Model #KSRP22FNSS00, this side by side refrigerator, according to the customer was having major problems as a result of the ice door mount breaking preventing the door from sealing when shut. The customer also described the freezer looking like a winter wonderland from all the frost built up on all the food. Another servicer visited this customer and told them the only way to make this repair was to replace the entire door which has a cost in excess of $500 and by the way, it's on back order. Not happy with that answer, the customer called me to see if I had a better solution to get this 2 year old refrigerator working properly again.
Now I want to start by saying I normally will support others in my industry as we are all capable of mistakes and as long as we are trying our best to take care of the customer, I am cool with that. But I get quite frustrated with what I consider fly by night servicers that are willing to take the money, but do little to help the customer. My advice is do some research and don't just let anybody into your home to service the appliances you worked hard to pay for. Enough said.
By the time I arrived, the customer had moved the refrigerator into the garage as it was simply unusable in the condition it was in. Because of this, I was unable to see the symptom that started the need for service, but I have seen this happen a few times, so I had a good idea of what she was describing. The problem that the previous tech discovered was the ice door would not close which is a refrigerator part that opens to dispense ice, and closes to keep the cold air inside. This is not a real common problem, but as I said, I have seen a few. What happens is the tab (usually on the right side) that holds the shaft which is the pivot point for the door seal breaks. Once loose, the shaft will often slide out from the other tab allowing the door to fall into the ice chute. Without the door in place to keep air out, well the winter wonderland is usually the result. Because these tabs are part of the dispenser rear panel, they cannot be replaced leaving us with a dilemma of how to fix it. Years ago, the only solution was to get creative with some hardware, or simply replace the entire door for the customer. Not many takers when you consider the part cost, but fortunately, Whirlpool did come out with a rather unique kit to solve this problem and help prevent it from happening again in the future.
The ice door kit comes with everything necessary to replace either broken tab, and to repair the door and it's supporting hardware. The kit comes with instructions so I will not go into details on the repair procedure, but will say make sure you remove as much of the broken tab as possible while leaving any remaining tabs in place. This is sometimes easier said than done, but with the right tools, it isn't to difficult.
I started by doing just that using first my knife, then a small chisel I keep with me just for this repair. With the tab removed, I installed the new bracket (the top photo shows the new bracket in place), then put the door components back together. With everything back in place, the ice door seals properly, the customer has her refrigerator back again, and the cost of the part is way less than a new door.
Thoughts and commentary about appliance repair topics including common failures and repairs, plus links to frequently used parts, industry news, along with information to help you better understand your appliances. Resources available for the technical professional and the do-it-yourselfer.
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