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Kenmore Elite Refrigerator 795.79042.312 wild freezer compartment temperature swings

PokeyT

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2022
Messages
2
Location
Charlotte NC
Model Number
795.79042.312
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
6-10 years
I have a wireless refrigerator / freezer thermometer that records minimum and maximum temps. To test the accuracy, I also use an analog freezer thermometer and both digital and analog are spot on with each other. Several months ago I noticed I started seeing wild temperature swings in the freezer section and noticed items were not as hard frozen at times as they should be.

I have the temp set at -2 and I would see swings from -2 to as high as 25 constantly throughout the day. The freezer would get to set point, turn off, turn back on again shortly and over the next hour or two of it running, the temperature would slowly rise to 20 to 25, then do a 180 and start dropping and eventually get down to set point. It would do this regardless of whether or not a defrost cycle had run (I can tell when it is defrosting by the sounds it makes / expansion pops / water sizzling on defrost heater etc).

After a few weeks of this behavior it suddenly seemed to "fix" itself and went back to holding the temperature within a few degrees of set point. About 2 weeks ago it has again started the large temperature swings. The condenser fan is running, the condenser coils are show room new clean, the evaporator fan is running, and the compressor is humming along / I can feel it running when touching it.

When it is running and the temps is rising in the freezer, there is plenty of airflow in the freezer from the evaporator, but there is little to no heat coming off the condenser and the condenser loop around the perimeter of the doors to keep moisture off the exterior is cold. But then when it does start cooling, both the condenser and door perimeter warms up. It seems to keep the refrigerator section reasonably.

I am at a loss as to what could be the issue. I live alone and literally the refrigerator / freezer are not opened for the entire day or overnight and yet I record the large swings. This morning it has run for almost 3 hours with the freezer hovering at 20 but finally has now started to come down into the single digits. Does this sound like a compressor going bad?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
135,824
Location
Vicksburg Junction, Arizona
When it is running and the temps is rising in the freezer, there is plenty of airflow in the freezer from the evaporator, but there is little to no heat coming off the condenser and the condenser loop around the perimeter of the doors to keep moisture off the exterior is cold. But then when it does start cooling, both the condenser and door perimeter warms up. It seems to keep the refrigerator section reasonably.
That usually indicates a sealed system problem, these Kenmore 795 models are made by LG, and they have a high compressor failure rate, so I'd check your owners manual warranty to see if its still covered.

Jake
 

PokeyT

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2022
Messages
2
Location
Charlotte NC
Thanks Jake. That was my fear. It is slowly dying. When I got up this morning, the freezer temp was 29 degrees and has since risen to 33 degrees despite the fact it has been running non stop. It is 6 years old and out of warranty. I am shopping around now for a new refrigerator.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
135,824
Location
Vicksburg Junction, Arizona
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