Top Freezer working, Fridge is failing

Discussion in 'HVAC Heating & Cooling' started by thegallery, Aug 20, 2011.

  1. thegallery

    thegallery New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Philly, Europe
    Hi, not sure where to post this. I'm overseas with a US fridge, Whirlpool. The freezer is working the but the fridge failed and started getting warmer over a couple of days. A repair man came out and said the insulation at the back was finished and it was icing up back there. We defrosted it completely (it's frost free but just to get rid of any ice back here), and got the fridge working for a couple of weeks, but over the last 3 days it died again. Is it just the insulation back there? Or is there a sensor that is failing? Anyway, this is the parts list and if you think we should get something for it please let me know. If we can try a fix that would be great as replacement size is not common in this country and would be incredibly expensive. http://www.appliancepartspros.com/partsearch/model.aspx?model_id=503558 Thanks
  2. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,150
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    If the insulation is getting wet, then the drain line is plugged. Every few years, mine plugs and I need to clear it.
  3. CarlH

    CarlH New Member

    Messages:
    175
    Location:
    Northern VA
    There should be some sort of access panel at the back of the freezer. Remove it and check the evaporator coil. I bet it will have built up frost and ice. If that is the case, defrost it manually first and this will give you some time to look into the defrost function. Leave the cover off to aid in defrosting. You may need to put the cover back in the freezer for the refrigerator section to work properly. There are two parts of the defrost that can fail. One is the heater that is placed around the evap. coil and the second is a timer. Older fridges use a mechanical timer and the newer ones use an electronic timer. If you are unfamiliar on how to check these items, get a repair man to check them for you. I think you need a different repair man since I suspect the problem is much more likely to be the defrost than an insulation problem.

    Is the power to the fridge correct? Is it 120V 60 Hz? or are you stepping down 50Hz power to 120V?
  4. thegallery

    thegallery New Member

    Messages:
    30
    Location:
    Philly, Europe
    Thanks for both these replies.

    Ice was building up in the back of the freezer when we pulled everything out (it is frost free). So I'm not sure if it was the drain line or the heater around the coil or what. Our short term fix was a thorough defrosting. I can tell you though that in the night, after I thought the fridge was fully defrosted, I heard a 'clunk" and then running water for a straight 2 or three minutes. I could not see the water, so that makes me think that indeed the "drain line" was plugged with ice and it finally unplugged itself. It's been fine now for over a week, though I reckon we have not solved the greater issue of why it happened. Perhaps we got lucky and the plugged drain line was a temporary problem, but if it starts to fail again we'll pull the fridge out and see if we can't isolate the cause. Again, thanks for the informative replies.
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