Jenn Air Frig not cooling

rima_waFebruary 11, 2013

Hi - Looking for some thoughts about what might be up with my frig/freezer. Jenn Air, 9 1/2 yo, bottom freezer, counter depth, regular wide door. First noticed the problem this morning when the ice cubes were thawed in the freezer. I cranked it to the max cooling, and I did not hear the "kicking in" of the motor to cool, and indeed now 10 hours later the liquid in the freezer is not frozen. I wasn't sure about the frig but it did not seem as cold as usual. I also set it on max cooling, no kick in, and a few hours ago I noticed sweat on the things in the frig.

Any ideas what to expect is the problem? Is it likely to be worth fixing or not? While no one wants to drop the money on a new frig unnecessarily, I also do not want to waste hundreds on a repair that may not extend the life of the frig significantly.

Luckily I have an extra frig and freezer downstairs and was able to fit everything in down there. By the time I was sure there was a problem with it all, the service office was closed so I will call them tomorrow.

Thanks for any suggestions.

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I just wanted to add in case anyone has any ideas about this, that once the house quieted down last night, I could hear the frig humming. I turned all the switches to "off" and the humming stopped. Does the humming imply that the fans are running or is it from something else?

I cannot get a repair person to come til Friday. They suggested it's either compressor (about $1000 to fix) or evap fan (about $300 to fix)

We are leaning toward just getting a new frig.

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 2:07PM
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More than likely your fridge being over 9 years old did not use the variable speed compressor as did the newer ones, (circa 2006), but if you leave a model number, I can check.

Why is this important?
With the older style on/off compressors , these used a "Start Relay", a very inexpensive and easily replaced part. It is very hard to find an "Honest Appliance Repair" service today, they always want to sell you the more expensive parts, even thou in many cases that part, (compressor in this case), is most likely, not needed.


    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 4:19PM
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Thank you for the response. It is a jenn air, JCB2059GES.

I turned it on again today and there is definitely air blowing in the freezer but it is not cold air.

Appreciate the help!

    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 6:10PM
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OK that model does use the old style compressor (On/off) and it does use
a "Start Relay", which is about $35. You can get the part here:

You can also google the model # of your fridge and the word "parts" and several sites will come up, Fixya, Just Answer and even Garden Web, and in most cases the relay fixed the problem!
Sometimes the wires going to it need to be repaired too but that is a minor fix.

Good luck with it!


    Bookmark   February 12, 2013 at 7:11PM
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Thank you for the information. It is very kind of you to go to such detail for us.

I think we are going to try the repair, but my husband will review all the diagrams and available repair info before deciding.

That said, is it better to hire a service person do it? DH is very handy with mechanical and electrical things, but it's hard for him to find the time these days. I notice the site you linked above gives it 3 of 4 wrenches for "skill level."

Thank you again.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 1:32AM
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Well if husband is that busy, maybe it's best to hire a service person,

At the very least you will be paying for an "Honesty Test"


Don't mention the relay to him, see if He even bothers to check it, if He doesn't and tells you "The Compressor needs replaced", then show him the door, ASAP!!

If Husband decides to do it, MAKE SURE , the fridge is disconnected from all power, (Not just turned off).!!!!!!


    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 5:55AM
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Thanks - we'll report back about this. He is travelling next week so it will be after that.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2013 at 12:47PM
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DH fixed the frig tonight and it is working beautifully. He got the start relay and put it in and voila. I bought a frig thermometer to make sure and it is perfect.

Note the part number that the manual lists for this start relay is wrong. The one that he first came home with did not fit into the connectors. He read around on the web, then took it back and after some discussion with the parts people, came home with a different one. Supposedly it has something to do with the BTUs of the compressor. This is what he told me is the correct info for this frig:
Tucumseh Compressor

Start Relay:
part number: 2188829 (not 2188830)
from FSP (which I think is a Whirlpool company)

He said the replacement itself was not hard. It was all the figuring out what part he actually needed, and then the reconnecting of some little wire hanger from which the start relay is suspended also took some doing.

Anyway, dodge59, thanks so much for your help and if you are ever headed Seattle way shoot me an email and we'll take you out!

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 12:14AM
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    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 2:20PM
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Glad it worked out!!!

Unfortunately, it's likely many compressors probably get replaced that were not bad. They replace that relay when they change the compressor, and since the fridge now works, folks are "None The Wiser"

You were smart in looking for help on the net before calling the appliance shop, although it would have been interesting to see "Their Diagnosis" and estimate.

Thanks for your kind offer about dinner, I used to get up to the Northwest, quite a bit, but now I usually take the train to see my 90 year old Mom in Coeur de Lane, Idaho and unfortunately it goes to Portland then I catch a different train to Spokane.


    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 5:50PM
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