Whirlpool Refrigerator Fan [Guide & Issues Solved]

A refrigerator fan is a crucial part of the cooling process. Let us discuss a Whirlpool refrigerator fan, possible issues, and how to solve them.

Whirlpool Refrigerator Fan Not Working – Solved

There are two types of fans in any refrigerator, including a Whirlpool refrigerator. One is the condenser fan, and the other is the evaporator fan. Both play a vital role in how well a refrigerator maintains a cool temperature. So, if they are faulty, the refrigerator may stop cooling.

Condenser Fan

The condenser fan is responsible for cooling the condenser coils and ensuring the compressor does not overheat. It also contributes to the evaporation of condensate in the drain pan under the refrigerator. A faulty condenser fan may lead to overheating in the condenser unit, which may affect the refrigerator’s cooling capacity.

Locate the condenser at the bottom back of the refrigerator. Disconnect the unit’s power cord from the wall outlet and move it to create a working space at the back. You may need someone to help you move the refrigerator because it tends to be heavy. Visually inspect the fan to see if any debris is stuck in it. That may explain why it is not working.

It helps to clean the fan thoroughly. This is especially true if the refrigerator has been used for years and you have never cleaned the fan. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove dust and debris, and while at it, clean the condenser coils if necessary. Ensure the fan blade is free of obstructions and the motor is clean. Then, test the fan.

Turn the blade by hand to check its functionality. Typically, the fan should turn without effort, even if it is off. But if the blade does not turn smoothly and there is no obstruction, it may be due to worn motor bearings. Inspect the motor and if the bearings are worn, replace the motor; you cannot repair worn bearings.

However, the motor may be faulty if the blade turns well, but the fan does not run. Noise from the fan during operation may indicate this fault and, in such a case, replace the motor. You can also run a continuity test on the motor using a multimeter. Replace the part if you find no continuity.

Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan is responsible for blowing cold air from the evaporator coils into the freezer. As the refrigerant passes through the coils, it absorbs heat from the air and leaves it cold, which, in turn, cools the coils. 

But if the fan is not working, the freezer and refrigerator will have no cold air, and the evaporator coils may freeze. Check out this article that extensively discusses possible reasons an evaporator fan stops working and how to fix them.

Note: These steps apply to all Whirlpool refrigerator models, including French-door and side-by-side models.

Whirlpool Refrigerator Fan Noise – What to Do

The condenser and evaporator fans in a Whirlpool refrigerator can become noisy for a few reasons. You can tell which fan is making noise by the area from where the noise comes. If the noise becomes louder and stops when you open the freezer door, the evaporator fan is generating noise. And if it comes from the back of the refrigerator, check the condenser fan.

Evaporator Fan

Ice can build in the evaporator compartment behind the rear access panel inside the freezer section. The fan motor may also become faulty and generate noise. Learn more from this article on a noisy Whirlpool evaporator fan and follow the detailed steps to fix the noise problem.

Condenser Fan

But if the fan comes from the condenser area, dirt may be stuck in the blade or motor of the condenser fan. The fan will have difficulty working, and the effort to operate generates noise. So, turn off the refrigerator, move it, and inspect the fan at the bottom back.

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Thoroughly clean it and the condenser coils, ensuring that the motor and surrounding area are clean. Test the blade; if it appears stiff, apply some penetrating oil to reduce friction. Give it some time and try the blade again; the oil should fix any noise from stiff bearings and shafts. But if the noise returns after cleaning the blade and motor, replace the fan’s motor.

Important Notes

These steps apply to all models of Whirlpool refrigerators, including the side-by-side ad French-door models. The primary difference is how to access the fan. For french-door models, the fan is usually in the drawer section, so empty the drawer and remove the front cover before reaching the fan.

The condenser fan may buzz or hum when it is equalizing with the compressor. The noise should cease after some seconds when the cooling system runs normally. If you hear a slight humming or buzzing from the fan during regular operation, it is usually nothing to worry about unless it becomes excessively loud.

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Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor and Fan Not Running – Quick Fix

Several parts may be defective, causing the compressor and fan on a Whirlpool refrigerator not to run. Check the power supply to the refrigerator, start relay, temperature control thermostat, and thermistor, as this article explains. You may also check the condenser coils; if they are significantly dirty, the dirt and debris can cause the fan and compressor to fail. Consider calling for professional help if nothing else fixes the problem.

Whirlpool Refrigerator Fan Keeps Running – How to Fix

If the fan in your refrigerator keeps running, you must determine the source of the problem. The evaporator and condenser fans are part of the cooling system, so they work with the compressor to ensure a cool internal temperature. Therefore, if any of the fans keeps running, it may be due to a problem with the cooling function.

Evaporator Fan

The evaporator coils may be frozen, restricting the flow of cold air into the refrigerator. Another possibility is that the temperature is not correctly set, causing the fan to run all the time to maintain a cool temperature. You can learn more from this article on a Whirlpool refrigerator evaporator fan running continuously and follow the instructions to fix the possible causes of the problem.

Condenser Fan

If the condenser fan runs all the time, there are several things to check. Start with the thermostat. The thermostat takes temperature readings from the refrigerator and sends them to the control board. The board, in turn, turns on the cooling system when there is a cooling need. But if the thermostat stops working well, the refrigerator may run all the time.

Ensure the temperature is correct; it must be at least 37 degrees Fahrenheit and no more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Adjust the temperature if necessary, but if it is accurate, test the thermostat. Turn it to the highest temperature setting and see if the fan stops running. If the refrigerator continues running even when the thermostat is set to warm, it indicates a defective thermostat and should be replaced.

1. Condenser Coils

Another part to check is the condenser. The condenser coils are next to the condenser fan and typically dissipate heat from the refrigerator. This helps maintain a cool temperature in the unit and prevents other components from malfunctioning. However, if the coils are dirty, which happens over time, they cannot dissipate heat from the unit, causing a rise in the temperature. 

Consequently, the fan runs to cool the coils and lower the temperature. Clean the condenser coils with a coil cleaning brush or vacuum cleaner. Repeat the cleaning process every six months to one year. Remove dirt from around the condensing area, including around the compressor. Also, clean the fan to ensure optimal functionality.

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2. Door Gasket

A dirty door gasket, which is the rubber seal that fits around the edge of the refrigerator door, can cause the cold air inside the unit to escape easily. If that is the case, warm air replaces cold air and compromises the internal temperature. The rise in the temperature eventually affects the fan and causes it to run all the time. The same applies if the gasket is loose or weak.

Check the door seal for dirt. Clean it using a small brush and warm soapy water. Ensure to remove every stubborn stain so that the door can seal tightly. If cleaning the gasket does not help, check to see if it is loose. Use a small screwdriver to push it back into place if necessary. However, if the gasket is weak, which you can test using a dollar bill, replace it. Here is a resource with instructions on replacing the door gasket on a Whirlpool refrigerator.

3. Air Circulation

Ensure the refrigerator is not flush against the surrounding walls. The condenser coils need space to dissipate the heat into the atmosphere, and if the refrigerator is too close to the walls, it overheats. It is recommended that the unit sits at least two inches away from the surrounding walls. 

It encourages air circulation so that the condenser fan does not keep running. You may need help to make this adjustment if the refrigerator is heavy. Also, ensure the vents at the bottom back of the unit are not covered with dust. The heat escapes from the vents, and dirt traps the heat.

4. Fan Motor

The last possible cause is a defective fan motor. The motor may weaken or become faulty over years of usage, which manifests through different means, including constantly running. It is rare, but if nothing else seems to be causing the fan problem, you may have a bad motor, especially if the refrigerator has been in use for many years. You can run a continuity test on the motor using a multimeter; replace the motor if there is no continuity.

Get professional assistance from Whirlpool or an independent technician if none of the above fixes the fan problem. Replacing the fan motor may likely fix it, but you may need to service the refrigerator, especially if the problem returns after a short while.

Whirlpool Evaporator Fan Motor Test

To test the evaporator fan motor in your Whirlpool refrigerator, disconnect the appliance from electric power. You can do that by unplugging it from the wall outlet if reachable or powering down the circuit breaker. Locate the fan in the freezer section, behind the rear panel. Unmount the crews securing the panel and remove it. Some models may have the fan attached to the covers, so gently lower the panel.

Next, turn the blades with your hand. This is an easy way to test the fan motor. If the blades appear stiff and do not turn smoothly, you have your test result. The only repair is to replace the fan. But if the blades turn well, remove them and get a multimeter to run a continuity test on the motor.

Set the multimeter to the range of 1-ohm (Ω) to 100-Ω. Remove the motor from the housing and place it on a work surface. Find the terminals, which are the points where the wires connect to the coil. Place one multimeter probe on one of the motor’s terminals and the other on the second terminal.

A reading less than 100-Ω on the multimeter indicates that the fan coil is in good working condition and the motor is not defective. But if the reading is higher than this value or shows infinity, which is usually O.L on a digital multimeter. In that case, the fan coil is no longer working because of a connection breach. The motor needs a replacement.

Whirlpool Refrigerator Fan Cycles On and Off – Fixed

The problem may stem from an overload affecting the compressor and causing the fan to turn on and off too often. It may appear as if the freezer and refrigerator temperatures are in order because of frozen and cold foods, but get a thermometer and check the temperatures.

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If the freezer temperature is higher than the setting on the controls, you may have a compressor problem. Worse still, it may be a sealed system leak. The same applies if the refrigerator’s internal temperature is too high. When the refrigerant level drops, the compressor runs all the time, overheats, and damages the overload device.  The fan is affected as it has to run without the compressor, putting stress on it and causing the motor to turn on and off.

Another possibility is that the fan is shorted, which can cause a malfunction. You may be unable to determine whether or not it is a circuit problem without the help of an appliance technician. So, contact Whirlpool or hire an independent technician for further assistance.

Check the condenser coils to ensure they are not significantly dirty. Dirt can also affect the fan and cause it to turn on and off due to overheating. Keep the coils clean by vacuuming them every six months to one year, depending on the usage.

How to Replace Fan in a Whirlpool Refrigerator

Ensure you turn off the refrigerator before attempting to replace the fan. Check out this article for instructions on replacing the evaporator fan in a Whirlpool refrigerator. There are different refrigerator models, so you may want to ensure you have the correct replacement part and steps for replacement.

But if you want to replace the condenser fan, you must move the refrigerator to access the bottom back where the fan is usually located, next to the condenser coils. Remove the access cover over the compartment while the refrigerator is unplugged; you need a screwdriver to loosen the mounting screws on the access panel.

Pull out the panel and move the retainer of the power cord to one side. Disconnect the wire harness of the water inlet valve from the panel and completely remove the access panel. Next, remove the blade from the motor shaft; you must do it carefully because the fan sits in a housing.  

Get a small flat-head screwdriver to unlock the tab to disconnect the wire harness on the fan’s motor. Unmount the screws securing the motor using a 5/16 socket or nut driver and remove the motor from the mounting bracket. Now, install the new fan, starting with the motor. Position the motor on the mounting bracket and thread the screws to secure it. 

Reconnect the wire harness to the new motor and slide the fan blade onto the new motor shaft, ensuring it is secure. Fix the wire harness on the water inlet valve and reposition the power cord’s retainer on the panel. Then, secure the access panel with the mounting screws, turn on the refrigerator and test the fan.

Note: These are basic steps to replace the condenser fan on a Whirlpool refrigerator. There may be slight variations, but you must consult the user guide for the refrigerator when replacing the fan for your specific model. Alternatively, contact the Whirlpool Center for further assistance.

How to Clean a Whirlpool Refrigerator Fan

You may not have to clean the evaporator fan in a Whirlpool refrigerator because of the location. The evaporator fan is in the same compartment as the evaporator coils, behind the rear panel inside the freezer. 

Therefore, it barely gets dirty, as with the coils. But you can check and clean the blades from time to time, especially if a loud noise comes from the freezer section. Debris may get caught in the blades, creating noise. Do the same for the evaporator coils to prevent an ice buildup.

On the other hand, the condenser fan needs a thorough cleaning more often than the evaporator fan. It is usually located in the bottom back of the unit, next to the condenser coils, and attracts dirt quickly. Before cleaning the fan, disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and remove the access panel.

Use a small brush to remove the dust and debris on the fan blade and motor. Clean the area around it as much as possible. If there is too much dirt, you can clean the fan using a damp rag. You do not need to unmount the fan before cleaning it unless access to it is tight. Also, wipe the motor but do not pour water over it to avoid damaging it.

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