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Whirlpool refrigerator side by side model GSF26C4EXY03 stops cooling

Purchased in 2011, but single person user so the unit is almost like new and very well maintained. Suddenly, the unit stopped cooling normally in both the freezer and refrigerator compartments. When both sides start warming up, the compressor fan and compressor are not running, yet the evaporator fan does run, and there is never ice buildup in the freezer. I can unplug the unit and quickly replug (I know this is not recommended) about 10 to 12 times and make the compressor and compressor fan come back on and the unit cools normally again on both sides for maybe 6 hours until it stops cooling again. My first thought is that the start device/capacitor is faulty, but if defective, why is it eventually able to kick in with unplugging and replugging quickly? Had a repair technician here today while I had the unit cooling again, so he said he could not diagnose with things running. But, he thinks it's the control board. I would hate to repair that since it's expensive if it's something else. If not the start relay, could it be something wrong with a part in the unit's cooling like the auto defrost? The technician said this unit doesn't have an actual defrost part because the control board initiates this function. Yet, when I look online there are parts called the Defrost thermostat and Thermistor that affect the cooling. Why is the technician not suspicious about one of these parts since I can get the unit working for a little while until it seems to go south when the unit defrosts and won't kick in the compressor to cool again? Sorry for the very long description! Would be grateful for any advice.

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Hi @eso12

It could be a defrost thermostat problem or a control board problem.

I included the control board as a possible problem because looking at the tech sheet for the model the auto defrost cycle occurs after a minimum of 8 hours of compressor run time. You said that it stops after only ~6 hours. This makes me think that it is not stopping for a defrost cycle. The only other reason that it would normally stop is when the temperatures in the compartment were both at the lower limit of their preset temperature range and therefore no further cooling was required until the temps rose again.

The actual amount of time that the compressor takes to achieve the 8 hours run time may take longer than a straight 8 hours of elapsed time. This depends on such factors as the ambient temp and how many times the doors have been opened due to normal usage e.g. overnight it is cooler and the doors would be opened less often than during the day so less warmer air would have entered the compartments (when the doors were open - or less cooler air lost if you prefer) requiring the compressor to run less often and for shorter periods to cool it back down to the set temps.

Just to eliminate the possibility perhaps check if the temp sensors in both compartments test OK (as per the diagnostics as shown in the tech sheet). The sensors indicate that the correct temp has been reached so the compressor would be turned off. Although it should be turned on again when the temp rises above the upper preset limit.

Looking at the tech sheet the defrost thermostat only opens the defrost heater circuit when (or if) the temp near the evaporator unit exceeds its operating temperature, but in doing this it may also signal the control board to end the defrost cycle. I'm not 100% sure of this but maybe it is worth checking if the defrost thermostat is OK

Here's a link that shows the location of the defrost thermostat in your model and also has a video that shows how to replace it, that may help.

Here's a video that shows how to correctly test if the defrost thermostat is OK

The best I can find online states that the defrost thermostat in your refrigerator (part # W10225581) is designed to open at 45°F and to close again at 18°F (to be ready for the next defrost cycle), but as per the test video, check what it shows on the thermostat itself to be sure.

If the thermostat is faulty search online for W10225581 to find suppliers that suit you best.

WPW10225581 - Whirlpool Refrigerator Thermostat Görseli


WPW10225581 - Whirlpool Refrigerator Thermostat


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