Refrigerator Is Not Cooling
When a refrigerator is not cooling, don’t just let it sit there, fix it ASAP. Refrigerator that is not cooling is not only a health hazard but is also a fire hazard. Components on the refrigerator may stop working and cause excess heat to build up and ultimately cause electrical sparks and other problems. Therefore, when a cooling fails in a refrigerator, it’s a sign that there are serious problems and they need to be resolved quickly. Below are a few ways you can check and repair potential hazards when a refrigerator does not cool properly.
Initial surroundings inspection when refrigerator is not cooling
This may sound stupid but the first thing you should check when a non-cooling refrigerator, is whether it’s plugged in or not. At times, the power plug can become loose if you accidentally bump the refrigerator hard enough. Another thing to check is for blown fuses or tripped circuit breaker. Testing the power outlet for proper current is another important thing to check. Other things to look out for is damage to the electrical chord.
Your first step to check when refrigerator is not cooling
After the initial inspection, when a refrigerator is not cooling, we can move on to the refrigerator unit itself. Fist thing to check on the main unit will be the temperature settings. A refrigerator is not cooling because it does not get its cool air from its freezer section by having the evaporator fan circulate cold air over the freezer coils and transferring that cold air into the main refrigeration unit. You can turn the knob inside the refrigerator to a lower setting to resolve your fridge not cooling issue but by lowering the temp, it actually opens up the vents wider from the freezer to the refrigerator. Optimal temperature setting for a refrigerator operating normally would be around 38 degrees for the fridge and 0 to 5 degrees for the freezer. To test the temperature inside of a refrigerator, you can sit a cup of water with a thermometer in it inside the fridge and freezer for 2 hours and watch for any temperature changes.
Your second step to check when refrigerator is not cooling
The next thing to check on a refrigerator that is not cooling, are the rear-mounted and floor level condenser coils. Since dust and debris can accumulate on the condenser coils while it’s dissipating heat, your refrigerator is not cooling properly. Collection of dust and debris can be a serious problem as it may result in the overheating of the compressor. Hence when a refrigerator that’s is not cooling properly, checking the condenser coils is a very important step.
Before checking the condenser coils on a refrigerator that is not cooling, you’ll have to unplug it from the outlets to avoid any electrical shocks. After you’ve unplugged the fridge, brush and vacuum the coils. If there is distinct build up of debris on the coils, please use warm soapy water to aid the cleaning process when wiping down the debris from the vacuum coils. Also be aware to not drip cleaning water all over other refrigerator components.
Your third step to check when refrigerator is not cooling
Checking of these next few components is crucial on a refrigerator that is not cooling properly. First, we need to make sure the evaporator fan that is located in the rear of the freezer is functioning properly. As always, remember to unplug the refrigerator to avoid electric accidents. To get to the evaporator fan, we may need to remove screws and retainer clips, which hold a rear panel that contains the fan. Remove the screws and clips with a screwdriver and access the evaporator fan. Pull the slip-on connectors off from the rear of the fan and inspect the connection points for corrosions. If connection points are damaged, it will need to be replaced. Also test the fan using a multi-tester to check the ohms, which should indicate zero ohms. If the fan in the refrigerator that is not cooling does not pass the multi-tester, the fan itself will need to be replaced.
Compressor relay is the next item on our checklist on a refrigerator that is not cooling. The compressor relay is used to engage the compressor of the refrigerator but if it’s damaged, the compressor will not cycle on. To get to the compressor relay in the refrigerator that is not cooling, just look in the terminal box near the rear bottom of the refrigerator. Remove the compressor relay by pulling it out of the terminal box as it’s connected via slip on connectors. Make sure to clean any debris or corrosion you find on the connectors. Next, we’ll need to test the compressor relay with the multi-tester in the refrigerator. Again, set the tester to setting X1 and insert to probes into terminals labeled “M” and “S” on the relay and ohms should appear to be zero. Now, with flip the relay with the probes still in and the reading should now be infinity. Next, switched the relay back and take out only the probe in terminal M and place it on terminal L instead. The reading this time should be zero and if you flip the relay, the result should change to infinity. Take the probe from terminal S and put it in terminal M while still touching terminal L and run the test over again. If the relay fails any of these 3 tests, the relay will have to be replaced when the refrigerator is not cooling.
Use the multi-tester and run the same tests under setting X1 for the overload protector and the compressor motor for your refrigerator that is not cooling. Please refer to the manual to find the exact locations of these refrigerator components. Replace any part that does not pass the multi-test and if you’ve done everything correctly, your refrigerator is not cooling issues should be a problem of the past.