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Old 08-20-2006, 07:46 PM   #1
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Side by Side Fridge Question

We have a Kenmore side by side fridge and wanted to ask a rather strange question. And, if anyone knows, if it should be a concern.

We have never noticed it before until one day we had both the fridge and freezer doors open and my hand was leaning on the part in the middle that separates the fridge from the freezer. This piece is amazingly hot... through the entire lenght. Is it supposed to be that way?

About a year ago or so, we had a rather strong electrical storm come through and we heard something that sounded like it came from the fridge, but could not be certain. It seemed after that incident is when we noticed that the piece in the middle stays extremely warm.

Any insight is appreciated!!!

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Old 08-20-2006, 07:51 PM   #2
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Give Sears a call and see what they say. How old is the frig?
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Old 08-20-2006, 07:52 PM   #3
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I suspect it might be just the automatic defrost cycle doing it's thing. Does the internal temp stay where it should?
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:05 PM   #4
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Calling Sears is useless to me. They will not answer any questions without first wanting to schedule a service call which will run $40 or more. But I will give it a try.

The internal temp is fine. It could be that it has done this all along and just have never noticed it before. DH tends to worry about it a bit (imagine that, the roles are reversed!), so there for I am asking you kind folks.

I appreciate your replys.
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Old 08-20-2006, 10:40 PM   #5
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Sears often has fridges in the store that are plugged in. Maybe if you go to Sears you will luck out and they will have your model there and plugged in. That way you could feel theirs and see if it is hot too.
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Old 08-21-2006, 12:58 AM   #6
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I have the same fridge as you and I went and checked the middle section on mine to see if it was hot and it was. So if I were you I wouldn't worry if everything else seems normal.
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Old 08-21-2006, 01:39 AM   #7
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That part on the divider that you all are speaking of is called the mullion - a funny name, and yes, it DOES get quite warm or hot to the touch.

All frost-free fridges have this feature, from the top-freezer models, bottom-mount models, as well as the SBS models.

And the reason for this part getting so warm or hot to the touch is because it either has an electric heater strip there behind the narrow panel, or a tube of hot refrigerant that flows through it. It keeps the freezer and fresh food doors' gaskets from freezing up and sticking to the cabinet by warming them up and keeping them warm and dry, which could otherwise tear the door gaskets, in time.

And in most of today's models, there REALLY IS a tube of hot refrigerant that surrounds the front of the freezer compartment to keep the door gasket from sticking to the cabinet and to help prevent that area from freezing up. So technically, there really is nothing wrong with your fridge, Sattie. That's the way that it works. I hope that this has helped you.


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Old 08-21-2006, 02:44 AM   #8
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What an informative answer. Thanks Corey.

This must be your line of work.

$40.00 for a house call isn't bad. My son's x-roommate is an appliance repairman and it is $130.00 to walk in your front door.
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Old 08-21-2006, 03:04 AM   #9
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You're quite welcome! Glad to help!!

Unfortunately, this isn't my line of work. It's cooking - which I've just landed a job in the field. I sign the paperwork on Tuesday, but it starts out as dishwashing until a cook's position opens up soon.

I'm doing this mainly to get my foot in the door, as I desperately need a job to keep the rent and utility bills paid and to work on getting a car.
But the co. promotes current employees from within before hiring off the street again.

However, I DID do repairs on major appliances, including my own. Sears includes a parts list with most of their major appliances, and this part is usually illustrated in that parts list that comes with their refrigerators.


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Old 08-21-2006, 05:32 AM   #10
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Mine isn't hot - it must be the cycle it was in.
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