Level of DifficultyReally easy
Time to do repair15 - 30 mins
Age of ApplianceMore than 10 years
I saved my Whirlpool Refrigerator (Model ET21GKXHN00) and learned a lesson. Don’t put off cleaning the refrigerant coils underneath the refrigerator. I replaced the refrigerator about 10 years ago and began to notice that the sound of this one running had changed slightly. I remembered that’s what happened to the first one just before it died. I removed the panel on the bottom front and saw that the refrigerant coils were covered with dust. It was really bad. I vacuumed them with the “radiator attachment” on the vacuum cleaner and plugged the refrigerator back in. It still didn’t sound right and I couldn’t feel the air blowing out like it should. So I rolled the refrigerator out and removed the back lower cover to see the compressor and the cooling fan. The fan was clogged with dust so I vacuumed that as well. But the fan wouldn’t spin freely by hand. The fan motor only had 3 screws holding it onto the plastic fan bezel and was easily removed by unsnapping the electrical connector on the motor. I removed the fan motor and tried to clean it with a few drops of WD40 on the shaft. But when I put it all back and plugged it in the fan just barely started turning. I unplugged the refrigerator and ordered the fan motor from PartSelect.Com (Item Number PS371043). The picture looked exactly like the motor that was in my refrigerator. I threw everything away in the refrigerator, cleaned it out and left it unplugged until the motor came. The motor arrived in a few days and it looked exactly like the one I had removed. It had the same electrical specifications stamped on the back and the electrical connector was the same and in the same location on the motor. I put the fan blade on the new motor and installed it exactly like the old one was. It only took 15 minutes or so and was very easy to install. When I plugged the refrigerator in the compressor started right away and so did the fan. It ran like a champ. In a few hours the refrigerator got cold and began to cycle on and off like normal and the fan blows like new. The sound is normal and the total running sound is quiet again like a new refrigerator. So for $84.67 I saved my $1300 refrigerator and learned not to neglect checking the build up of dust in the compressor fan section. I’m sure that’s what happens to most of the refrigerators people put out for trash pickup in front of their houses. The cause of the problem is when air flow is restricted across the refrigerant coils too much heat returns to the compressor and eventually causes the compressor to fail. I appreciate that we live in a time when you can order exactly what you need on the internet and make home repairs when you need to. Thanks Part Select for sending me the correct part. It’s nice to have milk and cold drinks again.