106.7625463 Old fridge is like member of family, poor cooling shuts off

giwatcher

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Model
106.7625463
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
More than 10 years
Yes this fridge is 40+ years old, top freezer, made by whirlpool for sears/kenmore. 106.7625463. Never missed a beat except defrost timer years ago. Found the fridge off with internal temp warm in fridge and freezer, 56 degrees. Light on, no noise from freezer evap fan or condenser fan, no run state. Assumed totally dead, was unloading, and it started up again, sounded normal, cooled to 40 degrees in fridg as set, was about to check freezer temp, felt cold, and it shut off again, no fan noise, light on in fridge. Periodically checked, dead silence, a few hours later, back on, made it down to 45 degrees, then shut off again. A few hours later, it had started up again and was 40 degrees in fridge. Overnight it stopped, not running in am, temp 56. Seems to me that comp/relay would not do this. Also the dead silence of all fans when fridge seems dead, but fans running when alive, is like a power issue. It's as if the cold control was turned to off, or the defrost timer was stuck in the off position. I would really like to save the fridge as a matter of pride.
If the defrost timer is failed off, does the freezer fan still run? If so, then my silent fan eliminates the timer. If defrost timer cycle turns off everything except the fridge light, then I guess it's a possible issue. Would a bad on/off cold switch do this? If so, how do I access and check?
 

Dan O.

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Sticking thermostat contacts?

If the defrost timer is failed off, does the freezer fan still run?
The defrost timer turns the compressor and fans OFF together. However, when it fails it will usually either keep them off forever or never turn them off (ie. totally failing to go into defrost). It would be unusual for a defrost timer to produce intermittent cooling problems.

LINK > How does a frost free refrigerator's defrost system work?

Would a bad on/off cold switch do this?
Yes. Older thermostat can get what is often referred to as 'sticking' contacts. To check if this might be your case, when the fridge is not cooling but should be, gently tap (not turn) the temperature control knob with a finger. If the fan and compressor start right up, the thermostat mounted behind the knob is likely defective and needs to be replaced. It is a common failure point.

LINK > Kenmore 1067625463 Refrigerator Thermostat

Dan O.
 

giwatcher

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Thanks. I tapped the knob and it started. Now, I looked at the part pic you sent. How do I get access to replace? What is the plastic tubing for that is included in the pic?
 

Dan O.

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Careful with the thermostat capillary tube

How do I get access to replace?
I've never worked on that model. Someone will have to look at it. It's housing might be held in place by 2-4 screws. Once the mounting is removed it should tilt down to access internal components. The knob pushes on and the thermostat may be held onto the housing with 2 more screws.

What is the plastic tubing for that is included in the pic?
The tubing is an insulator for the thermostat's capillary tubing. Install it like on the original.

The thermostat's capillary line is a tube not a wire, don't crimp it! It can be bent but if a sharp fold occurs it will collapse the tubing and the control will be toast (i.e. scrap). A bent around the diameter of a finger or pencil shouldn't hurt it. The thermostat's capillary tube will need to be positioned like the original's was.

Disconnect power before servicing!

Dan O.
 

giwatcher

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Thanks so much, very helpful. I removed the housing like you said and can see the control and cap tube. The tube has the insulator on it. There are 3 spade tip wires, 2 for power and 1 ground. Does it matter which power wire goes where,
or is it just completing a circuit?

The cap tube is much shorter than the pic of the replacement. It fits perfectly in a slot on the back with no place for excess. If I coil it, I may not be able to make it tight enough to fit under the housing cover if the insulator is on it. Can I remove the insulator from the coiled part but leave it on the tube in the slot, so that the tube touches itself as it winds in circles? Does it create an electrical short? If not, what is the insulator for?
Many thanks for all the help and quick replies.
 

Dan O.

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There are 3 spade tip wires, 2 for power and 1 ground. Does it matter which power wire goes where
No. The power terminals are not polarized.

The cap tube is much shorter than the pic of the replacement.
It is a replacement thermostat. It is likely used on other models besides yours. Those might require a longer capillary length.

Can I remove the insulator from the coiled part
Probably.

what is the insulator for?
It's mainly so only the exposed part of the capillary senses the temperature and not its whole length, which might not all be in the air stream. A coiled capillary will not cause a short unless it touches power wiring.
 
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giwatcher

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Thanks to you, Dan, for the help. I was waiting to install to report back. In the meantime, I noticed a new issue. The freezer just became quiet, rather than a bit noisy. Disassembled freezer, 120 v to fan, but not running. Ohm'd the contacts, open with no reading. Fan died coincidentally, so I am delayed while ordering a new fan. I decided to clean the compressor and verify compressor/condenser fan running and get rid of dust. I was surprised to see no compressor/condenser fan. I checked the diagram and there is no pic of a condenser fan. I thought one was always present. There is full length tubing on the back and more below near the compressor. Does this function as air cooled, just curious? Have you seen this, I guess on older models, cause it is one less part to fail?
 

Dan O.

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Older style condenser

giwatcher said:
The freezer just became quiet, rather than a bit noisy. Disassembled freezer, 120 v to fan, but not running. Ohm'd the contacts, open with no reading. Fan died coincidentally
That's also a common failure. It is a bit unusual both would fail in close proximity but I guess they're both the same age. :/

I was surprised to see no compressor/condenser fan. I thought one was always present.
No. There are 3 types of condensers used on refrigerators; air cooled with a fan, 'static' like yours (like all older fridge models) and the condenser welded inside the wall of the cabinet like a chest freezer. The forced air condensers are more trouble prone as they require regular cleaning and their motor can fail. The other types have no moving parts.

There is full length tubing on the back and more below near the compressor. Does this function as air cooled, just curious?
The hot refrigerant travels through the condenser. The added heat there causes the air between it and the cabinet to warm and rise, creating a chimney affect. That air circulation removes the heat from the appliance. That is why spacing around that type of fridge is required. Forced air condenser models can usually be built in tighter spaces but plug up with dust, dirt and pet hairs, requiring regular maintenance.

LINK


The part under the fridge uses a bit of that heat to evaporate the defrost water.

JFYI

Dan O.
 
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giwatcher

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Thanks for another excellent explanation. I ordered an aftermarket fan. My luck I'll have to modify wiring. Does the power wire hook up matter/polarized? If reversed, does the fan run backwards? Should it blow in my face when turning, or should it blow inward? Thanks for the excellent help.
 

Dan O.

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Components on your age of refrigerator are A/C. They are not polarized. I do not know whether your fan sucks or blows. If you purchased the correct replacement motor, you won't have a choice which way it runs.
 

giwatcher

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Reporting back as promised. Yep, it's always something. I have installed a new freezer fan and the system cools properly except for the sticking cool control. Then I installed the cool control. I verified that stop and max cool positions are identical to the original, as is the control housing. Extra cap tube coiled out of the way. Insulator all the way to the tip of cap tube, rather than leaving the thermocouple tip exposed, because that's the way the original install was done. Verified with VOM that stop is open and all other points have resistance.

Turned it on and set dial at midrange just like the original. It cools down to 30 degrees fridge and -5 freezer and doesn't go off. The only way I can get a more reasonable temp is to turn the knob barely past on, which gives 42 fridge, 30 freezer and it seemed to cycle. I tweaked it barely past this point toward cold and got 34/-3. Optimal is 38/0. I never made it to the first number on the dial. The dial numbers have the same visible spacing range as the old control but are essentially useless.

I am still trying to decide if, when it cycles, its the defrost timer or if the new control has a super-compressed range, but is still feeding back to the control to shut off like it should. Have you seen this kind of defect? Best I can tell the cap tube isn't kinked, but would a kinked tube do this? You told me on an earlier post that when the defrost timer cycles, the compressor and fan both go off.

Do I expect when the cool control cycles that it shuts off the freezer fan also, or does the fan still run? I could use that to tell if the control cycled or the defrost timer cycled. Any suggestion or explanation for what's going on?
 

Dan O.

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I am still trying to decide if, when it cycles, its the defrost timer or if the new control has a super-compressed range,
The defrost timer is a clock. It will not speed up. If the off duration is less than 6 hours, it is unlikely that the timer is the cause. It will also not make the refrigerator colder than set for.

The new control's calibration could be out of whack. It doesn't happen often on a new part but if it was handled roughly at any point in its lifecycle, it could now be defective. If you purchased the control from the company I linked to, it should be covered by a warranty and a replacement could be tried.

However, before returning the thermostat for replacement I suggest you try removing the capillary insulator to see it that makes a difference. That should make the control more sensitive to temperature changes. If that fails, I might suggest trying a replacement thermostat.


Extra cap tube coiled out of the way.
"Out of the way" where??

The whole capillary length will sense temperature changes. As much of it as possible should be in the airstream being used to monitor the temperature. The capillary insulator could be used on any section not in the air stream to try to limit the temperature sensing to only the exposed section if it was found to be necessary.

Best I can tell the cap tube isn't kinked, but would a kinked tube do this?
Possibly. The control would only sense temperature with the length of capillary from the crimp to the control body. It may not sense the temperature where actually needed. In an extreme case, there might not even be enough gas left in that section of the capillary to still operate the thermostat.

Do I expect when the cool control cycles that it shuts off the freezer fan also, or does the fan still run? I could use that to tell if the control cycled or the defrost timer cycled
I'm afraid not. Both thermostat and defrost timer turn all fan(s) and compressor OFF at the same time.

.
 
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giwatcher

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My memory is that the Defrost timer is on a 12 hr cycle. I can get multiple "offs" in a 24 hr period, so the control itself must be cycling, yes? The problem is this only happens when the dial is barely past the off position. In midrange or anywhere close to midrange, it is telling the system to stay running, and the temp is 30 in the fridge and never seems to cycle off.

If the insulator is preventing the cap tube from getting cold, then it should run constantly no matter where the dial is pointing, it seems to me. Am I wrong? It is interesting that the control arrived with the insulator leaving 2 inches of tip exposed, but the instructions said to position it like the original, so I slid it to the tip.

As far as where it's coiled, there is limited option, so it is gently coiled past the control body and behind the plastic fridge trim cover. There is no other choice.The problem seems to be that the range is so super-compressed that a millimeter of dial adjustment goes from poor cooling and cycling to freezing and no cycling. Do you still think it is all due to the insulator?
 

Dan O.

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My memory is that the Defrost timer is on a 12 hr cycle. I can get multiple "offs" in a 24 hr period,
Sorry I misstated this "If the off duration is less than 6 hours". It should have read, "if the duration between OFF cycles is less than 6 hours it is unlikely the timer is responsible".

If the insulator is preventing the cap tube from getting cold, then it should run constantly no matter where the dial is pointing
The insulator could retard the thermostat's ability to react lower temperatures, resulting in the fridge running more and thus getting colder. It would not totally prevent the thermostat from sensing temperature.

As far as where it's coiled, there is limited option, so it is gently coiled past the control body and behind the plastic fridge trim cover.
That sounds Ok.

The problem seems to be that the range is so super-compressed that a millimeter of dial adjustment goes from poor cooling and cycling to freezing and no cycling. Do you still think it is all due to the insulator?
It is possible the replacement thermostat is out of calibration. I just suggested you try removing the insulator first to absolutely rule it out. That test is free and can be accomplished immediately without having to wait for a replacement part.

JMO

Dan O.
 
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giwatcher

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Found a setting for knob that cycles at acceptable temp, just past off. Decided to use as is unless further problem arises. Could not have succeeded w/o your help. Much gratitude!!!
 

giwatcher

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Thank you for your assistance. I now have another problem with a a new Kenmore elite fridge. I don't see your name listed in that section as a moderator. If you can and are allowed, could you look at my new post regarding poor cool, no ice? If you cannot, can you offer an opinion regarding: if the fridge/freezer temp is not cool enough, does the control board tell the inlet valve not to send water to the icemaker? Or should it send water and simply produce a small amount of ice since it takes longer to freeze a cube at 28 degrees than at zero?
 

Dan O.

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could you look at my new post regarding poor cool, no ice?
It appears Jake replied to your other post.

if the fridge/freezer temp is not cool enough, does the control board tell the inlet valve not to send water to the icemaker?
The icemaker used on most refrigerators have an internal thermostat that will stop a fill if the temperature is too warm, to prevent flooding. I don't know about on that model because it appears to have been made by LG which I have no experience with. Hopefully Jake can help you.

Dan O.
 
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