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Thread: Panel Lights and Beeping on Kenmore 795.7554 Fridge

  1. #1
    whitedavidp is offline Handyman
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    Panel Lights and Beeping on Kenmore 795.7554 Fridge

    In the past week, I have seen this happen three times and then go away. I am getting concerned. Here is what happens: open the left door and close it again, the panel lights show 88/-88/snowflake and the filter and lock lights go on and stay on, the thing beeps three times. If you open/close the left door again, you can see the panel quickly display normal info then goes and does this. Once it gets this way, opening/closing the right door or the freezer has no impact. What's up? Thanks
    Last edited by whitedavidp; 06-23-2012 at 01:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Nestor is offline Handyman
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    Whitedavidp:

    If you've had this fridge for a while, and the problem has just started happening recently, then I would suspect that the battery that operates the digital display during power outages needs to be replaced. A similar thing happens on my 1994 vintage washing machines when the Nicad battery starts to go on them. If I unplug the washing machine to pull it out and do some repairs, the machine forgets all it's programming, and when I plug it back in, it's display just flashes all of the liquid crystals over and over again. Newer appliances have a different kind of memory chip in them that doesn't need electric power to remember it's programmed settings.

    But, Dan O. is the appliance repair tech in here, so I'd wait to see what he says.

    But, the fact that the display reads 88/-88 and the other stuff tells you something.

    What's happening is that the fridge is sending power to ALL of the LCD's in it's display. That's important because if something went wrong and the fridge displayed the error message "15", but the repairman couldn't find anything wrong with the system "15" referred to, the repair man would have a way of checking whether the real error code was in fact "15" or actually "19" but one of the liquid crystals in the second digit wasn't working, thereby causing the fridge to indicate the wrong error code.

    This way, the repairman can open and close the left door and see whether the display reads 88/-88 or 88/-86 to see if part of the problem is that the digital display is showing the wrong error code cuz one of the liquid crystals isn't working.

    So, I can at least tell you that all that's happening is the fridge is powering up all the LCD's in it's display as a diagnostic aide.

    But, the fact that it's doing that, and not giving you an error code, means that there's nothing actually wrong with the fridge. Most likely it's doing that just to remind you that it hasn't been programmed yet. For example, it doesn't know whether or not you want it to display the time (like a microwave or stove does) or the temperature in the freezer or in the fresh food compartment, or as a diagnostic aide, whether you want it to display the temperature in the area of the evaporator coil. And, whether you want that info in degrees F or degrees C.

    Probably the fastest way to find out what you're doing to cause the fridge to do that is to just read the section about the digital display in your fridge's owner's manual.
    Last edited by Nestor; 06-23-2012 at 06:28 PM.

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    whitedavidp is offline Handyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nestor View Post
    Whitedavidp:

    Well, Dan O. is the appliance repair tech in here, so I'd wait to see what he says.

    But, the fact that the display reads 88/-88 and the other stuff tells you something.

    What's happening is that the fridge is sending power to ALL of the LCD's in it's display. That's important because if something went wrong and the fridge displayed the error message "15", the repair man would have to have some way of checking whether the real error code was in fact "15" or actually "19" but one of the LCD's in the second digit wasn't working, thereby giving the wrong error code.

    This way, the repairman can open and close the left door and see whether the display reads 88/-88 or 88/-89 to see if that LCD is working or not, and thereby determine the correct error code.

    So, I can at least tell you that all that's happening is the fridge is powering up all the LCD's in it's display as a diagnostic aide.

    But, the fact that it's doing that, and not giving you an error code, means that there's nothing actually wrong with the fridge.

    Probably the fastest way to find out what you're doing to cause the fridge to do that is to just read the section about the digital display in your fridge's owner's manual.
    Hi and thanks for the reply. The lights had not changed and I was starting to get concerned that something might go wrong and spoil a bunch of food. So I put a digital thermometer in there. After about 5 minutes, I checked and it showed 30 degrees (while the fridge is set to 37). Not sure if the temp was actually too low or it was a false reading for some reason.

    I then found myself thinking: this thing has a computer of some sort in it. As a computer programmer, I wondered if it might need a reboot. So I turned off the circuit breaker, let it sit two minutes, and turned it back on. Now everything looks normal. The temp is back around 37 on the digital thermometer.

    I will keep a close eye on this beast. Cheers!

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    whitedavidp is offline Handyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by whitedavidp View Post
    Hi and thanks for the reply. The lights had not changed and I was starting to get concerned that something might go wrong and spoil a bunch of food. So I put a digital thermometer in there. After about 5 minutes, I checked and it showed 30 degrees (while the fridge is set to 37). Not sure if the temp was actually too low or it was a false reading for some reason.

    I then found myself thinking: this thing has a computer of some sort in it. As a computer programmer, I wondered if it might need a reboot. So I turned off the circuit breaker, let it sit two minutes, and turned it back on. Now everything looks normal. The temp is back around 37 on the digital thermometer.

    I will keep a close eye on this beast. Cheers!
    Well, it is about 24 hours after I did this reset and the darn thing has done it again. This time, when I opened the door, the digital thermometer was reading about 45 degrees which is way too warm compared to the usual 37 degrees at which I keep the thing set. So I have just re-done the reset, waited 15 minutes, and now see the temp has fallen to 41. Not sure if this 24 hour cycle will repeat itself again tomorrow. But if it does, is there something that happens once every 24 hours or so that could cause this?

  5. #5
    Nestor is offline Handyman
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    Yes.

    A frost free fridge is simply a fridge that automatically defrosts itself.

    Somewhere inside your fridge will be a "defrost timer". The defrost timer diverts power from the fridge's compressor and evaporator fan to the defrost heater for anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes every 15 to 30 hours (or thereabouts). The defrost timer is really just an electric heater which melts the frost off the evaporator coils. That melt water then is carried by a hose down to the receiving pan in the area around the compressor, where the heat from the compressor re-evaporates that water back into the air.

    If it gets too hot in the area of the evaporator coils, the plastic and styrofoam parts near the evaporator coil could be damaged from the heat. So, wired in series with the defrost heater is the "defrost thermostat" or DTS (for defrost termination switch). When the temperature in the area of the evaporator rises above about 50 degrees F, the DTS opens, breaking the circuit to the defrost heater. The fridge then just sits there until the end of the defrost cycle, at which time power is diverted back to the compressor and evaporator fan. As the fridge cools down again, when the temperature reaches about 30 degrees F in the area of the evaporator coils, the DTS closes again so that the defrost heater will work during the next defrost cycle.

    That defrost cycle will happen on a regular basis, but not necessarily every 24 hours. It could very well be responsible for the warming of your fridge's digital thermometer.

    Also, it won't happen like clockwork. Typically, power to the defrost timer motor goes through the fridges's cold control, so the defrost timer only runs when the cold control is calling for cold. Also, since most of the moisture that forms frost on the evaporator coils comes from humidity that gets into the fridge when the fridge or freezer doors are opened, some fridges will only run the defrost timer when one of the doors are open. But, in cases like that, the fridge will defrost after each half hour or so of door time (I'm guessing), not 20 or so hours of door time.

    I think your best bet is to find the make and model number of your fridge, get on that company's web site and find out who their factory authorized service depot in your area is. Just phone up that factory authorized service depot and they'll tell you if that flashing is an indication that something (like the circuit board) is about to go on that fridge.
    Last edited by Nestor; 06-24-2012 at 11:07 PM.

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    whitedavidp is offline Handyman
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    A little more info, perhaps... It has been a couple days since I have last removed/restored power in an attempt to reset the fridge. So far, no return of the all-lights-on phenomenon. However, my wife pointed out to me (and I have confirmed) that even though the door was open for more than 30 seconds or so, the door open beeper/warning was not going off. Usually this happens within 30 seconds and is something that generally pisses my wife off. So I just removed/restored power to the unit and the door open warning is again going off within 30 seconds. I am not sure what this means but it is more strange behavior. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

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    Nestor is offline Handyman
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    The open door warning might have just been a sticking door switch. (?)

    IF (big if there) something were wrong with your fridge, the only thing that could cause both the first problem and now the open door warning would be the main circuit board of the fridge going bad. That would be an expensive part to replace. I don't know enough about the electronic controls of fridges to know of any one problem that would cause both issues; except the main circuit board.

    I'd just keep watching the fridge to see if it starts doing anything else, AND whether shutting off and restoring power to the fridge is able to keep correcting the problem as it has so far. If so, then my guess would be the main circuit board.

    But before you start spending a pile of money on a new circuit board, I'd try to find out who made that fridge for Sears, and who the factory authorized service depot for that appliance manufacturer is in your area. You should be able to get that info by taking the model and serial number on the fridge down to any appliance parts shop. They'll just look up any part on that fridge and see if it spits out a GE, Frigidaire, Maytag, or whatever part number. Then just go to that company's web site and find out who the factory authorized repair depot for that company is in your area.

    What I'm thinking is that if you're having this problem, the appliance techs at the factory authorized service depot would know based on what they were told by other people with the same fridge whether it's indicitive of the main circuit board going bad. At least doing that at this point in the game won't cost anything, and it'll let you know what you might expect from this fridge in future if it is indicitive of a failing main circuit board.
    Last edited by Nestor; 06-27-2012 at 09:10 PM.

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    whitedavidp is offline Handyman
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nestor View Post
    The open door warning might have just been a sticking door switch. (?)

    IF (big if there) something were wrong with your fridge, the only thing that could cause both the first problem and now the open door warning would be the main circuit board of the fridge going bad. That would be an expensive part to replace. I don't know enough about the electronic controls of fridges to know of any one problem that would cause both issues; except the main circuit board.

    I'd just keep watching the fridge to see if it starts doing anything else, AND whether shutting off and restoring power to the fridge is able to keep correcting the problem as it has so far. If so, then my guess would be the main circuit board.

    But before you start spending a pile of money on a new circuit board, I'd try to find out who made that fridge for Sears, and who the factory authorized service depot for that appliance manufacturer is in your area. You should be able to get that info by taking the model and serial number on the fridge down to any appliance parts shop. They'll just look up any part on that fridge and see if it spits out a GE, Frigidaire, Maytag, or whatever part number. Then just go to that company's web site and find out who the factory authorized repair depot for that company is in your area.

    What I'm thinking is that if you're having this problem, the appliance techs at the factory authorized service depot would know based on what they were told by other people with the same fridge whether it's indicitive of the main circuit board going bad. At least doing that at this point in the game won't cost anything, and it'll let you know what you might expect from this fridge in future if it is indicitive of a failing main circuit board.
    Thanks for your response. It could well be the brain card in this thing. The fridge was made by LG for Sears and I have found a listing for an OEM replacement card at around $90 which, while it shouldn't really be necessary, isn't all that expensive.

    I have had some dealings with bad fridge brain cards once before. That was a top of the line GE Profile fridge where, on a service call to deal with a lack of chilling, the very nice tech told me the problem was the card and that I could fix the single bad solder joint on a relay. He told me he was not allowed to fix that, only do a board replacement. A buddy and I were able to resolder the joint and have that fridge running fine in about 5 minutes with about $0.02 of materials.

    I suspect that the door switch is not just sticking. There are 3 doors on this unit (2 french doors and one lower freezer door). The alarm is sounded when any of these are left open for about 30 seconds. During the period when the alarm was NOT working at all, none of these triggered the alarm. So it would seem that all 3 would have to be sticking to get that result. That seems far fetched to me. But perhaps there is a "master" switch (which may be on the left French door) and maybe it is somehow damaged (other than simply being stuck).

    I will continue to watch this unit and try to more fully characterize the problem so I can more closely identify the source. Thanks for all.

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    Nestor is offline Handyman
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    $90 would be a good price for the main circuit board.

  10. #10
    Dan O.'s Avatar
    Dan O. is offline Deity
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    Sorry I don't have any idea what might be responsible for your stated problem but there is a service manual available for Kenmore 795.7554... refrigerators at the following link that might help you diagnose it.

    LINK > Repair Manual: LG/Kenmore Refrigerator 795...

    JFYI


    Dan O.
    Appliance411.com
    The Appliance Information Site

    =D~~~~~~

    .

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