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JamesI, Handyman
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 2234
Experience:  I have repaired and maintained numerous items over the years, from fridges to freezers, radios to TV's.
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My 20Ri D4 A + PT fridge/freezer is not maintaining fridge

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Hi, my 20Ri D4 A + PT fridge/freezer is not maintaining fridge temperature (currently 15 deg) and would appreciate some guidance as to whether sensor in centre of fridge rear wall or the bi-metal switch assembly attached to roof is likely to be causing the problem. Freezer is fully functional.
Small vent on bottom left of fridge has been freezing up.
Thanks, Guy

Hi Guy,

I assume you getting the fridge temp from the display, assuming the display is correct (the fridge is actually 15 degrees), then its unlikely to be a sensor fault, since the fridge knows its not cold enough and should be calling for coolant.

In the first instance I would look to defrost both fridge and freezer encase the coolant channel has frozen and stopping coolant from the freezer compartment.

Another potential fault is the fan has failed, and therefore not circulating the coolant.

If the fan is working and after defrosting the fridge your still having an issue, its likely to be a fault with the control board.

Please let me know how you get on defrosting and checking the fridge fan.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello James,
Thanks for your reply. The temp reading of 15 deg came from a separate dial thermometer which I put into the fridge. I'm guessing that will give you a different view now. Temp displayed on the fridge/freezer display panel is 2 deg.Guy
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Fan working ok
You asked me to de-frost the fridge. Is this a frost free unit? If so, how can I defrost it?Guy

It is marketed as a frost free unit in terms as the specs, to defrost to clear a blocked coolant vent which is what I think is causing your issue you need to power it down with both freezer and fridge doors open and then apply warm / hot clothes to them inside to raise the temp to 20 degrees. I would expect this to take a number of hours, but is the cheapest option as an engineer would cost £50 to come to site.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi James
I'm unable to take the last step that you suggested due to other commitments right now but I do intend to go ahead with this as soon as poss. Will let you know the result.Thanks, Guy

Thank you for letting me know Guy, I await to hear if this has resolved your issue.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello James,
Got the temp in the fridge & freezer compartments up to 20+ deg as instructed. I noticed that sliding 'vent' at top of fridge was closed so wedged it open. Temp is now + 7 deg in fridge but doesn't seem to be going down any further. Freezer compartment seems to be ok. I'm wondering now whether the mechanism moving the sliding vent is at fault??
I also noticed that the insulated coil of wire on the housing below the sliding vent was quite heated up when I took the housing off. I tested it for continuity with a meter but it did not seem to be continuous?? Is this coil a thermostat?
Thanks, Guy

The coil should be a defrost element, how is the fridge doing today (a few days on), have you removed the wedge from the fridge vent?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi James
Thanks for your reply this morning. Vent is still wedged open and fridge temp is between 7 & 10 deg. It's better than it was and my other half has stopped grumbling that everything is going off and has to be thrown away- so that's progress!
Yes, I noticed that the coiled element referred to was quite warm when I took it apart.
Now that you've got a better picture of what's going on. Is there any way that we can narrow the fault down to the part that actuates the sliding vent (Is it possible to remove this part to see if there is anything wrong with it?) or the sensor situated about a third of the way down the back panel?
Is it normal for the section of casing between the two doors at front of unit to get hot? I'm surmising that as this unit does not have a 'heat exchange' grid on back like many fridges that this might be where it dissipates the heat??
Thanks Guy
(Sorry about long-winded question!)

Ive checked and it is defiantly conventional compression coolant rather than evaporation method which typically doesnt use a heat sink.

I dont have a service manual for this model, so reliant on memory, it could well be the actuator for the vent has failed, are you able to remove the vent and see if you can see the solenoid, and check if there is a voltage across the terminals?

There are three sensors on the fridge, humidity and ambient temperature, and coolant temperature, which allow the fridge to determine when to start the defrost cycle, start the fan or call for coolant. I would trace the sensor wire on the back panel and find out where they connects to the control board, and then see if the sensor is short or open circuit using a multi meter on continuity, is the sensor you have located under the fan?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I will attempt the checks that you suggest but I'm not sure how to remove the vent housing (polystyrene) and actuator which has a sort of circular shaped blue plastic cover. (Or is this the solenoid that you referred to? I did try to prise the cover off but could not. There must be knack to it.)
It does'nt seem feasible to gain access from the freezer side. Would you remember how to get access to this solenoid?
The sensor that I mentioned earlier is pencil-shaped and is located in the centre of the removable back panel of the fridge about two-thirds of the way up and is wired into a block next to the vent assembly.
Could you tell me where is the control board that you mentioned?
Thanks, Guy

H Guy the control board is usually fitted behind the control panel so in your case in the door panel.

It sounds like the sensor half way down the door is a thermostat, however without tracing it back to the control board its hard to be sure, but this sounds the most likely purpose.

With regard to removing the housing this is something unique to every model, normally there are little logs so you squeeze the casing and it will slide to one side then pull out, as stated earlier I would suggest you get an engineer to site as these plastic components do not come off easily and the tabs are easily broken.


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