Refrigerator freezer too warm; runs constantly.

Hello - I have spent several hours using Google and reading many postings about my refrigerator dilemma that is in the subject line. I have replaced the Defrost Timer and after letting it run for 4 days while we were out of town the freezer reached 12 degrees. We opened the door(s) a couple of times and now the freezer temp is staying at 17 degrees (for several hours during which time the doors have not been opened). Refrigerator compartment is staying at 38 degrees. (Cold Control is set at 4 in the Freezer and 2 in the Refrigerator.) This all started when we had a flickering power outage a couple of weeks ago. We noticed that Ice Cream was very soft in our 8 year old Amana 19.7 CF bottom freezer. I am going to remove the wall in the freezer compartment and check the Defrost Thermostat. The Defrost timer was defective per ohm meter test, but replacing it did not solve the problem.
We used to hear popping and gurgling sounds when the refer operated. We no longer hear these sounds. I am also, then going to check this area. (Condenser, and Deepfreeze fan.)
If anyone has any thoughts or ideas I'd be glad to hear them.
TIA
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snipped-for-privacy@olypen.com wrote:

Un load it, saving your food with neighbors and family, or just eat it. Turn it off totally, take the opportunity to clean it all out. Leave it off for a couple of days at least. Now turn it back on and give it a day or two to get back to normal. Be sure to clean the coils while you are waiting as well.
I am going to take a guess that when the first timer went out, the frost built up to the point where it totally blocked the passages and now even with the timer going on, the passages are not clearing. You also should check to make sure the drain system is working.
--
Joseph E. Meehan

26 + 6 = 1 It's Irish Math
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Joseph Meehan wrote:

It was off for three days and I cleaned the coils under the refer (lots of dust/doghair). I just got into the condenser/coil area to remove the defrost thermostat and the area was immaculately clean. There was no frost at all after being on for four days. I am replacing the defrost thermostat.

I can't say for sure but there have been no signs of frost. Drain system appears clear and clean.
Thanks for your help.

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snipped-for-privacy@olypen.com wrote in message
Hi,

Model#?? http://www.applianceaid.com/model.html Some model# helps.

Let us know what the cooling coils look like....all frosted over and plugged up, 1/2 frosted 1/2 bare, ball of ice, nice even layer of frost on all the coils, etc....

An over night defrost with the doors open and then turn the refrigerator back on in the am and if it starts to work ok then you did have an ice/frost build up.

Make sure the hot condensor coils are clean and not over covered with dust, make sure the condensor fan motor is running/turninmg properly.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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Hi Jeff, Thanks for responding.
jeff wrote:

Amana BX22S5W

There was no frost at all after being on for four straight days. I am replacing the Defrost thermostat.

The Refer was off for three days while we got parts and cleaned the refer top to bottom (The bottom coil area [not condenser/coil] was very dirty with dust/doghair - we clean it every 4 - 6 months) After new Defrost timer was installed refer still was not running correctly. (As stated in original post the old Defrost timer was dead.)

Both conditions are excellent. There are two fans and they both run fine. It almost seems (to me) as though the Defrost heater elements are on all the time. (I could be wrong.) When I just opened it up to check the Condenser area it was immaculately clean with zero frost. It had been on for more than four days and running continuously (I think). I know it had run continuously for the last 16 hours except when the Defrost timer would kick it off for about 20 minutes every 7-8 hours. I've ordered a new Defrost Thermostat and tomorrow I will install it. Fingers crossed.
P.S. You said "hot" condenser coils. Are these the coils under the refer? It was very dusty there, as I stated earlier in this posting.
Thanks again for your help.

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Than I don't see how it is cooling at all unless you just happened to check it right after a defrost cycle. After running for an hour or more, there should be some evidence of frost on the evaporator. You can read how a frost free refrigerator's defrost system is suppose to work at the following link:
http://ng.appliance411.com/links/jump.cgi?IDe8

That isn't going to help, if it were defective it would cause *excess* frosting on the evaporator (cooling) coil not less.
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=Amana+fridge
=~~~~~~
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Thanks for writing, Dan. Here is what is happening:
Dan O. wrote:

It is cooling and the freezer stayed at 17 - 18 degrees last night. This morning I removed the panel in the freezer to get to the Defrost Thermostat. This was done about 1/2 way through the defrost cycle. And the Refer had sat for about 1/2 an hour unplugged before I got to it.
I'm sure you are right but I need to try this one variable. It is not expensive. I had been reading the link you gave for about a week now. Here is one quote:

for the evaporator (freezer) fan motor through the defrost heater and defrost limit switch. If either of those components should fail, the fan will stop circulating cold air through the refrigerator. From the sequence of events at the beginning of the link you provided (and I am well familiar with - for a week now. :) ) I see that the defrost timer triggers several events.
Could the Cold Control in the freezer be the problem?

We'll find out. If you have any other thoughts, I'd be happy to hear them. The details of my refrigerators problems are pretty complete. I don't think it lost coolant suddenly but eventually I'll probably find out what it is.
Can the Defrost Heater ever can made to stay on?
I am getting cooling and no frost build up that I have seen. I will run it without the panel and see what occurs tomorrow.
Thanks again.

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snipped-for-privacy@olypen.com wrote in message

A bad defrost timer -usually- will have the coils completly covered with frost rather than bare of frost, a defrost timer stuck in defrost will stop everything ( fans, compressor ) from running. A defrost timer not going int odefrost woudl allow the cooling coils ot buiuld up with frost and completewly frost over. Possible chance you opened it up right after a defrosting cycle???? With the cover off let the refrigerator run 30-60 minutes and check the cooiling coils, if still bare or mostly bare this may indicate a refrigeration system problem.

Yes, under the refrigerator.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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jeff wrote:

had almost ended. It also sat unplugged for half an hour before I worked on it. So there might have been frost buildup. I did test the condenser area later to see if it would get cold enough. I wanted to see if the tubes on the condenser felt cold. I was concerned that they didn't seem to be "freezing" to the touch. I left the unit running with the door closed. When I checked after about 30 minutes there was frost on the top right end of the fins about 4 inches in size and growing it seemed. Perhaps I was getting frost buildup between the fins and not completely removing it with the defrost cycle. However, I am still concerned that the freezer while running undisturbed never could achieve a temperature below 12 degrees. I know very little about refrigeration. I try logic but I am guessing.
These are the sites I've been reading: http://www.applianceaid.com/frig_notcold.html http://ng.appliance411.com/links/jump.cgi?IDe8 http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appliance/refrigerator/diagrefrigerator.php
I'll install a new Defrost thermostat tomorrow. It may be unnecessary but it doesn't cost much ($12).
Thanks for your input.
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snipped-for-privacy@olypen.com wrote in message
Hi,

Evaporator is inside the freezer, cold coils. Condensor is under the refrigerator, hot coils.

When working properly, that frost should cover all the cooling/evaporator coils with a thin layer of frost after running an hour or two.

http://www.repairclinic.com/0088_4_3.asp Some "how a refrigerator works" help.

Let us know what happens afterwards.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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Thanks for the info and the website, Jeff. It helped me understand a little more. (helped my vocabulary too, I hope)
My refer is still not working correctly. I have given the specifics before but basically it is not getting cold enough in the freezer. It was getting down to 12 and then 17 and for the past two days 26 (!).
We had a "flickering" power outage about a month ago after which the freezer seemed to be unable to get real cold. I have replaced the Defrost Thermostat and the Defrost timer. (The old timer was defective but the original thermostat tested fine.) Today I also turned the little screw inside the Cold Control knob area toward the "colder" position.
One thing I noticed (after you said to look for it, Jeff) was that frost buildup on the evaporater was not very extensive after being on a couple of hours. Also, the coils underneath the refer are never warm nor is the exhausted air that comes out of the back. I did have the refrigerator pretty close to the wall (2" or so)and we had quite a lot of Dog hair/dust come out of the coils when I cleaned it a few days ago. I usually clean it every six months but I never used a tool to remove the accumulation deep inside the coils before. I always got what I could see to get by hand and by using a crevice tool with a vacuum cleaner.
This bottom freezer, 22cf, 8 year old Amana has been a good appliance up to now. I hate to replace it but if the repairs are going to be more than $250 or so I probably will. Does anyone have any idea of what the cost of a new compressor and installation might be? Or what other problems there could be? (coolant loss is unlikely from what I read)
Thanks for your time and help.
Mike

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snipped-for-privacy@olypen.com wrote in message
Hi,

Kinda sounding more and more like a refrigeration system problem....leaker, inefficient compressor.

Average cost to replace a compressor is approx $350-450.00

System problems can vary from a restriction, not 100% pumping compressor to a leak in the system. All can be expensive to repair! jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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