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Help! Refrigerator not cooling/freezer starting to fail

Looking for any advice on my refrigerator situation.  My Amana fridge (11 years old) is not cooling (freezer is working but seems to be struggling as I increased the cooling level).  Last week I cleaned out the coil at the base (free of dust) and that seemed to help, but now its not cooling again.  I'm on a tight budget so I want to see if I can repair it myself before I call someone out to service it.  Any suggestions are welcomed!!  Thank you!

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Posted 2013-05-30T16:16:57+0000  by xjodsx xjodsx
 

Frankly, it's probably not cost effective to have a pro look at an 11 year old 'fridge.

 

If you want to try and fix it yourself, I would post a message over on applianceblog.com  They can be very helpful and point you to the correct repair parts.  Make sure you include the model number.

Posted 2013-05-30T16:39:03+0000  by Adam444

Hello xjdosx,

 

You didn't indicate that you have ice and water in the door, but I'll assume you do for this effort toward helping you.

 

Two common failures occur on this type refrig/freezer:

 

1) The water overflows the outlet above the ice maker, runs down the inside-back wall of the freezer, and freezes both the coil and the drain. Fortunately, the repair for this condition is relatively simple ... although time consuming.

 

Before attempting any repair, unplug the power cord!

 

HINT: If this is your problem, you'll probably see ice on the coils by shining a light through the vent on the inside-back panel. You may even see ice flowing out of the vent or across the bottom of the freezer from the panel to the drain.

 

The solution for this includes removing the racking and the screws that hold the back panel in place.

 

When these parts freeze, they often stick to the panel and make it hard to remove.

 

Use a hair dryer to melt the visible ice and blow through the vents until the back panel comes off easily.

 

Once the panel is removed, continue using the hair dryer to melt the ice completely off the coil and the drain.

 

This will take a while!

 

Absorbent towels and a small bucket will prove handy.

 

Make certain the drain is clear by pouring a half-cup of hot water slowly down the drain.

 

Once the water flows freely down the drain, you are ready to reassemble the back panel and restart your appliance.

 

Turn your settings off, plug in, and then adjust about midway until the machine begins cooling well. Then adjust to suit.

 

I have done this repair several times ... typically about two or three years between.

 

Managing the freezer temperature (enough to freeze but not max cold) seems to help prevent this from recurring.

 

2) The defrost sensor/heater fails ... either continuing to heat (the normal job these parts perform when auto-defrosting) without shutting off, or failing to heat at all. Unfortunately, this repair is not typically for DIYers.

 

You might attempt to manually defrost by simply turning the machine off until the ice melts. However, when these parts fail a service call is the best and safest way to return function.

 

NOTE:

First and foremost, ensure your own safety by unplugging the power first!

 

Second, I know you'd love to save your appliance!

 

However, if you find either of these options impractical or simply useless based upon your skill-level, contact your Appliance Associate who may have a clearance replacement or a sale price that agrees with your budget.

 

Posted 2013-05-30T19:19:39+0000  by Pat_HD_ATL
 
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