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Thread: Kenmore Elite refrigerator not cooling, buzzing, compressor warm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Raleigh, NC
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    Default Kenmore Elite refrigerator not cooling, buzzing, compressor warm

    Model Number: 106.54606300
    Brand: Sears Kenmore
    Age: 6-10 years

    8 year old fridge. Started buzzing louder than normal in the last day or two.

    This morning I found ice melting out the icemaker dispenser. Freezer at 42 degrees on top shelf, with food clearly thawing in lower areas, Fridge at 52 on top.

    Unplugged, let it rest for 5 minutes and plugged back in. Buzzing noise restarted after a few seconds.

    Took off rear access panel. Fan and compressor are both running continuously. Compressor is warm. Light dust on one side of the rear bank of coils.

    Buzzing noise seems to be coming from the fan side, but I'm not positive about that. It does not sound like the periodic clicking that describes a bad start relay, but does remind me of the noise that HVAC condenser units make when a capacitor goes bad.

    I took off the front grill. I found the front bank of coils 100% covered and blocked with heavy coating of dust. Middle banks look OK, but its hard to see well in there. I got what I could see pretty well cleaned out with a vacuum. I have left it running with the front grill and rear panel removed, and an extra floor fan blowing into the front to try and accelerate recovery (if recovery is going to happen)

    Questions:

    A) Is it likely that blocked coils would result in extended running and failure to cool?

    B) Is it likely that cleaning them will alleviate the problem?

    C) Is it likely that I have a deeper cooling problem based on these symptoms? Any recommendations on next steps?

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    Murray, Utah, United States
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    Unplug the refrigerator. Remove the start device or relay/overload from the compressor. Shake it and see if it rattles. If it does, it's bad.
    OWNER RICK'S APPLIANCE REPAIR
    APPLIANCE TECHNICIAN FOR 29 YEARS
    REFRIGERATION SPECIALIST
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  3. #3
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    McMullen Valley, Arizona
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    Yes, I agree with Rick.

    Sounds like your compressor start relay device is out.

    Here's our main thread on this issue that you can read and check yours to see if when you shake it, it rattles, if it rattles its bad.:
    [FIXED] How to replace a (Whirlpool/Kenmore Model 106) Refrigerator Start Relay

    Here’s the compressor start device relay for your model you can order here if needed:
    Manufacturer part number 2319792 is RepairClinic item number 1195945


    Ohm testing it for continuity would be even better.

    Jake
    Appliance Repair School 1987-1988
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    Sears Appliance Tech. 4 yrs. 2001-Oct. 2005
    Jake's Appliance Repair Nov. 2005-present

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  4. #4
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    May 2010
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    Raleigh, NC
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    Default

    Thanks guys - awesome.

    There's a slight rattle - I wouldn't exactly call it maraca-like, but there is something loose. What's the add-on part hanging on the stem of mine?
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	kenmore_start_relay_1 (Custom).jpg 
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    Ohm test the start relay or ohm test the compressor itself? Not getting any connectivity at all among the 3 ports on the relay itself.
    Last edited by jeffonc; August 21st, 2011 at 11:08 AM.

  5. #5
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    It's bad. Once you replace it everything will be working like new.
    OWNER RICK'S APPLIANCE REPAIR
    APPLIANCE TECHNICIAN FOR 29 YEARS
    REFRIGERATION SPECIALIST
    ONLINE SERV TECH: ApplianceBlog.com
    CERTIFIED TYPE 1; TYPE 2.....REFRIGERATION SERVICE E.S.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Ohm test for connectivity was good across any of the 2 prongs on the compressor.

    I replaced the start relay, kept the same plug-in capacitor.

    The compressor is definitely humming - I unplugged the fan just to make sure it wasn't the fan motor buzzing.

    Room temp air coming through the system. The copper tubes running in and out of the compressor are all room temp also - none hot, none cold.

    I fear she's a goner...

  7. #7
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    How long has it been running since you replaced the relay/overload?
    OWNER RICK'S APPLIANCE REPAIR
    APPLIANCE TECHNICIAN FOR 29 YEARS
    REFRIGERATION SPECIALIST
    ONLINE SERV TECH: ApplianceBlog.com
    CERTIFIED TYPE 1; TYPE 2.....REFRIGERATION SERVICE E.S.

  8. #8
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    I only gave it a few minutes. less than 10.

  9. #9
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    lol...Let's give it a couple hours before you start making funeral arrangements.
    OWNER RICK'S APPLIANCE REPAIR
    APPLIANCE TECHNICIAN FOR 29 YEARS
    REFRIGERATION SPECIALIST
    ONLINE SERV TECH: ApplianceBlog.com
    CERTIFIED TYPE 1; TYPE 2.....REFRIGERATION SERVICE E.S.

  10. #10
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    If you feel the condensor coils, the ones under the refrigerator, they should be getting warm.
    OWNER RICK'S APPLIANCE REPAIR
    APPLIANCE TECHNICIAN FOR 29 YEARS
    REFRIGERATION SPECIALIST
    ONLINE SERV TECH: ApplianceBlog.com
    CERTIFIED TYPE 1; TYPE 2.....REFRIGERATION SERVICE E.S.

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