Tip & How-To about Refrigerators

How to fix a warm refrigerator

If your refrigerator runs but it does not get cold, follow these steps to determine the cause and implement a repair.

There are three common causes of this problem. First, the fan in the freezer is not working. Second, the coils in the freezer are frozen with ice. Lastly, the freon may have leaked out of the system.

Solution #1: When the compressor is running (you can hear it), open the freezer and listen for the fan running. It is usually located in the back of the freezer near the top. You can see an opening in the back panel where the air comes out. Hold your hand over the opening to feel for air flow. If there is no air flow or you cannot hear the fan running, this is your problem. Double check with a volt meter to be sure. You can access the fan by removing the back panel from the freezer. With the compressor running, touch the leads on your voltmeter to the terminals on the fan. If you have line voltage, then the fan is bad and must be replaced. You can purchase a new fan at an appliance parts store or an internet parts store. Get the model number from the inside wall of the refrigerator so you can search for parts for your refrigerator.

Solution #2: Remove the rear panel from the freezer. Look if the coils are frozen with ice. If they are, turn the refrigerator off and thaw all of the ice. After reinstalling the rear panel, the refrigerator/freezer will get cold again. In some cases, the problem will reoccur within a few days because of a problem in the defrost circuit. At this point, it will be necessary to get a copy of the wiring diagram for your refrigerator from the manufacturer and test the defrost timer, defrost heater, and defrost temperature sensor. Replacement parts are available from appliance stores. Have your model number handy in order to search for the parts you need. They will have exploded view drawings of your refrigerator to help you locate the component you need.

Solution #3: Remove the rear panel from the freezer to expose the coils. Touch the coils with the compressor running. If they are not cold to the touch, the freon has leaked out or there is a problem with the compressor. It is not a good idea to repair a refrigerator in this case. The repair could cost as much as a new refrigerator, and specialized tools are required.

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1 Answer

I have a side by side whirlpool fridge and the freezer is fine but the fridge is now freezing everything. It's about 11 years old.


Since you stand to loose all the food I would call a service tech ASAP. But here are the most common reasons for the problem you have.
Cause 1
The Evaporator Coils are Frosted Over The defrost heater assembly turns on a few times throughout the day to melt away any frost that may have accumulated on the evaporator coils. If the defrost heater assembly is defective, frost will continue to accumulate on the evaporator coils, and the coils will become plugged with frost. If the evaporator coils are frosted over, the airflow through the coils will be restricted, causing the refrigerator not to cool. Check the evaporator coils to determine if they are frosted over. If the evaporator coils are frosted over, test each component of the defrost system.
Cause 2
Evaporator Fan Motor The evaporator fan motor draws cold air over the evaporator coils and circulates it throughout the freezer. If the evaporator fan is not working, the freezer or refrigerator will not cool adequately. To determine if the evaporator fan motor is defective, try turning the fan blade by hand. If the fan blade does not turn freely, replace the fan motor. Additionally, if the motor is unusually noisy, replace it. Finally, if the motor does not run at all, use a multimeter to test the motor windings for continuity. If the windings do not have continuity, replace the evaporator fan motor..
Cause 3
Damper Control Assembly The air damper control opens and closes to let the proper amount of cold air into the refrigerator compartment. If the damper does not open properly, it won't let enough cold air into the refrigerator. Check the damper control to determine if it is broken or stuck closed.

Nov 19, 2016 | Whirlpool Refrigerators

1 Answer

My refrigerator fan is blowing but my refrigerator and freezer are not cold. When i took the panel of in the freezer there was a black rubber thing sitting on coils???


The black rubber thing is probably insulation put on at the factory that has fallen off,I see it all the time.Either way that will not keep the refer from getting cold.It's most likely been that way for some time.
No cold means one of three things.Either the motor(compressor) is not running.
The unit is stuck in defrost or the freeon has leaked out.Most likely you will need a repairman with the right tools to determine the exact cause.

Mar 18, 2010 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Dometic 2852 freezer gets cold but refridge does not


If your freezer is getting down close to zero degrees (F) then I doubt that your refrigerant is low. The most common cause of the refrigerator section not getting cool (approximately 40 degrees (f)) is a fan that pulls the coils in the freezer into the refrigerator has failed. A very common failure of a cheep little fan motor. Normally that fan is behind a panel in the freezer section at the bottom. Determine where the cold air in the refrigerator section normally enters and the fan will be above there.

Aug 11, 2009 | Dometic RM2652 Refrigerator

1 Answer

Refrigerator not getting cold


Refrigerators and Freezer combination units have one common compressor and coolant for both units. If the refrigerator section is not getting cold I would check the following.
The cold zone is not blocked by a bag or box? The cold zone would be the coldest part of the refrigerator which vents the cold air from the freezer to the refrigerator.
Is the fan working on the refrigerator to vent the cold air to the refrigerator? You should be able to hear it when you hold the door switch.
The thermostat is not working which I have found most common is the thermister is not registering the correct temperature causing the fan not to turn on.

Jul 14, 2009 | Maytag Refrigerators

1 Answer

my freezers works but my refrigerator


Three things likely to cause this problem. 1. Defrost problem: will see frost build up on back panel in freezer. 2. Bad evaporator fan. Listen for fan noise in freezer (may have to hold door switch closed depending on the model). 3. Bad damper motor (vent to fridge) if fan is running check for air flow out of that vent. These are the most common. See what you can find and let me know. Then we can take further steps.

Oct 07, 2007 | Hoover HCA331FFK

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