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795.74023.412 Kenmore Refrigerator - first the icemaker leaked, now fridge and freezer not cool enough

carriemomof5

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
21
Location
Seattle
Model Number
795.74023.412
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
1-5 years
Hi, we got this fridge 4 years ago. For the last year or 2 it had a small but manageable leak in the ice maker, so every couple weeks I would remove the ice build up that would collect under the ice basket, and figure I should get it looked at, but never did. Right before Thanksgiving the ice maker leak became pronounced, with excess ice buildup in the ice maker compartment, water dripping into the fridge, and ice building up in the rubber lined vents. Occassional gurgling noises, which were new sounds, but other than that, normal fridge noises. We turned off the water to the fridge, and called a local appliance repair. He came Dec 1st, removed the ice build up, opened up some stuff in the door to look about, turned the water back on, but couldn't get the water to flow into the ice maker again, so he couldn't deterimine the location of the leak. He said we probably had to replace some cylinder or something, (I can't remember what part but it was $160) in order to get the water flowing again, and then he could come back and see where the leak was coming from. He thought it was probably in the door, which basically meant that the fix would be costly, and perhaps we would be content with using ice cube trays instead of doing the repair, since every thing else worked ok. He turned off the ice maker.

After he left, I turned the ice maker back on, and then ran the drinking water for a while. The ice maker started working again, water flowing, making ice, and actually no longer leaking. So I figured that the problem solved itself, maybe opening stuff up realligned some tubing or whatever. Fast forward to Dec 23rd, when the leak resumed. This time accompanied by fridge only cooling to about 50 degrees, and freezer staying at about 30 to 35. Some condensation in the fridge. Water dripping out of the vents with the rubber lining. Giant ice blob discovered in the freezer, sitting above that horizontal vent, extending sideways to the other vents but did not seem to be blocking air flow. I don't feel air flowing about the fridge. (obviously this was not convenient as we had guests arriving the next day and lots of food to deal with) Husband pulled the fridge out, turned off the water. Vacuumed the vents on the back which were dusty. Opened the back panel and saw that it was blinking with a code with 6 lights. He unplugged it from the wall, then plugged it back in, and the lights stopped flashing. No unusual noises, seems to be humming along, but just not getting cold. When I open the freezer and close it, I can hear that some motor shuts off when it is opened and resumes when it is closed again. We have the temps set for -4 in freezer, and 39 in fridge. The freezer is staying at about 40 now, and we are helping it stay cold by putting bins of ice in there so we can store milk in there. Fridge is at 55 to 60 degrees.

I texted the repairman and he says perhaps it is a problem with the closed system. I wonder if water has leaked out of the ice maker and dripped from the rubber lined vents, into the vents on the fridge side, and have plugged up normal air flow? There is a bit of condensation in the ice maker compartment. The wall behind the ice basket is cool.

Closed system parts are still on warranty, but does Sears even have the ability to honor that warranty? Would it be worth getting it check out? Is there a way to check if the vents are plugged with waterand preventing air flow?
 

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carriemomof5

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
21
Location
Seattle
We rechecked the circuit board panel, and there are no flashing lights. Two days ago the panel had a code with 6 blinking lights, but after unplugging the appliance and plugging it back in, the lights went away.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
44,793
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
The problem is in the sealed system. From your description I would say there's a refrigerant leak. The gurgling sound you hear is refrigerant boiling in the evaporator when it's low. Most refrigerators have a 5 year warranty on the sealed system but you'll need to check with Sears.
 

carriemomof5

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
21
Location
Seattle
Sears says there is no warranty and so I am wondering if the problem is worth fixing or will cost half the cost of a new appliance, so I ought to give up already.
 

carriemomof5

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
21
Location
Seattle
OK, the manual says there is a 5 yr warranty on parts for the sealed system, so I made an appointment with a Sears tech. Which was soooo aggravating as they tried to sell me all sorts of plans, and do maintenance on other appliances I wasn't even calling about.

At any rate, what is the deal with the water leak in the ice maker. I don't want to fix the sealed system and neglect the water leak in the door. How can I track down where the water leak is, and fix that?
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
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Messages
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The ice maker was probably thawing and refreezing. They are going to charge you for labor on the sealed system repair. Did they say how much?
 

carriemomof5

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
21
Location
Seattle
The ice maker was probably thawing and refreezing. They are going to charge you for labor on the sealed system repair. Did they say how much?
The ice maker had a minor leak for over a year. Water would drip from somewhere near the top, and collect at the bottom of the ice maker and the rubber seal would have ice there too. The basket would get stuck and I would have to whack it a bit to release it, then chip the ice away. The repairman said he thought the leak was coming from somewhere in the door, but since he couldn't get the water to start flowing while he was here, he assumed there was an additional broken part that would need replacing before he could find the water leak. and so that is an uresolved repair. And I guess now I have a separate issue with the fact that the appliance can't get cold. I can't find out what is wrong with the sealed system without $160 diagnostic appointment, and I suspect it will be too costly for having both repairs and I should just trash this beautiful, otherwise like new, 4 year old fridge. I figure if I can fix the ice maker leak, maybe I could investigate having the sealed system fixed. But paying for both is not reasonable. And I won't be getting a new one with an "in door" ice maker. Too much to go wrong with it.
 

carriemomof5

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
21
Location
Seattle
If after the $160 diagnostic appointment, we accept the estimate and schedule it, then the $160 will go toward that repair.
 

carriemomof5

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
21
Location
Seattle
I wonder what would happen if leaked water entered the air vents on the fridge side of the ice maker, the ones opposite of the ice maker. Where would water go, and what problems would it cause? because it was dripping out of those rubber lined vents.
 

carriemomof5

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
21
Location
Seattle
The tech who came for the ice make leak thought it was likely that the leak was coming from inside the door and would be expensive. He suggested we keep the the icemaker off, and use ice cube trays. I guess he figured we would basically need a new door. Can you buy a new door?
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Messages
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Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States

carriemomof5

Premium Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2015
Messages
21
Location
Seattle
How do you take the door apart and replace the foam assembly? Do you think that would resolve the water leak? How can I determine where the water leak is coming from? At the peak of the leak I was getting at least a half cup of water every few hours, dripping then freezing in the space where the ice receptacle rests.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
44,793
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
How do you take the door apart and replace the foam assembly?
Can't be done. The foam acts like a glue to hold the door together. Once the water lines and wire harness are installed in the door, the foam insulation is sprayed into the door.
How can I determine where the water leak is coming from?
Was the ice maker overfilling. The water valve might be letting a small amount of water get by leaking into the ice maker. Is it leaking now?
 
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