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Refrigerator Performance Change #4557799
10/28/17 08:36 PM
10/28/17 08:36 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 19,274
PNW
ZeeOSix Offline OP
ZeeOSix  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 19,274
PNW
I noticed the back of the freezer compartment where the evaporator coil lives started forming a big frost patch on the back panel. I knew that wasn't normal, so I removed the back panel to investigate and found an ice ball on top of the evaporator coil.

The refrigerator was still performing pretty good at this point with the ice ball. I used a hair dryer to melt the ice ball off the evaporator and put the panel back on. Figured it would help the performance, but now the refrigerator is not cooling down enough to keep food totally frozen in the freezer compartment even with the thermostat set colder than normal. Nothing else was touched or changed ... any ideas?




Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: ZeeOSix] #4557807
10/28/17 08:42 PM
10/28/17 08:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,013
Buffalo, NY
JTK Offline
JTK  Offline
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 11,013
Buffalo, NY
I've had that happen in a few bottom freezer refrigerators in the family and was able to fix the 3 with a slight modification of the "duck bill" on the end of condensate drain tube. I suspect this is your problem. All I had to do is pull the rubber duck bill off and cut it back with scissors, which makes the opening bigger and less likely to plug and stop the draining of condensate.


2017 Ram 1500 4x4, 3.6L. 2016 Nissan Quest SV (Babe magnet IV)
Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: ZeeOSix] #4557817
10/28/17 08:49 PM
10/28/17 08:49 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,486
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,486
Seattle-ish, WA
Check the fan.

I went through this just a few weeks ago. The fan war alles kaput, and would not force the cold air down into the fridge section via the duct. The freezer would be depths of hades cold, the fridge section only tepid.

You can put a multimeter on the fan power leads to check for ac voltage, and then check the fan continuity to verify itís bad.

$30 and two days later, alles gut!

Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: ZeeOSix] #4557847
10/28/17 09:12 PM
10/28/17 09:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 19,274
PNW
ZeeOSix Offline OP
ZeeOSix  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 19,274
PNW
I can hear the fan in the freezer running, and it's blowing air out into the freezer compartment, but it doesn't feel very cold. The ice maker won't work now either (it was with the ice ball), probably because the freezer compartment can't get cold enough. It was colder when the ice ball was on the evaporator coils - both freezer and cold side kept temperature adequately.

The condenser fan is also running. I wonder if the hair dryer heated up something and damaged it ... like that black sensor on the copper line. Not sure what that is exactly, maybe a temperature sensor?

I ran the refrigerator with the back panel off after I melted off the ice block, and the top of the condenser where the Freon expands got cold pretty fast. I'm wondering if it just needs a Freon charge ... maybe low on Freon?

Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: ZeeOSix] #4557858
10/28/17 09:23 PM
10/28/17 09:23 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 21,282
ON, Canada eh?
StevieC Offline
StevieC  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 21,282
ON, Canada eh?
Check the following:

-Obstructions in cold air travel areas.
-Check fan(s) for operation.
-Check coils for cleanliness. (Highly doubt this is an issue though)
-Defrost Cycle Timer / Control Module.
-Also some units are equipped with temperature sensors that cut the compressor if the coil gets too cold.
-Some coils have heaters to aid in defrost cycle and if these aren't working it never fully defrosts.
-If the system has a gas leak and it's low on refrigerant it can cause super cooling and coil freezing.
-Excess humidity in the area this is operating can cause this. Ideally 55% or less is what they design these for.


'18 Dodge Grand Caravan GT - AMSOIL SS 5w20
'06 Santa Fe - 535,000km AMSOIL SS 0w30 / ATF
Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: StevieC] #4557885
10/28/17 09:47 PM
10/28/17 09:47 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,486
Seattle-ish, WA
Oro_O Offline
Oro_O  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 1,486
Seattle-ish, WA
Originally Posted By: StevieC
Check the following:

-Obstructions in cold air travel areas


I would do this first. Even after I changed the fan, I had blockage in the duct from the frost accumulation. Meant to mention that.

Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: ZeeOSix] #4557909
10/28/17 10:14 PM
10/28/17 10:14 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,389
beaver land EH?
Quest Offline
Quest  Offline
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,389
beaver land EH?
Once you completely defrosted the freezer section, it would take 24 hrs + for the fridge(freezer section) to build up cold sufficiently back to normal.

So long as your defrost timer (defrost thermostat and defrost heater) isn't stuck on "operating" mode, your cooling fan is circulating the evaporator, you are good to go.

Q.


"Internet discussion boards act as echo chambers for conspiracy dittoheads" A.Allen
Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: ZeeOSix] #4557923
10/28/17 10:37 PM
10/28/17 10:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11,088
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Online content
Nick1994  Online Content
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 11,088
Phoenix, AZ
I think often times when evap-coils freeze up they're low on freon. Could have a leak.


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 88k Motorcraft Synthetic Blend 5w30 & OEM
2000 Toyota Camry 2.2L 231k Valvoline 5w30 & Fram Ultra
1996 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L 147k Mobil 1 HM 10w40 & Fram Ultra
Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: Nick1994] #4557971
10/29/17 12:02 AM
10/29/17 12:02 AM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 19,274
PNW
ZeeOSix Offline OP
ZeeOSix  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 19,274
PNW
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
I think often times when evap-coils freeze up they're low on freon. Could have a leak.


That's what I'm thinking too, since it seems nothing changed to cause the lack of cooling except me melting off the ice ball. I also did wait 24 hrs to make sure it stabilized. The port near the ice maker where the cold air blows out in to the freezer compartment has good air flow, but it just doesn't feel very cold on my hand. The freezer is maintaining a temp of about 35~40 degrees F. Before I melted the ice ball, it would run around 0~10 degrees F.

The refrigerator is 14 years old, but has been working great. It does seem like I had to change the setpoint a few notches cooler over the last 6 months to keep the temps down, and it seem to run almost constantly. Maybe it's slowly lost some freon charge lately and it's starting to show up. Maybe I'll have it checked for leaks and recharged, and see what happens.

But I don't understand why it can't cool down like it should after just after removing the ice ball ... shrug

Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: ZeeOSix] #4558042
10/29/17 05:08 AM
10/29/17 05:08 AM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,322
Cincinnati, OH, USA
bullwinkle Offline
bullwinkle  Offline
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 8,322
Cincinnati, OH, USA
The fact that the ice ball has formed by the cap tube outlet is a bad sign-you're low on gas. If you have it recharged, have the service guy solder a low side fitting onto the compressor & put dye in it-that way you can see where it is leaking (likely coil).


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 93 GMC C3500 6.2, 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7, 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2)
Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: bullwinkle] #4558099
10/29/17 07:13 AM
10/29/17 07:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 181
Kevil,Ky
vwmaniaman Offline
vwmaniaman  Offline
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 181
Kevil,Ky
where the ice ball was is likely where the leak is. When you have a leak it will build ice to partially block the speed of the leak. You can try putting bubble soap on it and see if you get bubbles. That may help isolate the problem. If it is an accessible strait pipe area that is leaking you can put a vampire tap over it and add charge from that. Good luck with your repair. A replacement fridge probably won't last 13 years like yours has.


Don't waste your time on a slipshod repair.
Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: ZeeOSix] #4558115
10/29/17 07:31 AM
10/29/17 07:31 AM
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 20
CT
Badoil Offline
Badoil  Offline
Joined: Feb 2016
Posts: 20
CT
That's definitely looks like a refrigerant leak. I have seen it many times. That looks like a Maytag or magic chef unit. I have been a authorized Maytag- Whirlpool for 35 years. I have to find leak and repair and then recharge. You can recharge unit it might last 1 or 2 years depending on leak. You are only cooling on top part of evaporator.

Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: Quest] #4558241
10/29/17 09:03 AM
10/29/17 09:03 AM
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,299
New Jersey
JHZR2 Offline
JHZR2  Offline
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 42,299
New Jersey
Originally Posted By: Quest
Once you completely defrosted the freezer section, it would take 24 hrs + for the fridge(freezer section) to build up cold sufficiently back to normal.

So long as your defrost timer (defrost thermostat and defrost heater) isn't stuck on "operating" mode, your cooling fan is circulating the evaporator, you are good to go.

Q.


This was my thought. New, very small compressors are designed to run nearly continuously at lower load, and yield higher cooling efficiencies. Like most things, speed vs. efficiency is a trade.

Our refrigerator had been making a knocking sound, because a fan was hitting come ice. While relatively easy to pull apart the plastic panels, its also likely easy for something else to get hit/nicked/come apart

Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: ZeeOSix] #4558242
10/29/17 09:04 AM
10/29/17 09:04 AM
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,023
TX, USA
JMJNet Offline
JMJNet  Offline
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,023
TX, USA
Try replacing the defrost timer/heater and see how it goes.

There are a few appliance forum or even youtube that shows you how to find that part.

This is assuming that there is no leak as pointed above.

I had to do it for my 20 years old Amana, replacing the part was not difficult.
Defrosting the ice build up took a long time.
Once the part was replaced, it is still running till now, 2 years later.


  • 2017 Toyota Sienna
  • 1995 GMC Suburban 6.5L Turbo Diesel


Re: Refrigerator Performance Change [Re: Badoil] #4558462
10/29/17 01:47 PM
10/29/17 01:47 PM
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 19,274
PNW
ZeeOSix Offline OP
ZeeOSix  Offline OP
Joined: Jul 2010
Posts: 19,274
PNW
Originally Posted By: Badoil
That's definitely looks like a refrigerant leak. I have seen it many times. That looks like a Maytag or magic chef unit. I have been a authorized Maytag- Whirlpool for 35 years. I have to find leak and repair and then recharge. You can recharge unit it might last 1 or 2 years depending on leak. You are only cooling on top part of evaporator.


It's a Frigidaire (Electrolux) brand, side-by-side configuration. Cold right hand side gets cooled down my a vent door (controlled by cold side thermostat) that feeds the colder air from the left hand side freezer side. Quit a few years ago, the cold side thermostat failed (so vent door control was lost) and I bought a new one off ebay and replaced it.

I'll see if I can get a guy out to recharge and look for any leaks for a reasonable price. If I can get 2 or 3 more years out of it I'll be happy.

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