Proper Operation
Learn how your appliance is supposed to operate so you can determine if it is malfunctioning.

  • Visit our sponsor for parts:

Whirlpool/Kenmore Frost-Free Refrigerator

The "over and under" as opposed to "side by side" refrigerators discussed in this section will have the evaporator cooling coils located in the back of the freezer section and the condensor coils will be located underneath the refrigerator. The refrigerant (one manufacturer's trade name for it is FreonĀ®) gas-filled components such as the condensor coils and the evaporator coils will be discussed to understand the theory of refrigeration but no repair information will be provided for them. Repair information will be provided for the electrical components where most of the failures occur.

Whirlpool manufactures many of the Sears Kenmore refrigerators. Many of the electrical components in a Whirlpool refrigerator are interchangeable with those in a General Electric refrigerator. For example the defrost timers and thermostats and the condensor fan motors are frequently interchangeable. Defrost heaters are never interchangeable between brands. As a consequence, the "Proper Operation" section will be generic for all brands and many of the repair procedures will be generic to all brands.

Cleaning Condensor Coils

Cleaning condensor coils is a form of problem prevention and therefore will not be covered in the Problem Diagnostic section.

Problem Diagnostics

Most of the problems a refrigerator will experience over its life span are common and are caused by just a few of its functional (ie. operating) components. Once the actual symptom is confirmed, narrowing down the possible culprits and then replacing the failed one is often all that is needed to correct the malfunction. Even very old appliances may only require a simple repair to keep them operational for years to come.

Check Mark

Warming Up (Abnormal Cooling)

Check Mark

Cooling OK but Hear Strange Noise

  • If a screaching sound is coming from the back of the freezer section, the evaporator fan bearing may be starting to sieze.
  • If a clattering sound is coming from underneath, a piece of paper may be stuck in the condensor fan.