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Whirlpool Refrigerator WRX988SIBM Freezer Not Cooling below 10 degrees - But Does When Back Cover is Removed

sgniwder

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
6
Location
United States
Model Number
WRX988SIBM01
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
6-10 years
I have a Whirlpool French Door WRX988SIBM01 Refrigerator and have had some problems over the years. It is now out of warranty and I noticed that the ice maker stopped making ice. A few years ago when this occurred, we unplugged it and plugged it back in and it started working. We did that again and it did not fix it. I put temp monitors in the freezer and the fridge portions. With Fridge set at 34 it was running about 40 - 45 degrees. With Freezer set at -4 it was about 10 - 15 degrees. I removed the front cover, vacuumed around and it didn't change much. I removed the back cover and with the same settings, now the fridge runs around 35-36 degrees and the freezer is down to around 2-3.
I put the back cover back on last night around 8:30 and it steadily rose to a high of 28 degrees around midnight before settling around 12 degrees this morning. The fridge stayed mostly steady, now around 35-37. Coincidentally, when the freezer was at 28, the fridge was down to 32.

I removed the back cover this morning and after a few hours now it is back to around 2-3 degrees.
From what I am reading, the back cover is important. I have not removed anything from the inside, but wanted to see if there was any advice on what to check before I started down this path.

Any advice would be appreciated!
Thanks!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,589
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
What did the frost pattern look like on the evaporator coil, please take a photo of it and up load it here.

Yes, the back panel inside the freezer must be in place for proper cooling.

Is the fan running in the freezer?

Jake
 

sgniwder

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
6
Location
United States
Hi Jake - Sorry, I might have used the wrong terminology.
The back panel on the outside of the fridge is what I removed. The fan does sound like it's working. Where is the evaporator coil located? Inside the fridge/freezer compartment or below and in the back?
Thanks again for your responses
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,589
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
The evaporator coil is inside the freezer, behind the back panel inside the freezer.:)

The condenser fan motor is running? That is located in the BACK of the refrigerator next to the compressor.

Jake
 

sgniwder

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
6
Location
United States
Thank you Jake, I appreciate it. Yes, the condenser fan is working.
I'll take some time to try to get to the evaporator coil.
In the meantime, I've put the cardboard backing next to the fridge, but not screwed it in, so there is a little airway there I also adjusted the Fridge thermostat to 37 degrees. The Freezer is at -3
I'll identify that I have Smartthings temperature sensors in both the Fridge next to the fan and the Freezer on the top shelf. It reports every 5 minutes.
Over the last 24 hours the fridge has reported temps between 28 and 42 degrees.
The freezer has reported temps between -5 and 25. Note - The high temperatures occurred almost exactly 12 hours apart. It rose over a 15-20 minute period and then took almost an hour to get back down to negative.
 

sgniwder

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
6
Location
United States
Wow, that was a pain to get to. Here is a picture of what it looks like. I also wanted to know that the connector cable in the top right was completely covered in ice too. I wasn't sure if that mattered.
 

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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,589
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Is that freezer evaporator fan motor running in that photo?

Do you hear it running at all period?

Here's the evaporator fan motor for your model:
W11032800 Motor-Evap


Jake
 

sgniwder

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2021
Messages
6
Location
United States
This picture was taken after it was off for a while, as it took me a while to get everything apart.

Regarding the evaporator fan, If I perform service test 3 step 4, I hear the fan in the freezer turn on. I will see if I can check to see if it comes on automatically.

I'll also note that this morning when I checked on it, I think that the condenser fan in the back panel is getting hampered by some of the insulation on the cardboard, so I unscrewed the cardboard back and placed it next to to the back, but not screwed in.

The freezer air temp is fluctuating between to 6 -12 degrees, although it did hit higher when trying to listen to the evaporator fan.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,589
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok, then I don't know what's causing that ice build-up on the top of the evaporator coil.

Hopefully another tech. that's seen that before can shed some light on it for us.

Jake
 
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