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Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser

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    • Unload the top three shelves of the fridge, and top two shelves of the freezer into cooler(s).

    • Mark the location of the shelves with a bit of tape. Then remove the shelves by tipping up the front edge, then lifting and pulling them towards you.

  1. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 2, imagen 1 de 1
    • Turn off the fridge (on ours the switch is in the top left corner of the fridge.) Then unplug it or turn off the breaker.

  2. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 3, imagen 1 de 1
    • Remove the wire cover in the top left edge of the fridge. It's held in place by one Phillips head screw.

  3. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 4, imagen 1 de 1
    • Unscrew the screw at the front of the diffuser cover. The diffuser itself will still be snugly in place.

    • Unclip the wire connector from the bottom of the diffuser. Remove the piece of tape holding the wires to the diffuser. We'll remove the other wire connector from the front of the diffuser later.

  4. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 6, imagen 1 de 1
    • Close the fridge door and open the freezer door. There's an air chute in the top of the freezer that will be coming out, along with the rear air chute. Remove the pair of screws on the top chute using the 1/4" hex socket. The back chute will still be holding the top chute in place.

    • If you're assisting, you may notice the ice dispenser is right next to the back of the person leaning into the fridge. Unless it's a very hot day, try not to slip ice cubes down the shirt/shorts of your cohort.

    • Take a look at how the back chute and top chute fit together. The back chute, at least on ours, is mounted on hidden spring clips. Pull the bottom edge of the back chute forward. As the top of the back chute comes out, the top chute will fall out too. Don't let it hit the floor.

  5. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 8, imagen 1 de 1
    • Now you can see a right angle air duct from the fridge side. This simply pulls out to the left.

  6. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 9, imagen 1 de 1
    • There is a spring clip in each corner of the fridge duct. Gently push them towards the center of the opening, and then towards the fridge.

    • There are 4 clips but only 2 are shown in the picture. (I forgot to take a picture after removing the right angle duct, so just imagine it's gone and you can see the other two as well. Please take a picture and update this page.)

    • Close the freezer door and head to the fridge side. But first, if your helper dropped ice down the back of your shorts in the prior step, feel free to return the favor.

  7. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 10, imagen 1 de 1
    • Welcome back to the fridge side. Seems roomy now that you've been crowded into the freezer, doesn't it? The diffuser module should slide out freely. We'll remove the wires in the next step.

  8. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 11, imagen 1 de 1
    • On the side of the diffuser that was against the wall, you'll see a little clip holding the wire connector in place. Gently pry on that and remove the connector.

  9. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 12, imagen 1 de 1
    • Now you can carry the little troublemaker over to better light. You might be able to reach in with your little finger and wiggle the diffuser door. If it slides open and closed freely, the door's tab has broken. If not, it's also possible the motor is kaput. (Someone please contribute diagnostics for that)

  10. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 13, imagen 1 de 1
    • The diffuser assembly is a "nonserviceable" part. Unless you're stubborn like me. Gently cut open the foam along the glue line all the way around with a box cutter or sharp knife. Now remove the top half of the foam.

  11. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 14, imagen 1 de 1
    • Now remove diffuser cover. It's held in place by 4 pairs of tabs. Squeeze each pair of tabs with needle nose pliers and gently lift that corner. After all the tabs release, you can lift off the cover. Don't tip the base or the door will fall out.

    • I only marked three tabs in the photo. If you can't find the fourth tab, then I know what you did with the beer that didn't fit in the cooler in step one!

    • Note which side of the door is up. You can now slide out the door, and find the plastic tab that broke off.

  12. Repairing Side-by-side Refrigerator Diffuser: paso 16, imagen 1 de 1
    • Examine the door to see where you can reinforce it without interfering with the cam or making the door thicker. Glue the plastic tab back in place, using a piece of flat toothpick or scrap of plastic to reinforce it. Use super glue or epoxy. Do not use heat to set the epoxy - this plastic softens very easily.

    • In the picture, you can see the broken tab, and the bit of toothpick next to it.

    • Reassemble the diffuser, making sure the cam sits properly in the hole of the diffuser door. If you have troubles snapping it together, recheck the door's position.

    • Clamp the foam part of the assembly back around the plastic. Tape it along the seam. I used fiber tape, but packing tape or electrical tape might work.

    • Now reassemble everything:

    • "Second verse, same as the first. A little bit louder, just in reverse."

    • Be sure to turn the fridge back on, plug it in, flip on the circuit breaker, etc.

    • Finish the melting ice cream.


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

14 personas más completaron esta guía.

Ray Tice

Miembro Desde 08/08/13

586 Reputación

1 Guía escrita

11 comentarios

It would be nice to be able to buy the plastic slider instead of repairing it, does anyone know where I can purchase the slider?

Rose Martin-Stinson - Contestar

Through my own troubleshooting, I came to the conclusion that my diffuser was likely broken. After defrosting my refrigerator, the fridge section did get down to 34F but then went back to 50F. I figured the diffuser door was able to close, but not open again. I almost ordered a new diffuser, but then this post motivated me to try and fix the old one. My diffuser door was only broken in one place, so it was springy when I manually moved the door while assembled with a screw driver. I glued the broken door as recommended here. lubed the plastic guides and main sliding surface inside of the cam drive and it seems to be working great. I believe my worn lower fridge door hinge (which was cheap and easy to replace - there are two pieces and two screws - don't buy new screws) had cause a right door seal breach which over time caused a build up of moisture then ice in the diffuser. When the door is physically restrained by ice and the cam turns, the door breaks. I'll bet this is the most common problem w this unit.

Andrew - Contestar

Electrical tape won’t work in the Ice box and that’s all I can contribute.

Walt Arnsdorff - Contestar

THANK YOU for this post! I spent the better part of the day working on my kitchenaid fridge. I cleaned the condenser coils, removed a heavy layer of ice from the bottom of the freezer and cleaned out the drain pipe… and then still suffered the problem of cold air not coming into the fridge through the damper… sure enough, this is exactly the issue I had, right down to the way the plastic broke. Just reinstalled it, and am very hopeful that my superglue job will be sufficient to keep it functioning. Shame that this piece is so fragile…

Audrey Brainerd - Contestar

Thanks! I

typically always pull something apart to attempt a fix. I must be getting lazy in my old age, but this post reinvigorated me to take it apart and fix, well at least until a new one comes in the mail. Ebay new $44, normally about $100 to $130. I didn’t have any crazy glue available so just a touch of epoxy should do it. Great fix to verify the diffuser is the problem either for the fix or verify to order replacement. You could always have a burned board if the motor shorted. I should have checked the resistance. Maybe when I get the new one I will repost. I would have like to seen the motor drive it, but it seems to a bit buffered or something. Maybe I will set a time lapse and close the door.

Korey Y - Contestar

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