795.74049411 Kenmore elite poor cool, no ice

giwatcher

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tn
Model Number
795.74049
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
1-5 years
At 2 years I got a no start no cool situation with a display code for a bad condenser fan. Warranty service incorrectly ignored that code, replaced compressor, dryer and control board. No change. A different service person actually listened when I said there was a fan code, and even though the fan was running and quiet, replaced fan and problem fixed. Has run and cooled to 37 fridge and zero freezer for several months.

Now, reduced to no ice from door icemaker. No water in icemaker. Normal door water dispensing. I suspected the water inlet valve, but checked the temps, which are now 45 fridge, and 28 freezer, while settings remain at 37/0. No codes or odd sounds.

2 questions:
1) if the temp is not cool enough, does the board tell the inlet valve not to send water? 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?
2) Since the closed system has been violated and there are no codes, what is the likely explanation for poor cooling in fridg and freezer?
 
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Jake

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if the temp is not cool enough, does the board tell the inlet valve not to send water? 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?
Correct, it has to be 16 degrees or lower at all times to make ice and dump ice.

Since the closed system has been violated and there are no codes, what is the likely explanation for poor cooling in fridg and freezer?
Correct, have the tech. come back out to see what's going on, he/she possibly left a pinhole leak and the freon is leaking out very slowly.

Jake
 

giwatcher

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Thanks for the reply. A slow leak certainly makes sense, as does your explanation about reduced/no ice. There has been a development. The fridge is now 50 degrees overnight with no codes. Ice has dropped, possibly smaller and fewer cubes, but it still happened with the temp surely higher than 16.

I assume the ice compartment in the door is a mini-freezer, and my freezer temp was 28 yesterday, although I didn't check today. How does this fit with the expected shut off of ice/water flow expected with poor cooling? I would think this would not be intermittent if the temp remains constantly high. Any chance a bad control board could affect compressor cooling and lead to intermittent ice production?

The board was replaced with the first repair. I assume the condenser fan is ok, since it is new, and the last bad fan gave a code and shut down the fridge. Is there also a freezer fan? Could a bad freezer fan present this way?

My concern is, when service finally comes to check, if the refrigerant is low, that's the cause, and finding the leak point could be difficult. If the pressures are normal and no leak, where do we look to make sense of these events?
 

Jake

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All Kenmore 795 models are made by LG, LG has a bad reputation for compressor and sealed system problems.

You will need to take a photo or video of your evaporator coil so we can see the frost pattern of it, that's how we determine the problem.:)

Then you can upload the video to Youtube and post the Youtube link here. Or share your video per Google Drive, Dropbox, or Microsoft OneDrive and post the share link here.

Your asking good questions, but the problem boils down to the compressor and sealed system first.:)

Jake
 

giwatcher

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Thank you again for the quick reply. I have experience with old style fridg, but not the new electronic variety. I do not know where the evap is located or how to access it. I assume it is behind the freezer back wall, even though the freezer is on the bottom. I have been unable to figure out how to get all the drawers out if that's what's required. Can you advise?
I assume an abnormal frost pattern on the evap would suggest an evap leak, which would be a new coincidental leak. It seems the new solder area would be more likely. I am confused as to why you switched to wondering if there is an evap leak rather than a pin hole solder leak where the comp and dryer were recently replaced.
I would appreciate your opinion on whether the control board, also recently replaced, could explain intermittent ice production even when the fridge temp is 45 and the freezer is 28, since the board would be responsible for stopping the inlet valve from allowing water to flow if it might not freeze properly.
Also, here is the latest development. The fridge has returned, at least temporarily, to 38 degrees, control set at 37, and the freezer has dropped from 28 to 20. Freezer control set at zero, but it does not look like the freezer will go to zero. I don't see how a refrigerant leak could temporarily recover a fridge temp of 38, after being 45-50 for several days.
Is it possible the digital cold control is malfunctioning and causing sporadic temp changes and allowing the control board to occasionally call for ice? Just to add more confusion, even though the new temps of 38 and 20 are an improvement, there has been no ice production overnight, even though 2 loads of ice were produced with temp of 45 fridg and 28 freezer.
Thanks for your thoughts.
 

Jake

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Ok, your not understanding.:)

All freezers ever made are suppose to go to 0 degrees. The Normal temperature range for all freezers is 0 to 10 degrees(depending on where you prefer it on your temp set point). So if you have your temperature set at 0 degrees it should get to 0 degrees period.:)

If not, and you have no massive frost build up on the evaporator coil, then you have a sealed system problem. The sealed system consists of the compressor, condenser, evaporator, heat exchanger, filter/drier and refrigerant. Common problems with a sealed system are bad compressors, refrigerant leaks, and system restrictions.

Look at Page 15 here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fAn1lNphMq0Xqy65uWPxPrHNFc09Yd4x It shows you how to remove the freezer drawer from the freezer.

To remove the back panel in your freezer, watch this video: LG Refrigerator Disassembly Video

Remember all Kenmore 795 models are made by LG.

Jake
 

giwatcher

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Exactly. So what type of sealed system issue presents with a fridge temp fluctuating from 50 to 38, up and down at random,while the cold control thermostat is set at 37? Refrigerant leak that raises the temp to 45 can never recover until the refrigerant is replaced, right? Mine has recovered intermittently.When functioning properly, it had no problem reaching a freezer temp of zero, and fridge of 37.
Isn't it equally possible that an aberrant thermostat or control board could do this?
Service is coming andI want to be able to discuss intelligently.
 

Jake

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That's the $64,000 question.

I would need my refrigerant manifold gauges to find out, that's why you need that tech to come back that did your sealed system work.:)

What we use to do when I worked at Montgomery Wards is we would bring the refrigerator into the shop and give the customer a loaner, then we would put the sealed system into a vacuum and see if it holds for 24 to 48 hours if so then we would flush the system and recharge it and monitor the cooling temperature for about a week.

If the vacuum did not hold, we would test for leaks, very small pin hole leaks are 90% of the cause, so we would find the pinhole leak with an electronic leak detector, fix the leak, replace the filter drier, then vacuum out the sealed system, and recharge.

Then monitor the temperatures for a week.

Jake
 

giwatcher

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I appreciate very much your advice and the time you have spent educating me before the service call. I will report back. We got 3 batches of ice yesterday while fridge was 45 and freezer 28. Can you offer an explanation???
Can I assume that since you will not address my question about control board or cold control being responsible for erratic but warm temperature and intermittent ice production, that this concern of mine is not valid?
 

Jake

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I appreciate very much your advice and the time you have spent educating me before the service call. I will report back. We got 3 batches of ice yesterday while fridge was 45 and freezer 28. Can you offer an explanation???
Nope, that's a new one on me, maybe another tech. can shed some light on how it did that.:)

Can I assume that since you will not address my question about control board or cold control being responsible for erratic but warm temperature and intermittent ice production, that this concern of mine is not valid?
The control board and cold control only tell the compressor to turn on and run, if the compressor is running and its never getting to 0 degrees then its a sealed system problem.

If the compressor is not running all the time, but dead silent when it should be cooling, then your looking at a control board or cold control problem.

Jake
 

giwatcher

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Tech came, the one that did the work last time when the unit was fixed 5 months ago. Just returned from LG training session. My model does not automatically stop water flow to valve, or ice production, the way some do. Who knows why, but he was not surprised.

My model is dual evaporator, one freezer, one fridge. The video link you provided only covers access to the freezer evap. The tech said there was no need to check pressures because my complaint was covered in his recent training as a restriction in the fridge evap as a known issue. This means replace fridge evap, new, specially redesigned cap tube, drier, evacuate and recharge. He also says a new control board is needed because there is new software and no way to input new software to an existing board by usb port, which LG admits is unfair. Presumably, the new software would have shut down the unit and left a code. There were no codes at this visit. All parts have to be ordered.

Tech seems very knowledgeable, but not checking pressures with gauges REALLY bothers me, but he was insistent and convincing. I assume there is a low/suction pressure valve and a high side valve. Do you have an opinion as to whether he could distinguish a leak from a restriction using gauge pressures? If so, why not do it? What would you expect the normal vs leak versus restriction pressures to be?

It is still true that one time this week the temp dropped from 45-50/28 to 38/22. I mentioned this in an earlier post. This means fluctuating temps, rather than stable warm temps. Is it true that if I have a slow pinhole leak, that it would not be possible to all of a sudden drop the fridge compartment temp from 50 to 38 as if refrigerant had been recovered temporarily? Once the leaked refrigerant is gone, it's gone forever. Does this point to an intermittent restriction rather than a leak so that there is no need to measure pressures?

All repair minus deductible for diagnostic visit covered under extended warranty, but still, every time the sealed system is violated, especially in a new location, this seems to ask for a new problem down the road. Your advise is appreciated.
 
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Jake

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If pressure does not equalize, a restriction typically exists at capillary/drier.

Whenever you open up a sealed system to do repair work on it you ALWAYS have to replace the filter drier. In your first post you said the tech replaced the compressor, filter drier, and control board.

You also said it ran great for several months after the 2nd tech replaced the condenser fan motor. So that makes me think its possibly a leak rather than restriction, a restriction would usually cause the unit not to cool properly(or cool properly intermittently) from the time those parts were replaced.

I myself would see if it holds in a vacuum with my manifold gauges hooked up to the LOW SIDE for at least 24 hours.

Jake
 

giwatcher

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Makes sense. Unfortunately, I'm stuck, since checking with gauges was refused at the diagnostic visit. The repair is scheduled for 6/4/19. I will report back. In the mean time can you comment on the following:

1) Yes, the unit cooled fine for several months after the repair. But I do have fluctuating temps, sometimes 45-50, sometimes 38, but never 37 as originally. I do not have persistent high temps. Isn't it impossible for a leak with low charge to ever produce 38 sometimes, which suggests a full charge, and 45 other times?


2) Can a restriction occur spontaneously from a factory defect? Or is it from debris/moisture associated with evac/recharge? Can moisture or debris take a while to restrict, rather than being instant?

3) Since this unit has 2 evaporators, how does he know to replace the fridge evap rather than the freezer evap or both? He implied that it is a known LG issue, but that may be on a virgin system, rather than one that has been opened. Also, if the restriction is in the other evap, doesn't multipart replacement start all over again?

4) I realize refrigerant has to flow in a closed loop. If we start at the compressor/condenser, do we the move north from the bottom to the freezer evap and then further north to the fridge evap and then return? Is it reasonable to say restriction debris or moisture would settle at the northern-most point?

5) Can I expect the refrigerant, I assume r134, to be recovered for reuse, or expelled? If recovered, is that an opportunity to gauge the initial pressure, even if the unit is off?

Yes, I am beating my head against the wall. At least maybe I'll learn something for the next time.
 

Jake

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I know you're interested in learning all about sealed system leaks and/or restrictions, but there's too many variables to answer those questions. And we are not really a learning site for sealed system repairs, we help folks with basic appliance repair like volt/ohm testing fan motors, compressor start relays, defrost thermostats/thermistors, defrost heaters, etc.

Also I quit Sears in 2005 before they started making dual evaporator refrigerators, so my knowledge on them is little to none and I've had no training on them per classroom or hands on.

Rick is much more knowledgeable on dual sealed systems than I.

Jake
 
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