If the freezer is actually working fine and makes ice that is not wet , the refrigeration cycle is working as evidenced by it’s ability to make ice that is dry.
There are 2 control dials for the refrigerator , one will say OFF and 1 through 10 typically, 10 being coldest.
This dial is the actual thermostat that cycles the compressor on and off, it has an OFF setting that shuts off the compressor .
The 2nd dial typically will also be numbered 1 through 10, ten being the “COLDEST” setting as is the 1st dial.
This “COLDEST” setting for the 2nd dial actually say’s colder freezer! what happens many times is someone will say , the fridge seems warm I will make it colder, so they proceed to peg both dials to 10 since that is the setting for “COLDEST”, logically that means coldest refrigerator, but what happens when both dials are set to their maximum cold setting, the air that is allowed to migrate into the refrigerator section is throttle back.
The 2nd dial controls a little flap in the duct in which the refrigerated section gets it’s cold air.
Many times I have found a refrigerator that works perfectly as far as the freezer goes, however the refrigerator is not cold enough or at all in some cases, the 2 dials will be pegged at the Max settings which to most persons means that is the coldest refrigerator as well as the freezer, this is actually making the freezer coldest and starving the refrigerator section of sufficient air flow from the freezer compartment.
Adjust the 2nd dial dial to the medium or middle setting , this will allow air to migrate as long as defrost water has not accumulated and blocked the drain hole or the duct for the air to the refrigerator section , make sure the flap is not stuck closed if setting the dial or dials to the middle setting.
The evaporator coil in the freezer compartment must be inspected to see if it is iced up and not allowing the refrigerator section to get any air, if it is icing up the freezer will soon not work normally and the ice if it makes any will not be dry, it will be wet and the products in the freezer will begin to noticeably defrost.
Remove the plastic or metal panel, it is on the freezer floor or the back wall of the freezer.
It will be handy to have a 6 in 1 tool which is a screwdriver that has both philips and standard inserts that invert to get the larger size if required, the actual tub of the screwdriver is a 1/4 in ch hole in one end and a 5/16 hole on the other end, these ends can be used as a nut driver. Every fastener you will encounter will be one of these.
If the evaporator is iced up you will need to manually advance the defrost timer to initiate a defrost cycle.
The defrost timer is in the refrigerator section in the ceiling, if you look inside then upwards you will see a hole that you can insert a screwdriver and manually advance the timer, it will mack a click click noise , that is normal, advance the timer until the compressor shuts off. listen for a few minutes for the defrost heater to melt the ice away, if after 15 minutes there is no sound of ice melting, cracking etc, wait for 30 minutes or so and see if the timer ever starts the compressor, if it does not the timer is bad, if it does, you must defrost the coil by leaving it open and off or use a blow dryer or heat gun and melt the ice.
Once it is defrosted you need to test the defrost heater and defrost thermostat / terminator which are very cheap and I just replace both if I have my refrigerator this far apart, if you do this and buy a timer you have essentially refurbished the unit.
The defrost cycle is,..
TIME “and” TEMPERATURE initiated,
TIME “or” TEMPERATURE terminated.
This means that the defrost timer ,which attempts a defrost every 6-8 hrs must be calling for a defrost, which means it’s switch closes to send power to the defrost heater, and the defrost thermostat / terminator must also be calling for a defrost cycle, it does so by closing at 32F and opening at a temperature above that.
The defrost cycle is TIME and TEMPERATURE initiated, if both switches are closed the power can get to the defrost heater, if either switch opens the defrost cycle terminates.
I think of it like a set of draw bridges in series, if both are closed your car may proceed and get to its intended destination, if either bridge / switch opens the car or power can no longer proceed as intended.
If you are not handy with a ohm meter and voltmeter I recommend replacing the defrost timer , defrost heater and defrost thermostat / terminator, it is cheap insurance to avoid losing hundreds in food.
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