Kenmore refrigerators are trusted, and we tend to take them for granted. But when we find that a Kenmore refrigerator keeps shutting off, it is important to find a quick solution.
Kenmore Refrigerator Keeps Shutting Off – What to Do
If you find that your Kenmore refrigerator keeps shutting off, make sure there is enough voltage flowing to it. Check the circuit breaker that controls the refrigerator. You should find it outside the house. If it is off, turn it on. Next, check the power cord of the refrigerator. The cord should be fully plugged in but if there is any damage to it, you may find the refrigerator shutting off repeatedly.
Additionally, check the dedicated wall outlet. Plug another appliance into it and if the appliance comes on, you will be able to tell if it is receiving enough voltage.
However, if none of the above applies, then do the following:
1. Check the Evaporator Coils
Remove the contents of the freezer and the shelves. Then, remove the panel at the back to inspect the evaporator coils. You are likely to find ice or frost accumulated on them, making it impossible for the gas to flow through them and cool the unit.
You can use a dryer or steamer to thaw the coils. But a surer and safer method is to defrost the unit manually. Turn off the refrigerator or unplug it from the wall receptacle. Store food items, especially the perishable ones, in a well-insulated cooler or another refrigerator.
Lay towels or rags on the floor around the refrigerator to absorb dripping water and open the doors of the unit. Allow the ice to melt overnight or for a few hours, depending on the level of ice accumulation.
Afterward, clean the refrigerator and allow it to air-dry before replacing the shelves and food items. The ice on the coils will melt during the defrost process.
If ice has been built on the coils behind the inside wall of the freezer section, the refrigerator will keep shutting off. It won’t be able to cool, and the effort from the compressor to run will shut the unit off.
2. Check the Defrost Timer
Find the timer in the refrigerator and turn it with a screwdriver until the compressor and fan turn off. The defrost heater should come on and begin warming the evaporator coils. Wait for the timer to advance out of the defrost cycle within 30 minutes and if it does not advance, it is defective and is causing the refrigerator to shut off. You have to replace the defrost timer.
3. Check the Cold Control Thermostat
Go to the housing of the cold control inside the refrigerator, on the roof, and inspect the thermostat. There may be loose wire connections causing the refrigerator to stop working. Unmount the two screws holding the housing cover in place and remove the cover. If there are loose wires, tighten them using a pair of needle-nosed pliers.
But if tightening them does not work, turn the dial of the thermostat from lowest to highest and wait for it to click as the refrigerator kicks into action. If you hear the click audibly, the thermostat is not faulty. However, if there is no click, test the thermostat using a multimeter. If you find no continuity in the thermostat, replace it.
In addition to the above, ensure the temperature is set properly, 37 degrees for the refrigerator and 0 degrees for the freezer. The condenser coils should not have a significant accumulation of dirt otherwise, the refrigerator will overheat and shut down.
Also, create enough space around the refrigerator so there will be good airflow around it. The airflow reduces heat overload on the compressor and other components. Finally, check the compressor. Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power, wait about 2 hours, and reconnect it. If the compressor runs smoothly and the refrigerator does not shut off, the problem may be stemming from a heat overload on the compressor.
If all else fails, contact Kenmore to report the issue of your refrigerator shutting off regularly. It may need servicing.
Kenmore Refrigerator Not Shutting Off – Solutions
If your Kenmore refrigerator is not shutting off, it means the compressor is running constantly in a bid to help the unit maintain a cool temperature. So, check the following:
1. Defrost System
Unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet and open the freezer door. Remove the inside back panel of the section and find the heater under the evaporator coils. Remove it and run a continuity test on it using a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace the heater.
The defrost heater may remain on if it is defective and continuously warm the cooling coils. As a result, the refrigerator’s temperature will rise and cause the unit to run non-stop as it struggles to reduce the rising temperature.
If the heater is functioning well, then check the defrost thermostat. It should close its contacts when it detects that the coils have reached or passed a preset temperature point so power can flow to the heater. The heater, in turn, turns on and warms the coils so they don’t freeze.
So, check the thermostat for continuity using a multimeter. You should find continuity once the thermostat gets to the lowest temperature point within its range of operation. But if it does not show any continuity, replace the thermostat.
Next, check the defrost timer. Locate it in your Kenmore refrigerator model and turn it clockwise with a screwdriver to advance it into the defrost cycle. If the compressor turns off and the heater turns on, the timer is defective. But to be sure, you can run a continuity test on it using a multimeter. If there isn’t any continuity, replace the defrost timer.
The timer determines how the defrost cycle runs. It should advance the other components of the system in and out of the cycle a few times a day. So, if you find the refrigerator is not shutting off, the system may be stuck in the defrost mode, making the unit unable to maintain a cold temperature. Therefore, it keeps running to try and stay cold.
You can also check the defrost control board but only when all the other components are in good working condition. If only one component is defective, the board is not the origin. But if the entire system fails, replace the control board.
2. Condenser Coils
Inspect the coils under the refrigerator, usually close to the compressor. If they are dirty, which they are likely to be if you have never cleaned them, use a vacuum cleaner to clean the dust off them and use a rag to wipe off any remaining dust or debris.
Dirty coils are ineffective in dissipating heat from the unit as the refrigerant flows through them. Consequently, the refrigerator gets an overload of heat and does not shut off as it tries to lower the internal temperature. Therefore, ensure you clean the coils at least once every year.
3. Door Seal
Check the door gasket for wear or cracks. Run your hand down the length of the seal to see whether or not you can feel any cold air escaping. If you do, replace the seal but if you don’t, open and close the door on a piece of paper.
Next, pull the paper while the door is still closed and see if you can pull it out. If you successfully pull it out, replace the seal because it is weak.
Warm air from the surrounding environment naturally enters the refrigerator if the door seal is weak. The seal traps the cold air in the unit and keeps the warm air out. But if the warm air enters, the moisture it carries condenses and freezes on every cold surface, including the evaporator coils. Typically, the defrost system should warm the coils and prevent freezing but if the warm keeps entering freely, the system may not be able to keep up with defrosting, and eventually, the coils will freeze.
If the coils freeze, cold air cannot pass through them to the refrigerator. So, you will find the unit not cooling as it should even though it keeps running in a bid to lower the temperature.
4. Temperature Setting
Ensure the temperature in the freezer is below 10 degrees Fahrenheit and the refrigerator temperature should be below 44 degrees. If the temperature in the compartments rises above these points, the refrigerator will stop shutting off and run constantly to try and maintain the right temperature.
5. Evaporator Fan
Turn the blades of the fan to check whether or not they are spinning well. While doing this, make sure there is nothing obstructing the blades. If the blades turn well, the fan may be in good working condition. But if the blades have a hard time turning, then the motor may be defective.
To verify this, take a multimeter and test the windings of the motor to check for continuity. If the motor shows no continuity, replace it.
The cold air that the evaporator coils produce circulates the freezer and gets into the refrigerator when the evaporator fan circulates. If the fan stops working, therefore, the refrigerator’s temperature will rise. Over time, the refrigerator’s compressor will stop turning off and run constantly to keep the unit cold.
6. Condenser Fan
Check the blades of the fan for any sign of obstruction. Because of its location, it is easy to catch debris which may prevent the blades from spinning freely. But if there is nothing caught in the blades, clean and turn them to ensure they spin freely. If there is any restriction, the bearings of the motor may be worn. So, consider replacing the motor.
However, if the blades spin well, run a continuity test on the motor using a multimeter. If you don’t find continuity, replace the condenser fan’s motor.
The condenser fan pulls air over the condenser coils and compressor so they don’t overheat. But if the fan fails, the coils may become too hot and keep the unit from cooling. Consequently, the refrigerator will start running non-stop as it tries to remain cold.
If all the above parts turn out to be in good working condition and nothing else seems to be the origin of the problem, you may have to replace the main control board. Since it controls the functions of the refrigerator, the unit may start running continuously if the board fails.
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How to Turn Off Water to a Kenmore Refrigerator
To turn off the water to a Kenmore refrigerator, you have to turn it off from the primary source. Find the water supply valve behind the refrigerator or under the kitchen sink. Turn the valve clockwise or to the right to turn the water off to cut off the flow of water from the primary source to the refrigerator.
Kenmore Refrigerator Turning Off and On – Quick Fix
Turn the thermostat entirely off and turn it on again if the refrigerator turns off. If the unit turns on and runs smoothly, the problem may stem from a faulty thermostat. Replace the component.
You should also check the defrost timer and control board if the refrigerator turns off, and you can only turn it on by unplugging and plugging it back in or if it turns off and does not turn on again.
If these don’t fix the issue, contact Kenmore to report the issue and request service. Otherwise, chat with us and we will connect you to one of our appliance technicians to help you fix the problem in no time.
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