• Please note, some of the links on our site are affiliate links (Learn More)

Auto defrost not working - Whirlpool WRT148FZDW00

SunJoe200

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Canada
Model Number
WRT148FZDW00
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
1-5 years
I have a WRT148FZDW00 fridge, several years old. The auto defrost suddenly stopped working. However I can get the defrost heater to turn on in manual/diagnostic mode according to the service manual/sheet, by pressing the button in the fridge in the right sequence. So for now I have to defrost manually, every few days. When I defrost manually, the heater element is on for about 20 minutes then shuts off automatically and the fridge resumes normal cooling operation. As long as it's recently defrosted, the whole fridge (freezer and fridge) seems to cool properly.

Based on this I can rule out the heating element but don't know what to check next. Any help appreciated.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
134,371
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Yes, since you are able to manually force it into defrost and the defrost heater comes on that indicates the defrost heater and defrost thermistor and both working good, so the only other part left that would cause this is the control board malfunctioning.

Here's the control board for your model:
whirlpool-cntrl-elec-wpw10643378-ap6023580_01_m.jpg


RepairClinic ships to Canada: Control Board WPW10643378

Jake
 

SunJoe200

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Canada
Thank you. I forgot to add that when I go into forced/manual defrost mode, the heater seems to always remain on for approx 20 minutes - regardless of how cold or warm (or even hot) the evaporator area is. The defrost thermistor can be assumed to be ok?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
134,371
Location
Redmond, Oregon

Attachments

  • Tech Sheet - W10872127 - Rev A.pdf
    392.6 KB · Views: 76

murlocking

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2022
Messages
6
Location
Quebec
Hello, I have the same fridge but I am unable to enter service diagnostic mode.
I have the first light (D9) on, and I press the door switch the the button (SW1) simultaneously and hold them for 5 seconds (and more) but the LEDS never turn on.
I tried pressing the SW1 button and holding the door switch instead, but it's not working either.
Am I doing this correctly?
 

murlocking

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2022
Messages
6
Location
Quebec
I have a WRT148FZDW00 fridge, several years old. The auto defrost suddenly stopped working. However I can get the defrost heater to turn on in manual/diagnostic mode according to the service manual/sheet, by pressing the button in the fridge in the right sequence. So for now I have to defrost manually, every few days. When I defrost manually, the heater element is on for about 20 minutes then shuts off automatically and the fridge resumes normal cooling operation. As long as it's recently defrosted, the whole fridge (freezer and fridge) seems to cool properly.

Based on this I can rule out the heating element but don't know what to check next. Any help appreciated.

How did you get into diagnostic mode? Seems like no one was able to with this model, except for you.
Can you describe the steps you took ?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
134,371
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Hello, I have the same fridge but I am unable to enter service diagnostic mode.
I have the first light (D9) on, and I press the door switch the the button (SW1) simultaneously and hold them for 5 seconds (and more) but the LEDS never turn on.
I tried pressing the SW1 button and holding the door switch instead, but it's not working either.
Am I doing this correctly?
The tech. data sheet I posted in post #4 above tells you how to get into diagnostics, if it won't go into diagnostics, then that control board is the culprit.
 

murlocking

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2022
Messages
6
Location
Quebec
The tech. data sheet I posted in post #4 above tells you how to get into diagnostics, if it won't go into diagnostics, then that control board is the culprit.
Hello Jake, thank you for the reply.
I've noticed you suggested this fix to a few users, and so did other techs on other websites, but the customers never seem to be able to access the diagnostic mode after the install of the new control board with the revision 2.
This is the only post I've found that had someone with the same model as me and being able to access diagnostic mode.

I should probably start my own thread, but here's my problem...
I started to have food freeze in the fresh food section (refrigerator) a week or two ago, so I turned down the temperature control in the ff section but the problem kept occurring.
What I did next was changing the control in the freezer to minimum (Max, Recommended, Minimum) but I should have had it on the Minimum setting instead to send more air into freezer.
The reason I was doing that at first is because I thought cold air from the freezer was freezing my food in the ff section...
I also found my manual and it said not to leave it on Max or Minimum for too long, which I didn't know...
Anyway, like 3-4 days later I noticed my food stopped freezing in the fridge but my food in the freezer also started to melt...
So unsure what's going on, I raise the coldness setting from the fridge section (it control the entire unit) but my freezer never got any colder.
2-3 more days, past and my food at the front of the freezer is almost all melted and my meat is starting to thaw in the back...
I put all my foods in coolers and put them outside (winter temp) and start taking apart the unit.

First, the coils were kinda dirty so I gave them a good clean with a small brush and an air compressor.
Then, I started inspecting the bottom of the unit (with the coils) and found a small oxidation on the frelon tube going into the compressor (I think it's that). It' a small drip of green oxidation, not sure if that's a leak or something leftover from installation? Also, the compressor was really hot and before unplugging the fridge, I noticed the fan in the freezer was not running and a lot of hot air was coming from the vents.

Anyway, I also opened the top unit (freezer) evaporator fan cover (the plastic one) and found a block of ice had formed over the coils and the tubing in the top right section.
I wish I could describe it better, but it looks like the second image in the photo I attached, as in, only part of the coil were frozen with clear ice and it only seems to have affected one side of the coils (they were bent slightly, the fins).

I unplugged my fridge for 4-6 hours, waiting for the ice to melt and replugged. Waited 12+ hours, added water icepacks and some frozen foods to the freezer and place a thermometer in there.
After 4-6 hours, I checked on the icepacks.. none were freezing. I checked on my frozen foods and it was thawing, I checked the thermometer and it had only reach 0.2C. That was using recommended setting for both the fridge and the freezer settings. So I tried making the fridge colder and turned the coldness to 4 Snowflakes (almost max setting) and the freezer after a few hours was only at -0.3C and peaked at -4C.... obviously something is wrong and it should have been colder. Yesterday I unplugged the fridge again for 24 hours, and just replugged it. I will test the temperatures again tomorrow but I fear the unit is defective.

I don't know what else I can do, I don't have alot of knowledge when it comes to appliances...
I'm not even sure if it's still on warranty, my manual only mention 1 year limited warranty, but I've seen on the TV that a fridge should have a warranty of 5-10 years.
Do you know how I can know about my warranty? Should I contact Whirlpool and ask them to do the repair or contact a local technician ?

I also found 2 services pointers for this model... #W10849156 and #W10902061
One refers to the control board, and the other one to a piece of foam gasket.
Do you think the second one is worth investigating if that unit has been running fine for 3-4 years ?
I disassembled the evaporator plastic cover, but when I tried, I was unable to take apart/remove the styrofoam.
 

Attachments

  • Frost Patterns.jpg
    Frost Patterns.jpg
    194.8 KB · Views: 12

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
134,371
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Should I contact Whirlpool and ask them to do the repair or contact a local technician ?
Contact Whirlpool in Canada at 1-800-807-6777 to have a Whirlpool tech come out and see what's going on. If you could keep us posted on this, we would appreciate it.:)
 

SunJoe200

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2022
Messages
4
Location
Canada
Hi - I'm the one who posted the original question here. You must press and hold down the temperature setting switch (SW1) and door switch simultaneously for around 10 (or more) seconds. Initiate pressing them both at the same time - although it usually works even if one is a half-second later than the other. After holding down both buttons around 10 seconds, all 3 LEDs should light up to indicate you've initiated the diagnostic mode.

The SW1 on my fridge is finicky - it seems it sometimes doesn't register that you've pressed it, so I need to try again. It requires you press it firmly. Is your SW1 switch able to cycle through the fridge's 3 temperature settings normally outside of diagnostic mode?
 

murlocking

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2022
Messages
6
Location
Quebec
Hi - I'm the one who posted the original question here. You must press and hold down the temperature setting switch (SW1) and door switch simultaneously for around 10 (or more) seconds. Initiate pressing them both at the same time - although it usually works even if one is a half-second later than the other. After holding down both buttons around 10 seconds, all 3 LEDs should light up to indicate you've initiated the diagnostic mode.

The SW1 on my fridge is finicky - it seems it sometimes doesn't register that you've pressed it, so I need to try again. It requires you press it firmly. Is your SW1 switch able to cycle through the fridge's 3 temperature settings normally outside of diagnostic mode?

Thank you for your reply,

3 settings? Mine has 5 settings total, 1 snowflakes to 4 snowflakes and one max settings were all 4 snowflakes are light up.
I think you have a different control board than mine, probably the revision 2 which a lot of people (including a service pointer) recommend installing.


I've been doing exactly what you described but it hasn't worked at all.
I will try again, but since you said you only had 3 snowflakes on the control panel, I'm pretty sure it won't work on mine.

Would be nice to compare both control board, I will open the panel and take a picture of mine.
When you open the door of the fridge, on the top left there should be sticker, what year was yours made?

I'll post an update tomorrow, also will be calling Whirlpool Canada when they open up.
 

murlocking

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2022
Messages
6
Location
Quebec
@Jake
Follow-up.. called and they refused to do the service for free.
Told them to respect the guarantee that protect consumer in Quebec and they said they could only do so much and proposed that I should pay for labor and service call fee and they would replace parts that are outside the sealed system for free, so I refused because it was obviously a way to make me pay fully for the repair.
I sent a formal notice, and about 5 days later got a call from one of the high-level employee and they literally offered me the same deal and so, I refused again.
A few minutes later, I received an email with a service call appointment and an apologize letter from Whirlpool. They are covering all the fees.
Technician came to my house and noticed that the system was out of 'fuel', as he called it. He said the 'fuel' was barely reaching the coil and that's why my fridge or freezer was not getting cold anymore.
He ordered the part and said he would be back to change the entire unit in the freezer + add more 'fuel'.

He took apart the plastic cover inside the freezer, and the styrofoam so I was able to take a better look at the situation.
It appears that the leak was indeed in the freezer, but I also noticed burnt plastic (literally melted and bubbled, with a brown surface so it got really hot) and a lot of the styrofoam parts are melted away.
This was definitively a fire hazard and I'm afraid the melted styrofoam could be an isolation leak from now on, making the compressor have to work extra. I will definitively mention that to the technician and I'm thinking about opening a case in court for the potential fire hazard, plastic burn at a really high temperature... this is not something to take lightly.

Before the technician left, he didn't gave me any number or paper to confirm he came to do the inspection, is that normal? I completely forgot to ask him for a number.
I also told him about the service pointers and he completely ignored it. I'm planning on showing him on my computer next time, like literally forcing him to take a look at it because the diagnostic mode never worked after multiples (50+) attempts to enter it and that's obviously not normal. One of the service pointer had to do with a foam part that was supposed to be there, and I confirmed it wasn't there on my fridge. The other one is about the control board, like previously mentioned, tho, I haven't had the time to take the cover out and verify the revision # on my board.

He said the problem occurred because the aluminum is very cheap in those fridges and the freon corroded the pipes.

Hope I get my fridge fixed soon, it's been a real pain not having a fridge or a freezer for so long, it's been almost a month now.

Tech said it would take about a week to get that part (it was in stock).
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
134,371
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Thanks for the update, sorry to hear you were having so much trouble with Whirlpool Canada.

Before the technician left, he didn't gave me any number or paper to confirm he came to do the inspection, is that normal?
That I don't know, in the USA they usually do, I'm not sure about Canada law.
 
If you feel that you have benefited from this site, and would like to show your appreciation.
Top