Warning ... Whirlpool Fridge Unserviceable

Rant on ......
I got a new Whirlpool side by side fridge 2 years ago. So, yesterday I was changing its horribly expensive water filter for the water and ice. So I decided to check the condenser coils for cleaning. To my amazement they were packed with dirt. Now comes the good (actually bad) part. While you can vacuum the front-most coil, where most to the dirt collects, all of the remaining coils are not cleanable. Sure, you could tip the fridge on its side and get it from the bottom. The coils are zig-zagged starting in front, going up at 45 degrees to the floor towards the rear. As you go towards the rear the coils then go down at 45 degrees and so on. There are about 4 or so of these up and down coils. The front-most coil blocks access to all the rear coils. There's no room to get into the sides, only the bottom. I looked at the manual and it says, "There is no need for routine condenser cleaning in normal home operating environments." What? I've never seen a condenser, even in the cleanest homes, that doesn't need periodic cleaning. Even my old built-in Kitchen Aid with the condenser on the top, needed cleaning. How can they even claim Energy Star Compliance? I called they "Customer Experience" line. I know why they call it that ... every time I have talked to them, it was literally an experience! They were of NO HELP, as usual. I talked to the supervisor. She was of NO HELP. I asked about how they can claim "Energy Star" compliance and she said "it is Energy Star compliant", litterally ignoring what I had said. Luckily, I was able to drag the hose from the garage air compressor, up the stairs and blow out the coil .... everyone has an air compressor, right? If the house had a particularly greasy environment, I'm sure the air might not clean the further back.
BTW, this isn't the only problem with this unit. There are many. The most frustrating one is that frost builds up in the ice maker. You have to chisel the ice build up and that's if you can remove the ice bucket/grinder. They replaced the entire door. Still does it. The authorized repair guy said that if this where a house with 5 kids and no AC he might expect this. He said that his engineering contact at WP told him, to tell the customer that it was the customers' responsibility to keep the parts free of ice build up. He told me he wouldn't tell HIS customers that, although in a round about way, he did. That's why he changed the entire door.
Sorry for venting.
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No need to apologize. With the prices of these appliances these days, having a lemon in the house is beyond merely aggravating.
Joe
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On Jun 18, 4:46pm, "Stormin Mormon"

I don't know that the way the Whirpool is built is so unusual. I have a two year old Kitchenaid side by side and while I can see the front of the coils, I also can't see any way to clean anything but a small portion. Which is somewhat understandable, since they have the coils underneath, not in the back where they were out in the open. My complaint is that they should then include a filter which is at the front and accessible.
As for meeting Energy Star, that's easy to explain. There is a series of govt tests that must be met and AFAIK, they have nothing to do with the coils being accessible. How much impact having some dirt accumulate on the condenser over the years would make on efficiency is anyone's guess.
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On Sat, 18 Jun 2011 10:25:34 -0400, Art Todesco wrote:

Don't feel too bad. I bought a Sears Kenmore side by side with ice maker, front door water and ice dispenser and had nothing but trouble with it 3 years after purchase. Had the ice maker paddles replaced, door electronic controls replaced a couple times. Then I came home to a flooded kitchen floor one day. The electronics had decided to switch on the water dispenser. On inspection there were several fried components on the control board. I took this up with Sears and after just a week of arbitration received a $2200 credit with Sears to pick out any fridge I wanted. I found a nice Samsung over/under for $2100. Sears also payed for the water cleanup and damage to downstairs carpeting. So all in all I can't really bitch too much besides the horror of walking into a flooded kitchen and the week inconvenience of not having a fridge. Luckily I have an old Kenmore out in the garage for beer that served well in my time of need :)
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On Sat, 18 Jun 2011 23:16:05 +0000 (UTC), "A. Baum"

snip
They don't make 'em like they used to. I replaced our GE top-freezer last year after the compressor seized. A 500 buck fridge lasting only 9 years. And the compressor was banging after 5-6 years. At least there was no maintenance. Plain Jane model. The new Kenmore bottom freezer was about $800 and I have no idea how long it will last. Seems they're all made in Mexico now, and the compressors are sealed units. Like you, I have a spare, but in the basement. A Westinghouse that has to be over 50 years old.. Single door with the small flap door freezer inside. Works every time, quietly. The one that failed had the same deal with most of the coils being unreachable. And I have dogs. Haven't tipped the new one yet to look at the coils. As Art said, you need compressed air.
--Vic
--Vic
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Vic Smith wrote:

[snip]
My fridge is a Sears Coldspot that I bought used when I bought my house over 20 years ago, and it is still running like a top. The only issue is that the evaporator coil drainage hose is disconnected somewhere, and the drippings end up in a little pan I keep in the fridge.
I have the empty the little pan more often in the summer than in the winter, but that's par for the course, at least until (or if) I ever tear into the unit far enough to reconnect or unplug the hose.
Jon
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On Jun 19, 8:55am, "Jon Danniken"

Yeah - It is interesting how we will put up with something like you describe because to actually fix the problem is just too inconvenient, even if the accumulated time for the minor inconvenience would be much more than getting in there and actually fixing the problem. Human nature is interesting.
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hr(bob) snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Have you ever tried putting a refrigerator back together after tearing it apart? It isn't easy!
The last time I attempted to fix it, I had the freezer apart to the evaporator coil, and thawed out the unit. I tried probing the drain with a length of cord from a string trimmer, but it stopped at something (what I suspect is the disconnection) about six inches in.
At this point I would need to tear apart the inside of the fridge to see if I could fix it, which, being a bit more complicated than getting access to the evap coil, would entail removing the entire inside shell of the fridge (it's in one large piece, unlike the freezer) to get access to where the hose goes through the insulation in the back.
It's a lot like working with a car's interior - there are a lot of little clips that you have to know the trick to reasembly, as well as having a ready supply of replacement clips for when you eventually break one.
Maybe one of these years.
Jon
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On Sat, 18 Jun 2011 23:16:05 +0000 (UTC), "A. Baum"

In a time of great need, you can hire a Brit to drink warm beer for you.
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I gave up on ice makers many years ago, I now have 6 trays and use filtered water and never run out of ice.

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I have a side by side whirlpool fridge could no clean back coils got out my small electric leave blower putonhigh coils are nice and clean fridge working fine problem solved
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On 6/15/16 8:19 AM, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

But now wifey is howling about dust all over the counters and cabinets !
Some days a guy just can't win ...........;-)
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It's been 5 years since Art posted his cleaning problem, so if he cleans it every 2 years he has cleaned it twice since his OP. He is still lurking i n this group and has not posted about this particular problem again, so his air compressor must do the trick. He could tell us how he cleans up the d irt from the fridge/freezer that now is scattered all over his kitchen or w herever he keeps the freezer.....
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On 6/15/2016 10:42 AM, snipped-for-privacy@att.net wrote:

Well, I replaced the fridge because the door arrangement just didn't fit in you kitchen. We originally wanted the French door thing, but at that time, they were new and very pricey. The condenser coils were on the bottom right side, near the front. But to clean the coils, you really had to access it from the right side of the unit which of course, is a solid side, which was not good. So, I put the vacuum hose on the left side of the condenser unit and ran an air hose up from the basement to blow it out injecting the air in the right side. The vacuum picked up most of the blow through, but some did still come out. What a pain. I replaced it with another WP French door unit which was pretty nice, however, I have yet to look for the coils. And, the big problem is this unit is susceptible to power glitches. We were gone for a week and came home to a unit that had shut down and all the food spoiled. When I told the "WP Experience Center" (and it WAS an experience) that a refrigerator must be fault tolerant and must run 24/7/365, she told me that is worked as it should and that's it. I asked if they have it in their sales brochure, that it shuts down and spoils food ... no answer. I'm still working this one. More later.
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Oren posted for all of us...

Better call Saul...
--
Tekkie

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