kitchenaid kscs25ftms refrigerator hot to the touch

cindlaMay 2, 2008

My new KA refrigerator was delivered this morning. When transferring food tonight, I almost burnt myself on the front section that divides the refrigerator from the freezer. I turned it off, unplugged it, waited for it to cool down, plugged it back in and turned it on. Within a few minutes it was just as HOT (not warm). It is now unplugged for the night. I've owned several KA refrigerators and never experienced this before. Has anyone heard of this problem with the KA?

Here is a link that might be useful: KA Architect Refrigerator

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Almost all refrigerators use a heater of some ilk (called a mullion heater) in the panel between the compartments to prevent condensation. (The "energy saver" switch that was added during the energy crisis of the 1970s and that some refrigerators still have is to turn off the mullion heater.) Instead of using a separate low-wattage electric heating element, some designs run the condensor tubing through that area to make use of the waste heat from the refrigeration cycle. Being that you are just now turning your new unit on, and it'll be running continuously for a while to get cooled down, it may be of this design and what you're feeling is some of the heat it's pumping out to get cooled down. I'd say let it run for at least 24 hrs, and see if the hot area ends up being not-so-hot.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 1:14AM
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Cindla, That doesn't sound good, but maybe Dadoes solution will work. Please let us know what happens as I am considering a KA like yours. Thanks.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 1:27AM
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Thank you Dadoes. I'll plug it back in and turn it on. I was concerned about leaving it on during the night for fear of a fire (that's how hot it was). I plan to call the appliance store this morning to ask for a service call or to swap it out for a new unit. This is my 3rd KA (house buying and selling) refrigerator and I've never encountered this before.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 10:11AM
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cindla, I had this exact problem when my refer (not a new one) was restored to its fridge slot after our remodel. I was quite sure it did not use to do this. I posted here on this question and a very knowledgeable gentleman told me that that chances were that a fan at the bottom of the unit that recirculates the air to cool the motor parts had gotten stuck in the course of being moved and so wasn't operating. That turned out to be our exact problem and a simple service call fixed it quite easily. The point of this fan is to prevent exactly what you are seeing and what I had observed - that without it, the center panel gets very hot as the various cooling units and heat exchangers aren't able to - well, exchange heat!

So, if you don't have anything in the fridge, I'd turn it off and call a service guy. My fridge had been running for several days between when I first noticed the problem and getting the serviceman over and it did make it. The repair is a quick one although admittedly annoying to have to make in the first days of ownership. However, chances are as good as any that the fan got stuck or jammed or something in the course of moving/installing.

It took me a while to get this repair completed and I never did come back here to thank the kind gentleman in time for setting me to rights on my problem and that fact has niggled at me for these past 2.5 years. I hope this message proves useful to you and honors him, in the process.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 10:50AM
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According to the store owner, the hot center panel is normal in the first 24 hrs of operation. He explained the difference between the way refrigerators were made years ago as compared to today. This puppy has been on for 5 hours now (I've turned it off 3 times because the heat worries me) and it's not anywhere close to the proper internal temperature.

There was another issue I didn't mention in my original post. The crisper bin drawers do not clear the refrigerator door during operation. They scrape across the door when extended. My refrigerator is sitting in the middle of the kitchen so it's not an issue of the door not having the proper clearance. It is clearly a design flaw. When I mentioned it to the owner, he went and checked the floor model and it did the same thing. He readily admitted that it should clear with no problem and that it is something he would not like as the fridge's owner. He said I could come into the store and pick out something else.

I've just returned and much to my surprise selected the GE PFSS6PKWSS. I've wanted a bottom feeezer for several years now but they never seemed large enough. This unit is almost 26 cubic ft, which is the same size as the KA. I'm a little nervous about the GE brand due to all the negative posts I've read on GW over the years. I have to tell you, this fridge is a beauty inside and out and has all the features I was looking for. It will be delivered on Monday. Wish me luck....

Here is a link that might be useful: GE Profile French Door

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 6:16PM
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The problem you encountered with the drawers was the exact reason we had originally chosen but not purchased the KA model you are returning. It would annoy me to no end to have the doors constantly being banged by the drawers. When we looked closely at the outer doors of several models of this fridge, all of the end panels of the doors were marked up from this. Please update us on how you like your new fridge. It isn't counter depth like the KA, but we may just buy this one and resort to removing the handles to have it fit into the space we need it to go into and replace them after install. ( a lot of trouble just to have a large enough fridge)

    Bookmark   May 3, 2008 at 9:03PM
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The KA has been on over 24 hrs now and is at the proper temp. The middle section is still very hot to the touch. This is consistent with Mindstorm's experience. The said this is normal and apologized for his salesperson's lack of knowledge but I've talked to 4 salespeople and they all said the same thing... something is wrong. No worries because the GE French Door is being delivered tomorrow. I am very excited about having a top refrigerator! My only hope is that this is one of the newer models that does not have the warped "fun house" SS doors like others have reported on GW.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2008 at 3:51PM
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My brand new KA SbS refrigerator has been in service for just over a week. We noticed that the center post between the freezer and fridge was warm but then last night became very alarmed when we felt it hot as an iron the entire length and the exterior of the freezer side all around the edge nearest the door was very warm. Unplugged, let everything cool (!!) down and then plugged back in. The post got really hot as fast as an iron.

I figured it had to be something very simple but serious after reading the posts above. I unplugged the unit and unscrewed the cardboard cover off the bottom of the back of the unit. There I quite quickly noticed a black 6 or 7 inch fan mounted perpendicular to the doors that was NOT turning. I then saw a little piece of styrofoam that was wedged between the fan and the fan case. I removed the gumball size piece of trash, plugged in the unit and the fan whirled into action. I replaced the cardboard cover and waited about minutes and noticed that the center post was again the temp one expects on and around a refrigerator and freezer. The air blowing out of the vent on the bottom right of the back was blowing air that was cool instead of very warm as it was when I first pulled the unit away from the wall. The whole operation took less than 10 minutes.

Summary: if you have this problem make sure the fan is moving and you might save yourself an expensive repair.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2013 at 3:22PM
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