How To/Solutions To Problems

Kenmore Refrigerator Fan [Issues & Solutions]

A Kenmore refrigerator fan should run as long as the compressor and other components work. But if there are issues with the fan, this article proffers solutions.

Kenmore Refrigerator Fan
Photo Credit: Walmart.com

Kenmore Refrigerator Compressor and Fan Not Running – Quick Fix

If you find that the compressor and fan of your Kenmore refrigerator are not running, run a test on them.

First, make sure the components are getting enough power. The power cord should be fully plugged and the electric outlet should be giving up to 120V.

Next, check the blades of the fan to be sure they are clean and nothing is obstructing them. Take a multimeter and test the motor of the fan to check for continuity. If you don’t find continuity, replace the fan motor.

The compressor is a bit more complicated to test. You need to know what the resistance should look like when you see it. But you will need a multimeter to check the electrical pins on its side, where the relay mounts.

If there is an obvious open circuit in the compressor, it is no longer working. Consider replacing it. If you are not sure about doing the test yourself, hire a professional to do the job.

The refrigerator won’t cool if the fan and compressor are not running. They are part of the cooling system of any refrigerator.

Kenmore Refrigerator Fan Cycles On and Off – What to Do

Inspect the fan for obstructions. An external object or a large piece of dirt may be interfering with the blades and making it difficult for the fan to run.

Clean the blades and make sure the area around the fan is clean. Turn the blades with your bad to determine how well they turn.

You need to test the motor of the fan to check its functionality. Take a multimeter and check it for continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the motor to see if the fan starts running again. There may be a loose connection and simply fixing it gets the fan up and running smoothly again.

Kenmore Refrigerator Fan Running But Not Cooling – Solved

If the fan of your Kenmore refrigerator is running yet the refrigerator is not cooling, there are other components to check:

1. Condenser Coils

Dirty coils inhibit cooling in the refrigerator. Therefore, make sure the coils are not heavily loaded with dirt. Clean them with a vacuum cleaner or a condenser coil cleaning brush. If you can reach the coils easily, wipe them down with a cloth for a cleaner look.

Maintain a yearly or twice-a-year cleaning routine for the coils to keep them in good shape to dissipate heat from the refrigerator.

2. Evaporator Fan

Check the fan behind the interior rear panel of the freezer, which many call the evaporator fan cover. Bent blades mean they are hitting something, probably ice. If there is ice around the fan, defrost the unit manually. Then, replace the blades and ensure they turn smoothly.

Run a continuity test on the motor of the fan using a multimeter. If the motor shows no continuity, the fan is defective and you should replace the motor.

Without a functioning evaporator fan, the refrigerator won’t cool even if the condenser fan is running.

3. Start Relay

Check the relay mounted to the side of the compressor. Unmount it and give it a small shake. If it makes a rattling noise, replace it.

But if it does not yet you suspect it is defective, check it for continuity using a multimeter. If the relay shows no continuity, replace it.

The relay enables the compressor to start and run smoothly. If the relay fails, the compressor will have a hard time starting and this will affect the cooling capacity of the refrigerator.

4. Evaporator Coils

The condition of the coils tells you whether or not the defrost system is working well. That is if the refrigerator defrosts automatically. Otherwise, there is no defrost system to check.

Typically, there should be a light coating of frost on the coils. But if there is a significant amount of frost on them, something is faulty in the defrost system.

Disconnect the refrigerator from power and leave the doors open. Store food in another refrigerator or a well-insulated cooler. Lay towels around the unit to soak up dripping water and allow the refrigerator to defrost manually.

Clean up and check the components of the defrost system. Start with the defrost timer. Advance it into the defrost cycle and wait for it to advance out automatically. If this does not happen, replace the timer.

Next, check the thermostat. It should close its contacts to allow power to flow to the defrost heater. If it is faulty, there will be no continuity when you test it with a multimeter. And that means the heater won’t work. Replace it.

Now, check the defrost heater if the thermostat and timer are in good working condition. With a multimeter, check the heater for continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the defrost heater.

Finally, check the defrost control board. While it hardly fails, it may be faulty if other components check out. Consider replacing it.

5. Compressor

If the compressor is failing, you may hear it clicking or cycling on and off. It may not run at all. But hire a qualified technician to check the compressor and determine if it has failed.

You can also check the thermistor, cold control thermostat, and even the temperature board. Finally, check the main control board. It may be damaged, causing the refrigerator not to cool even with the fan running.

How to Replace Fan in Kenmore Refrigerator

To replace the evaporator fan in a Kenmore refrigerator, do the following:

Unplug the refrigerator from electric power and open the door. Take the spacer out of the shelf of the freezer so you can remove the freezer.

Remove the inside back panel of the freezer compartment and disconnect the wire harness of the evaporator fan. Also, disconnect the green ground wire and the wire harness that connects to the ice maker. Now, remove the fan cover.

Next, take the locking rings from the tabs on the upper side of the cover. Now, pull the cover of the fan up and release the locking tabs to separate it from the fan.

Pull the blades of the fan from the shaft and lift the tabs on the retainer of the motor. Next, turn the retainer counterclockwise to pull it off. Lift the old motor off of the mounting bracket.

Insert the new motor into the bracket and put the retainer back in place, turning it clockwise to secure it. Replace the retainer tabs and lock them. Set the blades of the fan on the shaft and replace the cover.

Retrace your steps to finish installing the new fan motor.

Here is a video showing how to replace the fan motor…

Condenser Fan

To replace the condenser fan, disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and move it to access the bottom back.

Unmount the front base screw of the bracket of the motor and tilt it toward the compressor to unmount the screw at the back.

Unmount the screws at the top and disconnect the wire harness and pull the fan out. Remove the blades from the old motor and place them on the shaft of the new motor. Reconnect the wire harness and mount the screws.

This video shows how to replace the condenser fan motor in a refrigerator

Note: You can replace the condenser fan motor or evaporator fan motor by following the steps explained above.

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Kenmore Refrigerator Fan Runs Constantly – Solution

If the condenser fan of a Kenmore refrigerator runs constantly, check the following:

Condenser Coils

Dirt on any type of motor or engine causes it to malfunction, and refrigerators are no different. While the fan is working, it is likely to draw dirt that will settle on the fan and coils.

When this happens, the coils become less able to function because of excessive heat, and the fan has to run non-stop to cover the slack.

Therefore, clean the condenser coils thoroughly after unplugging the refrigerator. If you can reach it easily, wipe any leftover grime with a rag to improve the efficiency of the coils. Ensure you clean them every 6 to 12 months.

Thermostat

Turn the dial of the thermostat to the warmest temperature setting and see if the temperature of the refrigerator rises. If it continues cooling even with the thermostat at the warmest point, consider replacing the component.

But run a continuity test on it using a multimeter. If there is no continuity showing from the thermostat, replace it.

The thermostat is a sensor that reads the temperature of the refrigerator and turns on the cooling system when the temperature demands it. But if the thermostat stops working, you will find the fan constantly running in a bid to keep the refrigerator cool.

Gasket

Check the gasket by feeling around the door. There should be no cold feeling if it is sealing tightly. But if you feel the slight cold draught, the gasket may be leaky.

To be sure, use the paper or dollar trick. Close the door on a piece of paper or a dollar bill and try pulling it out. If the paper or bill comes out, the gasket needs a replacement.

You can also check to see if the gasket is dirty. Dirt can also compromise the internal temperature and lead to the fan running constantly.

A weak or leaky door gasket allows cold air to escape easily and warm air to enter. The loss of cold air compromises the internal temperature significantly, and you will find the condenser fan running to prevent the temperature from rising.

Ventilation

The vents through which air gets to the motor of the fan may be choked with dirt. If this is the case, then the motor will constantly run to try to dissipate the heat.

The same applies if there is not enough space around the refrigerator for the release of hot air. Move the refrigerator to create space between the cabinet and the walls or surfaces around it. Otherwise, the heat will build, and the fan will keep running in trying to lower the temperature.

Motor

The fan motor may be defective and while it is rare to see the fan constantly running because the motor is bad, it could happen. Therefore, check the motor of the fan for continuity using a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace the motor.

Kenmore Refrigerator Fan Making Noise – Quick Fix

Check the condenser fan blades for dirt and debris obstructing their movement. The fan tends to generate some noise if something is caught in the blades. Therefore, cleaning them may help.

But if the noise continues after cleaning the blades, then the motor may be faulty. When the bearings wear out, the motor begins to make a noise. Replace the motor because you cannot fix the bearings.

Next, check the evaporator fan. Once the motor fails, it creates a lot of noise. The same applies if there is ice around the fan blades.

Inspect the fan behind the back panel or evaporator fan cover. There should be no ice buildup and if there is, it would explain the noise. The blades are hitting the fan and generating it.

Set a dryer over the ice to melt it or run a manual defrost on the unit. However, you need to find out why there is excessive ice buildup around the fan. It may have something to do with the defrost system if there is an automatic system in the unit. Otherwise, check for cracks through which air enters the compartment.

More likely than not, the blades would be bent from hitting the ice. If they are not bent, there is no need to replace them but test the motor to check for continuity if it is making a noise.

The noise should get louder and die down once you open the door of the freezer. If this is the case, and there is no continuity, replace the motor.

Recap

It is important to find solutions to a Kenmore refrigerator fan with issues. Doing this helps the fan last longer and the refrigerator to perform better.

But if you can’t find a solution, even with this guide, contact Kenmore, report the issue, and request service. You can also choose any of our appliance technicians to assist you using the chatbox to your right.