Frigidaire refrigerator fresh food section stopped cooling

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My two-year old 14 cu. ft. Frigidaire refrigerator fresh food section stopped cooling for about 24 hours then returned to normal. That was two months ago.
Well this morning I found the fresh food section back at 60 degrees again. Ugh! (The freezer section is working normally.)
Any ideas which part may be causing this temporary stoppage? Last time I believe the repairman replaced a part (he may have called it a timer) that was making a rattling sound.
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On Sunday, July 15, 2012 10:08:12 AM UTC-7, Michael T. wrote:

The first thing that you should check is if the condenser is clean.
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On Sun, 15 Jul 2012 10:27:40 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

First thing I'd check is if the evaporator fan is running. Freezer is OK, but no air passage. Next would be the defrost timer or defrost element. That may allows the passage to the food section or the evap coil to ice over.
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Thanks Ed. I was reading about the defrost timer when I received your comment.
I will see if I can find a parts diagram for my frig online. I cannot seem to get the toe grille off so I can see if that is where the defrost timer is located. I do know that is the location the repairman used to replace the start relay.
The fact that the freezer is still working and that last time the fresh food section started cooling again in 24 hours certainly seem like good clues -- and consistent with what you're saying. For example, if I had a bad compressor one would think the freezer would also fail -- and it's not.
But then again, what do I know -- I'm just a computer 'guy' who finds appliance repair daunting. :)
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Much easier to remove the toe grille with the bottom door open. Both doors, in case of side by side.
Start relay is on the compressor. Which should be in back.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
wrote:

Thanks Ed. I was reading about the defrost timer when I received your comment.
I will see if I can find a parts diagram for my frig online. I cannot seem to get the toe grille off so I can see if that is where the defrost timer is located. I do know that is the location the repairman used to replace the start relay.
The fact that the freezer is still working and that last time the fresh food section started cooling again in 24 hours certainly seem like good clues -- and consistent with what you're saying. For example, if I had a bad compressor one would think the freezer would also fail -- and it's not.
But then again, what do I know -- I'm just a computer 'guy' who finds appliance repair daunting. :)
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I'm with you. These symptoms suggest either bad evap fan (oddly, I replaced two, last week) or a defrost problem.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
First thing I'd check is if the evaporator fan is running. Freezer is OK, but no air passage. Next would be the defrost timer or defrost element. That may allows the passage to the food section or the evap coil to ice over.
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Here's the latest Christopher and it's mostly good news.
An hour ago I unplugged the frig for 10-15 minutes.
More recently I set the temperature control to zero (off position) for the food section. I also set the freezer control to Normal. The repair guy had set it to max cold when he was here two months ago and told me that is where I should leave it.
I just checked the fresh food section temperature. Eureka! It seems to be cooling and moving my Wal-Mart temperature gauge back to the normal setting.
One of these steps must have definitely had an impact. I am left wondering if the evap coil iced over which Ed Pawlowski mentioned.
Or do you think it was something else based on the steps that apparently allowed the food section to start cooling again?
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If you leave both controls to max, the freezer gets bitter cold, and the refrig side warms up. It's an odd thing, but that's what I've experienced. Sounds like the repair guy was ignorant. Some where in the middle of the range works best.
Glad it turned out to be a simple repair. Thanks for letting us know what you find.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Here's the latest Christopher and it's mostly good news.
An hour ago I unplugged the frig for 10-15 minutes.
More recently I set the temperature control to zero (off position) for the food section. I also set the freezer control to Normal. The repair guy had set it to max cold when he was here two months ago and told me that is where I should leave it.
I just checked the fresh food section temperature. Eureka! It seems to be cooling and moving my Wal-Mart temperature gauge back to the normal setting.
One of these steps must have definitely had an impact. I am left wondering if the evap coil iced over which Ed Pawlowski mentioned.
Or do you think it was something else based on the steps that apparently allowed the food section to start cooling again?
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On 7/15/2012 3:00 PM, Michael T. wrote:

The repair guy had set it to max cold when he was here two months ago and told me that is where I should leave it. Don't let this guy into your house again! He has no idea how refrigerator controls work.
The "Fresh Food" control regulates how much the compressor is on (i.e. how much cooling is generated). The "Freezer" control adjusts the amount of cold air that goes from the Freezer (where the cooling coils are) to the Fresh Food compartment. This control should always be set to the mid position unless when the freezer is at the correct temperature, the Fresh Food section is colder or warmer than it should be. -- Peace, bobJ
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Not only do I appreciate your excellent post Bob, but it is also very timely because the problem has returned.
However, due to your comments (and others in this thread) I am better able to establish a baseline with the two controls and better able to describe my problem.
Even before I read your email I had set the freezer control to the mid position as you are suggesting.
The fresh food control is set to the setting labeled "Normal" on the control. This combination used to regulate both the freezer and food sections correctly.
PROBLEM: The freezer temperature is OK, but the food section is no longer cooling and has warmed to almost 60 degrees.
QUESTION: With a freezer section at the desirable temperature and a fresh food section at 60 degrees what does this point to? Is it the defrost timer or the evap fan or the evap coil icing over?
Or is it possibly something else given that it is both intermittent and only the food section is not cooling? By intermittent I mean that when this happened two months ago it fixed itself within 24 hours and never failed again until today. So it may fix itself again tomorrow as it did a few hours ago.
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Could be any of these three.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
QUESTION: With a freezer section at the desirable temperature and a fresh food section at 60 degrees what does this point to? Is it the defrost timer or the evap fan or the evap coil icing over?
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On 7/15/2012 9:15 PM, Michael T. wrote:

If it's just an adjustment problem, I would try setting the freezer control to one level warmer. This should allow for more of the cold air to go to the fresh food area. If that makes the fresh food better but the freezer becomes a little too warm, then you can adjust the food thermostat to a bit cooler. Note that it can take a few hours for the temperate in each compartment to rebalance.
Also note that while it might take a bit of work, the toe plat should come off. Work one side at a time. Then you can vacuum out the condenser. -- Peace, bobJ
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Thanks so much. Would an overheating (or malfunctioning) condenser not effect the freezer section also, which is functioning normally?
Now if can figure out how to do that. :) The owners manual is really skimpy. It doesn't even show how to remove the toe grille.
As a retired software engineer I can't believe I know so much about computers, but am a total dummy when it comes to appliances.
UPDATE: My research suggests that it was the start relay that was replaced -- since that is the part associated with a rattling sound when it fails.
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Dirty condensor would make both sides warm up, freezer first.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Thanks so much. Would an overheating (or malfunctioning) condenser not effect the freezer section also, which is functioning normally?
Now if can figure out how to do that. :) The owners manual is really skimpy. It doesn't even show how to remove the toe grille.
As a retired software engineer I can't believe I know so much about computers, but am a total dummy when it comes to appliances.
UPDATE: My research suggests that it was the start relay that was replaced -- since that is the part associated with a rattling sound when it fails.
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Often a good idea. The fact the freezer is cold, tells me that dirty condensor isn't the primary problem du jour.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
The first thing that you should check is if the condenser is clean.
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Defrost timer comes to mind.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
My two-year old 14 cu. ft. Frigidaire refrigerator fresh food section stopped cooling for about 24 hours then returned to normal. That was two months ago.
Well this morning I found the fresh food section back at 60 degrees again. Ugh! (The freezer section is working normally.)
Any ideas which part may be causing this temporary stoppage? Last time I believe the repairman replaced a part (he may have called it a timer) that was making a rattling sound.
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To all the great commenters:
This persons problem sounds very similar even though it was a Kenmore instead of a Frigidaire, doesn't it?
************* My 3 year old Kenmore fridge failed (freezer compartment fine, but refrigerator compartment did not cool). I diagnosed the problem as the evaporator fan motor. This motor from Amazon is a compatible (hopefully improved) replacement part for a number of Frigidaire, Electrolux and Kenmore refrigerators. **************
Hmmm.
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That's one of the three options I'd be looking at.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
To all the great commenters:
This persons problem sounds very similar even though it was a Kenmore instead of a Frigidaire, doesn't it?
************* My 3 year old Kenmore fridge failed (freezer compartment fine, but refrigerator compartment did not cool). I diagnosed the problem as the evaporator fan motor. This motor from Amazon is a compatible (hopefully improved) replacement part for a number of Frigidaire, Electrolux and Kenmore refrigerators. **************
Hmmm.
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It certainly resonates with this "computer nerd's" experience with desktop computer fans I've replaced. They seem to often die a slow and painful death sputtering and then working again -- then finally quitting for good.
Thanks again for all your input.
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It's obvious to me I can feel blowing air, and can easily hear the fan on units. Sometimes they shut off when you open the door. What's so difficult ? Well my fridge was getting around 32 one day when I put too much stuff in the freezer. Kinda reverse problem.
Greg
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