FIXED ED5CHQXKB01 Whirlpool Fridge - Freezer too cold (freezes food solid), seems to run continuously.

appbij

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Model Number
ED5CHQXKB01
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
More than 10 years
We have a Whirlpool 2 sided fridge model: ED5CHQXKB01 manufacture date: 05-02. Recently the food in the freezer compartment freezes solid (example: ice cream gets as hard as rock). Also noticed that the fridge seems to be running continuously without ever being stopped. I cleaned the condenser fins under the fridge which were quite dusty, cleaned the evaporator drain inside the fridge, and took out the damper control assembly that sits between the fridge and freezer and has a knob that controls the freezer temperature so that it now rotates freely and has no ice build up inside of it.

The fridge section is not as cold as it used to be and I am afraid that one of these days it will not be cold at all. Checking on line it seems one possible faulty component can be the thermostat and/or its bulb which I think is all one unit, this is a fairly expensive part and I am not sure if that is the problem. Can some of you guys direct me on how to proceed with this repair?

One more question: I read on line that every fridge should have a wiring and schematic diagram at the back of it but I did not see such diagrams at the back of this fridge, although there were 2 pieces of paper shoved into the condenser air inlet plastic screen. One showed the ice maker diagram and the other one was a wiring diagram of the fridge but no schematic diagram. Are these papers a substitute for both the wiring and schematic the diagrams that should have been at the back of the fridge.
 

rickgburton

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appbij

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Thank you for your speedy reply. The 2 sheets I mentioned in the original post were stuffed into the bottom grille like one of the pictures you posted so I guess that is all there is to that and no schematic diagram just a wiring diagram.
Also thank you for the link to the part that you think is needed. I actually looked that part up on the same website myself. My question is how can I verify that this part is actually bad so that I don't spend $75+ dollars only to find out that was not the bad part and there is other issues? Are these thermostats common parts to go bad? Is there a way to temporarily rig this part or bypass it to make sure it is bad before ordering a new part? Why did it go bad, could it go bad again if what made it go bad is not fixed?
Thank you.
 

appbij

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I also like to know WHY this condition is created so if you can describe it technically that would be much appreciated. I am familiar with the basics of refrigeration. I assume the thermostat in the fridge going bad or its temperature sensing bulb are casing the fridge compressor, condenser fan, and evaporator fan inside the fridge to be on all the time. This condition presumably causes the evaporator to freeze and that in turn causes extremely low temperatures inside the freezer. But why is the fridge section is also not colder but is instead warmer? The fridge damper that I took out and cleaned seems to be like a window between the fridge and the freezer where the evaporator fan blows cold air right through it and that seems to be the mechanism by which the temperature of the freezer is adjusted. With the freezer colder than normal I would have imagined that the fridge would also be colder since the little evaporator fan would be continuously blowing cold air into the fridge section? But this is not so and the exact opposite is happening with fridge being warmer rather than colder. What am I missing?
 

rickgburton

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Check the air diffuser from the freezer side for any frost or ice build up. Check if the louvers are open or closed in the diffuser. The control for the diffuser is mechanical. If it breaks only one louver will open and close. If there's ice or frost blocking the air flow or if the louvers are stuck in the closed position there wouldn't be any airflow across the cold control capillary. The cold control wouldn't be satisfied and would keep calling for cooling causing the compressor to run continuously. That could cause the freezer temperature to go as low as -20°F.
 

appbij

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Thanks for your reply. I checked the air diffuser operation again. The air flows through it and it is not iced up (I had cleaned it once) and the mechanical louvers move. One strange thing I noticed though is that if the freezer door is open air is flowing through the diffuser and into the fridge, but as soon as I close the freezer door the air flow stops completely and I don't feel any air through the diffuser into the fridge. I pushed the light switch thinking that is how the system knows the freezer door is closed but that does not make any difference. Why the fan stops blowing air through the diffuser when the freezer door is closed? How does the system knows that the freezer door is closed to stop the fan? When does the evaporator fan suppose to come on?
 

rickgburton

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Check the return air duct is not blocked with anything. Check for frost or ice in the return duct (FF compartment lower left side).
appbij said:
How does the system knows that the freezer door is closed to stop the fan?
You mean, to start the fan. By the freezer door switch. The evap fan turns on whenever the control is calling for cooling.
 

appbij

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Thank you for your reply. First what is FF compartment? What is the FF abbreviation for?
I will explain once more what I described in the previous messages: If the big door for freezer side of the fridge is open then the fan that blows through the diffuser works, as soon as the freezer door is closed the fan blowing through the diffuser stops. I know this because I can feel air flow through the diffuser by my hand. I feel cold air blowing through the diffuser as long as the freezer door is open, as soon as I close the freezer door I no longer feel the cold air blowing into the diffuser and onto my hand.

So my question was how does the system know that the freezer door is closed? I thought the system knows this by monitoring the light switch that is operated by the freezer door but that is not the case. If I push the light switch with freezer door open that does not turn the fan off. Something else must be telling the system about the freezer door being closed.

Is it even normal for the fan that blows through the diffuser to stop once the freezer door is closed?

The only other thing that I see on the freezer door that may tell the system something about this situation is the ice and water dispenser.
You mean, to start the fan. By the freezer door switch.
Yes this is exactly what I mean. It seems the evaporator fan comes on/off by me opening and closing the freezer door.
The evap fan turns on whenever the control is calling for cooling.
If the above is correct then it seems the control is calling for cooling when the freezer door is open and then once the freeze door is closed it stops the fan. But how does the system knows that the freezer door is opened and shut, I don't see anything for it?

I made the following 2 videos to clarify.
The first one shows the air flow through the diffuser: when I open the freezer door the air blows through the diffuser and the ribbons move, when I close the freezer door the air flow through diffuser stops immediately and the ribbons stop moving.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CVYOoMgVJPzFFZv5dW0p-TVf6VqGgB1L/view?usp=sharing
The second video shows something that I have not asked before but seems might be related to what you mentioned regarding "Check the return air duct is not blocked with anything. Check for frost or ice in the return duct (FF compartment lower left side)." This lower part of the fridge is iced up and I don't know where to look for the cause, or what is causing this situation.
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1fLzSUmcrtcs3DaiNqL-UT7dwVG4kmn-N/view?usp=sharing
 

Jake

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FF means Fresh Food compartment.

#4 here is your return air duct louver that unsnaps:
On the left side wall in your (FF)refrigerator section, so you will likely need to remove the middle shelves and lower drawers to access it FULLY.

Clear all the ice out and see if that solves it. Also its best to run hot water down it and see if it flows out from the bottom vent inside the freezer.

--->(behind the back panel in the freezer, very back bottom right side is that vent you should see your hot water running out from.)

Jake
 

appbij

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Searching online I found this little advice on another site:
"Check the air flow again coming out of the diffuser and while checking it, open the freezer door. If the air flow increases, it indicates the return air vent is restricted (usually frozen). First check if anything is in front, blocking the return air vent in the refrigerator. If nothing is there, then it indicates the vent is iced up. In this case, turn the unit off for a few hours to allow it time to thaw. Air leaking inside can cause this type of problem. Check the doors to make sure they are sealing good. I hope this will help you."
This seems to be the exact situation I am dealing with. I still don't have an explanation why this is happening with the freezer door appearing to control the fan operation but everything matches the above description, with the ice build up on the return vents. I plan to defrost the return vents and then see if refrigerator is cooling as it should and the freezer is no longer over cooling.
If anyone has advise on how to best defrost the return vents please let me know. Thanks.
 

rickgburton

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appbij said:
I still don't have an explanation why this is happening with the freezer door appearing to control the fan operation
OK my friend, this isn't rocket science and I've already explained this in the last 10 posts so pay attention:

When the compressor is running, the evaporator fan motor will also be running. Power for the evap fan motor runs through the freezer door switch. The door switch is actually two switches, a normally closed switch, and a normally open switch. The switch changes state when pressed in. When the door is open the door switch is in its normal state. The lights are connected to the normally closed part of the switch and the lights turn on. The fan is connected to the normally open part of the switch so the fan circuit is open. When you close the door and the switch is activated, the normally closed part of the switch changes state to normally open and the lights turn off. The normally open part of the switch changes to normally closed and the evaporator fan motor circuit is complete. The evap fan turns on.

The evaporator fan pulls the air in through the bottom vents in the evaporator cover, across the coils then pushes it back into the freezer section and through the diffuser into the fresh food section. The freezer being colder is at a lower pressure than the fresh food section and airflow, much the same as electricity, will flow in the path of least resistance. If the return vent is blocked all the air coming from the evap fan is going into the freezer section. When you open the doors you've created a return vent, out the FF door and in the FZ door.
 

appbij

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Thank you for your response. I cleaned the fridge section lower half today. This included the air duct louver as well as a small opening below it that directs freezer air into the lower bin of the fridge. I had to clear ice from evaporator drain again. I flushed hot water through the removed air duct louver opening and it now drains well through the evaporator drain and into the lower pan under the refrigerator.

After the above cleaning now I feel air flow through the diffuser near the top of the fridge section as well as through the air duct louver and the little opening by the lower bin. But this is NOT the flow created by the evaporator fan, it seems to be just the normal movement of hot air with cold air which in a normal phenomena, like the way wind is created. The evaporator fan still turns on when the freezer door is opened and stops when the freezer door closes. I think this maybe normal for this fridge. Once the fridge has had time to normalize I will check the food in the freezer to see if they are cooled to normal freezer temperature and also check the food in the fridge compartment to see if they now are colder like they used to be. If everything works normally once I do these checks then I will consider the evap fan operation to be normal, otherwise I will then have to hunt down why the evap fan seems to be working the opposite of what you describe in this post.

When you close the door and the switch is activated, the normally closed part of the switch changes state to normally open and the lights turn off. The normally open part of the switch changes to normally closed and the evaporator fan motor circuit is complete. The evap fan turns on.
In this fridge the opposite of the above is happening for the evap fan; that is, when the freezer door is opened the fan comes on, when freezer door is closed the fan shuts off. I showed this in the video I posted (although I did now show the freezer door being opened and closed). I will make another video later that will show the freezer door as well as the evap fan so that it is clear what is happening.
 

rickgburton

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If the fan turns on when the door is open what are the lights doing? Do they turn on when the door is closed?
 

appbij

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The lights work normally. When the freezer door is opened the lights come on and when the freezer door is closed the light turn off (I know this because I can push the switch with the freezer door open and the lights go off, so I know that when the freezer door closes then the lights turn off). The lights on the fridge side also work normally.

The freezer light switch does not seem to control the evap fan. Pushing the light switch in or letting it pop out does not have any effect on the operation of the fan. After reading your post the thought came to me that perhaps the system uses both the fridge and freezer light switches to control the evap fan. But after testing that theory it does not seem to hold either. The light switches, both the freezer and the fridge, don't have any effect on the operation of the fan. So I am still a bit puzzled how the fridge senses that the freezer door is open to turn the fan on.

Now that several hours has passed from cleaning I described earlier, both the fridge and the freezer seem to be working nearly normally. The fridge is noticeably cooler and the freezer seem to have become less cold (the ice cream that was rock hard is now softer and about the normal consistency of what ice cream should be). So I think the system is nearly fixed or is completely fixed. The freezer dial is still at the warmest setting but if I see that the freezer is now fixed I will move it back to center, if not then there maybe other issues.

Also this fridge is suppose to be self defrosting so not sure why it did not work as it should have. Although it is possible that the defrosting mechanism is not as well designed and may occasionally need some helping hand. Any tips why the system did not work as intended? Is this defrosting now a task that needs to be performed periodically? Also I just thought that perhaps the system might have been overwhelmed due to something simple like the fridge and freezer doors being opened too much and this overwhelming the system causing ice build up which then took the system out of the "regular" loop of defrosting that it was designed for.

Thank you for your help.
 

rickgburton

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appbij said:
It seems the evaporator fan comes on/off by me opening and closing the freezer door......and then once the freeze door is closed it stops the fan.
Sounds like a bad door switch but it's not. I was able to locate a wiring diagram for a similar model and the power for the evap fan does not go through the freezer door switch so opening and closing the door will have no effect on the evaporator fan motor. I can simplify that a little more. Your refrigerator is a basic analog system. Supply voltage for the evaporator fan, condensor fan and compressor goes through the cold control and defrost timer. The compressor and fans will be on as long as the cold control is calling for cooling (contacts closed). Opening or closing the doors should have no effect on anything except the lights. Now, let's go back to that cold control in my original diagnosis. On that style analog cold control it's common for the contact points to become burned and pitted and they stop making a good contact. Often bumping the machine or opening and closing the doors is enough to make the connection. The contacts in the cold control can fail two ways, not making a good connection or stuck/welded together. From your last post we now have some new information I wasn't aware of.
appbij said:
Also this fridge is suppose to be self defrosting so not sure why it did not work as it should have
If you have a defrost issue that changes everything. If the coils are packed with frost, there's no airflow across the coils. What makes you think the self defrosting is not working? You said after cleaning it's cooling better. What did you clean?
appbij said:
So I think the system is nearly fixed or is completely fixed.
You haven't fixed anything yet and these machines can't fix themselves. I don't think opening and closing the doors is turning the evap motor on or off. It's affecting the airflow making you think the fan motor is turning on and off. Remember that return duct we talked about and if it was blocked the airflow wouldn't make it into the fresh food section? If you have a defrost problem and the evaporator coils were packed with frost, you would have the exact same symptoms as if the return duct is blocked. Here's what I think is happening. Your original problem is probably a defrost issue. During the time you were "cleaning" you most likely had the machine unplugged and the doors open. This caused the frost on the coils to start melting and you got better airflow now. It won't take very long before the same thing happens again. A couple hours with the door open and the machine unplugged is not enough time to completely defrost the coils. Take the evaporator cover off while the machine is still plugged in and running and check for any frost build up in the coils. You should be able to see the fan motor running also. If you're not sure post a picture of the coils so I can take a look. If there is in fact frost in the coils we'll troubleshoot a defrost problem.
 

appbij

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Thanks for your reply.
The fridge was working nearly good after the cleaning I outlined previously. Here is what I wrote previously:
I cleaned the fridge section lower half today. This included the air duct louver as well as a small opening below it that directs freezer air into the lower bin of the fridge. I had to clear ice from evaporator drain again. I flushed hot water through the removed air duct louver opening and it now drains well through the evaporator drain and into the lower pan under the refrigerator.
The freezer was still colder than it should have been but it was near normal also.

Then to make things work a little better I decided to remove and clean the diffuser again. I took the diffuser out and cleaned it well especially its sponge type gasket which could store water and ice up and not seal as well. Then I was putting everything back with the fridge plugged in when all of a sudden the fridge stopped working. I should have waited because I am sure the fridge would have come back and worked normally, it was just the auto shut down kicking in. But in my haste I condemned the cold temperature thermostat thinking the little sensing bulb was damaged as I was bending it to put it back around the diffuser. I took the thermostat out and then took it apart and I could not put it back together as small pieces came out with springs. I was worried about food spoilage and so had to move food to out other fridge. I ordered a new thermostat which should be here in a few days so if your theory about the thermostat contacts being jolted and causing unintended on/off of the fridge then it will be replaced shortly. Come to think of it maybe you are right and maybe it was the fidgety contacts of the thermostat that suddenly shut the fridge off.

As for defrosting of this system, to be honest I am not 100% sure as of now if this fridge is self defrosting. I just assumed that. Previously I did take off the evaporator cover and to me it did not seem to have excessive ice or frost and since after the cleanup the fridge was nearly back to normal I doubt if the evaporator is excessively frosty.

Right now I jumped across the contacts of the thermostat wires and the fridge is working all the time. If I see it is getting too cold I may have to shut it down. It will stay this way till the new thermostat is here at which point I will put it in and check the fridge operation to see if it works normally.

I have also managed to put the old thermostat back together (hopefully correctly). While I was putting it back together I noticed that there is an adjustment on it between the 2 terminals where there is a screw that adjusts the tension on the spring inside the thermostat. I am trying to think how the thermostat works: on one side is the pressure from the gas inside the little bulb at the diffuser, on the other side is the spring pressure from this adjusting screw, when the gas pressure is greater then there is contact and fridge runs when the gas pressure lessens due to lower temperature then contacts open and fridge stops. So now I wonder how to put this spring pressure at the correct level. Hopefully the new thermostat is factory set and does not need any adjustment. Can you quote what are the correct fridge and correct freezer temperatures when set to the middle of the range? I don't have a laser thermometer but still it is good to know this to see if the fridge is operating correctly or not. I may have to get a thermometer, have been thinking about it for a while.

Sounds like a bad door switch but it's not. I was able to locate a wiring diagram for a similar model and the power for the evap fan does not go through the freezer door switch so opening and closing the door will have no effect on the evaporator fan motor. I can simplify that a little more. Your refrigerator is a basic analog system. Supply voltage for the evaporator fan, condensor fan and compressor goes through the cold control and defrost timer. The compressor and fans will be on as long as the cold control is calling for cooling (contacts closed). Opening or closing the doors should have no effect on anything except the lights. Now, let's go back to that cold control in my original diagnosis. On that style analog cold control it's common for the contact points to become burned and pitted and they stop making a good contact. Often bumping the machine or opening and closing the doors is enough to make the connection. The contacts in the cold control can fail two ways, not making a good connection or stuck/welded together. From your last post we now have some new information I wasn't aware of.
I think you might have gotten it right above. The system is simple and analog so there should not be anything complicated to detect the opening and closing of the doors and since the light switches have no effect on the fan motor running or not then that leaves what you have said above. With that said it is very strange to me that EVERY TIME I would open the freezer door the evap fan would come on and then as soon as the freezer door would close the evap fan would shut, mind you I don't recall if the evap fan on/off meant the compressor was also on/off. I will report back once the new thermostat is here and I have installed it and checked everything.
 

rickgburton

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You're reading way too much into this. You don't need to know how the mechanics of a thermostat, you just need to know if it works. Placing the compressor in a 100% run is a bad idea. It overworks the compressor and heats the bearings. Normal temperature is 0°F and 37°F.
appbij said:
evap fan would come on and then as soon as the freezer door would close the evap fan would shut,
OK my question would be, was the evap cover off and did you actually see the fan blades spinning, or are you going by airflow?
 

appbij

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Placing the compressor in a 100% run is a bad idea. It overworks the compressor and heats the bearings.
It will be only for a few days till the new thermostat is here. Besides it was probably nearly working all the time prior to this anyway.
 
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