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FIXED Jenn-Air Model JCD2289ATB Fridge side is not cooling

GTOJohn

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Georgia
Model Number
JCD2289ATB
Brand
Jenn-Air
Age
More than 10 years
21 yo Jenn-Air Model JCD2289ATB Rev. 11 came with the new to us house 2 years ago.

Compressor was running continuously. Initially, it seemed to turn off on rare occasion but now I never hear it stop. I've googled it, indications are some fault with the defrost system but....

The home had been lightly used between 2004 and 2019 when we moved in so I believe the refrigerator is "younger" than its years. At the start, I noted that the bottom of the freezer formed a cake of ice. I diagnosed that as a clogged drain line.

After a bit of work, I was able to to unclog the drain and get water to flow thru.

Back in service, the freezer floor remains dry after a few months. That problem solved.

Prior to all that, I had opened the back to access the compressor area, thinking coils might need cleaning. I didn't see any obvious issues which was surprising. Former owner had 2 cats when they were here, thought for sure I'd find cat hair but didn't.

While I had it opened up, I did clean the condenser fan blades just to lighten the load but they really weren't all that dirty.

I haven't looked at the evaporator coil, I've just assumed it isn't frosted over

Except for the non-stop running, it seemed the freezer was staying cold, ice cream stays hard. Fridge also was staying cold, milk staying cold, butter hard, etc.

But didn't think to check temps.

So a week ago I decided to see what I could do to resolve the continuous compressor operation.

I could be wrong, but seems to me if the defrost system has quit, I would be having trouble keeping the freezer and fridge cold. That wasn't the case so I've assumed it is defrosting. Plus, when the drain was clogged, it was defrosting onto the freezer floor, so was certainly working at that time.

First thing I did was turn the freezer Temp Control to OFF.

That proved to be a mistake.

I should have checked the temps BEFORE I shut it OFF. Turned it back on and sensed that the fridge side was getting warm. Stuck a digital thermometer inside the freezer and got to 3 F. Seems like it is functioning correctly.

Moved the thermometer to the fridge side and it started to climb all the way to 60+. At that point, I panicked and emptied the thing into my garage fridge.

Shut it off overnight and contemplated what to do. Plugged it in next morning with my thermometer in the freezer. It steadily dropped the temp. I have the freezer control set to slightly BELOW the Mid point marking on the scale.

After about 6 hrs the temp read MINUS 1.2 F. So freezer side seems good.

After that checked out I wised up and got a 2nd thermometer and put it in the fridge. It seemed to be stuck at 59 F.

I have no idea how this happened. All I had done so far was move the freezer temp control to OFF and then back on. Surely the fridge was staying colder than 59 before that or food would have spoiled and butter would have been soft. But since I didn't check it before I turned it off, I'm not sure what temp the fridge was running at before.

Google research suggested the Adaptive Defrost Control Board was the most likely cause of the warm fridge so I ordered one before doing any diagnosis.

But since I have no idea what it does or how to test it, so far I am only throwing darts.

Meanwhile, I kept it plugged in.

Someone suggested the damper must have got stuck closed when I turned the freezer control OFF. I viewed the diagrams for my model but can't tell how the damper is controlled other than the Damper (fridge side) Control Rod that serves to open and close it along a marked scale.

At first, I thought the damper was the little slider device on the fridge wall on the freezer side. It is a simple device that goes from "COOL" that closes the small door to "COLD" where it is wide open. Cold air is flowing thru that and I've always kept it about 1/2 or 3/4 open just for yucks.

But I don't think that is the damper. It isn't shown in the controls but in the "Shelves and Accessories" diagram. Not clear what drives the air thru this device. It is simply called the Cool/Cold Slide Control and Housing. Also has a retainer. I'm guessing the Operator's Manual, which I don't have, provides insight as to how to make use of it.

But the Damper looks to be a more significant component near the top of the same fridge sidewall. There is a rectangular opening but no air flow seemed to come from this opening. The opening is the exit point and behind that is a styrofoam insulated "tunnel". I assume this is where the majority of cold air should be entering the fridge.

I was waiting on the new ADCB and meanwhile checking to see if I could determine what else might be wrong. I kept my thermometers in the freezer and fridge. Tuesday morning I woke up to see the freezer was at minus 13 F and falling. Way too cold and the compressor running.

The Temp Control was set at approx. where I had always set it. So I moved the Temp Control down scale until the compressor kicked off.

I had never tried to check the temp in the freezer or fridge before but it was obvious I had the Temp Control set for way too cold.

Thru the day, I continued to watch the thermometer and 4 or 5 times I reset the Temp Control down scale. Each time the compressor would kick back on and drive the temp to minus 7 before I would reset it again. Finally at the end of the day I had it where the compressor would kick off at about minus 6.

The freezer temp would then rise until it was about minus 0.5 +/- a few tenths when the compressor would kick back on and then off at about minus 6. I was happy to see that the compressor was cycling and no longer running continuously. That problem seemed resolved.

Meanwhile, I still had no air movement thru the damper in the fridge.

Cold air continued coming thru the small COOL/COLD port in the sidewall. Keeping the fridge door shut, the fridge temp had dropped to about 42 F. I'm using temp transmitters so I can check the temps at the receivers without opening the doors. So the fridge side was still too warm and if the door was opened at any point, took way too long to cool back down even to 42.

I went to bed Tues night thinking I had at least learned why my compressor had been running non-stop.

Woke up Wed morning to find the compressor continuing to cycle in the minus 6 to 0 range.

But the surprising thing was to see the fridge temp had dropped to 39 overnight. I opened the fridge door and discovered with the compressor running I was now getting air flow from the damper opening!

I wanted to see 37 in the fridge so I moved the damper control up scale (colder). I didn't get an immediate change so I moved it further up scale before going to bed. I overshot because I woke up to find the fridge at 34.

I concluded that I have been running the freezer too cold ever since we moved in. And after messing with it at the start of this escapade, I probably drove the freezer temp even lower. And when I shut the freezer off, somehow the damper door stuck shut. Then when I ratcheted the freezer temp upward, the damper door came unstuck and the fridge started cooling again.

But that conclusion was short lived. I moved the damper control downscale trying to hit 37 F. But the fridge temp rose to about 43. I then went to adjust the controls yesterday. I moved the damper control to the coldest setting. I also moved the freezer temp control to a colder setting.

While doing so, I realized that there was no longer any air flow from the damper with compressor running, only from the COOL/COLD port.

But then I discovered that if I opened the freezer door, air started flowing out of the damper. If I close the freezer door switch, air continues flowing from the damper. But as soon as I shut the freezer door, the air flow thru the damper immediately stops. It continues coming out of the COOL/COLD port though.

By the time I was done fooling around with it last night, the fridge temp was up to 54. When I woke up it had only dropped to about 48.

I received the new ACDB so I figured I should go ahead and install it. Although I was skeptical it would fix anything.

After installation, the fridge temp was up to 61. I adjusted the Temp Control to be sure the compressor would run. I also set the Damper Control to the Coldest setting.

It's been back on for about 5 hrs. I don't have a handle on the freezer temps yet. At one point, I saw it kick off at minus 13. But I haven't seen the temp when it kicked back on. Meanwhile the fridge temp has dropped to 42. So maybe the ADCB was the faulty part after all. Fridge temp was dropping slowly when I started putting this over-long thread together but seems to be falling more quickly now.

Maybe it is doing what it should, don't want to throw another part at it.

But thought I'd post this thread in case somebody has an idea about what might be going on. Or perhaps give me some assurance that it is operating normally now.

I made an initial check and air flow from the damper was no different than before. I have not checked again.

Can anybody tell me if it is normal for no air flow from the damper with the compressor running? Why would there be air flow with the freezer door open? And why would the freezer door switch have no impact on this air flow but closing the freezer door immediately stops this air flow?

Again, only the air flow from the damper is in question. The COOL/COLD port produces air flow whenever the compressor is running regardless of the freezer door.

Pic attached shows the small COOL/COLD port. I have it wide open. You can see the rectangular opening of the insulated damper tunnel above it (next to the light).

2nd pic shows the fridge Damper Control and the freezer Temp Control.

IMG_1947.JPG IMG_1945.JPG
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,689
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
WOW, that was almost a book I read. LOL But I'd rather have someone give me too much detail, than not enough.:)

Do you hear the freezer fan in the freezer blowing good and strong?

Yes, it seems you have some sort of air blockage.

Check inside the lower bottom left side in your refrigerator section down below the crispers, you have an air return duct that has a flapper on it, while the refrigerator is running that flapper should be open.

Its #8 here:

It's located inside the refrigerator section at the bottom left after you take your lower crisper's out you should see it.

If that vent flapper stays closed when its running then that may account for the issue your having:
Manufacturer part number 61006081


Jake
 

GTOJohn

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Georgia
Jake, thx for reading my book!

The freezer (evaporator) fan seems to be blowing strong. I hear it with the door shut and I feel good air flow in the freezer with the door open. Plus, I've been getting the freezer section cold to about wherever I want using the Temp Control. Before I went to install the ADCB yesterday, I had dropped the freezer temp to MINUS 19 F. I reset the Temp Control afterwards. I'm not sure if this is normal, but thru the day, I noted the compressor kicking off at minus 9.3, next time it was at minus 8.5, and just before I went to bed, it kicked off at minus 6.5. Haven't touched the Temp Control since the first reset yesterday.

The compressor was cycling on and off, but each cycle seemed to change the on and off temps. Before I replaced the ADCB, I had set the Temp Control and the compressor had pretty consistently turned on at minus 0.5 and off at minus 6, within a few tenths on both.

As I went to bed, the fridge was cooling to below 40. This morning, it had cooled to 37. I think the compressor was off when I first checked the temps. The Damper Control was set very high, about to the space before the COLDEST setting.

I also noticed the freezer temp was around 0 but I didn't think much of it. About 2 hours later I looked again. The freezer temp was at minus 6.7. The fridge was at 34. This time the compressor was definitely off. I don't know how low either temp had gotten before the compressor kicked off.

At that point, I bumped the Damper Control down a hair, figuring I wanted the fridge at 37. That is all I did. Then read your reply. Freezer temp had risen to minus 3.5 and fridge was at 38. I figured the compressor would kick on soon so I pulled out the crisper drawer so I could observe the flapper and waited.

And waited. The compressor was not kicking on. The freezer temp rose past 0 then past 10. Still no compressor. WTH. I moved the temp control from OFF to MID and back again. Still no compressor. Now I was really concerned. I switched off the breaker and waited a minute. Still nothing and the temp still rising. The fridge got up to 42. For a time I heard something running with my ear to the door. Maybe the defroster? Just as I thought I would have a mental breakdown, the compressor kicked on. The freezer temp continued to rise for a minute or 2 up to about 17 before it started to fall.

I checked the flapper in the air return and it is pulled open.

I had seen that part in the Parts List but it showed it as "Series 10". I assumed they meant Rev. 10 and I have Rev. 11. I glanced in and didn't see it so I figured it didn't apply. On your advice, I pulled one of the drawers out and there it was. The "flapper" is a very thin piece of plastic that seals the opening when hanging limp. When the compressor turned on, it is sucked inward. So I think the Air Return is working.

With the compressor running now the freezer temp has quickly dropped to 0 and the fridge is down to 40.

I'm on edge wondering why the compressor didn't kick on. First time that has happened since this all started a week ago. Hope it was just some sort of anomaly.

I just checked, and air flow IS coming out of the damper with the freezer door closed.

The Temp Control is just above the 2 bar range and the Damper Control is at the top of the 7 bar range on the 8 bar scale.

I will monitor the compressor on/off temps thru the day. Hopefully there will be no repeat of the compressor not turning on.

If there is a normal reason why it failed to kick on, I'm all ears.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,689
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona

GTOJohn

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Georgia
Jake, thanks for pointing me to the Manual, I will save that for future reference.

I think all components are functioning correctly now.

The reason the compressor wouldn't turn on this morning, it WAS in Defrost mode. The ADCB cuts off the compressor when defrosting. That was the noise I heard while the compressor stayed off.

Once the defrost cycle ended, the compressor has been running great all day.

The freezer has been cutting off at about minus 10. It turns back on at about minus 4. Still a bit on the cold side. I will let it run the rest of the night and adjust the Temp Control in the morning. Still set at just above the 2 bar range on the scale.

The fridge temp dropped to 32 this morning so I began adjusting the Damper Control in increments thru the day. It is currently set at the top of the 4 bar range on the scale (a tad below the MID point). Fridge temp has been dropping to about 35 during each compressor run cycle so I believe I can close up the damper a tad more. I'll see where the temp settles out with the doors closed all night before attempting any further adjustment.

I also have been slowly reloading food thru the day so the doors have been getting opened. Depending on how much I've opened the doors during the cycle, the compressor has been running about 45 min to 1 hr to cool down each cycle. It stays off for about 1/2 hr each time after it cuts off. Big improvement vs. what we lived with since moving in!

Until the next component failure (knock on wood), I'm calling this problem solved! Thanks for helping me thru it.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,689
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Sounds good John.(y)

Thanks for the update!

Jake
 
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