WRT318FZDB00 Whirlpool refrigerator not getting cold

Clarkstondude

Premium Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Smokey Mountains
Model
WRT318FZDB00
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
1-5 years
Hello Folks,

We recently purchased this top freezer unit used WRT318FZDB00, was working as expected when we bought it. Brought it home and plugged it in a couple days later it's just not cooling right. Compressor seems to be working and pulls power but the cold and hot line are not hot/cold, more like warm/cool. So I tried the basics, cleaned the condenser and fan the evaporator fan is working. It is blowing cool but not cold.

I can't get the freezer rear panel off to check the evaporator, It will bust if I try any harder. I tried getting the cover off in the fridge area off with problems too, the bottom snap on part will not 'pop' off. I have never had these simple issues to inspect a refrigerator. Also now that the fridge got warm a couple days there is definitely a dead mouse family or something inside this thing which could be the issue?

I tried the LED diagnostics but that doesn't seem to be working correct, this unit has only 3 LED's vs 4 and the tests aren't progressing as they should.

Any help or advice greatly appreciated.

Pics attached:

IMG_0046.jpg

IMG_0047.jpg
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
33,185
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
It looks like you have all the screws out so it should come out. Pull the fill tube out then pull the top forward. Where's it hanging up on you?
 

Clarkstondude

Premium Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Smokey Mountains
It just will not pull out, the tops too tight and if I pull any harder the bottom is going to bust. I wish I had a video cam.

Thanks for the reply A+!

Edit: yes it should.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
33,185
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
OK try this: Take the knob and the piece behind it out then try it. I'll make you a diagram.
Snapshot_2.jpg
 

Clarkstondude

Premium Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Smokey Mountains
Took the knob off and that little piece popped in behind the cover lol. It seems like the top of the freezer shrunk down limiting the room to work with? The most I can pull it out is about an inch but it will push back real easy. Even with a rag on my fingers I can't pull it out. The base of the cover is about 3.5 inches making things even tighter when I pull at the top. Tried pulling and prying the bottom too with no luck. Lurking this forum for many years and have always found what I needed until this... I think I'll make some tools to get it off, if I trash it so be it. That cover needs to come off.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
33,185
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
OK don't break it just yet. We'll get it off. Is the top of the freezer compartment keeping the top of the cover from pulling forward?
 

Clarkstondude

Premium Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Smokey Mountains
Yes, very tight. Just looked at it and saw this:

Maggots.jpg

Tiny maggots crawling out the cover. How in the world did something climb up in there?

Going to make some kind of metal hook thing, like 2 bent screwdrivers and try pulling it. Kind of afraid to do it now though, not sure what's in there.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
33,185
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
What are these two things that look like some kind of clip? I don't see anything on the part diagram.
IMG_0046_001.jpgMaggots_001.jpg
 

Clarkstondude

Premium Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Smokey Mountains
Got the cover off, that thing can really take abuse.
The knob and plastic piece is just an air restrictor:

IMG_0051.jpg

Here are a couple pics of the evaporator, going to let it run a while now but it really seems like it is just low on freon. Doesn't seem cold enough to ever get frost but I will give it a chance.

IMG_0049.jpg

IMG_0050.jpg
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
33,185
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
....but it really seems like it is just low on freon.
An inefficient compressor or a system restriction will have the same symptoms. Was it just the top keeping it from coming off?
 

Clarkstondude

Premium Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Smokey Mountains
An inefficient compressor or a system restriction will have the same symptoms. Was it just the top keeping it from coming off?
Yes the top was very tight, made a tool and the cover was bending so bad that I wrapped my face along with safety glasses when I pulled it off.

Good point on system restriction, might be something got pinched in moving the unit. Compressor is quite hot, much hotter than the pressure line. Something just seems off, I have worked on a few refrigerators and all but this thing kinda baffles me. This worked good when we got it. I have it running and will check temp at about 24 hours.

Didn't find the dead mouse family. Not sure what the maggots were chowing on.

Still stinks bad, I can only stick my head in there as long as I can hold a breath.

Temps tomorrow and a thorough inspection of the lines are in order. Something had to get pinched, not sure how they got it here, maybe in the side did it? But I did let it sit 2 days incase. We will find out tomorrow.

Thanks for the fast and informative replies. Just lurking over the years shows me that there are real people still out here.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
33,185
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
I have it running and will check temp at about 24 hours.
Unfortunately it won't get any colder than it is now.


... might be something got pinched in moving the unit.
That is a possibility however I was referring to a restriction inside the system. Contaminants or moisture can block the refrigerant flow, usually at the cap tube or filter/drier. It's a downward spiral from there. R134a isn't as forgiving as R12 was. R134a can't stand long periods of high temperatures before it starts breaking down to its chemical components. Connecting a set of refrigeration gauges to the system is the only way to tell exactly what the problem is. You can get a better idea by feeling the filter/drier and capillary tube. If the filter/drier and cap tube are both at room temperature the problem is more likely to be a leak or inefficient compressor. If the filter/drier is room temperature and the cap tube is cool there's probably a restriction in the cap tube. If the filter/drier is cool and the cap tube is cold, the restriction is most likely to be in the filter/drier.


, maybe in the side did it? But I did let it sit 2 days incase.
I'm not sure what that says but if you transported it on it's side and let it stand up for 2 days before you plugged it in, you should be OK.
 

Clarkstondude

Premium Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
8
Location
Smokey Mountains
Freezer is only 5 degrees cooler than ambient. The filter/drier, capillary tube and return line are all cool. The condenser side is all room temp and pump warm.

Took a good look and there are 3 tube connections that are very corroded and not worth the effort of cleaning, re-soldering, vacuuming and charging up.

Thanks for all the help and a refresher in HVAC. What caught me off guard was that it worked before transporting it. Not the sellers fault and not mine either. Just a thing that happens.

I'll keep lurking and now that I registered I'll chime in if I see anything I can help with.

Edit: The back cover installs top in first, no other way to put the ice maker electric connection in. Not sure how one would pull it out bottom first.
 
Last edited:
Top