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FIXED Kenmore Refrigerator 106.56723602 not defrosting - how to force defrost cycle

lionelhutz1980

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Toronto
Model Number
106.56723602
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
More than 10 years
My fridge doesn't auto defrost anymore - I've had this problem for months. The freezer coils get frosted over and I have to manually defrost (by unplugging for 24 hrs) every 3 or 4 weeks. I first replaced the bi-metal thermostat sensor - still no auto defrost. I then got a multimeter and tested the thermostat sensor and defrost heater element - both seem to be ok. Which I guess leaves the defrost timer/control board as possible problem. I have tried to locate the timer, but I can't find the 'turn dial' that some models seem to have on the underside of the front control panel (attached is a pic of the control panel on my unit).

I don't have the user manual available. Can someone please help me put my unit in test mode to force defrost the unit? Or give suggestions? Thanks in advance.
 

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rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
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Jul 11, 2006
Messages
41,349
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States

lionelhutz1980

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Toronto
Thanks for your reply.

If I have a faulty control board, does that mean it cannot go into test mode to perform diagnostic or a force defrost? If I can, could you please tell me how to get into test mode ? I've read that with other Kenmore models, it involves pushing the 'light push switch' x number of times followed by a hold of the switch for x seconds. I've tried (using the number of pushes recommended for other models) but it doesn't work for my model as I don't know the right 'combination' of button pushes/holds.

Before I order this part (it's a bit pricey as i need to ship to Canada), I would like to try to force defrost to see if the unit at least defrosts on it's own. Again, thanks for your help.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
41,349
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
The entire defrost system consists of three parts, the defrost heater, the defrost thermostat, and the defrost control board.
tested the thermostat sensor and defrost heater element - both seem to be ok.
If the defrost thermostat and the heater are good, the defrost control board is bad.

I would like to try to force defrost
To get into defrost test mode try option #1 first. If that doesn't work try option #2

Option #1
Unplug the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 seconds
Turn the cold control to the off position, then restore power.

Option #2
Turn the cold control OFF for 15 seconds, ON for 5 seconds, OFF for 15 seconds, ON for 5 seconds, OFF for 15 seconds, ON for 5 seconds, Turn the control OFF.

Test Mode:
In 3-8 seconds the control will turn on the defrost heater for 21 minutes or until the defrost thermostat opens

To terminate the test early remove power from the machine.

When the machine enters test mode, listen to the relays on the defrost control board. If the relay clicks once, check for an open heater. If the relay clicks twice, check for an open defrost thermostat.
 

lionelhutz1980

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
4
Location
Toronto
I just tried your 2 options, and unfortunately the defrost did not come on. It looks like it's the control board.

Thanks so much for your help!
 
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