Circa 1972 Sears coldspot side-by-side refrigerator 106.7610562 - Is this the end?

perhellion

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106.7610562
Hi,

I have a circa 1972 Sears coldspot side-by-side which has been absolutely reliable for its 49 ish years - until last week. Seemed to suddenly be dead (lights worked). Had repair guy out and simultaneously read and watched everything I could online, so I know quite a bit more about refrigerators than I did last week. Simple turning of the defrost timer, and the fridge fired right back up. However, it also seems that my defrost heater has burned out. Both of these parts seem to be unavailable. I have located a universal defrost timer that says it works for many Whirlpool refrigerators which I believe my coldspot 106 is. Any one have experience with the universal timer?

What about the defrost heater? Is there any sort of universal part here? If not, how long does it take for the frost to build up enough to where it would need to be defrosted? Is it possible to do away with the whole defrost circuit and run the ridge as a fridge with no defroster at all? Of course , it will need defrosting the old manual way. I just hate to scrap and old fridge that otherwise works so well over what should be simple to replace parts.

Thanks
 

Dan O.

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The factory recommended replacement defrost timer for that model is still available and can be seen at the following link:

LINK > Kenmore 106.7610562 Defrost Timer # W10822278


The heater is going to be a problem. It is quite a specific design:

LINK > 106.7610562 Defrost # 548627


There might be a slim chance a newer style GE dual or triple radiant element defrost heater might work in place but wouldn't do quite as thorough of job. It might still need to be periodically defrosted and you'd still need to find someone willing to attempt retrofitting it.

One example of a dual element defrost heater of probably appropriate width:

LINK > GE SxS Defrost Heater Kit # WR51X442

(alt image)
LINK > Defrost Heater Kit # WR51X442


Unfortunately if the defrost heater is really needed, unless you can find someone with old stock of the heater still kicking around, it might be time for a new refrigerator. :(

JMO

Dan O.


*Edited links
 
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perhellion

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The heater is going to be a problem. It is quite a specific design:

LINK > 106.7610562 Defrost # 548627

Thanks Dan O. Link to heater won't work, but with part no., I found it. Specific shape indeed. I wonder how long it has been out, as the drip tray is dirty and looks like it has not seen water (melted ice) in a long time.
 
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Dan O.

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perhellion said:
Link to heater won't work

I'm not sure why. It works for me but I did just update it.

perhellion said:
I wonder how long it has been out,

Normally a frost free refrigerator will frost up to the point of not cooling properly in a week so, so it couldn't have been that long IMO.

Dan O.
 

Dan O.

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paulhl said:
a real weird one

There were some bazaar ones used in the past. They could be a real hassle to install, sometimes having to dismount the evaporator and get to the rear of it. Be careful not the break any refrigerant lines!


Dan O.
 

perhellion

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Running properly for 3 days. Where I can see little parts of evaporator, no more than slight dusting of frost even when not in defrost mode.
 

Dan O.

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The more humid the room air and more the fridge is opened, the sooner it will frost up excessively. Keep an eye on the frosting.

perhellion said:
even when not in defrost mode.

I don't know what you mean by that. The only time the evaporator should have frost is when not in defrost mode (ie. in cooling mode).

The only time it should defrost is if the heater was working or you've turned the fridge off for 12-24 hours to manually defrost it.

Dan
 

perhellion

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I think the defrost timer may be working properly. It might have been stuck by years of filth (it is mighty dirty) and freed up by the manual turning. If so, it will go into defrost mode,but will not have the defrost heater. Perhaps the few minutes of being out of cooling mode, coupled with the warm air under the 'fridge (it's dirty under there) might melt the frost.
 

Dan O.

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perhellion said:
Perhaps the few minutes of being out of cooling mode, coupled with the warm air under the 'fridge (it's dirty under there) might melt the frost.

If it was off due to the defrost timer, it would be off for a minimum of 23 min. up to 30 min. or so.

LINK > Appliance411: How does a frost free refrigerator's defrost system work?

The warmth outside the appliance has nothing to do with the frost inside the refrigerator. The cabinet is insulated from room temperatures. It is basically still a cooler even when the compressor is not running. Being off for a couple of minutes (even 30+ min.) without the defrost heater would not affect any frost formation on the evaporator.

If no frost is accumulating when running, there is likely a refrigeration system problem.

Good luck!

Dan O.
 

perhellion

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411 site very informative. Much better understanding now. 4 days now running normally.
 

perhellion

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Took about three weeks to build up significant ice (though not to the point of not cooling enough). Has anyone done a defrost heater retrofit? Is ,my repair guy going to look at me,as though I'm insane for even suggesting it? It would seem, when trying to fix old appliances, parts may no longer be available. Substituting newer parts might have to happen.
 

Dan O.

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perhellion said:
Has anyone done a defrost heater retrofit?

I know technicians that have done it on their own products, not for a customer.


perhellion said:
It would seem, when trying to fix old appliances, parts may no longer be available. Substituting newer parts might have to happen.

Depending on the part that is discontinued, if the part in question can't be repaired most often it is time to retire the appliance, unfortunately.

Good luck!

Dan O.
 

Old Fridge Guy

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Looks like good-appliance.com has the defrost heater in stock for $64.79. Part number 548627. Google "548627 defrost heater" and it should come up. Good luck to you!
 

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perhellion

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Seen that ad. Any experience with good-appliance.com? This is a used part. Thoughts?
 

Old Fridge Guy

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I personally don't have any experience with good-appliance.com but the part has a 90 day warranty and is, in my opinion, reasonably priced. It also appears to be in excellent condition. Not pitted or discolored from use. Ad says the picture is of the actual part. If it were my refrigerator and I had no other options to keep it running I'd go for it.
 
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