Refrigerator problem

HI, We have a Whirlpool fridge thats about 7 years old runs fine but there is a heating coil in the freezer that must be running ALL the time. The seals are good and tried different settings. The freezer barely freezes because of the heaters. The outside of the freezer area is always hot. Been like this for a year, would try replacing a sensor or something if I knew where to look. What's up with that? Thanks, Dave
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There should be a clock-timer behind one of the thermostat panels, it is probably broke in the On setting. Just a guess, as mine did this.
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Dave wrote:

Replace the defrost timer, or if your clever you could disconnect the element. Keep in mind if you get a new one and do it yourself, the replacements might not be identical to what you have and you will have to look close to get it to work.
Bob
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Hi Dave,
The heat you're feeling on the outside of the cabinet's from what's called the 'Yoder Loop', which is just a pass of the condenser coil that's run around the inside of the cabinet's front flange to prevent condensation.
(Btw, the nice thing about this loop is the energy savings. They used to use an electric heater for this, and as you can imagine, it was harder on energy consumption than the use of this tubing that's running warm anyway.
When the refrig runs more than usual, or in very hot weather, this area can get warm enough to be uncomfortable to the touch.
I suspect yours is running excessively, and would check the condenser for lint first. Depending on model, you should see this coil under the cabinet, behind the bottom grille. Can be cleaned pretty easily, usually from the front, with a brush made for the purpose, and a vacuum running. You can see this type brush here: http://www.DavesRepair.com/SaleParts/condbrush.htm
Also be sure there's a back cover in place. If the rear cover's missing, the symptoms will be similar to a clogged condenser coil. I carry cardboard in the truck for fabricating these covers. It's not uncommon for folks to remove these and leave them off, not realizing how important they are for directing ambient air over both the coil and compressor.
I doubt if the defrost heater's on 24/7. When this happens (it's very rare), the refrig won't keep food at proper temps in either comp't, it'll run all the time, and there's no way it'd continue for a year without developing into major problems. The temps would be way too warm inside, and you'd be seeing food spoilage throughout, not to mention probably smell melting plastic from time to time.
I'd check that condenser (and rear cover) first, making sure its fan's running too, then pull the freezer's evaporator cover and observe the frost pattern to check the refrigeration system itself. More about that here: http://www.DavesRepair.com/DRSNbackissues/drsn0303.htm (see article #2)
Hope that's of some help. Merry Christmas, and God bless!
Dave Harnish Dave's Repair Service New Albany, PA www.DavesRepair.com snipped-for-privacy@sosbbs.com 570-363-2404
Free home appliance tips from a 32-year pro repair technician! Get your monthly email newsletter here: (Back issues now posted too!) www.DavesRepair.com
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