Intro: Repairing Your Fridge
My side by side fridge is cold (sub 0* F) on the freezer side but hot 60*F on the refrigerated side. Not good for your food. Not good for you either if you eat the food.
This means that the refrigerant is OK. It takes a licensed pro to fix the refrigerant or compressor.
This involved testing live circuits with 117 VAC on them. Use caution as you don't want shocked.
Step 1: Check the Defrost Timer
I put a dot of white out on the part that turns and the body of the fridge. After a couple of hours I noticed that the wheel had turned. This is one of the pieces that defrost the coils. Mine turned as it should so is eliminated as the problem.
Step 2: Unload the Freezer
I put everything in a cooler and a couple of blue ice blocks in fridge side to keep it cool. Remove the shelves an take off the panel in the back
Step 3: Testing
Live wires!! Voltages in the range of 117/123 VAC.
Be careful! If you have a pacemaker or other condition that a shock will kill you hire someone else!!!!
I had defrosted the coils by hand with a hair dryer a couple days ago to keep the fridge going. You will see the coils as a block of frost.
I had voltage at the feed wires. I had continuity at the element so I knew it was good.
There was no continuity at the defrost thermostat. Bad news this.
I found my model number and ordered my part next day from Amazon. Sears Parts Direct didn't have it in stock locally.
Step 4: Swap Out the Bad Part
Simple enough with both pieces at hand. It was simple enough as the part is color coded and the wires had a male and a female end.
I then rotated the timer till I heard it click. I waited 3 minute for the defrost heater to kick on. No joy!!
The defrost thermostat was room temperature. I rotated the defrost timer until the compressor kicked on. I let it run for a few minutes till the defrost thermostat had frost on it.
Success!! I was shocked at how hot the heater gets. It is essentially the same as the one in an electric oven.
Step 5: Reassembly!
Put the cover back in place.
Put the shelves back in place
Take the food out of the cooler and put them back in the freezer.
Hope I saved you some money.