106.56666500 Kenmore Coldspot leaking/squirting *and* not chilling well

davidtg

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Jan 5, 2017
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26
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Model
106.56666500
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
6-10 years
Hi, all!

My Kenmore Coldspot suddenly developed a water leak; I came downstairs to find a significant puddle. I had no time to poke at it then, so I just shut off the icemaker water and turned off the icemaker switch. That's been a few months now and I'm finally looking at it for that as well as because it doesn't really chill well, freezing just fine but only getting the fridge down to maybe the high 40s (but I don't have a thermometer to check) despite being set for 33. Hmmmm, I says to myself... I wonder if the two are related.

I turned the water and the icemaker back on and pulled it forward and waited behind it with the cardboard panel removed. I noted some dust buildup and minor fuzz but nothing that looked like it would hamper cooling. Meanwhile ... Sure enough, I soon saw a small trickle of water and traced it up the water line to where it goes through the rectangular plastic plate at the top of the back of the fridge. I've narrowed down my leak, but I don't see how to get at & behind that plate.

Then the ice maker called for water and things got really fun: a jet shot out from the water line orifice on that plastic plate and didn't stop until I turned off the ice maker again! So I surmise that there is indeed something up with my icemaker. I don't know if that's related to the warm fridge, but this unit has previously done very well, freezing a bottle of water if you leave it at the back of the fridge for a few days.

Any pointers or ideas, starting with how I can even get into things to start debugging?


Thanks as always & have a great day!
 

Jake

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Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi David,

Let's start with the warm refrigerator section first.

Put your hand in front of your air diffuser vent in the top left corner of your refrigeration section, Do you feel good air flow coming out? If not then open the freezer door and see if the air flow comes out of the air diffuser vent much stronger.

If the cold air still doesn't flow out of the air diffuser vent very well both ways, then I recommend putting a small pocket screwdriver or pen/pencil in the diffuser while its running to see if full air flow comes out or not.

Here's the air diffuser for your model:
WP2216112 Diffuser


If the air flow through the air diffuser does increase when you open the freezer door, that indicates your return air duct is clogged with ice.

#4 is your return air duct louver that unsnaps here:
(click to enlarge)
K0410026-00002.jpg

Its on the left side wall in your refrigerator section, so you will likely need to remove the middle shelves and lower drawers to access it.

Clear all the ice out and see if that solves it. You can run hot water down and see if it flows out from the bottom vent in the freezer.

You'll need a funnel type device to pour hot water down it, Turn your refrigerator off first.

Open the freezer door before you do that, then as your pouring hot water down the return air duct you will hear it go through in the very back inside on the right side of your freezer section, the hot water will drain through the defrost drain hole in your lower freezer section, you can likely see it as well draining the hot water behind the back panel freezer vents inside the bottom of your freezer in the very back.

Let us know what you find.

Jake
 

davidtg

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Thanks, Jake! That sounds hopeful.
We just came home to an emergency job waiting in our email, so it will be a couple of days before I get back to this. Here's hoping it will be before Labor Day, though! Stay tuned; I'll definitely follow up.
 

davidtg

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106.56666500 Kenmore Coldspot -- not moving air

Hi David,
Hi again, Jake! I have been reassigned for the evening :)


Let's start with the warm refrigerator section first.
...
If the air flow through the air diffuser does increase when you open the freezer door, that indicates your return air duct is clogged with ice.
It looks like that is the case. Basically no air with the freezer door closed, and a nice breeze with it open. Furthermore, the act of opening and closing causes a burst, suggesting to me a closed system. Lookin' good! (well, except for the problem... :)

#4 is your return air duct
...
Clear all the ice out and see if that solves it. You can run hot water down and see if it flows out from the bottom vent in the freezer.
[snip]

I popped off the grating, and I see styrofoam behind it along with a gap. There is no ice buildup, though. Should I continue with the hot water run, or do we regroup?


Thanks again!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
99,171
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
It looks like that is the case. Basically no air with the freezer door closed, and a nice breeze with it open. Furthermore, the act of opening and closing causes a burst
Yup, sounds like its a ice/frost clog in that return duct.


I popped off the grating, and I see styrofoam behind it along with a gap. There is no ice buildup, though. Should I continue with the hot water run, or do we regroup?
REALLY??? It has to be blocked with ice/frost, that's all it can be. Yes, pour hot water down it and see if it flows all the way down to the freezer side vent, which is in the back bottom right side inside your freezer. Then you should hear that water go down your defrost drain hole and to your drain pan underneath your refrigerator.

Jake
 

davidtg

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poured and watching

Jake, et al --

Yup, sounds like its a ice/frost clog in that return duct.
I poured about a pint of hot water and heard a few "zzzt" melt-ish sounds and water running down to the pan. I never saw it in the freezer cabinet at all.


REALLY??? It has to be blocked with ice/frost, that's all it can be. Yes, pour hot water down it and see if it flows all the way down to the freezer side vent, which is in the back bottom right side inside your freezer. Then you should hear that water go down your defrost drain hole and to your drain pan underneath your refrigerator.

Jake
Yes, really :) And I do think we got good flow, so we'll see how that goes.

I checked the air flow and I *think* it's a bit better, but it's still noticeably different with the freezer open vs closed. I'll give it overnight to perhaps cool better and check it in the morning.


Thanks again!
 

davidtg

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Well, hey ... We have some improvement! I definitely feel improved air flow this morning, and the garden thermometer is down to 38. I'll try another flush!
 

Jake

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There you go David, your making progress.:)

Jake
 

davidtg

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Hi again, all.
Although I had had air flow and the hot water poured right through, there must have been something frozen, because the fridge has been cold since then. Go figure.
Unfortunately, I *still* have been dealing without an ice maker because I just haven't had time to go back and test. I have a chore reminder on my calendar that I just keep sliding to the future because of other fires to have to put out...
And, hey, speaking of fires, I have another one today! *sigh*

Thanks to Jake and everyone for all of the help, though :) I'll get back to this one of these days!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
99,171
Location
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Although I had had air flow and the hot water poured right through, there must have been something frozen, because the fridge has been cold since then.
Fantastic!

I *still* have been dealing without an ice maker because I just haven't had time to go back and test.
Thanks to Jake and everyone for all of the help, though :) I'll get back to this one of these days!
Your welcome David, when you get back to it, we will be here.:)

Jake
 
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