One of the nightmares in any home is to have a refrigerator not cooling. Stored food goes bad, and there is no cold water or ice. Fortunately, we have solutions to the problem.
Refrigerator Not Cooling – What to Do
Do the following if you find that your refrigerator is not cooling:
1. Check the Power Cord
Go to the wall outlet and check the power cord of the refrigerator. It may be slightly unplugged, leading to no voltage supply to the unit. Push it in to be sure it is fully plugged. If it is fully plugged and there is no change in the unit, ensure the wall outlet is working.
Pull out the power cord and plug a small appliance into the same outlet to check the wall outlet. If the appliance comes on, it means the outlet is working. Still, you have to be sure it delivers the right amount of voltage to power the refrigerator. Therefore, find an electrician to check the outlet.
Ensure the refrigerator has a dedicated wall outlet, up to 15 amps, and delivers up to 120 volts. Otherwise, the refrigerator won’t run smoothly.
2. Check the Door
Start with the gasket. Ensure it is sealing tightly and no shelf or drawer is sticking out. If the gasket is not sealing tightly, replace it. You can use the dollar-bill trick, where you close the refrigerator door on a dollar bill and try pulling it out. If you can pull out the dollar bill, replace the gasket.
Next, check the arrangement of food items in the refrigerator. Poor placement can obstruct the door and keep it from closing fully. If necessary, reduce the refrigerator’s contents and ensure the remaining items sit away from the door and the vents. Not only does this arrangement help the door close fully, but it also encourages good airflow.
In addition, reduce items stored in the door. The problem may stem from the hinges due to the weight of the door. Therefore, be sure the hinges are straight, and the doors align. It helps to check the refrigerator’s leveling. Consult the user manual for the refrigerator to determine how to level it correctly.
3. Check the Location
Heat sources such as radiators and direct sunlight impede the refrigerator’s cooling capacity. If your refrigerator is in the path of direct sunlight, you may have to move it to another location. An alternative is to lower the temperature to a colder setting. The same solution applies if the refrigerator is beside a radiator.
4. Check the Condenser Coils
Move the refrigerator to create space behind it to reach the condenser coils. Some refrigerator models have coils behind the bottom front grille. If you are not sure where the coils are, consult your user manual.
Next, disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and check the coils. If they are coated with dust, vacuum them. For coils that are not so easy to reach, use a condenser coil cleaning brush; you will get better results.
Afterward, clean the surroundings so that dust and other debris do not quickly stick to the coils. And ensure you clean the coils every six to twelve months.
The coils are a part of the cooling system of a refrigerator. They dissipate the heat generated by the refrigerant during the compression process. If the coils are heavily coated with dirt, they cannot dissipate heat. Consequently, the heat restricts the refrigerator’s cooling capacity.
5. Check the Evaporator Coils
While it is typical to find a freezer not cooling when the coils are frozen, they also supply cold air to the refrigerator. So, it helps to check them if you find the refrigerator not cooling.
Empty the freezer compartment and remove the rear cover panel. Once you do, you will be able to tell if the coils are frozen. Typically, they should have alight and even coating of frost. But if there is a heavy coating, the defrost system has failed.
The problem could stem from a leaky door gasket. The warm or humid air carries moisture that may settle on the coils and freeze. And because the gasket remains leaky, the defrost system cannot keep up with the rate of frost accumulation.
One way to thaw the coils is to defrost the refrigerator manually. Unplug it from the wall outlet, empty the refrigerator, and store perishable food elsewhere. Then, set towels on the floor around the refrigerator and leave the doors open for a few hours. Clean up afterward, and restore power to the refrigerator.
Another way to fix the frozen coils is to use a hairdryer or a heat gun. Channel the heat on the coils until the ice melts. But ensure you move the dryer from one point to another to avoid overheating a spot.
When the evaporator coils are no longer frozen, troubleshoot the defrost system. Check the defrost timer, which is likely to be the faulty component. If it is in good working condition, then check the defrost heater and the defrost thermostat. Lastly, check the defrost control board.
The evaporator coils cool the air that the fan passes over them. That way, the refrigerator has cold air. The defrost system has the job of sensing the coils’ temperature and running a defrost cycle to keep them from freezing.
But if the system fails, or some other problem leads to a frost buildup, the coils become unable to cool the refrigerator air. As a result, you will find the refrigerator not cooling.
6. Check the Evaporator Fan
While checking the coils, take a look at the evaporator fan. It is usually attached to the cover panel by wires. Ensure there is no ice formed around the fan and clean the blades. Then, turn them to check their functionality.
If the blades don’t turn well, it may indicate a faulty motor. But ensure the shaft is working, and nothing is impeding the movement of the blades. Run a continuity test on the windings of the fan motor. If the motor shows no continuity, replace it.
The fan has the job of pulling cold air over the evaporator coils and spreading the air inside the refrigerator. If it fails, the refrigerator stops cooling even if other components are in good working condition.
7. Check the Air Damper
Locate the air damper inside the refrigerator. If you own a side-by-side refrigerator, you are likely to find it in the upper corner, to the left. Other models will have it between the freezer and fresh food sections.
Check to see if it is opening and closing while the refrigerator is running. If the damper appears to be stuck in one position, it is likely broken or stuck. Ice can cause it to stick, as well as items in the refrigerator.
Try moving the items in front of it to create space. Then, give it some time to see if it starts moving. Touch the cover to check its functionality. If the damper does not appear to work at all and is not stuck, replace it.
The air damper opens and closes when the thermostat senses the cooling needs of the refrigerator. It powers the damper to open to allow cold air to flow from the freezer into the refrigerator. After some time, it closes to prevent too much cold air from entering and causing freezing.
However, if the damper fails, the refrigerator won’t have sufficient cold air. Sometimes, it will have none at all. Therefore, it is crucial to check the damper and replace it if necessary.
8. Check the Condenser Fan
Locate the compressor on the refrigerator; the condenser fan is right beside it. In some cases, the compressor has completely fallen off, and you need to fix it. Then, check the blades and motor to be sure no debris is sticking to them. Clean the fan and clear the area around it.
Next, turn the fan blades with your hand to check functionality. If the blades turn well, the fan may be in good working condition. But if you notice some restriction in their movement, the bearings of the fan motor may have worn out. In such a case, replace the motor.
However, check the motor for continuity if the blades turn well, yet you suspect the fan is defective. And replace the motor or the entire fan assembly if there is no continuity in the motor.
The fan is responsible for cooling the condenser coils and the compressor. That way, they don’t overheat. If the fan becomes defective, the compressor and coils will overheat and affect the refrigerator’s cooling capacity.
If the above fixes don’t work, check the temperature setting to ensure it is set to a cold point. Also, check the thermistor because it should sense the refrigerator’s need for cooling and supply temperature readings to the control board.
In addition, check the compressor. The start relay attached to it should have continuity, and the compressor should not be too hot and should run smoothly without any loud noise. Lastly, check the main control board. The board governs the functions of the cooling system as well as other parts. If the board has burns on the solder points or does not work, replace it.
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Refrigerator Not Cooling after Power Outage – How to Fix
If the internal lights of the refrigerator are working, it means the refrigerator is receiving voltage. So, it may just need some time to cool noticeably.
Be aware that it takes up to an hour for a refrigerator to cool to a food-safe level after a power outage. Therefore, checking it immediately after power is restored may give the impression it is not cooling.
But if the refrigerator does not start cooling after one hour, one or more internal components no longer function due to the power outage. Check the thermostat, start relay, compressor, control board, condenser fan, and evaporator fan. These components are likely to fail and stop the refrigerator from cooling.
No Internal Lights
However, if you find that the internal lights are not working after the power outage, check the following:
1. Power cord
First, ensure the power cord is fully plugged into the outlet. If it is, pull it out and inspect it for any damages. A damaged or frayed refrigerator power cord cannot deliver the needed voltage for the refrigerator to come on. So, replace the power cord.
2. Electric Outlet
The outlet into which the power cord goes may get damaged during the outage. It is especially true if there was a power surge. Therefore, check the outlet; a burnt outlet will show burn marks. If you find none, plug another appliance into it, preferably a small one.
If the appliance comes on, the outlet may be in good working condition. But check whether it delivers the needed amount of voltage to the refrigerator. Any damages to the outlet reduce its capacity to power the unit. Hire an electrician to check the outlet and replace it if necessary.
If the outlet is a GFCI type, it may have tripped during the outage. It is a safe move to protect the appliance. Find the rest switch on the outlet and press it. The GFCI outlet should come on and power the refrigerator.
3. Circuit Breaker
Find the breaker outside your house and locate the switch that controls the refrigerator. Make sure it is on. To be sure, turn it off and back on. If it is malfunctioning, turning it off and on may get it back to suitable working condition.
4. Control Panel
Sometimes, a power outage turns the refrigerator off, but this depends on the type you own. If yours has a control panel, check for a power button to turn the unit off and on. Also, check the door for a power switch.
If you have not tried unplugging the refrigerator, pull the power cord from the wall outlet. Wait thirty seconds or a minute, then plug it back into the outlet. The refrigerator may just need a reset.
However, if none of the parts is malfunctioning, contact the manufacturer, report the issue, and request service. As an alternative, contact us using the chatbox to your right.
Refrigerator Not Cooling after Moving – Quick Fix
If you find that your refrigerator is not cooling after moving, you may have plugged it in too early. Depending on the refrigerator’s position during transportation, you may have to leave it unplugged for about 3 hours or for as long as 24 hours.
Laying a refrigerator on its side for too long, whether you are transporting it or not, is not correct. The oil in the compressor will flow out and travel to the cooling lines. When it gets into the cooling lines, it interferes with the cooling system. As a result, the refrigerator stops cooling.
However, leaving the refrigerator upright for about 3 hours after arriving at your destination gives the oil time to flow back into the compressor. And if you laid it on its side for up to 24 hours, allow it to stand without power for the same length of time.
Afterward, plug it into electric power and give it 1 to 3 days to reach cool temperatures. It may not take that long if you fill it ¾ of the way. A partially filled refrigerator cools faster than an empty one.
These steps should get the refrigerator up and running again. If you have already plugged it in without waiting the required length of time, disconnect it from power. Then, hire a qualified technician to check it.
When transporting a refrigerator, avoid laying it entirely on the side. If you can, leave it standing and secure it with straps to the sides and crossbars of the moving truck. But if you don’t have this option, lay it partially down; it must be slightly erect. Apart from the oil flowing out, the motion may damage other key refrigerator components.
Refrigerator Not Cooling after Defrost – Solved
The refrigerator may be stuck in the defrost mode. And it may be due to the failure of the defrost timer. If the refrigerator keeps defrosting, it won’t cool.
Therefore, troubleshoot the defrost system, starting with the defrost timer. The location of the timer will depend on the refrigerator type. But generally, the timer is either in the temperature control housing, at the refrigerator’s back wall, or behind the kickplate.
When you locate the timer, turn it clockwise to see if the heater turns on as the compressor goes off. If it does not happen, consider replacing the timer. But if the heater comes on, wait about thirty minutes for the timer to advance the system out of the defrost cycle.
If the timer does not advance out, check it for continuity using a multimeter. If the timer shows no continuity, replace it.
Next, check the defrost heater. That is, if the timer is in good working condition. You will find it under the cooling coils behind the cover panel inside the freezer section. With a multimeter, check the heater for continuity. If you see no continuity, replace the heater.
But if the heater and timer are working, check the defrost thermostat. Use your refrigerator’s user manual to locate it, but most refrigerators have the defrost thermostat on the evaporator coils.
Run a continuity test on the thermostat using a multimeter. If there is no continuity on the thermostat, replace it. You will find details in this article on how to test the timer, heater, and thermostat.
Lastly, check the defrost control board. The board is in charge of how the system functions. So, it helps to test it. However, do this only if other defrost system components are in good working condition.
You may want to check the main control board. While it is not part of the defrost system, it is in charge of the refrigerator’s functions, including the cooling and defrost systems. So, if the defrost control board is working and no other component is defective, check the main control board.
Refrigerator Not Cooling after Being Unplugged – Quick Fix
Ensure you push the power cord entirely into the wall outlet. Sometimes, you may not push it in completely but feel it is entirely in the outlet. But if the power cord is fully plugged in, remove it and check its terminals. Forcefully pushing it in may break one of them. You may have to replace the power cord if this is the case.
Try another wall outlet with the same amperage to see if the problem is from the outlet. You may want to plug another appliance into it before plugging the refrigerator. If the appliance works, you can plug the refrigerator into it. That way, you can tell whether or not the refrigerator is the problem.
You can also check the temperature controls to see if you inadvertently turned it off. That will explain why the refrigerator seems not to be working. Move the dial to the on position and see if there is any change.
Additionally, check other electrical appliances. If they are not working, it is possible the house or room has no power, and the fault is not with the unit. In such a case, check the circuit breaker. Ensure it is on and if it is not, turn it on.
Refrigerator Not Cooling and Compressor Hot – Solved
Check the following if a refrigerator is not cooling and the compressor is hot:
- Temperature setting
- Door seal
- Food placement
- Evaporator coils
- Evaporator fan
- Condenser coils
- Condenser fan
- Start relay
Here is an article that explains how to troubleshoot each part and fix faulty ones.
Refrigerator Not Cooling But Compressor Running – Quick Fix
Check the following if you find that your refrigerator is not cooling, but the compressor is running:
- Temperature setting
- Condenser fan
- Evaporator fan
- Evaporator coils
There are easy ways to troubleshoot and fix each part, as this article explains.
Refrigerator Not Cooling At All – How to Fix
The following are parts to check if your refrigerator is not cooling at all:
1. Evaporator Coils
The coils are behind the inside back panel of the freezer section unless your refrigerator has dual evaporators. Remove the screws securing the panel and lift it off. Take a look at the coils; there should be a light frosting on them. If the frosting is heavy and your refrigerator is a self-defrost type, the defrost system has failed.
To fix the frost accumulation problem temporarily, unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet. Next, use a dryer or steamer to thaw the coils. If they are frozen, they cannot release cold air for the unit. Consequently, the refrigerator stops cooling.
You can also opt to defrost the refrigerator manually. Leave it unplugged and open the doors. Lay towels around the refrigerator to catch dripping water and give it a few hours to defrost. But it will mean storing perishable food in another refrigerator if you choose this method.
Afterward, troubleshoot the defrost system. More likely than not, the defrost timer has failed. The timer handles how the system advances in and out of the defrost cycle. So, if the refrigerator accumulates frost, the timer is not working correctly.
However, if the timer is in good working condition, check the defrost heater using a multimeter. If you find no continuity, replace the heater. Also, check the defrost thermostat for continuity with a multimeter. Replace it if the thermostat shows no continuity.
2. Condenser Fan
Go to the back of the refrigerator and find the condenser fan. It is usually next to the compressor. Check to see if it is still attached, and if it is not, reattach it. Next, check its blades. They may be entangled or non-functional; clean and spin them to be sure.
If the blades spin freely, the fan is in good working condition. But if they are stiff and turn with effort, test the fan’s motor for continuity using a multimeter. The bearings may be worn. Replace the motor or entire assembly if the motor has no continuity.
The condenser fan blows hot air away from the compressor and coils. That way, they don’t overheat. However, if the fan is defective, the heat will transfer to the refrigerator and compromise its cool temperature.
3. Evaporator Fan
Listen to the sound of the motor as you open the freezer door. You will find the fan attached to the freezer’s rear cover, which covers the evaporator coils. If it stops turning, close the door. You should hear it resume running; that will indicate that it is working fine.
But if you don’t hear it, open the door and check the fan. Turn the blades of the fan after ensuring there is no ice or debris around them. If the blades spin smoothly, the fan may not be faulty. To be sure, check the motor for continuity using a multimeter. If the meter registers no continuity, replace the motor.
The evaporator fan has the job of circulating cold air from the evaporator coils throughout the freezer and into the refrigerator. So, if you find your refrigerator not cooling, the fan may be faulty.
4. Condenser Coils
First, ensure your refrigerator has visible and reachable coils. If it does, locate them, usually at the bottom back of the refrigerator. Move the unit and unplug it from electric power. Inspect them and if they are noticeably dirty, give them a thorough cleaning using a condenser coil cleaning brush or a vacuum cleaner. If you can, use a rag to wipe them down.
While condensing the refrigerant, there is a lot of heat. The coils are responsible for releasing the heat into the air so the condenser fan can blow it away from the refrigerator. But if the coils are significantly dirty, they become unable to release the heat.
As a result, the refrigerant carries and stores the heat in the compressor, which affects the cooling capacity of the refrigerator. Over time, the trend causes the refrigerator to stop cooling altogether.
5. Start Relay/Capacitor
Some refrigerators have the relay and capacitor housed together as the same device. Others have them as separate devices. Whichever is the case, you will find the start relay attached to the compressor’s side. Detach and shake it; a functioning relay should not rattle. If it does and has an accompanying burnt smell, consider replacing it.
But if the relay does not rattle and has no burnt smell, run a continuity test using a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace the relay.
The start relay connects the compressor windings and capacitor so that the compressor can start and run smoothly. If the relay becomes faulty, the compressor will have a hard time starting. Consequently, the refrigerator won’t cool. Therefore, the relay is vital if you want the refrigerator cool, and the compressor is not the problem.
Take a look at the thermostat inside the refrigerator. It should be set at a mid-point range. If it is off, it will explain the refrigerator not cooling problem. If it is not off, check it for continuity using a multimeter. If the thermostat has no continuity, replace it.
Check the resistance or continuity of the thermistor with a multimeter. You should find the resistance changing if the refrigerator’s temperature is changing. Otherwise, remove it from the unit and place it in a bowl of water.
Slowly heat the water and check the resistance as you do so. If the resistance changes, the thermistor is working. But if it does not, replace the thermistor.
When it senses the temperature needs of the refrigerator, the thermistor sends readings to the control board. The board activates the cooling system by sending power. But if the thermistor is faulty, the board may send no power or too much, which will result in too much cold air or none at all.
The refrigerant may be too little, causing the compressor not to run smoothly. As a result, the refrigerator won’t cool at all. To fix this issue, you need the help of a qualified and licensed refrigerator technician.
The compressor needs to run smoothly for the refrigerator to cool. It is the center of the cooling system, so if it becomes faulty, the refrigerator stops working. You will have to test the compressor or hire a professional to do the job. And if the compressor has an open circuit or no resistance, replace it.
Replacing a refrigerator compressor is not an everyday task, but check cost efficiency if you have to replace it. It may be better to add money to the cost of a compressor and buy a new refrigerator if you own an older model; compressors tend not to be cheap.
Finally, check the main control board if all else fails. The board governs the functions of the refrigerator, including the cooling system. If the board malfunctions, the refrigerator may stop cooling.
Refrigerator Not Cooling after Cleaning – Quick Fix
If you find that your refrigerator is not cooling after cleaning it, check the thermostat. You may have accidentally moved the dial to Off. Set the dial to mid-range, five being the best.
But if the thermostat is set to the correct point, check the temperature setting. Like the thermostat, it is easy to adjust the setting wrongly. Set it to the desired point and give the refrigerator time to the temperature change. Then, you can tell whether or not it is successful.
Otherwise, check the power cord if you had to disconnect it from electric power during the cleaning process. Ensure you fully plug it in, and there is no damage to it. Replace the power cord if you inadvertently damaged it.
Refrigerator Not Cooling But Freezer Works – What to Do
Do the following if a refrigerator is not cooling, but the freezer is:
1. Check the Evaporator Fan
Open the inside back panel of the freezer section and check the fan. Ensure there is no ice or debris obstruction. Then, turn the blades with your hand. If they are stiff, test the motor.
Take a multimeter and check the fan motor for continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the motor. Give the refrigerator time to see if the fan replacement fixes the cooling issue.
The evaporator fan spreads cold air from the cooling or evaporator coils to the freezer and refrigerator. If the fan stops working, the freezer may remain cold because it is close to the coils. But the refrigerator won’t be as cold as it should be.
2. Check the Damper Control
The control is right between the freezer and fresh food compartments. Consult the refrigerator’s user manual for the exact location in your model. When you find it, inspect it for any obstruction. It should open and close to let cold air from the freezer into the refrigerator.
If the damper appears stuck or broken, it won’t let cold air into the refrigerator. Consequently, the refrigerator stops cooling even though the freezer continues freezing. Replace the damper if it is no longer functional.
3. Check the Evaporator Coils
Ensure the coils are not frozen. If they are, they cannot produce cold air for the refrigerator. In such a case, the freezer may keep cooling while the refrigerator stops cooling due to the lack of cold air.
Use a dryer to thaw the coils, or defrost the refrigerator by unplugging it and leaving the doors open. Remember to unplug the unit before starting. Clean up afterward and give the refrigerator time before rechecking the coils.
Check the defrost timer and defrost heater if you find a frost accumulation on them again after a few days. The timer should advance the heater into the defrost cycle to keep the coils from freezing. If the timer fails, the heater won’t turn on, and the coils will freeze.
But if the timer is working, run a continuity test on the heater using a multimeter. Replace the heater if it shows no continuity.
Additionally, check the defrost thermostat. It should close its contacts to allow enough power to flow to the heater. If the thermostat fails to close contacts, the heater remains off, and the coils will freeze.
4. Check the Thermistor
Run a continuity test on the thermistor with a multimeter. Check to see if its resistance changes along with the refrigerator temperature. If it does not, replace the thermistor.
The thermistor may send false temperature readings to the control board if it is defective. In such a case, the cooling system may run less than required and cool the freezer alone. There may not be enough cold air to circulate to the refrigerator, so you find the refrigerator not cooling.
Ensure the condenser coils are clean and nothing is blocking the air vents. If necessary, rearrange the items in the refrigerator to make for a better flow of air. Also, ensure you set the temperature at the correct point for the refrigerator.
Additionally, check the gasket and door hinges. Make sure the door seals tightly and is properly aligned. Otherwise, the refrigerator’s internal temperature becomes compromised, even if the freezer continues cooling.
If none of the above fixes works for your refrigerator, and the freezer keeps cooling while the refrigerator does not, contact the manufacturer for further assistance. Alternatively, contact us using the chatbox to your right.
Refrigerator Not Cooling – Burning Smell
If there is a burning smell from your refrigerator and it is not cooling, disconnect it from electric power. Then, check the power cord, wall outlet, and internal lights.
There may be overheated electrical wiring in one or more of these parts. Begin with the power cord. Check the head before checking the length of it. Replace the power cord if it is frayed or you notice any other damage.
Next, check the wall outlet. The fault may come from the outlet, and you will identify it with burn marks. If you see such marks, the outlet is faulty and overheating the power cord’s internal wires.
Also, the internal lights may be defective. In such a case, they won’t go off when you close the door. Consequently, they generate heat which melts the inner parts and reduces the cooling capacity of the refrigerator.
If you can, avoid touching any part of the refrigerator. Contact the manufacturer or a qualified appliance technician for immediate assistance. Another option is to find an electrician to check the wiring of the house, refrigerator, and other appliances.
Refrigerator Not Cooling – Coils Frozen
Manually defrost the refrigerator if you find the coils frozen. Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and open the doors. Remove perishable food items and store them in an ice-packed cooler or another refrigerator if o]you have access to one.
Lay towels on the floor around the refrigerator and leave doors open for a few hours. The coils will thaw naturally using this method. Afterward, mop up dripping water and restore power to the refrigerator. Make sure all the ice has melted before closing the doors.
Another method is to use a steamer or hairdryer. Channel the heat to the coils and move the dryer or steamer around the coils until the ice melts. This method is faster, but it is not as safe as a manual defrost.
After taking care of the coils, so the refrigerator starts cooling, check the refrigerator’s defrost system. Begin with the defrost timer because it is in charge of advancing the system in and out of the defrost cycle.
Turn the timer with a flat-head screwdriver to advance it manually. Wait for the heater to turn on as the compressor turns off. If the timer fails to automatically advance out of the cycle, check it for continuity using a multimeter. Replace it if there is no continuity.
Next, check the defrost heater. The heater should come on a few times a day to warm the coils when they become too cold. However, its function is governed by how the timer works. So, if the timer is in good working condition, take the multimeter and check the continuity of the heater. Replace it if you find no continuity.
There is also the defrost thermostat. The thermostat can impede the defrost heater’s functionality. If the thermostat is defective, it will fail to close its connections so the heater can receive enough voltage to turn on. As a result, the defrost cycle fails. Therefore, test the thermostat with a multimeter and replace it if it doesn’t show continuity.
Refrigerator Not Cooling in Hot Garage – Quick Fix
Relocate the refrigerator from the garage to another part of the house with better room temperature. If the garage is too cold, the interior sensor detects this temperature and does not prompt the control board to activate the cooling system. As a result, the refrigerator stops cooling.
Also, if the room temperature in the garage is too low, the oil stored in the compressor becomes congealed. It cannot flow properly when thickened, affecting the refrigerator’s cooling capacity and the compressor’s effectiveness.
If you cannot relocate the refrigerator, you will have to find a way to heat the garage. The room has to be warm enough to trigger the sensor into activating the defrost system. Otherwise, the refrigerator parts may wear out quickly.
Refrigerator Not Cooling after Leaving Door open – What to Do
There may be an ice buildup on the evaporator coils. Typically, warm air enters when you leave the door open. And if it is open for a prolonged period, the ice buildup will be significant. Consequently, the refrigerator stops cooling because the coils cannot release cold air for the unit.
Therefore, take a look at the coils to confirm the ice buildup issue. If you find a significant ice accumulation, use a dryer or heat gun to melt the ice. Another option is to defrost the refrigerator manually. This method is not as safe as the manual defrost method, though it is faster.
It also helps to check the door gasket and hinges. Ensure the gasket seals tightly and the hinges are aligned. Gaps in the door continually let warm air, which is laden with moisture, into the refrigerator. Over time, you will find yourself always defrosting the refrigerator because of frozen evaporator coils and frost buildup in the freezer.
Refrigerator Not Cooling Evenly – Solved
There may be a problem with food placement. Properly arranging food has a role to play in how the refrigerator cools. If you arrange the food items poorly or overstuff the refrigerator, the cold air cannot circulate to all parts. So, you find some areas colder than others.
The same applies if you accidentally blocked the air vents. You may even find the bottom part of the refrigerator not cooling at all because the cold air cannot flow down. You should check the air vents at the back of the unit, close to the bottom. If they are blocked, allow the unit to defrost.
Additionally, check the refrigerator’s leveling. Improper leveling affects how well the refrigerator runs, including its cooling functions. Therefore, consult the user manual to determine how to level the refrigerator correctly.
Lastly, there may be a sealed system problem, especially if the freezer section has only one cooling part. The evaporator coils will also alert you to a leak in the sealed system if they have frost coating on one side alone.
In this case of a sealed system leak, hire a professional to check the level of refrigerant and the lines in which it flows. The professional is in the best position to repair the leak or advise you whether or not you need a new refrigerator.
Refrigerator Not Cooling and Leaking Water – Quick Fix
If a refrigerator is not cooling and is leaking water, check the defrost system. The refrigerator is stuck in the defrost mode and cannot advance out into the cooling mode. The likely culprit is the defrost timer, so start your troubleshooting steps from there.
However, be sure to test other components even if the timer is working well. There may be more than one faulty component. If you replace only the timer, the defrost problem will continue.
Also, check the drain hole and pan under the refrigerator. Flush the drain hole with a solution of warm water and vinegar. When the water runs clear and free, empty the drain pan, wash it, and sanitize. Then, check it for cracks. If you find any, replace the drain pan.
Why Is My Freezer Not Cooling?
If your freezer is not cooling or freezing, here are common causes and solutions:
1. Frozen Evaporator Coils
A malfunctioning defrost system cannot melt the frost off the coils when due. Over time, the ice builds and eventually chokes the coils, preventing them from releasing cold air.
Also, warm or humid air brings moisture into the freezer when it enters through a gap in the door. The moisture settles and forms condensate that freezes and builds ice. If the trend continues, the frost accumulates, and even an effective defrost system cannot keep up.
Take a look at the coils in the freezer section, behind the inside back wall. You will have to empty the freezer of all contents and shelves, racks, and bins before you can reach the coils. Typically, there should be only light frosting on them. But if you find heavy frosting, it will explain the cooling problem in the freezer.
Store perishable food in a cold place and manually defrost the freezer. It means unplugging it and leaving the door or lid open for several hours. You can opt to use a faster method: blowing hot air on the coils using a dryer or heat gun.
However, thawing the coils by manual defrost or dryer is only a temporary fix. A failure in the defrost system or a leak in the door causes heavy accumulation. One way to verify if it is a one-time issue is to recheck the coils after a few days. If the heavy frost coating is back, troubleshoot the defrost system and check the door, particularly the gasket and the hinges.
2. Defective Start Relay
The start relay is the small device on the compressor’s side. It provides a boost of power for the effective and smooth running of the compressor. But a defective start relay makes the compressor unable to start and run. Consequently, the freezer stops cooling or freezing.
Pull the relay out of the side of the compressor. One easy way to test it is to shake it. If it vibrates or shakes, the relay is defective. Its condition is further confirmed if there is a burnt odor coming from it.
But if the relay has no burnt odor and does not rattle, go a step further by carrying out a continuity test. Take a multimeter and place the probes on the start and run terminals of the relay. If the relay shows no continuity or resistance, replace it.
3. Dusty Condenser Coils
The condenser coils dissipate the heat generated by the refrigerant during condensing. But if they are dirty, they cannot function efficiently. As a result, the freezer’s capacity to cool reduces. Over time, it may stop altogether if you don’t clean the coils.
If your freezer has its condenser coils hidden inside its walls, you don’t need to clean them; you can’t reach them. But if the coils are visible under or behind the freezer, vacuum them or clean them with a condenser coil cleaning brush. Be sure to do a thorough job of it.
4. Faulty Evaporator Fan
The evaporator fan circulates cold air in the freezer. The cold air passes through the air damper from the freezer to enter the refrigerator and cool it. So, if the fan fails, the freezer will stop cooling, no matter how much air the evaporator coils release.
Listen to the freezer for the sound of the fan motor. Though low, you may hear it through the closed door. But if you cannot, open the door, and you should hear the motor trail off, and it stops running. Activating the door switch should get it up and running again.
However, if the motor does not resume running after you activate the door switch, the motor may be faulty. But first, check the blades to be sure nothing is obstructing them. If the blades are clean and free, turn them. Friction or stiffness indicates a problem with either the shaft or the motor.
Check the shaft for functionality. You may have to apply some penetrating oil to lubricate it and help the blades turn. Then, run a continuity test on the motor using a multimeter. If the meter registers no continuity from the motor, replace it.
5. Malfunctioning Condenser Fan
The condenser fan prevents the overheating of the compressor and condenser coils. As the coils push out hot air from the refrigerant, the fan blows it away, so it does not rest on the compressor or freezer.
But if the fan malfunctions, the heat will transfer to the freezer and impede its cooling capacity. Therefore, take a look at the fan beside the compressor. Turn its blades to check functionality. If they turn well, clean them and check the motor.
With a multimeter, test the continuity or resistance of the motor. If there is no continuity, replace the fan motor.
5. Leak in the Sealed System
This problem may mean buying a new freezer, but the freezer will stop cooling if the sealed system is leaking. The gas does not have an odor typically. However, you may get a faint chemical odor inside and around the unit.
If you don’t smell it, check the evaporator coils. A frost coating on just one side is evidence of a leak. The same applies if only the top shelf or one section is cooling. In such a case, hire a licensed refrigerator technician to check and repair the leak, if possible.
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