How to Troubleshoot the Bottom Freezer in a Kenmore Refrigerator

Problems with your Kenmore bottom-freezer can be annoying and potentially costly. You risk spoiled food and water damage to nearby woodwork and appliances if the freezer starts defrosting. Minor problems often stem from problems with the thermostat or the power supply to the refrigerator. It's best to run through a troubleshooting checklist before you call for professional help because the problem could be easy to fix. This approach, if successful, has the potential to save you money in unnecessary technician call-outs.

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Examine your Kenmore bottom-freezer refrigerator for common signs of trouble.

Step 1

Wait at least 30 minutes after you notice the freezer isn't running, as the appliance could be performing a routine defrost cycle. The freezer motor should start back up after half an hour of inactivity. You might hear dripping, hissing or sizzling during a defrost cycle.

Step 2

Open the door to the refrigerator to see if the light comes on; a dark refrigerator and problems with the freezer compartment point to a power supply issue. Make sure the power cord is firmly inserted into an outlet and that the outlet is supplying electricity. Check the breakers or fuses if the refrigerator's outlet stops working. Disconnect any extension cords and plug the appliance in directly to the outlet.

Step 3

Open one of the refrigerator doors and hold the "Ultra Ice" and "Refrigerator Temp" buttons together if "OFF" appears on the display. "OFF" indicates the refrigerator is in demonstration mode, a function designed to exhibit the appliance's features in the show-room without running the motor. The current temperature appears on the display when demonstration mode is off.

Step 4

Make sure the freezer compartment is running at the correct temperature if you notice water on the ground or find the compartment too warm. The ideal temperature should be around 0 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 18 degrees Celsius. The thermostat could have been accidentally adjusted while you were using the control panel.

Step 5

Ensure everything in the freezer is well clear of the inside of the door. Items holding the door slightly ajar could be causing icing, defrosting, excessive noise or moisture buildup. Push everything away from the door and see that the rubber door seals make contact with the body of the appliance.


Jon Stefansson

Jon Stefansson has been a professional writer since 2009. He is currently freelancing as an advertising and web copy writer for several Canadian and American clients. Stefansson graduated from Staffordshire University, England, with a Bachelor of Arts in broadcast journalism. He has freelanced for several British radio stations as a news reader and sports producer.