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Kenmoreburning refridgerator

1
S Review updated:

I woke up this morning to a kitchen filled with smoke. My Kenmore Coldspot 106.[protected] was burning. I found the problem, the relay device on the compressor melted and was burning. The compressor is destroyed along with the relay box.

I called Kenmore and they said that I was welcome to pay full price for all the repairs. Nice! It could have caught the house on fire and killed us in our sleep if it had happened in the middle of the night.

I believe Kenmore knows about this flaw but chooses to ignore it. I am considering a lawsuit to force them into action. Somebody is going to get killed from this defective product if they haven't already.

Responses

  • P
      Aug 13, 2009

    What makes you say that you know Kenmore knows about this problem? Have you discovered many others that have reported the same condition? Are you sure your appliance wasn't part of a recall you chose to ignore?

    How can you be SO certain it was a design flaw? How old is the fridge? If it is out of warranty, yes, you have to pay for the repairs. If you did not buy an extended warranty, or if it is past that date too, then that's the responsibility of owning appliances!

    Are you sure there wasn't an electrical surge that melted it? I once had a lightning surge come through a phone line and melt my computer's on/off switch.

    As for burning down your house, i'm sure that as a responsible parent and homeowner, you have plenty of smoke detectors in appropriate places with current, active batteries. that must have been what woke you up. And these days, you probably have a CO2 detector as well. It's not likely it would have killed you in your sleep, since these inexpensive and required items would have alerted you.

    there are hundreds of things in our homes that could burn it down and kill us and our families and our pets. It's our responsibility to keep ourselves safe from accidents and even the occasional faulty appliance.

    Good luck with your potential lawsuit. And next time, buy Maytag! (No i do not work there)

    0 Votes
  • D
      Aug 20, 2009

    You placed an ad in craigslist that you put the frig out for curbside pckup...I picked it up and did a very detailed analysis. Compressor run terminal melted but still has short stub and all connections to it were shorted to ground and each other by the burned carbon from the start/overload unit burning up. I unbolted the compresor swinging it outside to enable cleaning everything real good. This repaired/eliminated the shorts and ohmmeter tests showed the compressor start and run coils are good. A new start/overload from Sears is over $60. I ordered on internet for $22.88 but they sent me the wrong unit after 1 week wait so I dismantled the unit they sent and figured out a way to install it anyway. Before ordering I tested the compressor by starting it manually by shorting across the start(S) and run(R) terminals for about 2 seconds..ran fine and froze glass of water within about 1 hour. I examined the replacement start unit carefully and see that it is nothing but a disc thermistor connected between those terminals. I understand all modern refrigerators use these now...the disc thermistors have a low resistance (I measured 5 ohms) when cold allowing current to flow through the start coil on the compressor. This current heats the thermistor disc which when real hot increases its resistance lowering the current through the coil. The thermistors are subject to burnout (open or shorted) and I think is a very very poor design even though used in all refrigerators now. The old ones used a real relay made of coils of wire and moveable contacts and could last 40 or more years with no problems. I have now reassembled everything and the refrigerator works fine...but, like any modern refrigerator, I do not know when/if the thermistor will fail...again. As an aside, the coils were very very dirty and the buildup of heat may have contributed to the failure of the thermistor/overload compressor starter unit. I used my leaf blower to clean the coils...see photos.

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