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WRT138TFYB01 - Freezer cool, but not at freezing temp


Nov 28, 2022
Model Number
6-10 years
Hi, we have a basement apartment with a WRT138TFYB01 (that is about 8 years old), recently my tenant let me know the freezer stopped freezing anything. It is still cool in there but regardless of the Temp dial setting (tried it up to max) it is not getting cold enough to freeze anything. The bottom half Is still cold, it did not seem super cold, but decent.

- I checked the coils, which are under the fridge so could only access (2 out of 3 coils it seems?), they were pretty dirty, cleaned and vacuumed them up. Did not make a difference.
- No air flow blockages inside, she did not have much in there to start.
- I put my hand on the compressor, could feel it buzzing.
- Checked both the top and bottom fans which were fine.
- I took the heating element off and tested for continuity with a mutimeter and seemed good. There is no defrost timer on this model, from what I researched, so was not sure how to kick it into to Defrost mode, to see if it actual heats up.
- I took the freezer back panel off and noticed snow on the far right tube coming down to the evaporator and ice build-up in the top right corner. (attaching picture of that). The rest of it seemed totally fine.
- I replaced the Compressor Start Replay and Capacitor 2 days ago. When I plugged it in, I heard the capacitor kick in right away. My tenant said it seemed to improve it a little, but not freezing anything still (after two days).

So I wanted to see if replacing the circuit board or thermostat might but an option to fix it? Also was there a diagnostic mode for this model? Or if it sounded like a closed circuit issue like a leak, if so I will probably just replace the whole thing.

Thanks, I appreciate any advice!


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Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Oct 10, 2004
Ontario, Canada

Or if it sounded like a closed circuit issue like a leak, if so I will probably just replace the whole thing.

If all you get is that little splotch and frost on the entrance of the evaporator and the rest of the evaporator is bare with no frost = a major system problem = possible leaker, restriction, inefficient compressor or any combination of these = big $$ repair or new refrigerator time.

jeff sr.
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