How to Troubleshoot a Kenmore 253

The Kenmore 253 is a side-by-side refrigerator and freezer appliance made by Sears.

Compressor Will Not Run

The ice maker can cause problems with a refrigerator.
It has an ice maker and external ice and chilled water dispensers on the door and dual refrigerator and freezer thermostat controls. Spillproof shelves inside this model and tall bottle retainers on the doors ensure that the food contents will not splash and create a mess. The Kenmore 253 may occasionally experience problems that you can troubleshoot at home. Common problem areas that you can troubleshoot yourself include the compressor, the ice maker and temperature controls. .

Plug in the refrigerator if the plug has been knocked out of the electrical wall outlet. Push in on the plug to tighten its connection to the outlet.

Check the freezer control knob in the refrigerator compartment if the compressor does not resume running. Set it to "5" if you find that the knob has been turned off. The compressor should turn on immediately. Give the unit 24 hours to cool down completely.

Check other household electrical appliances to ensure your area is not experiencing a power outage if you cannot hear the compressor working. Check your house's electrical box for a tripped circuit or blown fuse. Reset the circuit if it is tripped, or replace the fuse.

Wait up to 30 minutes for the compressor to turn on again if your area has power, the refrigerator is plugged in and its lights and controls are working. The compressor may be off because the refrigerator is in a defrost cycle.

Ice Maker Will Not Make Ice

Turn the ice maker power switch in the freezer to the "On" position if the switch has been shut off. Give the ice maker 24 hours to make up to 5 lbs. of ice.

Move the refrigerator a couple feet away from the wall if it is still not making ice, and check that the water line into the freezer is open by turning its valve counter-clockwise. Listen for the ice maker to start up.

Close the water line valve by turning it clockwise if the ice maker does not start. Unscrew the water valve with a screwdriver, and clean any sediment from its surfaces with a scrub brush. Put the water valve back on the water line, screwing it in tightly. Replace the valve with a new one if the ice maker still does not work.

Push a glass against the exterior chilled water dispenser if a clean water valve or new water valve does not solve the ice maker problem. Replace the clogged filter cartridge if water is not dispensed to resume ice making and water dispensing.

Unsatisfactory Temperatures

Check that the freezer and refrigerator doors are completely closed and that the door seals are working properly to prevent either compartment from becoming too hot. Clean the door seals with a damp cloth to remove any debris. Keep trips to the refrigerator or freezer to a minimum on hot days.

Adjust the refrigerator and freezer control knobs in the refrigerator compartment to the right, toward "Colder" on hot days. Move both control knobs back toward the middle, around "5," on cooler days.

Adjust the temperature control in the meat keeper drawer by sliding the control to the left for "Cooler" and sliding it to the right for "Warmer." Leave the meat keeper drawer open as little as possible to maintain a stable interior temperature.

Things You Will Need

  • 15-amp time-delay house fuse replacement
  • Damp cloth
  • Screwdriver
  • Scrub brush
  • Water valve replacement
  • Filter cartridge


  • Give the Kenmore 253 up to 24 hours to stabilize temperatures inside the refrigerator and freezer after you have made temperature adjustments.

About the Author

Mary McNally has been writing and editing for over 13 years, including publications at Cornell University Press, Larson Publications and College Athletic Magazines. McNally also wrote and edited career and computer materials for Stanford University and Ithaca College. She holds a master's degree in career development from John F. Kennedy University and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in counseling.