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RSW2400 Not cooling at times

HiFiGator

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
6
Location
FL
Model Number
RSW2400
Brand
Maytag
Age
6-10 years
I apologize in advance for such a basic question, but I have noticed that specific model number is sort of the starting point for answering most of the issues that are plaguing us. And I didn't find this model number, or even what would seem to be 'similar' enough to convince me that this is the actually model number -- even on the specified specifiedforum.
I might have just missed it but in any case, once again I apologize for such a rudimentary question.

I have a Maytag plus (plus what, I have no bleeping idea) and I can't find an obvious manufacturers sticker with model into. There are two -- for lack of a better word -- aftermarket paper stickers on the back, both hidden by the false rear panel. One simply states that the unit uses r-134a coolant. The other has a schematic of some sort, with wiring diagrams for my side-by-side unit, an RSW2400. Without boring anyone further, is this the actual identifying model number?

Thanks for your tolerance of an admitted novice in this matter.
 
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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
109,111
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi,

RSW2400 is the partial model number, should be 3 more letters after that.

But what problem are you having with it?

Jake
 

HiFiGator

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
6
Location
FL
I apologize for not answering back sooner, especially since you took the time to try to help me out.
The problem we're having is similar to so many others: the fridge and freezer of our side by side will both work fine. Then for no obvious reason, they will both start getting progressively worse. At first we'll notice that the milk isn't quite as cold as it should be. About the same time, maybe a day or two later at most, we'll notice that the ice will start melting. Instead of hard, dry semi-ovular frozen pieces of ice, that will literally stick to your fingers, like the bratty boy's tongue to the metal street lamp in 'A Christmas Story,' the already wet and shrinking pieces of ice are seemingly melting in anticipation of your 98.6 degree grasp. After anywhere from several days to a week or so, it mysteriously rights itself. At first, it would work for a month or more before catching a ' not-cold.' But the up time kept getting shorter and shorter.

Not knowing much, I was very limited. I did notice that the back wall of the freezer would freeze up. I read things about heater elements, thermostats and evaporator fans acting up causing such issues. I put a kitchen fan blowing on the outside back of the unit and it started working almost immediately. I figured something was acting up in the self defrost. Again, little knowledge, but we thinking something like heater element, fan or trigger. (It didn't make sense that if it was something like that, that it would mysteriously solve itself for no reason, but at that point it was working so I didn't mess with it. Then it started acting up again. Looking at it more closely, I realized that the complete underside of the unit was covered with dust and lint. I then guessed that the reason my fan trick had worked temporarily was that it wasn't doing the job of frosting the unit, buy rather had simply blown the dust and lint around enough to allow the unit to function for a while. So I cleaned/vacuumed the entire unit and removed the accumulated ice from the back of the freezer. Then I plugged it back in and everything was fine for a while. Whatever date I started this thread was the day before I cleaned it. And it was fine until yesterday. And then milk not as cold and sure enough, I've melting. Etc. My digital thermometer says the fridge section is about 58 degrees and the freezer section is about 38 degrees.

I would appreciate any advice you all could offer.

One other detail: the compressor gets really hot. Before cleaning it, I noticed that and then after the cleaning, it felt what I would guess to be 'normal.' Now that it's acting up again, sure enough the compressor (pretty sure that's the technical name -- the squatty round black metal part at the bottom of the back of the unit that has the copper piping going in and out of it)
Once again, I appreciate any help.
Thanks again.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
109,111
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok, from that information it sounds like your condenser fan motor is haywire.

It should be running the whole time the compressor is running, it mounts next to the compressor and helps cool the compressor too.

Here's the condenser fan motor for your model you can order(Video included in part link):
833697 Condenser Fan Motor Kit


Jake
 

HiFiGator

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
6
Location
FL
Again, I apologize for not responding sooner.
First things first: the condenser fan is working fine. Presuming I'm using the right term. The fan on
the back of the unit, on things bottom, that blows from side to side, thus, presumably, cooling the compressor. Another mistake I had made, and thought might be causing the most recent problem, was not putting the cardboard panel back. In any case, that isn't the problem.

I'm thinking the problem still might be dirty coils. I'm not sure that I've actually gotten completely to the coils. There seems to be some sort of panel on the bottom of my unit, 'protecting' it. Protecting it from cleaning, I'm guessing. But again, my knowledge is less than limited.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
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Messages
109,111
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Blow the coils out with an air compressor, or shop vac that blows out.

It will be messy, but that will clean them completely.

Jake
 

HiFiGator

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
6
Location
FL
I once again apologize for not thanking everyone promptly for any and all help.

I kept thinking that your help and input had finally helped me identify the actual problem and the path I need take to fix it. And each time I was 'less than successful,' I had made some other mistake which likely caused my 'unsatisfactory' result ... OK, I'll say it ... Failure.

In any case, I still can't help but think that there is a relatively simple, logical and straight forward diagnosis.

Gist:
The fridge and freezer are working fine.

Then, the fridge and freezer will start to 'fail.' And over 2 or 3 days, the freezer will gradually start to rise, first, the ice cream will soften, then yet ice will melt enough to stick together and finally nothing is frozen. By the 3rd or 4th day, the freezer is about 45 degrees.
Meanwhile, the compressor (black, round tank on back, bottom right of unit) is really, hot. As is one of the copper pipes.

But after 3 or 4 days, everything seems to catch its second wind. Usually, the first thing we notice I'd that the milk, which we have moved to the freezer side, will start to freeze. Sure enough, within 24 hours the fridge gets good and cold and the freezer returns to sub zero (celcius). Then for anywhere from 7 to 10 days, things are fine.

This happens regardless of what I do or don't do.
It doesn't have anything to do with whether the back of the freezer is frozen over. Sometimes it will go bad when it's totally clear and sometimes it will fix itself even though it has an inch of ice on the back wall. I'm going crazy.

I appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks in advance
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
109,111
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Does the compressor and fans run while it starts to warm up inside? Or is it dead silent while it starts to warm up inside?

If its running while it starts to warm up inside, then take off the back panel inside the freezer to look at the evaporator coils to see what the frost pattern on them are like per the photos of them below.

(click to enlarge)
Frost Patterns.jpg

Jake
 

HiFiGator

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2017
Messages
6
Location
FL
I'm pretty sure that the fans seem to blow. They seem to kick and off just the same when working and not. I didn't think that it was simply freezing coils because even though
it pretty much always has ice building up in the back wall of the freezer, at least once I cleaned I'd the back wall entirely but the fridge and freezer still didn't start working properly for a couple of days. But as I think about it, I'm thinking it might have still been frozen behind the panel. I'm going to try to take three panel off Thursday, my next day off. Thanks again for any advice.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
109,111
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
But as I think about it, I'm thinking it might have still been frozen behind the panel. I'm going to try to take three panel off Thursday, my next day off.
Yes, definitely do that and let us know.

Jake
 
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