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WFR736SDAM11 Whirlpool Refrigerator won’t hold temp and keep cold

bfixit

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Michigan
Model Number
WRF736SDAM11
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
1-5 years
Need help in regards to a Whirlpool Gold Series French Door Refrigerator (model WRF736SDAM11) that is 6 years old. The first problem was the ice maker. Replaced entire assembly a couple years ago. Fast forward a couple years, now the refrigerator won’t hold temp and keep cold. Low to minimal cold air flow in vents. The freezer is fine. Noticed back wall and coils looked like they were freezing up with layer of frost, from what I could see behind lower freezer section.

I had a repair guy come out and upon his findings, he said the defrost timer was bad. This model is actually a board (w/ a chip) and part was pretty expensive and on back order from his supplier. Decided to look for the part myself after he left and ended up getting it at reputable local appliance store that week. While waiting for part, fridge unplugged for a few days and obviously thawed out. Board replaced, fridge started working like a champ for about 2 weeks.

Last night I noticed the thermometer I have in there was reading 42 degrees. This morning, 50. Ice buildup on inside back wall and on coils again. Tried putting into diagnostic mode to test thermistor or thermostat and once in mode the display defaults to a 11 number and cycling thru different tests 🔼🔽 nothing happens.

Am I doing diagnostic mode wrong? Should I be looking for something else? Lastly, I’ve read that there is a damper that opens and closes to allow the cold air into fridge but I have no idea where that is and I’m at a standstill. Already in it this far with trying to DIY, any help would be great!
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
44,256
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Ice buildup on inside back wall and on coils
Take a picture and post it here. Check the defrost heater and defrost thermostat for continuity. Check if the fan is working.
 

bfixit

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Michigan
Take a picture and post it here. Check the defrost heater and defrost thermostat for continuity. Check if the fan is working.
Here is a (not the best) picture of freezer section back wall. Zooming in shows the frost on the coils behind vent. Need to run and get a battery for my volt meter and I’ll check continuity on those and update with readings. Can you please clarify that the defrost heater and thermostat are found in the fridge section behind back wall, vs the freezer section? This girl 🙋‍♀️ Is clearly not in the know of where all of these parts are located! 😬
 

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rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
44,256
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Taken the cover off the coils with all the frost. The defrost heater goes down one side of the evaporator, across the bottom and up the other side. The defrost thermostat is located on top of the evaporator clipped to one of the coils. After you take the cover off take a pic of the frost pattern and post it here.
 

bfixit

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2021
Messages
3
Location
Michigan
Pictures of frosty coils, freezer section back wall. Used ohmmeter and checked thermistor (both fridge and freezer) and defrost heater. All checked out fine. Last to do was thermostat. Cut wires and removed to check.. tested just fine. Not sure what else to do.
 

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rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
44,256
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Hmm... That looks like a partial frost pattern. Thick and snowy on the bottom and nothing on the top. That usually indicates a refrigerant shortage. The fan is working, correct? How many days is that? Defrost it with a hair dryer until all the frost and snow is gone. The cover must be installed. After 24 hours with few door openings, leave the machine plugged in and running and remove the cover to check the frost pattern. I get the most accurate view of the frost pattern after 24 hours and before 32 hours. If all the coils have a very light coat of white frost, you're good.
 
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