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KRFF507ESS01 Not Cooling - Defrosted RC Evaporator, Replaced Evap Fan (+Thermistor) and Damper Control Assembly

rickhamerz

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Olathe, KS
Model Number
KRFF507ESS01
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
1-5 years
I followed a number of threads on here about our KitchenAid refrigerator not functioning properly (Frost Build-Up in Bottom, Defrosting issue, Not Making Ice, Whirlpool refrigerator, Temperature Problems). The RC and FC were too warm and the evaporator fan in the RC was very noisy (pics below show why = ice).

I found the RC had ice behind the drawers.
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I found the thread about the thermistor being in the wrong place on the evaporator tubing. I opened the cabinet to find a large portion of the evaporator frozen.
IMG_7714.JPG


I thawed using a hair dryer and found the thermistor was in the recommended position. Because it was in the recommended position I figured it was probably bad. I knew the fan was spinning because it was very loud on the ice. At this point I decided to just replace the fan and wire harness thinking the thermistor was bad. When I got further in I found rust on the Damper Control Assembly and figured I'd just replace it as well while in there.

IMG_7734.JPG


New evaporator fan (W11033168) and Damper Control (WPW10248595) installed (below). I zipped the thermistor to the hose as recommended in another thread to assure contact.

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After everything was installed and put back together I figured I was good to go. This wasn't the case. After the refrigerator was plugged in for 24 hours the RC and FC still won't get below 50 degrees.

Compressor coils are clean, Compressor fan is running, Compressor vibrates and feels warm to the touch.

Using the Tech Sheet I ran a bunch of diagnostics and it seems everything "passes". Service Test 1 & 2 passed. I think Service Test 3 was good. Service Test 4 seemed good as well and took the 10 min to run. I'm not sure if I was doing #3 and 4 right? When running Service Test - 5 I have to put my ear to the cabinet to hear the compressor ramp up which it does (should I be able to hear without putting me ear to it?).

As others have recommended I changed the Defrost Mode Selection (Service Test #7) to basic mode on 8hr timer (02).

What else would be preventing the cabinets from cooling correctly? Can I test compressor and relay by sight and sound?

Thanks,
Rick
 

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rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
37,633
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Can I test compressor and relay by sight and sound?
No, there's no relay. That machine uses an inverter compressor and inverter. Inverter compressors are very quiet and run at or just above room temperature. Check the inverter by measuring the voltage to the inverter. There should be 3-6 VDC signal voltage across the two smaller wires and 120 VAC supply voltage across the two larger wires. To check the compressor measure the resistance between the pins. Meter should indicate the same resistance, 6Ω - 11Ω, between any two pins.

After the refrigerator has been running for 24 hours with all the covers installed, leave the machine plugged in and running and remove the evaporator cover and check the frost pattern on the evaporator. You want to see a very light coat of white frost on all the coils, top to bottom. Start with the freezer evaporator first. Reinstall the cover before checking the FF evaporator. You should only see frost on the FF evaporator if the compressor is running.
 

rickhamerz

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Olathe, KS
Hi Rick,

Before dismantling the fridge again I figure I'd report back on the multimeter testing. The little wires (red and black) showed 5.2 VDC, big wires (black and white) showed 120 VAC and the compressor pins show a fairly consistent 14 ohms. The pin's read between 13.8 and 14.1 mostly sticking on 14 in any combination.

Assuming this means the control board is sending the correct range to the inverter (5.2 VDC) and the primary power is good? Is the fact that the compressor is outside of the 6-11 ohms my problem?
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
37,633
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
I looked up that compressor and you should have 6.4Ω (± 15%) so I would say that's the problem.
 

rickhamerz

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Olathe, KS
Thank You Rick! Was the iced over evaporator a cause of or because of a potential bad compressor or totally different? Looking at the Whirlpool/Kitchen Aid warranty it appears that any "sealed refrigeration system" part and labor is covered year 2-5? direct from warranty: Sealed Refrigeration system (includes compressor, evaporator, condenser, dryer and connecting tubing). Has your experience with WP/KitchenAid been pretty straight forward warranty wise?

Quick Summary:
1. Was the iced over evaporator a cause of or because of a potential bad compressor?
2. Assuming the compressor it appears that it is warranty item. Is WP/KitchenAid pretty easy for the consumer to deal with?
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
37,633
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Was the iced over evaporator a cause of or because of a potential bad compressor
Only part of the evaporator was frosted which is indicative of a sealed system problem. There's a shortage of refrigerant boiling off in the evaporator so the evaporator can't reach the temperature to satisfy the thermistor. That causes the compressor to keep running causing more frost. When there's a partial frost pattern the cause is usually a restriction, refrigerant leak, or an inefficient compressor. I would say in your case it's an inefficient compressor because of the high windings resistance. The FF cooling system works a little different in your refrigerator. There's no defrost system for the FF evaporator. By using a black evaporator that's contained and sealed off in it own compartment the evaporator is able to retain the temperature of the fresh food section. Very little frost accumulates on the evaporator while the compressor is running. When the compressor shuts off the evaporator quickly returns to the FF temperature and any frost on the coils melts off eliminating the need for a defrost heater and thermostat and a separate defrost cycle for that evaporator. I've only worked on a few of these models so far.

I've never had any problems with Whirlpool. Other members have had a few problems with Whirlpool warranty. For the most part I don't think you'll have any problems. Don't expect to get away without paying something even though it's under warranty
 

ostbloom

Premium Member
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Louisville, KY
I’ve owned mine for 5 years. Froze up 10 times. I replaced the fan, moved the thermistor, adjusted the defrost cycles, everything. Froze up the other day so I ordered a new drain hose. Pulled the old one off and it was clogged up solid. I never would have thought that was it but it was. Hopefully that will solve it.
 

ostbloom

Premium Member
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Louisville, KY
I’ve owned mine for 5 years. Froze up 10 times. I replaced the fan, moved the thermistor, adjusted the defrost cycles, everything. Froze up the other day so I ordered a new drain hose. Pulled the old one off and it was clogged up solid. I never would have thought that was it but it was. Hopefully that will solve it.

Nope, froze up again.
 

ostbloom

Premium Member
Joined
May 22, 2019
Messages
7
Location
Louisville, KY
So I threw a fit with KitchenAid the other day, today they sent a repairman out. Never looked at anything but diagnosed it as a bad main board. Pretty good job without even touching it. Ordered a new board. Install it on Monday. Hopefully it is the board.
 
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