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Refrigerator cool but not cold

Whirlpool GS5SHAXNB02 side-by-side fridge. The freezer side maintains a temp of about 50°. The evaporator coils (cooling) have NO frost on them, only the very top line where the thermostat clips on is frosted. The condenser fan sounds like it is running, what now?

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Hi @tommysparks1 ,

Have you checked the thermometer? ;-)

What is the temperature in the refrigerator section?

Is the compressor running? Have you checked that the refrigerator is not is the defrost cycle?

The compressor and evaporator fan will be switched off for 15-25 minutes to defrost the evap unit. After this the compressor and fan will be switched on again to cool things back down. This takes a bit of time to achieve but the freezer should never be at 50 F. If the compressor is not running then the defrost thermostat may be the problem. It should operate at 32 F to tell the control board to turn off the defrost cycle and to start the compressor/evap fan again The condenser fan, near the compressor can operate in the defrost cycle.

If the compressor is running, is the evaporator fan operating? With the freezer door open, manually operate the freezer door switch. The light should go out and the fan should start operating.

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My Thermometer works for certain. The fridge started getting cold again, but again thawed out again. Do you think this is defrost thermostat or control board. The control board #2304095 sells for $130 on ebay, but there is a guy that fixes them for $75. It looks as though there are three relays on this board. Do you think the relays are worth changing out? When the compresseor is running, both fans are running.

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@tommysparks1

You should be able to test the defrost thermostat with an Ohmmeter when out of circuit.

It is just a Bi-Metal contact device. Not certain whether it closes or opens at the set temp of ~32F but either way if you stick it in some ice for a while to get <32F and then test it with an Ohmmeter and then remove it from the ice and test it when you think it is near ambient temp i.e. >32F there should be a difference either short circuit when it was cold and then open circuit at ambient or vise versa, but not the same at both temps

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The refrigerator is next door at my neighbors house. I removed the defrost thermostat and brought it to my house and stuck it in the freezer, checked continuity, thawed it out with a hair dryer and saw the thermostat open on the meter. I repeated this procedure three times. I think it is safe to say that the defrost thermostat is good. I removed screws holding rear cardboard cover on so we could see the compressor. We plugged the fridge back in and compressor and fan started running. I started to open the cover for the control board box and compressor and fan stopped running. I inspected the capacitors and they appear fine, I touched one of them and it gave me a very subtle shock, this is from the "top" of the capacitor. Is this normal? I unplugged the connector from the control board (whirlpool 2304095) with the black and two tan wires, when I reconnected it the compressor started running again. https://photos.google.com/search/_tra_/p...

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Hi @tommysparks1 ,

Capacitors are supposedly in insulated "cans" so you shouldn't get anything when touching them. Disconnect the power from the refrigerator and then use a Voltmeter (start at highest AC scale first)and measure between the top of the capacitor and earth. If it shows a brief reading as the capacitor discharges this is not good it shouldn't. Then use an Ohmmeter to measure between the capacitor cap and earth again there should be nothing - open circuit.

It seems as though there may be a loose connection or perhaps a dry solder joint as movement caused the compressor to stop and start.

Replace the cover, reconnect the power and if the compressor starts and runs, gently tap at various places around the control box with the insulated handle of a screwdriver and check if this turns the compressor off and maybe on again.

If it does it seems more likely that there is a loose connection or at least a problem on the control board anyway.

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Jiggling the connections did not stop the compressor again. It must have just been a coincidence that the compressor and fan stopped as I was opening the control board box. Since the compressor runs, this means that the start relay is good correct? So where do I go from here?

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Great pic. It says a lot! The issue is in the sealed system. Either there is a refgerant leak, a restriction in the flow of refrigerant or the compressor isn’t pumping properly. The frost pattern on the evaporator coils is very helpful in diagnosing a sealed system issue. Unfortunately, it’s not a repair that an average DIYer can do. The EPA requires that only certified technicians can enter the sealed system. You would need to have a quialified refrigeration technician to do the repairs. .

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