removed the heaters and plugged the fridge back on.

 

Before I order any parts I want to make sure that there aren't any other problems. I set the fridge thermostat at 9 (highest is 11) and the baffle from the freezer to fully open. There is nothing(food, batteries, spare parts, etc.) in the freezer section. The refrigerator section is "full" with food. The temperature when I turned it on was 70 degrees in the food section. After 10 hours it is now 61 degrees. How long should it take to cool down to 38 degrees?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 I then jumpered/bypassed the defrost thermostat from the circuit to make sure that the heaters were the culprit. They were because they still didn't light up on liftoff. I then removed the heaters and plugged the fridge back on.

If you by-passed the defrost thermostat and the heater STILL disn't come on, this would indicate bad heaters.  You can and should confirm this by doing a very easy and safe continuity test of the defrost heaters. 

 

(Editied to remove cranial flatulence)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will take at least 24 hours for the box to cool down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fridge worked fine for several weeks. It is on a circuit that has a GFI outlet. Yesterday, the fridge power was off. I don't know how many hours--maybe 10 to 15. I checked the GFI outlet and realized the switch had "popped". I reset it and the fridge came back on. However, the temperature in the refrigerator side wouldn't go back down to 40 degrees--it stayed around 65 degrees. Then, I noticed that there was significant frost on the back of the freezer. So, I manually caused the defrost cycle to be initiated 2 times to attempt to get rid of any accumulated ice on the coils. I felt the back of the freezer during the defrost cycle and it felt warm--therefore, the defrost heating elements were working. I don't understand  why there would have been a  buildup of ice on the coils if the fridge was off.  A friend of ours suggested that perhaps the GFI outlet was defective. So I replaced it. I let the refrigerator run all night. It was still warm--62 degrees and there was frost on the back of the freezer. So, I again manually advanced the defrost cycle 3 times to get  rid of the ice. On the third time, the GFI "popped" again. Our friend suggested that perhaps there is an internal short in the refrigerator that is causing this. Does  this make sense?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, perhaps the defrost timer has shorted and is not advancing, I would replace the defrost timer to start and see if this solves both problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't like "throwing parts" at a problem to see if they work. Do you think this is the problem or are you guessing? Are there any other possibilities? Also, is the temperature control integrated with the defrost timer?

Thanks,

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course I am guessing and I do not know if this will solve the problem or not.  I am not there at your frig checking everything that could be causing this. Stands to reason if your frig will defrost if you manually turn the timer to the defrost cycle the bi-metal and heater are working but the timer is not advancing.  Sound reasonable???  The only way to tell what is causing this is call out a service tech for hands on to see what is wrong instead of asking for free advise on the internet from people who do not have direct access to your frig...I stated that "perhaps" this is your problem....the defrost timer over rides the thermostat. As far as the GF popping do not know why a frig would be plugged into one of these anyway.  If  this is one of those "green plugs"  these will cause all sorts of problems with refrigeraters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The timer does advance. When we bought this house, the GFI was installed in one of the outlets in the kitchen and has 3 other outlets "downstream" on the same circuit including the outlet for the refrigerator.  In an ideal world, the refrigerator should be on its own circuit but that is not the reality.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Take the refrigerator off the GFCI. Replace the GFCI with a standard outlet.

"Guesses" from a Master Appliantologists are free mana from heaven for you grasshoppers. The appropriate response for Pegi offering her FREE, expert opinion to you is to say, "Thank you for considering my unworthy problem, Master Pegi."

This is the MCP. End of line.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First, I would like to say that I would like to apologize if I sounded like I didn't appreciate your help/advice. I do. In fact, your advice has made me look like a "genius" to my friends and family. Your advice has been professional, timely, and accurate. I would have responded sooner with this post. However, the problem with my frig occurred during a family gathering to celebrate the engagement of my daughter. She and her fiance and his family came to visit us for six days. In addition, nine of  my daughter's friends stayed with us over the weekend. A "sick" refrigerator made the situation a little tense.

Unfortunately, the problem with the frig seems to have gotten worse. I connected the frig to a circuit without a GFI. I know there are two defrost heaters in the circuit since I replaced them. However, it appeared that only the bottom one was working since there was significant frost/ice on the upper half that wouldn't go away during the automatic defrost cycle. (BTW, is that possible since I think they are in series?) In order to try to get the upper part of the condenser to defrost I manually advanced the defrost timer to initiate an additional cycle. I could see the glow of the bottom heater. However, after having done it several times over the last two days, now I don't see any glow from the bottom heater as well. Do you think I burned it out or are the contacts on the defrost timer burned out? How would you suggest I test it?

Thanks again for your help.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, let's bring this back to basics. The defrost system consists of three, and only three components: defrost timer, defrost heater, and defrost thermostat. My usual advice to grasshoppers struggling with a defrost failure problem is to simply replace all three components. Why? Because none of them are very expensive and, as long as you've gone through all; the trouble to tear apart the freezer, you might as well save yourself from having to do it again in 6 months and gut the whole den of vipers.

If you have a clamp-on amp meter, know how to use a volt meter, and can read a wiring diagram (assuming you have the diagram for your refrigerator), then we can talk about specific diagnostic techniques for pin-pointing which of the three defrosting components is currently afflicting you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, I have a clamp on ammeter, know how to read a schematic and use a voltmeter. BTW,  FYI I replaced the defrost thermostat when I replaced the defrost heater.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That only leaves one piece of the puzzle-- Pegi wasn't even guessing when she pointed you in that direction, she was using deductive reasoning.

Post your wiring diagram and I can direct you on where to measure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With the refigerator unplugged and the timer set to defrost mode, check continuity from timer pin 2 to pin 1.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hummmm, it is possible only one of the heaters was working, perhaps the second one was not wired in series properly from the factory??  This might have made the bottom one fail.  Can you check the heaters with your ohm meter to see if they are both good or defective?? This sure would cause the problems with partial defrost you are describing..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I measured 23 ohms between pins where pins 2 and 3 go on the plug.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I measured 23 ohms from using the socket (pins 2 and 3)that plugs into the defrost timer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I measured 23 ohms from using the socket (pins 2 and 3)that plugs into the defrost timer.

This means you have continuity through the heaters and defrost thermostat.

With the refrigerator unplugged and the timer set to defrost mode, check continuity from timer pin 2 to pin 1.

Continuity on this test?

Answer this and we'll proceed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did have continuity. I also think since my last post I discovered the problem or to be more exact TWO problems that existed.  It seems the fill tube that goes into the ice maker had come out of the assembly on the rear of the freezer. This may have occurred when I had a problem with no ice being formed because water had frozen in the tube and I put a coat hanger up it to unclog it several weeks ago. I think this occurred because I also discovered that the fill valve is leaking and drips when it should be off. So I must have dislodged the tube when I put the coat hanger in the tube. Consequently, unbeknownst to me, water began slowly dripping down the side of the rear of the freezer. It began creating a block of ice on top of the evaporator coil. Eventually, it became a monster!!!  It was 4 inches high of solid ice. As it grew it surrounded all the wires for the heater and defrost thermostat. This must have been the reason why the GFI kept popping since all of these wires including the terminal block were encapsulated in water. The block of ice became so large it "blocked" (bad pun) any air movement across the evaporator coil. So the temperature of the frig began to rise despite the defrost cycle which couldn't compete with the constant dripping of water being added to the "monster".

For your viewing pleasure I've attached a picture of what it looked like. It took me 45 minutes to melt this block of ice with a hair dryer.

Now the only thing I have to get is a new fill valve so the ice maker doesn't overflow from too much water.

As always thanks for all of your help. You kept my sanity as I worked through the problem.

 

post-1859-12904508582_thumb.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites