Refrigerator thermograms

Here are thermograms of Kenmore 363-9554720 kitchen refrigerator from a Flir E5. The first one shows the left freezer side slightly cooler than the right refrigerator side. It also shows an unexpected heat load in the lower right created by a furnace duct diffuser directing heated air towards the fridge. Even more unexpected is the hot spot in-door water dispenser.

Focusing on the dispenser region, the temperatures range from 44 F nearest the ice dispensing port to 86 F in the center of the dispenser. The fridge’s average surface temperature is closer to 65 F. which is not far from the room temperature of 68 F. These temperatures were measured after removing the ice-maker and sealing up the ice port. Investigating the door more, the water line enters the bottom of the door and wires enter the door from the top. The wires are necessary to control the water solenoid, activate the ice dispenser, drive a night-light, and apparently, drive a heating element. While without the heating element the water line might freeze, heating any section of a fridge seems like a kludge. If the in-door water dispenser was placed in the fridge side, freezing would not be a problem. Apparently, the power load is small, only 4 W or so, as this is power consumption when the lights and compressor are off.

The wall temperature behind the fridge averaged 82 F, or 14 F warmer than room temperature, because of a fan driving circulating air over the bottom mounted coils.