Repair and disassembly guides for food cooling appliances including refrigerators, freezers and fridge-freezers.

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Whirlpool bottom freezer cool, not frozen, has frost clump.

A neighbor of mine has a french door Whirlpool fridge model WRF535SMBM00 that is currently only cooling the freezer to the same temperature as the fridge. There is a clump of frost about the size of a head of cauliflower (but not as thick - maybe 2") in the upper right hand corner of the freezer.

I am guessing this is a defrost problem, but looking at the service guide ( diagnosing what part of it is going bad does not seem approachable. Anyone have something I can recommend for her to try or I can do in a visit to possibly prevent having to call a maintenance worker to troubleshoot it professionally?

I am pretty handy with car and other household repairs, but last time I had to use a multimeter to try and figure one of these out I did not feel like I was measuring things right and did not resolve the issue.

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Given that the freezer is cool and that there is a lump of ice in there, I suspect that the evaporator fan is not operating due to being iced up, therefore no air is being passed over the icy cold evap unit and being forced into the freezer compartment to drive down the temp to the correct setting. Perhaps the fan is faulty as well as other problems, e.g defrost heater etc.. (Is the compressor running all the time?)

Remove the panel in the freezer compartment to access the evaporator unit to check if the fan is iced over or just defrost the freezer manually. (switch off the power to the fridge/freezer and allow the ice to melt - with a bit of help - hair dryer) and then initially try Service Test Mode service tests 3 (from the service manual) and also listen if you can hear the evaporator fan running in the freezer compartment, when all the doors are shut. The fan will stop when you open a door. (although not sure if this is the case in test mode. In normal operating mode it is)

If the test is OK try service test #1 and check the results for the defrost heater.

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She is going on vacation today, so I will try it when she gets back. I just wanted to say, Jayeff, that your response appears thorough and easy to understand and I really appreciate your time writing it out for me.


Owner had defrosted the unit, then called me back saying it was still not working. When I went over the fridge and freezer were empty. I ran through all the diagnostics and found the fan runs and blows, compressor runs, flapper closes off fridge, and all thermistors passed tests. I am guessing one of 3 things 1) she did not let the freezer work long enough (since it was empty it needs longer to cool) or 2) there is a control board issue that is not sending the signal to defrost when it is supposed to, or 3) there may be a problem with one of the parts there is not an automatic test for.

Either way, your response was very helpful in ruling out some easy parts to swap. I recommended she call a pro if still not working.


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