Good day to you sir John,
A refrigerator or freezer that doesn't cool well enough may
have a problem with its evaporator coils, condenser, or condenser fan
motor. Frost build-up on evaporator coils, or condenser coils that are
covered with dirt, dust, or lint can reduce how well a refrigerator
can cool. If you notice ice getting thicker on the inside walls, inside
bottom, or inside ceiling of the freezer, you have what is called a
frost build-up. The problem is either with warm, moist air getting in
through an old inefficient door gasket or the defrost system.
Self-defrosting refrigerators have coils and a cooling fan that need
to be cleaned regularly. If the coils get coated with any contaminants,
they may not cool the refrigerator properly. The coils are usually thin
and black and they go through fins that dissipate heat, just like a
car's radiator. They are located behind the lower kick-panel or on the
back of the refrigerator. To clean them, turn the power off and use
coil cleaning brush,
or this condenser
coil cleaning brush
, and your vacuum cleaner. Even if your coils
are below the refrigerator, you won't be able to get to all the condenser
coils from the front, so it's a good idea to pull the refrigerator out
and clean the coils from the front and the rear of the refrigerator.
Give the fan a dusting as well. Sometimes other things can be the reason
behind poor cooling, like the condenser fan motor. Anytime the freezer
fan is running, the condenser fan should also be running.
A frost build-up inside the refrigerator usually means that there is
a problem in the self-defrost system. You may even have damaged door
gaskets. When you open the refrigerator door, you also let in a blast
of warm, often humid air. This moisture usually freezes onto the evaporator
coils immediately. Self-defrost refrigerators are supposed to self-defrost
between two and four times out of every 24 hour time-frame. They basically
turn off for a few minutes several times a day. A defrost heater kicks
on to melt any frost build-up on these coils, which allows the frost
and ice to melt, then it drains off to the pan underneath most refrigerators.
Unfortunately, when a defrost component fails, too much frost builds
up on the evaporator coils. When this happens, the circulating fan can't
draw air over these coils. With no air flow over the evaporator coils,
the refrigerator compartment will lose its cool.
To determine if the self defrost system is faulty, it's best to remove
all the food from the refrigerator and freezer, turn your thermostat
to the Off setting, and just leave the doors open for 24 to 48 hours,
and let the refrigerator defrost. Keep an eye out for an overflow of
water from the drip pan on the bottom of the refrigerator.
After everything has completely melted away, set the thermostat back
to a regular setting. If your refrigerator starts operating properly,
the symptoms lead to there being a problem with one of three other components
in the self-defrosting system, the defrost heater, the defrost timer,
or the defrost thermostat.
If, after testing these components, the refrigerator still doesn't
get your foods cool, there may be a problem with the refrigerant level
and you will need to contact a professional appliance repair person.
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