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Thread: Fridge not cold enough Kenmore Elite side by side

  1. #1

    Fridge not cold enough Kenmore Elite side by side

    Model Number: 106.50592003
    Brand: Sears Kenmore
    Age: More than 10 years

    The refrigerator on my Kenmore Elite 106.50592003 side by side is not cold enough. Freezer is about -8 deg and refrigerator is 45 deg. Can someone provide some guidance on troubleshooting? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
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    Do you hear the fan inside the freezer running? This type of problem could be caused by the refrigerator not going through the automatic defrost or a problem with the air diffuser, thermistor sensor, or control board. The air diffuser opens and closes to let cold air from the freezer into the refrigerator section. The control board uses the thermistor to measure the temperature to know when to tell the diffuser to open and close . If the refrigerator is not going through the automatic defrost cycle, the frost buildup will block the airflow and cause the refrigerator not to cool properly.
    Ryan

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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Ryan View Post
    Do you hear the fan inside the freezer running? This type of problem could be caused by the refrigerator not going through the automatic defrost or a problem with the air diffuser, thermistor sensor, or control board. The air diffuser opens and closes to let cold air from the freezer into the refrigerator section. The control board uses the thermistor to measure the temperature to know when to tell the diffuser to open and close . If the refrigerator is not going through the automatic defrost cycle, the frost buildup will block the airflow and cause the refrigerator not to cool properly.
    Yes, I can hear the fan running and feel the cold air moving in the freezer. I took the trim/cover off the diffuser in the fridge. No obvious sign of frost but there's almost no cold air coming through. Fridge temp was a little lower but still over 40 so I should expect to feel cold air coming through the diffuser, right?

  4. #4
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
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    Some refrigerators close the diffuser while the door is open, so you might have try holding down the door switch. But yes, you should be able to feel air coming through the diffuser unless the refrigerator has reached the desired temperature.
    Ryan

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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Ryan View Post
    Some refrigerators close the diffuser while the door is open, so you might have try holding down the door switch. But yes, you should be able to feel air coming through the diffuser unless the refrigerator has reached the desired temperature.
    While holding down the door switch I heard the diffuser open up then could feel cold air coming through. How strong should the air flow be? What do I look at next?

    By the way, thanks very much for the help.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by EdBurkett View Post
    While holding down the door switch I heard the diffuser open up then could feel cold air coming through. How strong should the air flow be? What do I look at next?

    By the way, thanks very much for the help.
    How strong should the air flow through the diffuser be?
    What do I look at next to solve this issue?

    This morning the fridge is 42-44 deg and the freezer is between -8 & -6 deg. The freezer control is set at 6 and the refrigerator control is set at 9. This morning the fridge is 42-44 deg and the freezer is between -8 & -6 deg.

  7. #7
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
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    I would recommend setting the temperature settings to the default settings. Moving the settings higher won't help the problem. There isn't a good way to tell you exactly how much cold air should be coming through the diffuser.

    I will need to have you look (or post a picture) at the evaporator coil after the refrigerator has been running for at least 15-20 minutes with the door closed. To do this, first unplug the refrigerator, then remove the lower back panel in the freezer. Plug the refrigerator back in, and let it run for 15-20 minutes. Unplug the refrigerator and put the panel back in the freezer when you are done. This coil should have a light layer of frost on it when the refrigerator is working properly. If there is a lot of frost, then you have an automatic defrost problem.
    Ryan

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  8. #8
    OK, I can do that. Is the panel I need to remove actually inside the freezer or on the rear of the unit?

  9. #9
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
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    It is inside the freezer.
    Ryan

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  10. #10
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Photos of the evaporator coil are attached. Doesn't look like much frost to me.

  11. #11
    Sorry, probably should have properly rotated those first.

  12. #12
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
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    Thanks for the pictures. The frost pattern on the evaporator coil looks perfect, so that indicates the problem is either with the air diffuser or the thermostats. See the attached picture for information on doing the baffle module (air diffuser) diagnostic tests. If the air diffuser checks out okay, check for blockage on the return air hole at the bottom of the refrigerator for any blockage or frost/ice build up.

    (Click to enlarge)
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    Ryan

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  13. #13
    I am having the same issues with my fridge. The diffuser is not opening up. I can manually open it up but eventually shuts. I did everything up to the last test here and the diffuser doesnt open as it should in the test. My fridge is kenmore coldspot side by side 10650593000

  14. #14
    I am having the same issues with my fridge. The diffuser is not opening up. I can manually open it up but eventually shuts. I did everything up to the last test here and the diffuser doesnt open as it should in the test. My fridge is kenmore coldspot side by side 10650593000

  15. #15

    Uneven frost on coil

    Hi! What does it mean when the frost pattern is not even? I am having a similar issue--freezer is fairly cold, but fridge side is not. As you can see in my picture, my coil is frosted only on the bottom. Also, to the touch, the compressor unit in back is very warm... probably can't leave my hand on it for more than 3-4 seconds. Thank you.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20131202_121036.jpg   20131202_121004.jpg  

  16. #16
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mwoo View Post
    Hi! What does it mean when the frost pattern is not even? I am having a similar issue--freezer is fairly cold, but fridge side is not. As you can see in my picture, my coil is frosted only on the bottom. Also, to the touch, the compressor unit in back is very warm... probably can't leave my hand on it for more than 3-4 seconds. Thank you.
    Does the upper part of the evaporator coil have a light layer of frost on it when it is running or nothing? Is the condenser fan motor behind the refrigerator running to dissipate the heat while the compressor is running?
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Doc Ryan View Post
    Does the upper part of the evaporator coil have a light layer of frost on it when it is running or nothing? Is the condenser fan motor behind the refrigerator running to dissipate the heat while the compressor is running?
    I would say sometimes a little frost on the upper part, but typically more like nothing. Yes, the fan is blowing behind the refrigerator.

    Thanks for your help!

  18. #18
    Admin/Technician Doc Ryan's Avatar
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    The entire evaporator coil should develop a light layer of frost across the entire coil when it is working properly. It sounds like you probably have a sealed system problem or a compressor problem. This type of repair will need to be done by a professional and it can be expensive to fix.
    Ryan

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