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Old 01-31-17, 10:05 AM   #21
Xringer
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Default Not crazy about working on this stuff!

Not the big Ice mass I expected.. Very little frost.. Used a heat gun on it (up to 70F)
and got about a teaspoon of water in the lower pan..
The heater coil looks okay on the Ohm meter.
I'll see if there is any problem with it in a while, after things cool down, I'll do another manual defrost..
I'll have the Kill-a-Watt on it, to see how much power for how long..
Since there is no frozen food in there, it's cooling down fast..

Later on that day:
It got down to about 25F and I set the defrost mode manually.
It ran at 408w to 420w for until the sensor opened after 13 minutes..
The compressor did NOT come back on, so it wasn't the timer that turned off the heater..
Again, I've advanced the timer to run mode and the freezer is re-cooling..
Putting the food back for now.

Should that manual timer advance 'screw' head slowly rotate as the timer motor runs?

I left it parked in a known position.. Trying to see if it rotates any..
I'm pretty sure it's dead.. But, I want to be sure before ordering a new one..
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V8X487E

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Last edited by Xringer; 01-31-17 at 12:19 PM..
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Old 01-31-17, 12:21 PM   #22
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Ok so it has a mechanical defrost timer. When you initiate defrost, a few things happen. The compressor and circulation fan should stop. The defrost heater should energize. With that rig, the evaporator has a defrost termination thermostat wired in series with the heating element(s). Bimetallic klixon switch like in a clothes dryer. Make / break window between 40 and 80 degF.

The defrost box is super quiet like an old school electric alarm clock. The only time you will hear it is when manually advancing it or when the contacts open and close. If it has stripped gears or a tired motor, it will not change modes like it should. So if you advanced it to defrost, it may not ever go back to cooling mode. Then again, it may defrost once and get stuck again in cooling mode. Defrost mode usually lasts half an hour, cooling mode a day or two. Most are wired into the box thermostat, so the timer only runs when the thermostat is calling for cooling.

What I do with these to check the defrost timer is easy. Once you find the "secret" knob, put a timing mark on it. If it makes a few revolutions in a week, call it good. Same thing with the ice maker motor. Just because it moves a little bit in a couple hours doesn't mean it is working completely.

Checking the heater can be done with the kill a watt meter. Advance timer to defrost mode and watch the watts. If there is frost, the element will run for more than a minute or three as frost melts and finds the drain. Once the solid stuff is gone, the heater will cycle quickly until time runs out. If the freezer section is still cold, you may see some steam like a defrosting heat pump. What happens when will tell you as much as poking wires with a voltmeter without taking anything apart.

EDIT: DOH! Should have refreshed my browser before posting! Had errands to run this morning, you already diddit.

Last edited by jeff5may; 01-31-17 at 01:21 PM.. Reason: spelling and such
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Old 01-31-17, 04:20 PM   #23
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Thanks for Refreshing my memory, of what I had just done.

I think my manual defrost cleared up the frost, so when I opened it up
this morning, it had not formed much new frost at all.

The "secret" knob has not rotated at all during the last 6 hours.
I've actually been checking it all day, to no avail. It's dead..
I ordered a new replacement timer and will install it next week.
In the meantime, 'Echo' will remind me to do a manual defrost every day.
Leaving the Kill-a-watt inline for now.
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Old 01-31-17, 04:36 PM   #24
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Is it staying cold now?
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Old 01-31-17, 05:21 PM   #25
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After you change the settings, it takes "24 hours" before you see any change..
The problem is still there as of right now. It's 42F, when it should be down around 35 to 38F.
If it's still staying in the low 40s tomorrow noon (after it's 9:45AM defrost),
I'm going to wondering if it's not just the timer, but the thermostat too..

It's 42F right now, and the compressor is on break.. It will start up later,
I think at around 44F.. I have to check the min-max reading..
It seems like something is bent, keeping it from getting down into the 30s..

These parts aren't cheap.. WHIRLPOOL REFRIGERATOR THERMOSTAT PART# WR9X517 | eBay

Maybe some insulation around the old t-stat, to make it cool down slower..

I'm going to close off the vent that controls the freezer temp,
(back where it used to be set) to make it colder up there..
That will make the compressor run longer, perhaps it will somehow become colder down in the lower compartment..?.
Having that vent wide open, might be causing the air in the fresh-food area to cool too fast, shutting down the t-stat too early.
I've cleared the max-min readings and will keep a close eye on it, to see if it can achieve some new lows.
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Old 01-31-17, 10:53 PM   #26
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The damper knob not completely opening or closing the damper is another common problem with temp control, but it controls freezer destination temp and fridge pulldown rate. More airflow causes less runtime per cycle and the resulting decrease in delta T between cooler and freezer sections. A blocked duct or damper causes a super cold freezer or a unit that runs forever to satisfy the thermostat. Too much airflow and your milk freezes when the icemaker is making ice. Most modern units have ducts that lead supply air to the crisper and beer section, as well as the main box, to annihilate stratification.

The twisty knob thermostat hasn't changed much in decades. The part number of yours will most likely cross reference to a couple that have been around forever. If not, those rare, discontinued NOS parts are like NOS vacuum tubes: the good ones ain't cheap.

Haven't heard much about compressor operation. It does what the thermostat tells it to. If you crank the thermostat to cold, you should be able to make slushy milk and freeze celery in the fridge box. If it doesn't run much, it won't cool much. If it runs a lot and won't get the box cold, you could have a bad door seal.

Since you previously indicated cold freezer temps, I'm assuming the cooling circuit is OK. Cleaning out the filth probably made the evaporator more effective at making frost. Meanwhile, the condenser is running cooler, lowering system pressure and preventing evaporator flooding/warming after compressor shutoff. The faster pulldown rate trips the thermostat faster, causing less overshoot. HMMMM...yup, that's about it for now.
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Old 01-31-17, 11:02 PM   #27
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Maybe one of these would work for you?
https://www.repairclinic.com/Shop-Fo...ermostat-Parts

Ask him if this one would fit.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from...67443&_sacat=0
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Old 02-01-17, 08:26 AM   #28
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Default Houston, do we have a problem?

I reset (pulled battery) the max-min display on the sensor at midnight..
At 8:30 AM, the min read 32F and the max read 133F..
(Milk is still okay).

At midnight, the dot on timer knob had moved a little, towards the
one o'clock position. This morning, it had moved to the 8AM position!

I wondered (aloud) if the timer is going to start working.. My wife said cancel the timer order..
Was the timer really broke, or just stuck.?. Need more coffee..
Reset and checked the max-min.. Trying again..

Currently the freezer is 3F and below is at 37F. A hopeful sign..

Got snow to clean.. It's only been a week, and it already stinks being 71..
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Old 02-17-17, 09:06 AM   #29
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Update: The defrost timer has been working correctly.
Maybe spinning it around so much with a screw driver cleaned it's clockwork..?.
And, the temperature measurements have been okay..
I just scanned them, and today they are marvelous!

So, we are going to put off buying a new fridge for a while..
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Old 02-17-17, 09:10 AM   #30
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Good deal. Always good to put off a purchase you weren’t planning to make.

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