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Kenmore Coldspot 106.57032602 - Freezer Working But Refrigerator is not cooling

jchawk

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Model Number
106.57032602
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
More than 10 years
We have an older Kenmore Coldspot 106.57032602 that is in our garage. The temperature in the refrigerator is not getting cold enough. The fridge is staying between 47 and 50 degrees. I have confirmed this via a glass of water placed into the fridge and allowing it adequate time to cool.

The freezer is working fine.

I checked the coils under the fridge from the front and they do not appear to be overly dirty.

Manufacture date says 2007. 10

The problem just started yesterday.

Any advice on what might not be working and how to troubleshoot?
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,657
Location
Ontario, Canada
That model appears to use a mechanical air damper between the fridge and freezer to control the temperature there. Make sure it is still functioning and not permanently closed.

Make sure there is no blockage in the air passage behind the air damper. Ice or frost can sometimes build up there and reduce air movement. That can happen on the fridge or freezer side.

There is another duct between the fridge and freezer for return air. (Likely toward the bottom of the divider wall.) Make sure nothing is blocking it on either side.

Make sure the freezer fan is operating at full speed.

Helpful Related Link

Limiting air flow into or out of the fridge compartment will result in warmer fridge temperatures. Check the air flow between the compartments.


Dan O.
 

jchawk

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Dan -- thank you for your reply.

I turned the unit off last and completely emptied it out. I did not find any water inside the unit and had very minimal on the garage floor below the unit. Maybe a few ounces of overflow, I'm assuming there is an evaporation pan under their somewhere.

I just plugged the unit back in and the freezer fan appears to be running at full speed.

I located the top damper that you mentioned. It appears to be closed and I'm only getting very minimal airflow though. I suspect this is likely the root cause. Can you advise how I might fix this? I'm assuming this is a motor/assembly I can purchase and replace?

I did find a section about mid-fridge next to one of the drawers. It looks to be completely shut with no air flow. I'm not sure I understand how this one opens. I've attached a few photos for reference.
 

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Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,657
Location
Ontario, Canada
The air damper is mechanical on your model not motorized. There will be a cable from the fridge control to the damper to actuate it. There's a video of it or a similar design at this link:

LINK > Kenmore 106.57032602 Air Damper Asm.

I don't know what that other grill is from. It may be for a feature not on your model and closed off? There will be a return duct somewhere, maybe in a different location? I'm not familiar with your exact model to say for certain.

Dan O.
 

jchawk

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2022
Messages
3
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Dan I disassembled the existing damper and discovered it is in working order. I adjusted the freezer control and the damper is now open properly. I notice that I am not getting significant airflow through the damper.. This is after leaving the refrigerator off for 24 hours and restarting. The refrigerator control is adjusted to the coldest setting.

The fridge when empty did cool to 35 degrees. I added a six pack of small water bottles and the temperature increased to 42 degrees and decreased back to 36 degrees over the course of 3 hours. I then opened the fridge and added another 12 water bottles. This time the cooling process is still running and it's been nearly 7 hours. The fridge temp is still hovering in the low 40's and does not appear capable of returning below 40 degrees.

What should I check next? The fan seems to be running but I wonder if I need to check something else? Could I be getting ice build up or might I need a new compressor fan?

The freezer is still cooling as expected but it is currently empty.

Thanks in advance.
 

Dan O.

Appliance Tech
Staff member
Joined
Oct 9, 2004
Messages
5,657
Location
Ontario, Canada
jchawk said:
Could I be getting ice build up

Not in a day. A defrost problem could take a week or more. A plugged drain close to that was well.

jchawk said:
What should I check next?

If the fan is definitely running properly and there is no blockage of the air ducts (and the fridge is fully assembled), you might want to check the frosting on the evaporator coil (before any defrosting is done again). The evaporator should frost evenly across its whole surface. If it is only partially frosting, it might cool enough to maintain freezer temperature but maybe not to also cool the fridge side?


Make sure any light in the fridge section is turning off as well.

Dan O.
 
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