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Repair information, service manuals, and troubleshooting help for refrigerators manufactured by KitchenAid.

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Not cooling... AND ITS BACK!

I have Kitchenaid refrigerator KBRA22ERSS01.

The other night it started making a consistent running noise and in the morning was warm and the temp was increasing quickly.

I used a long brush to clean underneath which was a MESS. A repairperson came to check it and said it was dead and recommended a new one. Its only 10 years old.

We plugged it back in, moved the freezer contents to our chest freezer, and put some ice in there to keep the fridge cool (circulating).

Here's where the story gets odd: 24 hours later the temp dropped again! And is now back to normal 48 hours later.

Will this last (the repair place I called in confusion says no)?

We have ordered a new one but if this one is BACK TO LIFE that would be great!

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My refrigerator started making a god awful noise a few weeks ago, it would make this noise for about an hour then stop, it was still cooling the fridge, now today the freezer is working but the refrigerator is up to 67 degrees.

Undercounter cooler temperature is not dropping

What is the make and model number. We need more information.

I have a Kitchenaide KRFF507ESS00. About a week ago we could not get water from the dispenser once in a while. 2 days ago there was a clicking that sounded lime it was coming from top half rear of the fridge. This morning the freezer and fridge are warm. Lights work, temp control panel is dead. And water dispenser doesn't work but has power. I was hoping for something simple but am losing hope. Any suggestions?

My Kitchenaid Freezer/frig model number KSSC48FMS01, the freezer is super cold getting frost, frig is warm and no frost in frig anywhere. We did take a power hit from an electrical storm just before we noticed this.

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The condenser coils being dirty is the number one cause for failure. Just like your air conditioners #1 is a clogged filter. A ten year old frig is not old. I have a frig that is 30 years old that I use for a beer box.

Condenser Coils are Dirty

If the refrigerator is not cold enough the condenser coils may be dirty. The condenser is like a radiator and must stay clean in order to dissipate the heat which was removed from the inside of the refrigerator. As the coils get dirtier the refrigerator becomes less efficient, which makes it work harder to cool down. If the coils are dirty enough, the unit will never be cold enough and will not be able to cool the inside of the refrigerator to the proper temperature.

Evaporator Fan Motor

If the refrigerator is not cold enough, the evaporator fan motor might have failed. Every refrigerator has a set of coils called an evaporator. The refrigerator may have one or more evaporator fan motor(s) depending on the model and evaporator locations. The evaporator fan motor circulates the cold air from the coils thru the compartment. If there is only one evaporator it is in the freezer side. If the fan is not working, no cold air will get to the refrigerator compartment. The freezer may still get cold.

Condenser Fan Motor

If the refrigerator is not cold enough there might be something caught in the condenser fan motor blade, or the condenser fan motor might be defective. The condenser fan motor draws air over the condenser coils to cool them. The condenser fan motor is located underneath the refrigerator near the back. Pull the refrigerator out from the wall and remove the access panel to access it.

Start Relay

If the refrigerator is not cold enough, the start relay may be defective. The start relay is a small device mounted to the side of the compressor. It provides power to the run winding along with the start winding for a split second at start-up to help get the compressor started. If the start relay is defective the compressor may run intermittently or not at all and the refrigerator will not get cold enough. The start relay should be replaced if defective.

Temperature Control Thermostat

If the refrigerator does not get cold enough the temperature control thermostat might be defective. The thermostat allows power to flow through to the compressor, evaporator fan and condenser fan. If the cooling system fans and compressor are running, but the refrigerator or freezer is not cooling correctly check for an airflow or defrost system problem.

Start Capacitor

If the refrigerator isn't cold enough the compressor might be having difficulty starting. The start capacitor serves as a battery to give the compressor a little boost during start-up. If the start capacitor is burned out the compressor might not be able to start and run as often as it should. Test the start capacitor first with a capacitance meter, they don't fail often. If it's defective, replace it.

Thermistor

If the refrigerator is not cold enough the thermistor might be defective. The thermistor is a sensor which monitors the air temperature. It is connected to the control board. If the thermistor is defective the refrigerator does not cool or may cool continuously.

Temperature Control Board

If the refrigerator is not cold enough the temperature control board might be defective. The temperature control board provides the voltage to the fan motors and compressor. These boards are often misdiagnosed. Check all other components to be certain this is the cause of the problem.

Compressor

If the refrigerator is not cold enough, the compressor might be defective. The compressor is a motor which compresses the refrigerant and circulates the refrigerant through the evaporator and condenser coils. There are several other components which are more likely to be defective if the compressor doesn't work. If the compressor itself is defective a licensed professional will need to replace it.

Main Control Board

If the refrigerator is not cold enough the main control board might be defective. This is not common. Check the defrost system, cooling fans, and cooling controls first.

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Really appreciate the explanation of various parts and their involvement. I am still going to keep my serviceman's appt. on my warm fridge/freezer but feel i will be better positioned to talk and understand the possible problems causing it.

Very helpful Thank You. Fridge less than 1 yr. old repair guy cant make it till Monday. I'll be pullin it away from wall

Paul Power, it’s best to leave the refrigerator just like it is so the technician can better diagnose the problem. It’s covered under warranty since it’s under a year. That’s good.

Thank you for you extremly detailed explanation. I only wish your answer would come up first when you search the internet for "fridge stopped working" (or anything else to this effect) instead of having to spend so much time reading through hundreds of other answers. But I can't complain too much because having the internet still beats the old way of fixing a broken fridge, which was to phone the appliance repair shop asap for an appointment.

hey rob You can help that some by uprooting this answer

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Hi @John Balliet ,

What is the model number of the refrigerator?

Can you hear if the evaporator fan is operating?

It is located in the freezer compartment behind a panel.

If you open the door the fan should stop. When the door is closed the fan should start again. You may have to place your ear next to the fridge cabinet to hear it running and stopping etc. It will only run if the compressor motor is also running.

Do not confuse this fan with the condenser fan which is outside the compartments near the compressor. It can run whether the doors are open or not

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ABB2227DEW - yes, from the back.like something is trying to switch on, I would liken it to the sound an AC makes when it kicks on only more high-pitche, buzzer sounding. Fridge now seems not so cod even though I have it on 6 and put cup of water in freezer, just the surface is icy.

Opened freezer and cold air was blowing from the inside vent into the freezer compartment

Hi @John Balliet ,

If you think that the buzzing noise is coming from the outside of the refrigerator at the back, check if it is the compressor start relay (part #10 compressor parts diagram) that is making the buzzing sound.

If you think that it is on the inside check the evaporator fan which is behind the back panel inside the freezer compartment in case it is faulty (bearings?) or if the noise is in that area perhaps the bi-metal defrost thermostat which should be near the evaporator unit and defrost heater

I have a similiar issue. Doesn't cool anywhere. The fan will not come near the compressor. Although I've tested the fan by straight wiring it and it work and the compressor comes on but no voltage is coming to that fan. The main plug going up behind the freezer has power but its not sending voltage back down to the fan. I don't know what to replace to fix that.

@jeff30940

What is the make and model number of the refrigerator.

Depending on the model, the condenser fan (the one near the compressor) needn't run all the time. Some are temperature controlled so that they only run if the temperature in the condenser is getting too warm.

If there's no cooling and the compressor is running then normally the freezer temp would be close to being OK i.e. 0°F but the refrigerator made be warm due to a problem with the evaporator fan which is inside the freezer compartment, behind a panel at the back of the compartment.

If the freezer is not cold but the compressor is running, then there may be a problem with the sealed system.

is the compressor getting hot?

@jayeff ksrg25fkss17 Kitchenaid. The fan doesn't run at all .Unless you straight wire it. Then the compressor comes on too. The compressor isn't getting hot because its not coming on.

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Hi @Paul Walsh

Can you hear if the evaporator fan is operating?

It is located in the freezer compartment behind a panel.

If you open the door (either door) the fan should stop. When the door is closed the fan should start again. You may have to place your ear next to the fridge cabinet to hear it running and stopping etc. when the doors are shut then open. It will only run if the compressor motor is also running.

You could also try manually operating the freezer door switch and listen or feel the air from the vent, inside at the back of the compartment, if the fan starts operating. The switch is not only for the light, it also signals the control board to turn off the evaporator fan because the door is open. By manually operating the switch you fool the control board into thinking the door is shut so it turns on the fan and the light goes out

Do not confuse this fan with the condenser fan which is outside the compartments near the compressor. It can run whether the doors are open or not.

If you can’t hear the evaporator fan running at all, you have to check if the fan is iced up, faulty or perhaps the fan power circuit is faulty. Remove the panel inside at the back of the freezer compartment to expose the evaporator unit and the evap fan

If it is iced up it is a defrost problem. This could be a faulty defrost heater, blocked drain or faulty control board.

If it is not iced up you need to check the fan circuit, either the fan motor or the power to the fan

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Hi @jeff30940

Couple of things to check perhaps.

a). Given that blowing on the evap fan in the freezer (I assume this is the one you meant) starts the condenser fan and the compressor working it could be that there's a problem with the temp control thermostat.

When there's no cooling at all i.e. no compressor or fans, try adjusting the temperature control knob so that the desired temp is colder and see if the compressor and fans start to work. It may be that IF the thermostat is faulty that it "thinks" that is is cold enough inside the compartments so it turns the compressor and fans off.

Perhaps by forcing the temp to rise by blowing on the fan you are increasing the temperature in the compartments to a point where the thermostat does respond

What should happen then is when the compartments warms up again due to normal activity e.g. doors open/close etc the temp control should then turn on the compressor and fans to keep the temperature between the pre-set upper and lower temp limits. Basically it cycles the compressor/fans on and off as required.

If adjusting the temp control does start it again and if then it stops again after some hours and doesn't start again except if you touch the temp control, this sort of points to it being the problem.

If you decide that it is the problem here's a video for how to replace it. The part number for the thermostat is shown in the video i.e. W11088945. Search online for the part number to find suppliers that suit you best. There's an alternate part number as well WP2315562 if you can't find the first one.

b). If the thermostat is OK then it may be a wiring problem e.g. loose connection perhaps in the operate path for all 3 i.e. compressor, condenser fan and evaporator fan.

Looking at the wiring diagram in the tech sheet[ for the refrigerator, the evap fan, compressor and condenser fan all operate in parallel via the temp control thermostat to receive power from the electronic defrost control board, terminal P5.

If you follow the circuit the Neutral is behind each of the components (white wire on right side of each in the diagram) and then they are all joined to go to the temp control thermostat on a red wire, through the thermostat to the board.

Given that the evap fan is in the freezer it may be that that is the point where they're all joined as it may be the closest point to the thermostat control as far as the wiring run is concerned.

This is only speculation on my part but it may be that you will have to remove the panel at the back of the freezer compartment (access through the door at the front) and then check the fan's harness wiring connector.

Perhaps the only other thing is to check if the defrost control circuit is working by using the defrost test procedure as outlined on p.1 of the tech sheet.

If all the above seem OK then it may be a defrost control board issue.

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LadyTech, your comment on 4/14/2019 asking about frost buildup is exactly what's happening to our refrigerator of the same model. It's not cold enough in the refrigerator, has stopped making ice, and there is frost buildup behind the meat and cheese drawer. I assume there's a problem with airflow, but we've checked the vents, and they look fine, except for the one behind the drawer. We cleaned that one off, but it's back to frosty. There's also water pooling under the drawer (cleaned it out yesterday, it's back today).

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@emilycs The frost that you can see is nothing compared to what is behind the wall. Your issue sounds like you have a clogged drain line. That the water your seeing. What you need to do is take all the food out for at least 2 days. Unplug the refrigerator and leave the doors open for 48 hours. Remove the access panel that is behind the refrigerator. Vacuum the coils and any dust you see. There is a pan that water drains into. It’s the bottom tray that the coils sit on. You’ll see the two drain tubes that the water travels down. Pull those off and clean them. Take out the crispers and shelves to remove the rear panel that the frost was on. You’ll see the trough the water collects in and drains out.

Continued on next reply

=== Update (06/07/2020) ===

@emilycs. You’ll see the hole that the water drains into the pan under unit. Pour hot water down that drain until you can hear it coming out below and into the pan. Make sure all the ice is melted. Put the panel on. Put the draws and shelves in. Put the drain tubes on under the unit. Secure the access panel. Plug in refrigerator. Set tfreezee temp 0*f and fresh food to 36*f. Allow 24-46 hours to reach set tempature.

Clean the coils under the refrigerator every 6 months to prevent the drain from clogging again. Never ever use a blow dryer to defrost tge refrigerator. The liner walls are to thin and melt at low heat. A damaged liner is not replaceable and most repairs won’t last long.

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