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Amana top freezer refrigerator TH21S3W freezer is too warm

leonce

Premium Member
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Georgia
Model Number
TH21S3W
Brand
Amana
Age
More than 10 years
I have a Amana top freezer refrigerator that gets too warm in the freezer section. Model is TH21S3W. I made a log regarding refrigerator and freezer temperatures for about a month.
Temperature settings on scale 1-7 (with 7 being the coldest). Refrigerator was set to 5; freezer was set to 4.
For most of June, refrigerator temps were 32-34 degrees F and freezer temps were 0-10 degrees F.
On 6/15/21, refrigerator temp was 35 degrees and freezer temp was 50 degrees.
On 6/28/21, refrigerator temp was 38 degrees and freezer temp was 50 degrees.
When the temp is out of range like this, I can hear a repeating sound in the refrigerator section. In the video below, I recorded the sound inside the refrigerator section towards the top and back of refrigerator:


Later, the compressor and fans will run and bring the refrigerator and freezer temperatures back to the normal range.

This Amana refrigerator was probably manufactured in 1995 based on the serial number. The refrigerant listed is R134a. So it's an old refrigerator. I can purchase a new refrigerator if I need to. But if it's something I can fix, I am willing to look at that option, too.
Do you have any ideas what the problem could be?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,756
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
That sounds like the defrost timer is possibly sticking on you and not coming out of the defrost cycle and getting too warm in the freezer.

How long does the compressor and fans NOT RUN while its ticking like that? Normal defrost TIME is about 30 minutes.

Here's the defrost timer for your model:
R0168027 Timer, Defrost


Jake
 

leonce

Premium Member
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Georgia
I can time it the next time I hear the ticking from the refrigerator (how long compressor and fans NOT RUN while it's ticking).
Thank you for your assessment. The Defrost Time is about $74. Since the refrigerator is about 26 years old, do you think it's worth fixing? Or maybe replace Defrost Timer and start looking for a new refrigerator?

I see a Frigidaire 20.4 cubic foot top freezer refrigerator on the Home Depot website is $737.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,756
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Since the refrigerator is about 26 years old, do you think it's worth fixing? Or maybe replace Defrost Timer and start looking for a new refrigerator?
Its your call, but usually you really don't want to start replacing parts in a over 20 year old refrigerator, as other parts are naturally wearing out as well, then you'll be nickel and diming it to death, you see what I mean?

Jake
 

leonce

Premium Member
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Georgia
Jake:
I will take your advice and not replace the defrost timer on this old refrigerator. Instead, I will start looking at appliances at local shops (Home Depot, Costco, etc). Thank you!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,756
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok, sounds good.:)

Jake
 

leonce

Premium Member
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Georgia
How long does the compressor and fans NOT RUN while its ticking like that? Normal defrost TIME is about 30 minutes.
I was in the kitchen today. The refrigerator's compressor was running, then it stopped. The ticking started. I used a stopwatch. When the refrigerator's compressor started again, 33 minutes had passed. I wrote down the temperature and time:

630pm, freezer temp 0 F, refrigerator temp 34 F--compressor and fans stopped, ticking started
703pm, freezer temp 46 F, refrigerator temp 40 F--ticking stopped, compressor and fans started
723pm, freezer temp 12 F, refrigerator temp 36 F--compressor and fans are still going.

I wanted to answer that question for completion's sake.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,756
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
The ticking started. I used a stopwatch. When the refrigerator's compressor started again, 33 minutes had passed. I wrote down the temperature and time:
630pm, freezer temp 0 F, refrigerator temp 34 F--compressor and fans stopped, ticking started
703pm, freezer temp 46 F, refrigerator temp 40 F--ticking stopped, compressor and fans started
That is very strange, it went from 0 degrees in the freezer to 46 degrees in the freezer while it was in the defrost cycle? Did you feel heat from the back panel inside the freezer the entire time?

Its possibly the defrost thermostat contacts are sticking closed and keeping the heater on all the time. The ticking has to be the defrost timer, that's all that is a mechanical clock that ticks in your refrigerator. So it seems you have 2 failing parts now.

Here's the defrost thermostat for your model:
whirlpool-thermostat-wp10442410-ap6005217_01_l.jpg


Jake
 

leonce

Premium Member
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
8
Location
Georgia
I was wondering if that information changed your assessment. This supports your advice not to replace parts on a 20+ year old refrigerator.
Thank you for your thoughts.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,756
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Nope, its convincing me more parts are naturally failing now, so its best to start over with a new machine unless you want to keep putting money into it, but there will come a time when other parts will become No Longer Available then you can't keep putting money in it, you know what I mean.:)

Jake
 
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