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Author Topic: Kenmore (Whirlpool) Side by side Refrigerator getting very hot to touch on front  (Read 37097 times)

Offline MisterEd

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I have had this SBS for probably 12 years but this is the first time that I have noticed the front of the cabinet, the common center "bar" that the 2 doors close onto, is VERY HOT to the touch.  Not warm, but HOT.  

Maybe I have never noticed it before (12 years?) but is this normal?  I can't imagine that it is but that shows how much I know.  Maybe it keeps the seals from freezing when the doors are closed? It's hot from the top down.

Model 106.52754100

Offline theoldstoveguy

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Re: Kenmore (Whirlpool) Side by side getting very hot to touch on front
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2011, 09:48:50 PM »
Clean the coils under the kick plate, that is the most common problem.

Offline AJ

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I agree with theoldstoveguy, clean the coils under the kick plate.

It should not get that hot.

BTW: I edited your title for you.

Offline MisterEd

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I agree with theoldstoveguy, clean the coils under the kick plate.

It should not get that hot.

BTW: I edited your title for you.

Thanks for the edit ... the coils are (and have been) clean.  Each time I change the water filter I clean it. How would that cause the vertical bar to get hot anyway?  I'm talking "hot" not just warm.  It goes from the top of the refrig/freezer cabinet down almost to the floor. It feels like there are heater wires in it that are heating up.  It's not quite "uncomfortable" to touch but pretty close.  Everything else feels normal and the refrig and freezer seem to be working fine.


Offline krazytech

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After you clean the coils ... Pull it out and go to the Back. Remove the back cover. and check the fan is turning...If not you need a condenser fan motor...
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Offline krazytech

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Why it is HOT... There is a tube loop (Yoder loop) in the cabinet. After the refrigerant is pumped into the condenser it is pumped into the Yoder loop of hot gas runs around the opening in cabinet wall too keep condensation low around the edge...if your condenser coils are dirty or plugged or if your fan is not blowing air over the condenser then the hot gas will be transfered to the Yoder loop. make sure when the compressor is running the fan is turning.
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Offline MisterEd

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Thanks .. that sounds like the most logical problem.  The sound I am hearing could just be the condenser motor and not the fan. I'll pull it out in the morning.  If the fan did die is there a chance of damage or at worse a fire hazard?

Cleaning those coils is a bit.... er, pain in the rear.  They are shaped in a very narrow "V" and very difficult to do a good cleaning job on them.  Even small tools won't get all the way in.

Offline krazytech

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Yea, they call them self cleaning but you know they have to cleaned. the Hotter the compressor gets the more damage you can do to it...I have see them so hot that the floor under the compressor is black ... I would pull it out and ( if the fan is not turning) put a fan ( even a small personal fan) in the back to blow air over the condeser coil...I have a small fan that keep in the truck to put behind a refer if I don't have the correct fan motor with me.
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Offline MisterEd

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Well, I pulled the refrig out and I may have resolved the problem.

First thing I found was that 25cent piece of cardboard with the 3cents worth of insulation that covers the section where the compressor and coils and fan are (that they want $72 to replace!!!!!!!!!!!!) wasn't attached.

Then I took a vacuum and tried cleaning the coils which is just about impossible, especially the MIDDLE row.  I finally took my compressed air blower and just hit it with all it had.  Even with that it still wasn't able to full clear the middle row of coils but I got 90% of all the gunk from under the refrig (which is now blowing all over the house!) and it looks like new ;)

It seems right now that the hot spot is mostly gone.  I THINK it was more from the lack of the $72 cardboard cover (worth 28cents or less) not keeping the fan air circulation under the refrig circulating.

We'll see how it goes in a few hours.

How do you get the condensation drip pan out of this thing?  I'd like to clean it out.  I can't figure a way to remove it either from the front or back.

Thanks to everyone for all your help.

Offline krazytech

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if your drip pan looks like the one in the link...it come out the front...

http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Drip-Tray/730403?modelNumber=106.52754100
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Offline krazytech

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I am glad you fixed it... I would keep an eye on that fan motor... when the compressor is on that fan should be turning ... this unit pulls air in from the front thou the condenser then back out the front...

For the yoder loop to get that hot you had no heat exchange in your condenser...

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Offline MisterEd

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if your drip pan looks like the one in the link...it come out the front...

http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/Drip-Tray/730403?modelNumber=106.52754100

That would be logical but it seem to be completely blocked.  See photo.

Offline MisterEd

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Why is there no edit option on messages? Or am I just missing it?  Weird ... anyway ......

It won't come out the back and it won't come through the front.  Also, the heat problem (the original issue) seems to be resolved.  The fan was fine but the problem probably was caused by the removed cardboard cover over the condenser.  Without that cover there was no relatively enclosed air-path for the fan to pull out the heat. I had to duct tape it on because it has ripped over the years and I sure as heck aren't paying $75 for a new one.

Offline AJ

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Why is there no edit option on messages? Or am I just missing it?  Weird ... anyway ......



Because to many people go back and edit information and it does not get read again.

By having to post your correction they are sure to get noticed.

Offline krazytech

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I did not say it was easy..you have to remove the filter housing and supports....

I have see many fan motors that will work some of the time... but have a hard time starting.. when the Motor stops in just the right postion....

Glad you got it fixed....
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Offline commonoutside

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IF anyone is still having this problem....I stumbled across this problem at a friends house tonight.  We looked on google at the "troubleshooting" reasons to fix or rather find out the problem.   If your food is not piled up in the fridge, and the vents on the front side are not clogged with dust...(behind the front vent on the bottom side)...

Open the back of fridge (cardboard)...Look to see if the fan is moving "be careful!!! The damn thing is extremely hot!! But the fan sits just to the right of the compressor motor, sort of in the middle if looking at it sitting down.  Anyways, the fan should be moving FREELY.  WHAT WE FOUND WAS THE CARDBOARD FROM THE FLOOR PIECE WAS BLOCKING THIS FAN FROM MOVING FREELY.  So, unplug the fridge...and cut away some of the blockage...or if your feeling like superman or woman "lift the fridge up and fix the cardboard.  ;).....But this is what fixed are problem...I hope this helps someone troubleshooting... and saves someone the cost of a repair man. 

Also: plug the fridge back in after you are sure the fan is free to move. Leave the back off and the fridge pulled away from the wall for a little bit...give it time to breathe....ours cooled down in about 30 min.... Our compressor motor was too hot to touch....Scary huh?! I thought so...


Good luck to all that can use this fix...

Jon Bailey, NC

Offline harry7771

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This thread still helping people in May 2013.  Opened up back cardboard cover and found the cardboard/insulation blocking the fan.  Fixed a poorly functioning unit.  Thanks!

Offline AJ

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That's what I like to hear. Thanks for posting!

Offline agcruise

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Hello - reviving an old(er) thread.  GE side by side, Conquest model GS5SHAXNL00.  I have the heated up vertical door divider issue. No other malfunctions that I know of.   I went through this thread, removed the front kick panel, and discovered that my cleaning regimen under there needs improvement.  The cooling elements were totally clogged.  After cleaning, I let it run for a day and did not notice much improvement, but maybe a little.  Pulled unit out today to look in the back.  I removed the lower panel and found some dust bunnies but nothing like the front side.  Some debris in the back (papers that fell behind).  Fan is running, seams slower than I would expect, but running.  My question here is regarding the compressor, which is quite hot.  Almost too hot to hold my hand/fingers on.  Is that normal?  I didn't see any other possible solutions other than the fan, and clogged coils.
Thank you-

Offline AJ

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Quote
My question here is regarding the compressor, which is quite hot.  Almost too hot to hold my hand/fingers on.  Is that normal?

No, that's not normal.

Please start a new topic if you need more help.