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Refrigerator Repair

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
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Got a 3 year old 18 cu ft Whirlpool fridge already acting up. POS. It's freezing food in the refrigerator at any setting. The freezer is doing just fine, no frost, it's in perfect running order.

This is the fridge: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-18-2-cu-ft-Top-Freezer-Refrigerator-in-Monochromatic-Stainless-Steel-WRT318FZDM/205730331

From my research it's most likely the Thermistor or the Control panel, so I got a new Thermistor since that was $8, and installed that but that didn't fix it. So I ordered a control panel that will be getting here tomorrow and I'll install it and see what happens. However if that doesn't work, my research doesn't really give me any more ideas. Any takers?
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
7,452
414
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could be the damper control stuck open. these kind only cool the freezer and let the cold air sink into the fridge to cool it, there is a damper that opens/closes to regulate the temp.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
8,838
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could be the damper control stuck open. these kind only cool the freezer and let the cold air sink into the fridge to cool it, there is a damper that opens/closes to regulate the temp.
I read about dampers on one website, but when I looked at the websites that sold parts for this fridge, none had a damper related part in them. Plus I couldn't find pictures of what to look for. Any suggestions on where to look? Is the damper in the freezer or the fridge section most likely?
 

jmagg

Golden Member
Nov 21, 2001
1,702
201
106
Got a 3 year old 18 cu ft Whirlpool fridge already acting up. POS. It's freezing food in the refrigerator at any setting. The freezer is doing just fine, no frost, it's in perfect running order.

This is the fridge: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Whirlpool-18-2-cu-ft-Top-Freezer-Refrigerator-in-Monochromatic-Stainless-Steel-WRT318FZDM/205730331

From my research it's most likely the Thermistor or the Control panel, so I got a new Thermistor since that was $8, and installed that but that didn't fix it. So I ordered a control panel that will be getting here tomorrow and I'll install it and see what happens. However if that doesn't work, my research doesn't really give me any more ideas. Any takers?
I have Whirlpool bottom freezer that shortly after 3 years, the main control went bad and had to replace, so i think your chances are good.
 

herm0016

Diamond Member
Feb 26, 2005
7,452
414
126
I read about dampers on one website, but when I looked at the websites that sold parts for this fridge, none had a damper related part in them. Plus I couldn't find pictures of what to look for. Any suggestions on where to look? Is the damper in the freezer or the fridge section most likely?
usually in the back of the freezer.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
8,838
4,392
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usually in the back of the freezer.
Thanks. I'll have to see if I can find anything on how to replace any damper parts if the control panel doesn't fix it. I haven't seen anything on how to do that on the web so that makes me nervous.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
8,838
4,392
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Just threw in the new control panel. Had no instructions but it was super easy on this model. Unscrew the light bulb, couple 1/4 inch nuts, unplug a few things, plug in the new control panel, pop in the light fixture. Easy peasy.

Cost me $75 vs the $300 a local well recommended repair shop told me it would cost to replace that specific part on my specific fridge. I should know by tomorrow if it worked if I wake up and the water in my brita is not freezing or partially freezing.
 
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MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
8,838
4,392
136
I have Whirlpool bottom freezer that shortly after 3 years, the main control went bad and had to replace, so i think your chances are good.
Seems that was it. Water and milk today had zero signs of being too cold which was the case every day since this started. Saved $215 overall but probably added a few days to the repair time waiting for the parts.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
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Well I spoke too soon. Even though the fridge stayed fine until early this afternoon from last evening, at 6pm today the water was freezing up. So I took apart the panel on the back and top of the fridge and I could see the ventilation hole (basically just a hole through styrofoam) coming from the freezer. To access it I started taking apart the panel on the back of the freezer so I could take that off and see wtf was going on. Of course I just stripped a single nut out of the 6 total, so I have to go get a bolt extractor bit tomorrow to finish that job up. In the meantime though I looked at every part available for this fridge, and there is no damper related part that has any moving parts in it. Here are all the parts for this fridge:


there is only one single part with the word damper in it or looks like anything controlling air flow:


This looks like something that would be easily seen to adjust manually. It does not look like a part that internally allows air to and from the freezer/fridge areas through the area I saw.

I'll finish taking the freezer apart tomorrow so I can get a better look at what it is. Maybe the part is discontinued. After that not sure I should call a repair man or just get a new fridge.
 

Meghan54

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2009
9,759
2,632
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Whirlpool Refrigerator Damper Control Assembly W10861170
(Found this on your main parts page under "Thermostat", near the bottom of the expanded parts category list...)

 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
8,838
4,392
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I opened up the back of the freezer so I could see what was going on with getting the cool air into the fridge. Nothing looked out of wack there. But there was some frozen ice on some of the coils and some wiring on the right half of the back of the freezer wall. I chipped all that away.

The fridge has now been on for over 24 hours and nothing is freezing. That's the longest stretch yet. Who knows maybe that was it.
 

MrSquished

Diamond Member
Jan 14, 2013
8,838
4,392
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48 hours later and the fridge is humming along perfectly. Before after every repair attempt, my brita water would be frozen around 18-22 hours later. Fingers crossed.
 

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