Dec 17 , 2018

Refrigerator Not Cooling: How to Fix Refrigerator Problems

Problem: Fridge Not Cooling

There are several possible causes when a refrigerator doesn’t keep your milk cold or your ice cream frozen. Before you attempt more complex repairs, try these simple fixes if your refrigerator is not cooling and if your freezer is not working:

  • Be sure the fridge is plugged in and getting power. The light should come on when you open the door.
  • Check the thermostat to make sure it hasn’t been turned way down by mistake. If your fridge/freezer thermostat isn’t working, get these easy to install thermostats on Amazon.
  • Be sure the vents on the back of the freezer compartment aren’t blocked by boxes of ice cream or frozen vegetables—the vents have to be clear for cold air to circulate.
  • Vacuum the coils under or behind the fridge. Clogged coils can cause poor cooling.
  • Check to make sure nothing is stuck in the condenser fan and that it spins freely (models with coils on the back won’t have a fan). To do this, unplug the fridge and pull it out. Clean the fan blades and spin the fan by hand to see if it’s stuck. Plug in the fridge and make sure the fan runs when the compressor is running. If the fan doesn’t run, see the directions below, which show how to replace it.

In this video, we’ll show you some additional tips for troubleshooting refrigerator problems:

Family HandymanRefrigerator Not Cooling: How to Fix Refrigerator Problems Here's how to troubleshoot a failing fridge that's lost its frosty feel. This step-by-step guide will show you how to identify the problem and possibly even fix it yourself. Even if the repair requires a pro, you will be able to show them the problem thus saving them time and you money.

Replace the Refrigerator Evaporator Fan

Here are some refrigerator troubleshooting tips to help you zero in on the problem if you notice your fridge not cooling. If you can hear the compressor running but the fridge isn’t cooling, the problem is most likely either frost-clogged evaporator coils or a stuck or broken evaporator fan. Evaporator fans often squeal or chirp when they start to go bad. You’ll know it’s the evaporator fan if the noise gets louder when you open the freezer door. The evaporator coils and fan are located behind a cover in the freezer compartment

Buy an evaporator fan kit on Amazon.

If you remove the cover inside the freezer and find the coils completely filled with frost, take everything out of the freezer and fridge, unplug it and let it thaw for 24 to 48 hours. Keep a few towels handy to soak up water that may leak onto the floor. When all the frost is melted away, plug the fridge back in. If it works, the problem may be a defrost timer, defrost heater or defrost thermostat. Replacing these parts isn’t difficult, but figuring out which is faulty requires troubleshooting that we won’t cover here. Call a pro if you suspect a problem with these parts.

Normally the refrigerator condenser fan and compressor, located near the floor on the back of most refrigerators, come on when the thermostat calls for more cooling. If you don’t hear the compressor running after the door has been left open for a while, it could mean the condenser fan is stuck or worn out or that the relay or compressor is bad. Learn how to replace the evaporator fan below.

Remove Cover

remove refrigerator cover

Remove the cover to inspect the refrigerator evaporator and to access the evaporator fan. The screws may be covered with plastic plugs that you pry out.

Related Posts

What’s the Best Way to Advertise for a Handyman Business?
Pros are always asking me for the best way to advertise their handyman business. Is it Home Advisor? Thumbtack? Craig...
Read More
Thumbtack Pro Review: What You Need to Know
Thumbtack can be a fast and easy way to get customers and grow your business, but should you use this lead generation...
Read More
Double Your Income Every Year – How to Unlock Consistent Growth in Your Business
When I first heard the saying “work smarter, not harder,” it stunned me. I just sat there slack-jawed and confused wh...
Read More