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Kenmore Refrigerator 253.44509607 - Test Damper Door

Legbuh

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
6
Location
us
Model Number
253.44509607
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
6-10 years
I don't think my damper door is opening properly. I have replaced most parts suggested for cold freezer, warm fridge, but it still doesn't seem like the fridge gets very cold, even at the coldest setting.

I can manually force the door open. Sometimes I come back and it's closed again, other times it's not. When it's not, the fridge gets nice and cold. If it's too cold I close the door and it sounds like the motor finishes closing it when it's about 1/2 way closed.

It is a shop fridge, so I don't want to spend too much on parts (already spent a bit on 2 other parts.. compressor run cap and defrost theromstat kit, the 2 suggested).

Every other post I've found this hasn't been answered on how to test this door.. if it works.

I see there is a replacement part, but I'd like to test mine before replacing it. I hate parts chasing.

I also don't see how this unit would actually be replaced. The videos don't match my fridge.

I thought about drilling some holes in the door and just calling it a day... but it would be nice to have it working.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
125,798
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
There isn't a diagnostic test you can run on this model for testing the damper. Since the Fresh Food Temperature sensor(thermistor) controls the damper, we test that first.

Manually ohm test the Fresh Food Temperature sensor(thermistor) with a multimeter.

Place the Fresh Food Temperature sensor is a small glass and fill it with crushed ice. Add enough water to cover the Fresh Food Temperature sensor. Then wait at least 5 minutes. This should bring the temperature of the Fresh Food Temperature sensor very close to 32*F-33*F. At 33*F the Fresh Food Temperature sensor should measure 31,658 ohms. At 32*F the Fresh Food Temperature sensor should measure 32,566 ohms (+ or - 2%). Your Fresh Food Temperature sensor should be between 31.6K and 32.5K ohms.

Here's the Fresh Food Temperature sensor for your model you can order, if yours ohm tests bad:
frigidaire-sensor-240597203-ap4032998_01_l.jpg


Your Kenmore 253 is made by Frigidaire, watch this video below and he shows you how to remove and replace it:


Jake
 

Legbuh

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
6
Location
us
Thanks. I will try that.

so, I checked tonight and the door WAS open.. but only like 1/4. Does it have settings on how far to open? I had just put a case of warm soda in the fridge, so I checked and I saw the door partway open. Does that lend anyclues?

Ps... there is no screw on what I think is the sensor like in the video. Will it just pop off?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
125,798
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona

Legbuh

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
6
Location
us
I finally got around to this.

After 10 minutes I used a temp gun and the icewater showed around 31.9 degrees. The sensor showed 31.7k ohms. I then took it out and let it warm (in my hand) and the ohms dropped to about 13k before I put it back in the fridge.

The fridge temp guage was blinking "2" before I reinstalled it and the damper door was open all the way. Once I plugged the sensor in again it started closing, then stopped and reopened and is still open 10 minutes later (fridge is set at 7).

I wonder if it wasn't some corroded connections. I found the evaporator fan had the same issues. A new one didn't work. I found a post of someone who cleaned the terminals and it fixed it. I did the same and had the same result. So maybe just unplugging it and plugging it back in broke free some corrosion?

I will check the temps in a day or two in fridge to see if it's working better now...
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
125,798
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
I wonder if it wasn't some corroded connections. I found the evaporator fan had the same issues. A new one didn't work. I found a post of someone who cleaned the terminals and it fixed it. I did the same and had the same result. So maybe just unplugging it and plugging it back in broke free some corrosion?
Yes, that's a possibility.

Yes, keep your eye on it the next few days and keep us posted.

Jake
 

Legbuh

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
6
Location
us
Ya, no luck. Still warmer on the fridge side. It's on 8 and freezer is on 7 and I put a bottle of water in front of the damper door and it's not frozen after 24 hours. I mean, it's not terrible, but I know at 8 it should almost freeze water.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
125,798
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
If the damper door is wide open and the freezer evaporator fan motor is running, then you either have a auto defrost problem or a sealed system problem. Put a freezer thermometer in the freezer and tell us what the temperature reads after 1 hour.

Look on the INSIDE FREEZER back panel to see if you notice frost build-up on it. Even better is to remove the INSIDE FREEZER back panel to see the frost pattern of the evaporator coil, take a photo of it too so we can see it.

Jake
 

Legbuh

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
6
Location
us
The damper door is no longer wide open. It only was after I removed and tested the temp sensor. Once I put it back it closed again after reaching what it thought was the right temp. The freezer works fine.

It seems like the fridge won't get cold enough. On 8 it should be freezing water on the top shelf by the damper door. If I force the damper door open and leave it open it will freeze a bottle of water.

So something is telling it that the fridge is cold enough when it's not.. and not opening the damper long enough.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
125,798
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok, that means the control board is malfunctioning and telling the damper door to close, when it should be open. Your Fresh Food Temperature Sensor is good, so the control board is only part left that controls it.

Here's the control board for your model you can order:
frigidaire-main-power-board-241511101-ap3765958_02_m.jpg


Let us know how it goes.

Jake
 

Legbuh

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 18, 2021
Messages
6
Location
us
And that is a pain to replace, isn't it. I've looked. It looks like you would have to flip the fridge on it's back.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
125,798
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
No, its easier than you think.:)

This video gives you the general idea of how to replace it:


Jake
 
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