FIXED 106.52554100 Refrigerator/Freezer not cooling. Lights are on.

Kaityf

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Indiana
Model Number
106.52554100
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
6-10 years
A couple of days ago, my Kenmore Coldspot side-by-side quit working. I thought it might need some cleaning, so I started vacuuming outside the grill. I looked inside the grill and saw that the coils and metal grills in front of them are not just dusty, but full of cat hair. (The appliance is a second one I keep in the basement laundry room. My two cats live downstairs.)

I removed the outside plastic grill and tried to vacuum out the dust and hair, but I wasn't getting very far. I look a wire brush to it and that helped. But there are inside those pesky metal mesh grills. I did see another thread where someone suggested using an air compressor to blow dust out. If you know about dust and cat hair, you might guess that won't work very well.

Before I keep trying to clean the wire mesh in front of the grills that are next to impossible to reach, I want to know if that's really the problem. What else might have caused the unit to stop cooling?

The freezer half does have the ice and water dispensers, but they aren't hooked up to anything. I don't know that that makes a difference, but I figured it's best to point that out in case that's one of the possible problems this model has with cooling.

I'm guessing at the age of the unit because I bought it used. It *might* be more than 10 years old.

I would really appreciate it if someone could tell me what I can do to try to fix this thing.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Murray, Utah 84107, United States
If the condensor coils are packed with hair and dust it will definitely affect the cooling but it usually doesn't stop the machine from cooling completely. You can use a coil brush to clean the condensor coils and I'll give you a link but for now, can you tell me what's working and what's not working? Is the compressor and the fan next to the compressor working? Feel the compressor to see if it's hot or warm. You'll need to pull the machine away from the wall and remove the cover over the machine compartment. With the front kick plate removed if you have access to an air compressor, blow all the hair and dust out from the back.

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Kaityf

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Indiana
Thank you for your response. I had unplugged the refrigerator, so I will have to plug it back in. I'll also have to try to move the thing. It's big. And heavy. As soon as I get it moved and it's been on for a while, I'll be back to post answers to your questions. When I open the fridge, I hear something. I assumed it was the fan. I'll try to post answers tonight, but it might not be until tomorrow. I may need to find help moving the thing.
 

Kaityf

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Indiana
I plugged the fridge in. I'm sure the fan is working because when I open the door, I can feel the air coming in from the vent in the back. At first I thought leaving the fridge unplugged overnight "fixed" it since the air felt a little cool. But I checked it again a little later and it feels like room temperature. I also manage to move the fridge away a bit from the wall, but I'm confused about what to remove or how to do it. It looks like there's cardboard over the back at the bottom. Is that the piece I'm supposed to remove? Weird that it's cardboard. Anyway, once I manage to get it removed (it looks like it has a couple of screws) and the fridge has been running for a while, will it be easy to know what the compressor is? I assume it is large and easy to pick out.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Messages
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Murray, Utah 84107, United States
It looks like there's cardboard over the back at the bottom. Is that the piece I'm supposed to remove?....... will it be easy to know what the compressor is?
Yes to both questions. The cardboard back is important so be sure to put it back on when you're done. You're checking if the compressor and condensor fan motor is running:
MACHINE COMP.jpg
 

Kaityf

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Indiana
I got a friend to bring his air compressor over. He blew out the dust and hair. The fan is definitely running, but the compressor is quite hot to the touch.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Unplug the machine and remove the Relay/overload/Start Device from the side of the compressor. You may need to remove a bail wire. If your compressor has a relay/overload, measure the compressor windings. If your compressor uses the Start Device, shake it. If it rattles, it's bad.
Compressor Testing.jpg

Here's the compressor start device for your model you can order if needed:
Whirlpool 8201786 Compressor Starting Device Kit - AppliancePartsPros.com
 

Kaityf

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Indiana
Okay, I will try to check it tomorrow. Do I need something special to measure the compressor windings?
 

Kaityf

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Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
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Location
Indiana
I hope Rick is still around or someone else who can continue helping me. It's been a horrible year and I never had time to look at the stuff in the back of the refrigerator until today. I can't tell what is what back there, so I took some pictures. Fridge-back-2.jpg. I placed them from left to right. I'm sure I got everything that is visible. I'm thinking that the white thing on the left of the compressor is a start device. Would that be correct? I have to somehow detach it and shake it. If it rattles it's bad.

If it is the start device and it's bad, can I just replace it? If it doesn't rattle, then what?
 

rickgburton

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Messages
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Murray, Utah 84107, United States
I'm thinking that the white thing on the left of the compressor is a start device. Would that be correct? I have to somehow detach it and shake it. If it rattles it's bad.
Correct, It pulls straight off the compressor

If it is the start device and it's bad, can I just replace it?
Whirlpool 8201786 Compressor Starting Device Kit - AppliancePartsPros.com


If it doesn't rattle, then what?
Let's see if we need to keep going.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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103,278
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Thats Rick for helping Kaityf, I updated the parts link to help as well which has a access/replacement video for the compressor start device.

Here's the video:

[video=youtube;LJqBZeJXVss]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJqBZeJXVss[/video]

Jake
 

Kaityf

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Indiana
Thank you for posting that video! I was about to write to ask how to take that thing off as I was having trouble getting it off. If that starter device is supposed to be quiet when it's shaken, then it's a problem. It is definitely making noise. So I can order that part, put it in, and that should get the fridge working again? I'd like to order it today and get it by Wednesday. I see two day shipping is available. That would be such a great way to start the new year!
 

Kaityf

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Indiana
Is this the same part?
8201786 | Whirlpool Refrigerator Relay Overload Kit - Free Shipping | Bell Parts
I ask because it's in stock at an appliance parts store a mile from where I live. I could drive over there Monday and possibly have the fridge working by Monday night. It costs more, but it's about the same once I add 2-day shipping from the online store. That would give me some time to correct any issues I might encounter in case I have trouble installing it. I'd still be able to have a working fridge for the new year!
 

Jake

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It is definitely making noise. So I can order that part, put it in, and that should get the fridge working again?
Yup, then yours is bad. Yes, the new compressor start device will fix it.

it's in stock at an appliance parts store a mile from where I live. I could drive over there Monday and possibly have the fridge working by Monday night. It costs more, but it's about the same once I add 2-day shipping from the online store.
Yes, that's the same part, but at AppliancePartsPros even standard $6.95 shipping will usually get it to you in 2 or 3 days.

But yes if you need it more quickly by all means go there to get it.

Just follow the video I posted to install it, its very straightforward.

The main reason these fail is the condenser underneath the refrigerator is clogged with pet hair/lint/dirt.

Pull the front lower bottom kickplate grille off, just unsnaps, its easier to do with both doors wide open, then vacuum or brush the condenser coils underneath, or use an air compressor to blow the coils clean.

Its recommended to clean the condenser coils every 6-12 months.

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Jake
 

Jake

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LOL, sorry, I see Rick already covered the condenser coil cleaning with you back in February.:)

Jake
 

Kaityf

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Indiana
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!! I hope to have that old fridge repaired and running by tomorrow evening. It's okay about the cleaning. A friend of mine helped me clean it up last March, but it can stand another cleaning!

Thanks again for your help (including the video) and such prompt replies -especially since I had disappeared for 9 months!
 

Kaityf

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Indiana
I seem to have run into a snag. I managed to install the new starter device (and hope that the fridge will get cold), but I can't put the electrical cover on for two reasons. One, a wire on the left side has no place to go. There is no slot in the cover on the left as there is on the right. Two, the red wire is not long enough to reach up to the slot. There is no way to pull it through the slot. I didn't mess with it once I realized the wires wouldn't fit, especially since I wanted to be sure the fridge would now work with the new starter device. Assuming the refrigerator will now work, what should I do about that cover?
 

rickgburton

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Take a picture and post it here so I can see what's happening. There shouldn't be a cover and the bail wire is not that important as long as the start device is on all the way and seems tight.
 

Kaityf

Premium Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2014
Messages
15
Location
Indiana
The good news is that my "test" ice cubes are turning into real ice cubes. The freezer is clearly working. Fridge still doesn't feel very cool, though. Not sure how long it should take for it to get cool. Here's a picture of the cover half on. It was hard to get a picture because of the location and I couldn't get a picture of the back side, where there is a wire that isn't going to go anywhere. I think it's one of the white wires. One comes from the back and one is near the front. Hope that makes sense. You can see the red wire. That's as high as the red wire can possibly go. You can see it won't fit through the slot. There's no way, then to put a cover over those wires.
10.jpg
 
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