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Major Appliances/Refrigerator stopped working - freezer working fine!



We have an older Whirlpool Estate Frostless Refrigerator.        Model#: TT14EKRAW 01
Serial#: EC2441603

We have never had any problems with it, except for the water draining from the freezer into the fridge (and I just saw your answer to fixing that problem in another post!  Thank you!!)

However, 3 days ago the refrigerator completely stopped working.  It will not get cold on any setting.  The freezer is working fine and as cold as ever!

Any thoughts / suggestions?

Many thanks in advance for your time and expertise.

ANSWER: Open the freezer door and move food to view the entire rear inside panel.  Do youi see frost building up on this panel.  

Waiting to hear from you,
Eric and Ann Campion

P.S. Please keep in mind we help pay our staff with earnings from parts sales.  Help us keep this valuable service free and order your parts from us. Visit our website for additional help at  or for Parts Order Only, Call 1-570-622-6441

[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: There is no frost building up anywhere on the back panel.

ANSWER: If I were there, I would remove all food and shelving inside the freezer section including the ice maker if applicable.  Next, I would remove the rear inside panel. Before going too far into this diagnosis, we need to do what I refer to as the finger test.  This test will determine if the problem is in the sealed system or other areas causing the problem.  All repairs made to a unit can be performed with relative ease until there is a problem with the sealed system.  One common problem is a restriction, Freon leak or finally, a weak compressor.  I need you to remove the inside freezer section evaporator cover to inspect the evaporator coils.  Most generally, all the food, shelving and ice maker (if applicable) must be removed.  Next, remove any screws related to the removal of the evaporator cover.  If you see frost building up on the outside of the cover, scrape with a putty knife or incorporate the use of a hair dryer to remove the frost/ice.  Most often there will be a screw hiding in this frost/ice build-up (if applicable).  Once you have the cover removed, inspect the frost/ice pattern.  Is it evenly built up top to bottom, front to back?  If it is evenly built up, the problem is most likely a defrost problem, easily repaired.  If, on the other hand, there is only a build-up of frost/ice in one area, this could possibly be a sealed system problem.  Use a hair dryer and remove all the frost on the evaporator coils and then plug the unit in and make sure the compressor is running.  For the next half hour or so watch the Freon line move slowly along the coil.  The line should begin freezing the evaporator coil as it moves along the line.  When finished moving, the evaporator coils should be frosted, front to back, top to bottom and left to right.  If you wet your finger and touch each portion of the evaporator coil, your finger should lightly stick to the evaporator coil in the area that you touch.  If not, the problem is within the sealed system and cost of repair is more than 200.00 depending on the exact problem.  This repair requires special tools and skills..Most often if your refrigeration unit is older, not worth the repair because of the cost.  Let us know what you find.  If we can help further, we are here.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Picture 1
Picture 1  

Picture 2
Picture 2  
QUESTION: OK Eric, I followed your instructions to a tee and have this to report:

[Picture 1] There was a slight build-up of ice near the back of the freezer / in drain tray which, after reading some of the advise you have given others on this site, I suspect was caused by the blocked evaporator drain line.  I cleared that blocked line :)

I had the unit unplugged and I had a shop light pointed right at the coils so when I got them uncovered there was little frost to been seen.  However, when I plugged the unit back in I watched the frost build along the freon line/coils in the correct pattern and completely as you described [picture 2].  This took less than the 30 minutes you estimated.

So, after about 6 hours now, the freezer is working better than ever but the refrigerator part is still not getting cold :(

Where do we go next?!  Continued Thanks!!

Looking at your unit.....The freezer fan blows the air into the refrigerator to keep it cold.  If freezer is working, there must still be a frost blockage in one of the air channels into the freezer.  Otherwise, the refrigerator would be cold.  Initially, is the fan in the freezer running?  Next, remove the rear inside panel and check all vents to be sure there is no restricting air flow problem.  Set controls to the middle setting and as an afterthought, make sure the protrusion on the rear inside freezer panel does not have any ice built up inside it.  

Let me know what you find.  ERic  

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Eric Campion


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