Frostless freezer/Refrigerator problems

I have a 6 yr old Kenmore refrigerator that has decided to stop cooling. The freezer stays cold, but not cold enough to keep ice cream hard. The refrigerator does not stay cool hardly at all. I've unplugged it and let it sit to defrost. There is a build up of frost on the back panel of the freezer. I've cleaned everything on the back of the refrigerator. I recently took the back panel out of the freezer and found everything iced over. I defrosted all of that and let it sit overnight and it seemed to start working again, but now it is starting to frost up again. What could be the problem and how can I fix it? To those who reply: Layman's terms please.
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AngelMomA8 wrote:

Hi, Defroster(heater) not working. Heating element or timer(which should turn the heater on once a day); Quite common symptom.
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and/or the evaporator fan is not working. This circulates the air inside of the fridge.
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is the room temperature unchanged or much hotter than last month? see also: http://www.wikihow.com/Special:LSearch?search=refrigerator+repair&fulltext=Search
AngelMomA8 wrote:

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Here is a simple flow chart to diagnose a defrost problem:
1. Is the evaporator fan (the one in the freezer) blowing air at least part of the time? yes: go to step 2. no: change the fan
2. Find the defrost timer (usually behind the grill), turn the knob or slot until it clicks into defrost cycle. Is there a cracking sound in the freezer that indicates that the element has started to heat up? yes: change the defrost the timer. no: change the element or cut-off thermostat in the evaporator area.
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Here is a simple flow chart to diagnose a defrost problem:
1. Is the evaporator fan (the one in the freezer) blowing air at least part of the time? yes: go to step 2. no: change the fan CY: Check for power at the fan during the run cycle.
2. Find the defrost timer (usually behind the grill), turn the knob or slot until it clicks into defrost cycle. Is there a cracking sound in the freezer that indicates that the element has started to heat up? yes: change the defrost the timer. CY: Check amperage draw, and see if it's consistent with a heater element.
no: change the element or cut-off thermostat in the evaporator area. CY: Troubleshoot to see if either of those is defective. Check to see if the heater element and cut-off thermostat are getting power.
CY: A bit too quick to change parts, now.
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Well, my post was very simple to give a basic idea of the steps involved to fix the refrigerator. It still involves things like owning and knowing how to use a multimer. Also, you have to have a basic grasp of the theory of operation of a machine in order to fix it, and also the ability to read an electrical diagram.
In the world of appliances, everyone is an expert.
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I don't usually get calls from appliance repair experts. I get calls from folks who don't know how to fix appliances.
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Christopher A. Young
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No offense guys....BUT, didn't angelmomA8 say 'laymens terms please'? Stormin Mormon wrote:

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Yep, I bet you're right. Ah, well. Sometimes we can't follow directions. Sorry.
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What does it do after having been turned off a long time and allowed to completely thaw? If it then works OK for a day to several days, then that would indicate a problem with the auto defrost not working. That means it gets iced up.
If it doesn't work properly for a day to several days after restarting, then that suggest it could be a problem with air flow. Either the fan could be shot or it's also common for a piece of paper or similar to get lodged somewhere like the intake, blocking flow.
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