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Sears / Kenmore Elite French Door Refrigeratorbad odor coming from back of unit when running & fan is on.

1
U Review updated:

We purchased a 3-door Sears Kenmore Elite w/bottom freezer w/ in- door icemaker&water dispenser on May 31, 2010. This was a new 2010 model. In the middle of Nov. 2010 we smelled a terrible odor coming from the back of the unit when it was running & the fan was on. After a week or two of it smelling, we called Sears repair to have them check it out. Before the repairman could get here, it stopped smelling, so we cancelled the service call. Well, a few weeks later it started to smell again, not as strong this time. It would come and go.
We called Sears repair again and they came to look at it 1/18/11. It was not smelling at the time. They removed the back motor cover, everything was clean. No determination for what it was. Again this morning, 1/23/11, we wake up to a terrible odor again. Smelling up the whole kitchen!! Once again we have an appointment for service on 1/25/11. Does anyone know what this could be?? It smells awful!!

Responses

  • Pr
    proudmomof4 Feb 01, 2011

    We have a Kenmore Elite and we have the same problem. The smell is unbelievable and we can't figure it out. Have cleaned inside and out every possible area. My kitchen smells like a mouse died in it. When we pull the fridge out, smell goes away. Would love to see more posts here.

    1 Votes
  • Ll
    llpreschool Jul 19, 2011

    We are having the same problem... Did youfind out what it is???

    0 Votes
  • Dk
    dkap Sep 06, 2011

    We are having the exact same problem. Did anyone figure anything out? We have had our unit for about 8 months and just noticed the smell. My wife says it smells like rotting peaches. I say it smells like a dead mouse. We are very interested to hear if anyone has a solution yet?

    0 Votes
  • Se
    Searsdoesstink Nov 15, 2011

    We have the same issue Kenmore elite with ice maker. My son and I thought it smelled like a dead body. After looking at it further we thought it could be the drip pan. Easy enough, right. We thought we would just remove the pan clean it and be done. Two hours later we have taken the fridge a part and we still cannot reach the drip pan. After looking at some posts it mentioned that this cannot be done ? You need to tip the fridge upside down to get it out? Come on Sears are you kidding? What engineer would design something so stupid? Now I really wish we broke the bank and bought a sub zero. After much exhaustion, we poured Clorox in the pan and went to bed.

    1 Votes
  • Kr
    Kristen Lee Kenny Jul 01, 2017

    @Searsdoesstink We had this same issue!!! Finally got the pan out with lots of swearing but the smell is still persisting!!!

    0 Votes
  • St
    stinkbomb2 Jun 26, 2012

    Our Kenmore Elite has the same terrible odor as if something died in the unit. Sears service (A+E) came out (2 hours late) and did some basic checks and said "we don't do smells" and left (without putting the back plate screws in properly because he had forgotten his driver at a previous call). If they "don't do smells" then why did they send someone out knowing it was a call for smells?The drip pan cannot be removed for cleaning (brilliant engineering). Even after a thorough cleaning of the inside of the refrigerator, and with no food in it for 2 days, the smell is still terrible (5 days total now). The unit is unusable in its current condition. Sears/Kmart is being penny wise and pound foolish with the handling of this issue. They have lost not only us as customers, but our family and friends will be informed of the flawed unit (this is the 4th call for a variety of issues with it) and the poor service rendered in spite of purchasing the extended warranty.

    1 Votes
  • Ju
    justseekinghelp Oct 20, 2012

    Experiencing the same problem. Unfortunately nobody has followed up here with their solutions. Here is our note to Kenmore customer care.

    Our Kenmore Elite refrigerator has a foul smell. Not from inside the refrigerator or freezer, but from underneath in the workings. We have a service appointment for this week.

    model number 795.78773.800

    I am writing to highlight to you that you have a recurring issue on this model or similar models, for the same cause, as evidenced by many online complaints. Your customer service team on the phone was not aware of this recurring issue. I suggest that you write a service bulletin for your team so that they recognize this as a recurring problem. Maybe they can offer a solution over the phone once that this is understood. In my case, I have warranty coverage.

    Here is one example of a complaint string with 6 users experiencing the problem.

    http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/sears-kenmore-elite-french-door-refrigerator-melbourne-florida-c412579.html

    A google search will point you to more complaint threads.

    Thank you!

    1 Votes
  • Ju
    justseekinghelp Oct 24, 2012

    Follow-up...
    Sears found a dead mouse in the workings underneath the fridge. Unfortunately, there is not easy access to a drip pan / workings in this type of model, or this would have been easy to find and resolve without a service call. We had taken off the back panel ourselves prior to the service call. Thanks Sears for the service and resolution.

    2 Votes
  • SearsCare Oct 25, 2012

    Good afternoon justseekinghelp,

    I saw your post today and wanted to reach out to you to offer our assistance. My name is Mike and I am a member of the Sears Social Media Support team. Please accept our apologies for the trouble that you encountered with your refrigerator. It is always frustrating when you run into trouble with your refrigerator, as it stores your food, drinks, and medicines. While it appears that this issue has been resolved, we would like to connect you with a dedicated case manager to further discuss your experience and ensure that your refrigerator is working as it should be. At your convenience, please send us an e-mail containing your preferred contact information, including the phone number that your repair appointment was scheduled under, to [email protected] Also, please include your screen name, (justseekinghelp), for reference to your issue. Thank you for your time and we hope to speak with you soon.

    Thank you,

    Mike D.
    Sears Social Media Support

    0 Votes
  • Li
    liss242 May 02, 2013

    We are having the same issue! Smells like dead something and it's not anything inside the fridge or freezer because we've cleaned it all out. It is coming from the fan or some mechanism within the fridge. Very frustrating because we've tried everything we can. Mopped, baking soda, charcoal, etc. It is smelling up our whole house. Guess I'll call Kenmore directly and avoid Sears if at all possible. We just bought it in 2010 so it's not old!

    -1 Votes
  • SearsCare May 03, 2013

    Liss242,
    My name is Liz and I am a member of the Sears Social Media Support team. I am truly sorry for the troubles you have experienced with your refrigerator. I can understand how disappointed you may feel and we do apologize for falling short of that mark in this instance. We would like to contact you and further discuss your recent experience and see if there is anything we can do to make this right. At your convenience please contact our office via email at [email protected] so you don’t have to be upset by this any longer. In the email please provide a contact phone number and the phone number the refrigerator was purchased under (if different than the contact phone number) and we will call you directly. In addition, please include your screen name (liss242) in the email for reference to your issue. Again, we’re sorry for any trouble we have caused and we hope to talk to you soon.

    Thank you,

    Liz R.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support

    0 Votes
  • Me
    MerriDee Jun 05, 2013

    I too have this problem, used a screwdriver and paper towel to soak up some of the liquid in the drip pan and poured bleach in, however it is back after only 3 days! I absolutely cannot fathom that this drop pan is non-removable! Am I missing something here? My model is MOD 253-44723108 without and ice maker, refrigerator only with a freezer next to it to make it seem "extra large" but I have taken the back off as much as I can with not access.

    0 Votes
  • SearsCare Jun 07, 2013

    MerriDee,
    We are terribly sorry for the aggravation surrounding your refrigerator. My name is Liz and I am with the Sears Escalations team. We can truly understand your frustrations with the drip pan filling up within three days. We would like the opportunity to speak to you and see how we can get this resolved. Please send the following information – contact #, screen name (MerriDee), phone # used at time of purchase to [email protected] Again, we’re sorry for any inconvenience we have caused you and we look forward to speaking to you soon.

    Thank you,
    Liz R.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support

    1 Votes
  • Mo
    MomSonya Jun 08, 2013

    OMGosh! My kitchen has had the worse smell in the whole world for over a week, finally we narrowed the smell down to the Kenmore Elite fridge and it is coming from the back panel near the floor. When I figured it out I came online and now I see I am not the only one. Not sure what to do about it. I wish I would have known this in all the reviews I read before I bought this fridge.

    1 Votes
  • SearsCare Jun 10, 2013

    Dear MomSonya,

    My name is Trent and I am with the Sears Cares Team. Please accept our apologies for the difficulties you are having with your refrigerator. We can certainly understand the inconvenience you are facing and would like to assist in resolving this situation any way we can. We can connect you with a dedicated case manager that can work with you to ensure your concerns are addressed. At your earliest convenience please send the following information – contact #, the name and phone # used at time of purchase, as well as the screen name that I have assigned to reference your post (MomSonya), to [email protected] We look forward to speaking with you.

    Thank you,

    Trent A.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support

    0 Votes
  • Av
    Avanaid Jun 11, 2013

    I too have the same smell, it when away and now it back, I can't for the life of me figure out how to get rid of the smell and it starting to smell my entire kitchen . Can someone please tell me how to get rid of the smell. For a while I thought I was going crazy until I good smell from Kenmore Elite refrigerator . My fridge is about two years old.

    0 Votes
  • Al
    Allenallen Jul 06, 2013

    Customers will have a need to remove the pan because over time, you will have a spill in your fridge. The designers are expecting only water but even at that, if you have hard water, you're going to have a problem eventually.

    I'm looking at the front of the fridge. You "could" slide the pan out the front, after removing the water filter assembly with only 3 screws. I say "could" because the hoses are too short to allow you to move it out of the way. This method would also involve bending down a thin piece of sheet metal that holds the front of the pan from moving forward. It was also taped for transport as was the back bracket (cut the tape, obviously.)

    -1 Votes
  • Li
    lisacristina Jul 19, 2013

    We have been having the same problem with our Kenmore Elite fridge (also bought in 2010, like most of the above writers) for just over a month now... smells like a dead animal and/or horrible old-human urine. Smell comes and goes, sometimes when the fan is on, sometimes not... and often when we open the fridge. Took us a long time - after thoroughly cleaning the entire kitchen, inside cupboards, everywhere.. to figure out that it was the fridge.
    We had a Sears teck come yesterday... he dismissed it as "probably a dead mouse somewhere".. said he had never heard of problems like this before. If it was a dead mouse it would have quit smelling weeks ago.
    We called sears warranty centre again and were told that the Tech "couldn't determine that it was the fridge that smells".. and that they weren't prepared to do anything more for us about this!
    very unhappy longtime sears customers... getting very pissed off!

    1 Votes
  • Mr
    MRK495 Aug 08, 2013

    I am having the same problem with a Kenmore Model 795.69004.900 that is less than a year old. Only smells when I open the refrigerator door. There is nothing inside that is rotting or expired. So frustrating. Smells up my kitchen. Anyone else having issues with a new model?

    -2 Votes
  • Mr
    MRK495 Aug 08, 2013

    By the way... it doesn't look like there are any resolution to the posts here. Have issues been resolved for anyone by Sears?

    0 Votes
  • Fn
    fnenan Aug 16, 2013

    I am having the same problem with the KE french door fridge I purchased in late 2011 with warranty. Fridge is clean with no spills in past. Loved the fridge up until now. The smell is coming from under the fridge and the sides especially when the fan is running. It has a sweet moldy smell and other times smells like a dead animal around the sides. Gets really strong with the fan runs. Sears is coming out tomorrow to figure it all out. Has anyone else had the issue resolved?

    0 Votes
  • Sm
    small town girl Aug 23, 2013

    I have a Kenmore also model # 253•648 12400. It came w/ our house so I'm not sure about warenty. We have luved here a few years & this is the 4th time we've had this horridsmell that stinks up our entire house. It is coming from the drip pan, the problem is its a non removable drip pan & has two weird bowl shapes to hold a lot of liquid. Well its surround the compresser & there is NO way to remove or clean it. 50/50 bleach water don't even touch the smell. I tried paper towels but cramming them back in there & pulling them out cuts up my hands. Why in the world would Kenmore make refrigerators w/ non removable drip pans??? I'm from a small town & the closes Sears or Kenmore appliances store is over an hour away. This is rediculas. I ended up using a shop vac. & a large bendy stray, my hands stunk like nothing id ever smelled before so I bleached them. There's no possible way to clean the back pan so I used the straw on it & got out what I could. I see on this forum Kenmore reps. actually reply so can you reply to this & let us know why would a non removable non accable drip pan is installed on your refrigerators?

    1 Votes
  • SearsCare Aug 28, 2013

    Dear Small Town Girl,
    My name is Trent and I am with the Sears Cares Team. We are terribly sorry to hear of the troubles you have been experiencing with your refrigerator. From your post, we can certainly understand why you would be frustrated with not being able to remove the drip pan. We would like the opportunity to assist you by connecting you with a dedicated case manager who will work with you to resolve this unfortunate situation quickly and to your complete satisfaction. At your earliest convenience please send the following information – contact #, the name and phone # used at time of purchase, as well as the screen name that I have assigned to reference your post (small town girl), to [email protected] We look forward to speaking with you.

    Thank you,

    Liz R.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support

    0 Votes
  • Eb
    Eberm Oct 15, 2013

    I am having a similar problem with a smell from the fan at the bottom of, y ken, ire. Been in and off for over a year. It has been very frustrating, as the fridge is only 3 years old.

    0 Votes
  • Re
    Rex Weaver Nov 11, 2013

    I have a Kenmore Elite from 1999 and other then having the thermostat changed I have never had any problems. Now every time I open the door it has a sour sweet smell. I removed everything and cleaned the entire fridge. The smell never budged. I smell nothing until I open either door. I am planning to have someone come over to see if anything can be done with it. Otherwise Im never buying this brand again.
    [email protected]

    0 Votes
  • No
    norrah Nov 24, 2013

    We have a Kenmore 253.7717350 about 6 years old and a week ago it started to smell like rotten cabbage. It has been cleaned from top to bottom twice, pulled out, floor cleaned, coils and back vacuumed, drip pan cleaned as best as possible (what a STUPID DESIGN) and the smell is overwhelming when the door is opened, wafting into the living room and dining room. There is no spoiled food, no dead mice, no reason that we can find and we are at our wit's end. I gag when I have to open the door. What is going on???

    0 Votes
  • Ji
    Jill boo Dec 03, 2013

    We have a new fridge and are experiencing the same smell. Actually it smells like rotten peaches and we have never opened a can of peaches or bought fresh peaches lately .

    0 Votes
  • Ed
    ED Lostcustomer Dec 17, 2013

    Kenmore elite side by side model # 795.72053.112 bought 10/2012 in 11/2013 the frig stop making ice.
    Called Sears no go out of warranty tried to sell me a one year service contract for 10% of the cost of the
    frig. The problem is a heating element in the door but they can't find where this part is in the door from
    looking at the service diagrams so they can't give me an estimate of cost. Sorry Sears I remember when
    you stood by your product now it seems money is the bottom line. I will fix this problem myself for the $35.00
    part and in the future go some where else for high priced purchases.

    1 Votes
  • Br
    BrentNY Dec 21, 2013

    I have same problem with Sears side by side purchased less than two years ago - started same kind of awful smell a few weeks ago, no dead mouse etc. Smell only when fridge side door is opened, and some when freezer is opened. Cleaned out all contents and washed insides twice. Since it is cold air it goes right down my stairs as well as smelling up the whole house. Took off rear panel to look, nothing there but of course cannot get to drip pan (a design blunder). My theory is it is something in drip pan or inside walls, and perhaps is not even due to a spill, perhaps just defect in how unit is built or failure of venting or air circulation. I live in a cold, low humidity place and it does not smell like mold, also fridge has not lost power recently.
    I would advise anyone considering this model to hold off or get a fridge with a removable drip pan - my only recourse might be to replace it with a different design, and not from Sears (and I understand Sears are made by different makers).

    0 Votes
  • An
    Anime315 Jan 01, 2014

    I bought my Kenmore Elite, model 795.72043.112, back in September 2012. Up until now it was fine and we didn't have any problems. The past few weeks, we began smelling something awful, that appeared to be from the bottom right side of the fridge. Like all others, we pulled the fridge out and the awful smell (sour milk or worse) came from the drip pan and the fan was blowing it out. I then searched on the website for a solution, but instead came across this blog. I am so disappointed to hear that there is no resolution. I was impacted by Hurrican Sandy and have invested a lot of money in Sears Kemore Elite products. I would definitely reconsider buying another Kemore Elite refrigerator.

    0 Votes
  • Pl
    PLANTNERD Apr 16, 2014

    We've been noticing a bad odor from the area of the Kenmore Elite French door refrigerator for a few weeks/months and after cleaning it thoroughly, removing aromatic items (fermented garlic) and waiting several weeks, it still smells. I then replaced the air filter, cleaned the area underneath and around it. The smell is pronounced w/o opening the doors or freezer. Today, I decided to check to see if anyone else had this issue. I see its likely the pan? Does Sears have any suggestions? If so, please don't just ask individuals to contact you. Please post the suggestions for all to see!

    0 Votes
  • SearsCare Apr 16, 2014

    PLANTNERD,

    We thank you for bringing this matter to our attention. My name is Liz and I am a member of the Sears Cares Escalations team. We certainly can see why you are so frustrated and upset over what has occurred with your refrigerator. We would be happy to connect you with one of our dedicated case managers to contact you and address your concerns. Please send the following information – contact #, screen name (PLANTNERD), phone # used at time of purchase to [email protected] Again, we apologize for the inconvenience we have caused you and look forward to speaking with you.
    Thank you,

    Liz R.
    Social Media Moderator
    Sears Social Media Support

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Kareneskridge Apr 19, 2014

    We just noticed a smell also! Took off back panel and cannot figure out what it is! We just bought the fridge two months ago and this is the second one because the first one didn't even cool! I am so disappointed!

    0 Votes
  • We
    Westfield Woman May 15, 2014

    Frustrated after cleaning our Kenmore Elite Refrigerator and still having a dirty smell coming off the blower fan into the kitchen. Obviously a bad engineering design if the average owner can't properly clean the refrigerator. Kenmore, can you help me? Westfield Woman

    0 Votes
  • Iz
    izarter May 24, 2014

    We have the same issue. THIS is a shame that they haven't been able to address this issue. I did not buy this fridge expecting that it would make my kitchen and breakfast area stink. Any ideas how fix this?

    1 Votes
  • Ch
    Chevypanel52 Jun 28, 2014

    Has anybody found a solution to this odor problem? There is no way to remove the drip pan to clean it, nor to clean the coils deep inside, other than what can be reached from the front underside with a vacuum cleaner. Our problem started when the bottom freezer door was left ajar for a few days and melting ice and condensation pooled underneath, saturating the accumulated dust. The dust has taken on the odor of a sour dishrag. Going to try spraying Fabreeze underneath while the fan is running ...

    0 Votes
  • Cy
    Cymachar463 Jun 29, 2014

    Sure wish someone would post the solution to this problem!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chevypanel52 Jun 29, 2014

    Well, we pulled our Kemore out from the wall, but nothing accessible, so back to the front, vacuumed as much lint and cat hair from the coils as we could. Then with the fan running, sprayed copious amounts of Fabreeze. Musty stink smell gone, but now it smells like Fabreeze. Guess that will fade. WIll pick up some baking soda boxes to put under there ...

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chevypanel52 Jun 30, 2014

    Fabreze odor almost as bad as the previous musty one ... tried Hartz Nodor Litter Spray, happened to have it on hand ... that worked, no odor whatsoever now.

    0 Votes
  • Ho
    Hozer756 Jul 10, 2014

    I also am experiencing this same issue! I thought I concurred the smell after taking a screw driver and paper towel through it and placing a car air freshener near it but sure enough the smell came back!l as did the sludge in the non removable drop pan! This refrigerator should be recalled by Kenmore due to brain dead engineers not allowing a drip pan to be removed!

    0 Votes
  • Mo
    Money talks Jul 27, 2014

    This is clearly Engineering 101. We've all paid a huge amount for our beautiful high end stainless steel KE Refrigerators, and ended up less than impressed on this front. After all of the reading I have done, this is not at all a new problem and has presented itself since the newer sleeker design moved the front vent (so we don't clean those slats anymore)- as if it took that much energy, and made it now impossible for any husband wife duo to even get this out on their own. I put this amount of money into a frig, and now putting more into it by having to pay to empty my drain pan. I am so truly disappointed with sears. Shame on you, and shame on me for not doing the leg work to find out more. However I had no problems in the past, but that was when the pain was easy to remove. After the last several years, and all the accumulating complaints- why has it not changed.
    Disgusted in big business, NE - Pa.

    2 Votes

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