FIXED KRFF507ESS00 Defrosting issue

FirstDue

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Jan 16, 2017
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Location
Concord, Va
Model Number
KRFF507ESS00
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
1-5 years
Hello all!

I have a KitchenAid KRFF507ESS00 bottom mount French door that is about a year and a half old. About 8 months ago, I noticed the refrigerator section wasn't cooling. Upon further inspection, I found the entire evaporator coil and everything around it encased in ice. It was still under warranty, so I put in a service request and a tech came to my house. He ordered a new board and installed it.

A few days ago, I noticed the same problem developing again, so I pulled the cover off of the coil again and found it again frozen solid.
IMG_0876.jpg
I'm out of warranty now, so I would like to fix the problem myself. HOWEVER, I can't seem to find the heating element to test it. There is a condensate drain under the coil, so I would think there would be a heater somewhere? Or do I need to start elsewhere with diagnostics?

The door gaskets seal well, the fan in the compartment with the coil works, and the main board is new.

Thanks in advance for the help!
 

rickgburton

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Is that evaporator in the fresh food section? It doesn't look like the freezer evaporator.
 

rickgburton

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I don't see a heater for that evaporator. I don't have any service information on that machine.
 

FirstDue

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That's a bummer. Thanks for the replies, Rick. If I could at least get some insight on how the heck this thing is supposed to defrost, I could get started. I can't find any information regarding that anywhere.
 

rickgburton

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If you have it completely defrosted take a few pictures and post the here. Was there any kind of foil type heater on the front cover?
 

FirstDue

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No, no heater I can see anywhere. There is a normal defrosting heater in the freezer section, but not in the fresh food section. Here are some pictures of the fresh food section. The frost you see is after about 30 hours of running after a complete defrost.

The door to the left attached to the stepper motor feeds a temp adjustable "pantry" drawer that is currently removed.

IMG_0069.jpg IMG_0070.jpg IMG_0071.jpg

I don't know why it keeps doing it, but all of these pictures are rotated 90 degrees. The fan sits on top of the condenser.

Thanks again.
 

FirstDue

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And...I just watched it defrost. It must reverse its operation somehow and warm the evaporator to melt the frost. The control board I replaced must've corrected the problem, I just waited until there was so much ice that it couldn't get rid of it all. Thoughts?
 

rickgburton

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Looks like Whirlpool is using a design similar to GE. There's a three way valve in the back after the filter drier and each evaporator has a separate cap tube. The control board controls the valve and can shut off the refrigerant flow.
 

rickgburton

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I wasn't much help, you already had it nailed. I actually haven seen this model yet. The problem is similar to one on that style GE machine that uses the same type valve. If it starts to build up again right away try tapping on the valve. Good job!
 

Jake

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That's very odd, so this is the 2nd control board that's been installed since it was new 1 1/2 years ago?

One installed by the tech, then one installed by you?

Is this the control board part number: W10807590

Jake
 

FirstDue

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Actually, I guess I misspoke earlier. The tech advised he would order the board, but would be unable to make it back to install it for "a few weeks". He offered to have the board shipped to me, and that I could install it. I agreed. By the time the board arrived, I had manually defrosted the fridge and put it back together, and couldn't see ice anymore. I chalked up the frozen evaporator to a kid or my wife leaving the door cracked open. What I didn't realize was that by the time I could see ice on the outside of the evaporator cover, it was completely frozen over inside. So I held onto the board, and didn't install it until I saw ice this most recent time. I assume that the ice was so thick that the machine was unable to defrost itself, even though the board had corrected the problem.

So just one replacement board. I should've put the board in from the get go, I just didn't have an understanding of how the defrosting system worked, and thought that the problem had fixed itself. Especially given the amount of time it took to freeze a second time.
 

Jake

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Got it FirstDue!

Thanks for clarifying that.:)

Jake
 

newbie77

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Just had a repair tech leave.

Apparently the factory recommended solution is as simple as relocating the defrost sensor clipped on to the freon tubing. Relocate from the top tube, down 3 inches right to the output of the evaporator tube - simple clip on, no parts, no soldering. apparently the temperature drop in that 5 inches of tubing was too much and the defrost cycle wasn't kicking in, especially with high humidity and lots of door opening.

The defrost works by the 3 way valve simply stopping the flow of gas through the evaporator and the ambient 37+ degree refrigerator air will magically defrost, thus no heater element needed.
 

Jake

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Thanks for posting that, I had another person have this same problem, I have been helping him on the last few days, I will direct him here to what you just said.:)

Jake
 

Surf579

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New York
Hi firstdue I have the kenmore with the same evap .i seen the pics you posted ,is the same one I been having the same problem I replaced the evap fan with two different ones so it works for like two weeks then bang right back to drawing board . I as I first replace I notice that the air doesn’t blow strong out the vent I would think I would be stronger.but also it fluctuates up and down the temp. From mid 40s to 37 ,35 this is crazy. I also have problem with ice machine makes it when it wants to. And last time I changed fan the lights on the veg draw when out And every thing is connected. I think this fridge is a bad choice I guess Every time you think you fixed it. It starts again So let me know if replacing board works permanently and I myself will keep you informed. Thanks for listening
 

FirstDue

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Surf,

The replacement board DID NOT work. I did the trick posted above involving relocating the defrost sensor. That was probably 2 months ago, and no problems as of yet. Seems to have fixed it!
 

Surf579

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Hello newby77 was reading your post and I seem to have the seem problem do you have anyway to tell me which way he moved the clip on the tube. Someone posted pics of the veg door evap system anyway to draw a design to the pic to show where to relocate it. Would really love you help Been trying to fix my fridge from the summer time Thank you for your time
 
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