Appliance Repair Questions? Ask a Technician for Answers ASAP
Hi, my name is Mike and I have been in the home improvement and repair field for 20 years. I will be very glad to help you today. Is there any ice forming around the vent inside the freezer?
No, the vent is clear
How about on the evaporator? You would have to remove the back cover to access it.
Is there ice forming on it?
The appliance sits in an alcove and I can't access the back of it.
Okay that will quite limit what we can do to determine the fault. It is very likely that the fault is that the evaporator has iced up beyond what the heater can melt off. The easiest repair for that is to empty it and turn the power off and leave the door open for at least 24 hours to defrost it. Then clean the inside especially the fridge bottom.
Ok, my husband will be home soon, he can pull the appliance out and we can take a look. Can I get back to you later?
Sure thing. If I am offline when you reply my response will be delayed but I will always respond. I will be online for the next 10-12 hours or so besides some short periods that I may be offline.
Hi Mike, I have the fridge pulled out now and I'm looking at a wire mesh that covers the back of the appliance. I can unscrew it easy enough but it remains connected via two metal connectors at the base. Getting the back of the fridge off looks complicated as the plate is screwed to the side panels. I'm nervous about taking it off - also, if it helps with diagnosing the problem, whilst stood here the motor sounded like it was about to start up and it stopped immediately and the beeping started.
Okay. Put that stuff back together then. There are two places that the evaporator can be accessed depending on the model. If there is not a panel to access it there without some major surgery then we will access from in the freezer. You will have to remove the ice maker inside the freezer, clean and dry the freezer,
remove the evaporator fan duct screws at the back of the freezer and possibly pull it loose from the tabs. Carefully pry off the plastic tab buttons that hold the cover in place and that will expose the evaporator.
If this all seems too much you could always defrost the freezer by turning the power off and emptying it. Leave the door open for at least 24 hours with the power off. Before turning it back on after leaving it off, clean the inside especially the bottom of the fridge where the condensation drains. This will take much longer but it is certainly much less labour intensive.
Mike, we need to check the model, mine doesn't have an ice maker. I have ice cube trays that live in the door of the freezer.
Great! that will make it much easier to access the evaporator in the back of the freezer.
There is a huge chance that when you inspect the evaporator that it is iced up. The troubleshooting guide has you turn the temperature down to allow the heater to melt the ice on the evaporator. Sometimes this still does not quite remedy the problem. When you access the evaporator and you find that it is iced then the repair is defrosting as I described or melting the ice with a hair drier.
I don't know what an evaporator looks like but inside the panel are layers of metal - a bit like a grill in the top of an oven. There's no ice.
Sorry. The directions for removing the evaporator (since there is not an access on the back as some do have one there) are for inside the freezer.
I have removed the panel that is inside the freezer and found the metal grill as described. If that is not an evaporator, can you describe what I should be looking for please? The freezer contents are partially defrosted - ice cream melted, bread soft etc.
For sure there was not a panel on the rear that was accessible without removing all the coils?
Can you send a picture of the back of the freezer?
The back panel of the freezer is the full height of the appliance with the exception of about 12inches before the floor where there is a plastic basin that catches water. I don't think defrosting is going to solve the problem as the freezer does not appear to be operating, there is nothing to defrost. I can't here a motor running and the contents of the fridge are no longer cold.
Is the compressor at the bottom really hot? The evaporator could be completely frozen. The evaporator freezes and a fan blows the cold air into the freezer. The fan operates on a timer and when the fan cuts off the heater (there is a small capacity heater on the evaporator) melts the ice build up. If for various reasons the fan continues to run or the ice forms too quickly the heater cannot melt the ice fast enough and the fan will not come on. If you look inside the freezer where the vent is located the evaporator is behind that.
The lights are still on? If you unplug and leave it unplugged for about 15 minutes and plug it back in does it work then?
I've been focused on the evaporator because it is so commonly the issue and also the easiest issue to repair for a DIY project. Do you see any oily residue on any of the coils?
The lights are still on, there is no oily residue, it all looks clean. I've disposed of the food and I'll leave it unplugged for a couple of hours to defrost complety then recheck.
It will take longer than a couple hours and also be sure to leave the doors open so that it can defrost completely. Did the compressor in the back on the bottom seem to be excessively hot?
Let it defrost for 24 hours to be sure to get it completely defrosted. If you only wait for a couple hours it will either not completely defrost or it will defrost enough to work again but you will have the same problem in a few weeks.
Sorry about your food. Let me know how well it worked tomorrow. I will be here.
Ok thank you, I'll leave it overnight. No the compressor didn't feel hot but given how quickly the food has defrosted I don't think the appliance had been operating for several hours before the bleeping started. I have another fridge in the kitchen so didn't notice:-(
Very good. I will chat with you then. You are very welcome also.
How did it go today?
There's no difference, left the appliance for about 36 hrs before switching back on. Get lights and alarm sounding and a momentary whirring sound then all goes quiet.
When you left it off you had it unplugged and the doors open?
Does the compressor seem to get really hot? Is there any water collecting in the bottom of the fridge?
I don't know what the compressor looks like or where it is. There is no water in the bottom of the fridge.
I see. The compressor is at the bottom near the water hook up.
How many times does the light flash?
Both lights flash continuously unless I turn the fridge and freezer temp controls off and back on again which cancels the flashing for about 10mins when the flashing and the alarm starts again. I don't know if the compressor got hot as I didn't feel it. I can turn it on again and see if it gets hot.
Ok and while back there check the small panel. Behind it is the PCB. If you would remove the panel and inspect it. There is a capacitor on the board that looks like a small battery. Look at it and see if the top of it is perfectly flat or not.
The compressor has stayed cold throughout. We've looked for a panel but the only thing we can see is wiring leading from the compressor to behind the flat back of the appliance. It's not an obvious panel that can just be unscrewed.
Strange. That would be where the circuit board would be. If you turn both dials to the off position then back on does it get anything working then?
The panel would have four screws holding it on on the back of the fridge.....don' t see it?
The panel is not really a panel, it's a box with two screws. Turning the dials back on makes the fridge light come on and then there is a momentary whirring then nothing until 10mins later when the alarm sounds again.
You were not able to find the panel that covers the control board?