• Please note, some of the links on our site are affiliate links (Learn More)

Kitchenaid Built-In Refrigerator KSSC42QKS02 Intermittent Cooling Issue

xing6666

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Model Number
KSSC42QKS02
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
More than 10 years
Hi all! What a great forum and thank you to all the techs contribution to this outstanding resource.

I have a built-in Kitchenaid KSSC42QKS02 and have been having an intermittent cooling problem. About two years ago, I had a problem where the coils were freezing over and the passthrough to the fridge would get frozen over. I replaced the heating element and that resolved that problem. More recently, we have been having an intermittent cooling issue - the freezer/fridge will go from being fine, to having the triple-beep over-temp alarm and the temps will climb to between 15-30 on the freezer side and 40-50 on the refrigerator side. The temperature was set at -2/34which I now realize may have been a bit too low, so I've just adjusted to 0/36... but I don't think that is the cause of my problem.

I have reviewed the following threads carefully.

I do not believe this is my issue as I have no ice on my condenser.

The below thread most closely resembles the situation I'm having and I was extremely grateful for the images that were provided by @rickgburton

Based on the link above, the unit really appears to be operating correctly when it is cooling leaving me to wonder if it is one of three things:

-low refrigerant
-contaminated refrigerant
-drier in need of replacement

When the fridge overtemps, I have tried shutting it off for about half an hour and restarting it and that seems to resolve the problem temporarily. Any other thoughts as to what this could be aside from the items mentioned above... or are there any of the three items above that I can remove based on the symptoms?

Thanks so much in advance!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
128,880
Location
Redmond, Oregon
I have no ice on my condenser.
You mean evaporator? The condenser is on the outside, the evaporator is inside the freezer behind the back panel.

Does the refrigerator run all the time? Or do you hear it not running when this problem occurs?

Take a photo of your evaporator coil and upload it here. Normal would be a thin layer of frost on ALL the coils from TOP to BOTTOM.

Look at the BOTTOM photo below:

Frost Patterns.jpg
 

xing6666

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Yea - I'm a dummy and miswrote - that's what I get for posting past bedtime. If I recall correctly, I would say it resembled the "sealed system" problem, though I may pull the panel again to verify. I don't think there was a light coat of frost over the entire evaporator but I could be wrong.

The compressor is currently running and I'm getting the triple beep - though temperature is currently holding alright. Once in a blue moon, I hear the compressor repeatedly kick on and off about 10 times and then it seems to operate normally... but I'd say I've heard this only one or two times over the past few months. Unsure if that is related.
 

xing6666

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
I decided to call a local reputable appliance service company in the area, because I just don't have time to dive deeper into this and the fridge continues to not cool properly. The person I spoke with sounded knowledgeable and knew the design specifics of this fridge... HOWEVER, he states that if the system does indeed have any type of refrigerant contamination issue, that it would not be possible to simply evacuate, blow out, and refill the system - that the compressor, drier and possibly other components may need to be replaced. He states that this is a sealed system, and that if anything is in the lines, it has to have come from somewhere (makes sense) and it has likely contaminated/damaged the components (not sure if this makes sense - in the car world, if you get contamination in the system, you can usually get away with replacing the drier, and expansion valve, thoroughly evacuating the system and refilling).

He mentioned that one thing he has seen in the past is the lines that run from the condenser down the back of the fridge lead to some sort of heating element (which I was not aware). He said that water pools there and there have been instances where the lines develop pinhole breaks which then leads to system contamination from that point.

I asked if we could TRY to just evac and blow out the system and he said this was not possible on this type of refrigerator.

I generally understand cooling systems, but I do not know these appliances well enough to know if what he's telling me is accurate. Could I respectfully request a pro chime in on this?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
128,880
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Some things he mentioned seemed odd. Was he a AUTHORIZED KitchenAid Servicer?

Its best to contact KitchenAid at 800-422-1230 and they will give you a list of who is on their list of AUTHORIZED Servicers.

Jake
 

xing6666

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
So I had the guy come yesterday because the fridge wasn't cooling and I didn't have much other options. He was very nice, but he seemed generally stumped about the CAUSE of the problem I was having. He punched a hole in the high pressure line and it was reading vacuum, so he pretty much said let's just add some 134 and see how long it lasts you. He put a few bursts in from the tank, and it was still in a vacuum state which confused him - he initially thought the compressor may be shot because it wasn't pulling in any freon. After a few minutes of fumbling around, he put some more in and it suddenly started reading positive pressure. He added a bit more and called it a day.

The over-temp alarm is now off and the refrigerator side has been a constant 36 degrees. However, I have the freezer set at "0" and it doesn't seem able to cool the freezer side below 8-10. Still no over temp alarm though. Possible overfill? I know on cars if you overfill the system, cooling efficiency will deteriorate (or worse).

Some observations:

-Previously, the compressor would kick on and off. There were periods when it was silent. Now the compressor seems like it's running constantly. I'm not sure if that's normal operation or not on this unit - I did read in the manual that it is designed to run continuously, but that is not what it used to do.
-One thing I noticed is that there is now a constant low pitched hollow whooshing/moaning sound. For lack of a better description, it kinda sounds like a bearing? It's barely audible. I'm not 100%, but I don't think it was there before.

Here is a picture of the evaporator BEFORE he added the 134.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_9972.jpg
    IMG_9972.jpg
    393.3 KB · Views: 45

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
128,880
Location
Redmond, Oregon
The entire evaporator should have a thin layer of frost on it from Top to Bottom.

Was he a AUTHORIZED KitchenAid Servicer?

You will need to have a AUTHORIZED tech from KitchenAid come out to see what's going on.

Because AUTHORIZED KitchenAid techs have a TECH HOTLINE PHONE NUMBER TO THE FACTORY, in case they are puzzled too, AND they call right from your house to the factory.:)

Jake
 

xing6666

Premium Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2021
Messages
5
Location
Fort Lauderdale, FL
The entire evaporator should have a thin layer of frost on it from Top to Bottom.
Yea, it definitely wasn't right.

Was he a AUTHORIZED KitchenAid Servicer?
No. He's who I could get same day to come in and have a look to see if it just needed coolant added, which he did.

You will need to have a AUTHORIZED tech from KitchenAid come out to see what's going on.

Because AUTHORIZED KitchenAid techs have a TECH HOTLINE PHONE NUMBER TO THE FACTORY, in case they are puzzled too, AND they call right from your house to the factory.:)

Jake
I have it scheduled for Thursday... at least it's generally holding temp for now... do you know what the symptoms of an overfilled system are?

Thanks again. Merry Christmas, happy holidays and Happy New Year to you all.

Kai
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
128,880
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Overfilled means the frost pattern will frost all the way back to the low side tubing of the compressor.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!

Jake
 
Top