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Kenmore 795.71314.311 Freezer isn't cold enough, but refrigerator is fine...

Kalel

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Maryland
Model Number
795.71314.311
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
6-10 years
Sorry for the long post. Lots of details to describe here. Our refrigerator is set to 39 degrees F. Our freezer is set to 0 degrees F. Ours is the style where the fridge is on top (two side-by-side doors) and the freezer is a drawer on the bottom. While the refrigerator portion seems to be working ok, we've been noticing mushy ice-cream and some other now-soft products in the freezer, but frozen meats remain solid and ice remains frozen. So, I put in a couple of thermometers in both the fridge and the freezer to see what's going on.

The actual refrigerator temperature on the top shelf in the middle of the shelf is 37 deg F, so just a couple of degrees colder than the set point for the refrigerator (assuming my thermometer is precise.) However, the freezer isn't showing expected values. The freezer drawer is in two levels. In the top level, the temperature was 12 deg F this morning, and the bottom shelf was almost 20 deg F. Those are a far distance from 0 deg F. So, something is wrong. (As an aside, another older Kenmore Fridge/Freezer combo's freezer is well below 0 deg F.)

Can someone help us troubleshoot this?

Here are some additional notes:

1) The evaporator coils had dust on them, which I removed. Doesn't look like that had an effect.

2) From the back bottom of the unit, there looks to be the evaporator coils, and to the left of those there is a fan, and that fan is running fine.

(Is there another fan I should be looking at, and where would that be located?)

3) Compressor is running. (Again, refrigerator is at a good temperature value, but freezer temp is not cold enough.)

4) Nothing is blocking the vents in the fridge or freezer compartments.

5) There is still food in both the fridge and the freezer, but not overly stuffed. A reasonable amount.

6) Gaskets seem ok.

7) I don't see frost.

8) The freezer's top shelf has an automatic ice-maker which is making ice, which is surprising, as I read that the ice-maker will only make ice if the temperature is 0 deg F. or less.

9) I do not see any ice or water buildup anywhere.795.71314.311

10) I'm using several different kinds of thermometers in the same locations of the freezer and fridge at the same time to make sure their values are equal, and they have been.

Another note... Interestingly, today when the temperature in the freezer was 12 deg F. I pulled out the ice bucket to empty the ice. When I put the empty ice bucket back in the freezer (only had the door open for about 30 to 45 seconds), about 30 minutes later, the freezer was up to 26 deg F (it was rising during that half-hour.) After that half-hour, I stopped back at the freezer, and when I checked, I heard that the compressor was on (it might've already been on this whole time, or it might've actually been off all that time, I just don't know) and that once the freezer hit 26 deg F, the freezer started cooling down again. Not sure if any of the above provides any clues or not. It just seems like a large increase of temperature in the freezer for the freezer door not being open for long, plus the fact that the temperature was going up and up after I closed the freezer drawer for 30 minutes before it started dropping again. I figured the compressor would kick in right away when the temps started going up in the freezer. (But, again, I don't know when the compressor kicked in.) When should it kick in? It seems that it hit the 26 deg F mark and then started coming down. In an hour and 15 minutes, it dropped back 12 degrees to 14 deg F (not even to the original 12 deg F that started this post). In another 45 minutes or so after that, it finally dropped two more degree to 12 degrees F and that's where it leveled out again. And that's just the top shelf of the freezer drawer. The bottom shelf of the freezer is always warmer. But, in both shelves' cases, the freezer isn't near 0 deg F.

Also note that the humidity in the freezer was higher (66%) when the temp went up to 26 def F. When the temp of the freezer eventually made it to back down to 12 Deg f, the humidity dropped to 48%. (Also note that the room temperature has been steady all this time, around 73 deg F.) The refrigerator remains steady at 39 deg F. The freezer remains at 12 deg F (although it's fluctuating a little above and below.)

Also, note that when I do open the freezer, I do not feel a "whoosh" of cold air like I do with my other freezer and even the refrigerator portion of this unit. (But, the temp in the freezer is 12 deg F. still, so it has at least some cold to it.)

Any ideas as to what might be happening and what component might be suspect? If the refrigerator is at the right temp, and the freezer is at 12 degrees above the value it should be (0 deg F), does that necessarily mean the compressor is bad? There is at least some cooling going on. Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,

Kalel
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,663
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi Kalel,

The way we determine if you have a sealed system problem is by looking at the frost pattern of your evaporator coil inside the freezer.

So you will need to remove everything from the freezer and remove the back panel from inside the freezer and take a photo of it with your photo and upload the photo here.

Kenmore 795 models are made by LG, and they are prone to early compressor failures, so it would not surprise me if your compressor is starting to fail, thus not getting the freezer to 0 degrees F anymore.

Jake
 

Kalel

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Maryland
Hi Jake! Thanks much for the reply. So, I haven't been into one of these systems before. I assume I need to remove the freezer drawer completely? Does it get removed like a desk drawer or filing system drawer that's on rails? Pull it straight out, then lift it out of the rails? Is there a catch that keeps it on the rail that I have to defeat? There's a sliding top shelf in that drawer... does that get removed first somehow? or does it all come out with the drawer?

And once the drawer is out, how best to remove the back panel? While looking towards the back of the freezer (at the moment, drawer is still currently installed), I see a central screw and then two screws diagonally up to the left. I've attached a pic. Which screws to remove to pull the panel?

And finally, will there be any trick to putting the drawer back into place?

Thanks!

Kalel
 

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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,663
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Your owner's manual tells you how to remove the freezer drawer.

Here's a video that gives you the general idea to get access to the freezer evaporator fan motor, it should be similar to your model as far as removing the back panel inside the freezer.


Jake
 

Kalel

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Maryland
Hi again, Jake. Thanks for the info, and I'll check out the manual and the video.

Kalel
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,663
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok Kalel, sounds good.

Jake
 
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