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Many residential refrigerator / freezers are designed to work at temperature considerably above above freezing. Most modern refrigerator / freezer have a single electric thermostat - located in the fresh food compartment. This lone thermostat will control the compressor to keep the fridge (fresh food) section at the desired temperature (usually between 34 - 38 degrees F). The freezer will get colder regardless of how cold it is already whenever the fridge thermostat turns the compressor on.
Now that you see how the thermostat works, let's look at what happens when the fridge is placed in an unheated space - like a garage. In winter time, the temperature can drop considerably below 38 degrees. If the outdoor temperature remains cold enough, for long enough - it will affect the thermostat in the fridge. The temperature inside the fridge could drop below 38 degrees, preventing the thermostat from telling the compressor to turn on. Meanwhile, the temperature in the freezer compartment slowly rises from the normal -10 to 0 F degrees. It will continue to rise until it is the same temperature as the fresh food compartment or until the thermostat in the fresh food compartment tells the compressor to turn on again. This means the freezer contents will thaw.
If the temperature in the garage is even in the 40 to 50 degree range, the loss of cold in the fridge may not happen often enough to keep the compressor coming on often enough to keep some freezer items frozen solid - such as ice cream. Remember, water freezes at 32 degrees F, other products may require lower temperatures to remain frozen, and could thaw at 28 or other temperature.
first run the diagnostics on the unit from the tech sheet inside the unit,then if thermistors are bad replace these there are 2 one on the left and one on the right wall in both fridge and freezer,if good per diagnostics then replace the electronic damper door located between the fridge and freezer compartments in the upper left hand corner of the fridge behind the plastic grille as these doors break and jamb open or shut and the temps can no longer be regulated during the diagnostics tests you can hear this door operate if its operating correctly,lastly,if these fail to solve your problem,replace the main control board in the back behind a panel
Make sure the freezer dial is in the middle (12 O'clock) position if it has one If it is turned too far towards the right it will cut off all air flow to the refrigerator compartment, the air flow from the freezer cools the lower compartment. Also make sure the fan is running, if it has failed then the freezer will freeze up and block all air flow.
The refrigerator compartment has a cold control as well, it is normally turned toward the right to make it colder or if it has numbers, set to 5 or above.
I recommend setting the refrigerator to 36 to 39 degrees (just above freezing). using a thermometer (stick type set in a cup of water overnight to get an accurate reading). It is the preferred method, and will help in this instance since the numbers aren't legible. Hope this helps.
Many times a freezer and/or refrigerator do not work right because of a dirty condenser coil...there are also many other things that can go wrong.
If you are hearing a clicking or buzzing then check out the last two tips.
If your refrigerator is running but warm, then...
Check out these tips that I wrote about that... it is a great place to start trouble shooting your unit...and something that you can do rather then calling a repair person to do a simple thing for you...
If the garage is unheated and the garage temperature is below 50 deg F this is the reason that the freezer is not able to freeze. A refrigerator is designed to work in a heated space. The thermostat is in the refrigerator compartment while the cold evap coils are in the freezer compartment. The fridge thermostat is typically set to around 40 deg F. When the fridge is in a colder environment, the compressor does not need to work that hard to get the refrigerator to temperature. But the freezer on the other hand, will be above freezing.
To fix this, there are garage refrigerator heater kits available, for just this situation. They are placed in the refridgerator compartment to heat the thermostat. This causes the compressor to run longer, and thus maintain the freezer temperature better. You could get one of these heaters or you could put an light bulb in the refrigerator to do the same thing as the heater. Remember to use a regular light bulb, and not a cfl or led light bulb, they won't generate enough heat. Also remove the light bulb or heater in the warm months unless you want a higher energy bill. Hope this helps you.
It sounds like the condenser coil might be freezing up. This happened to me on my bottom freezer. The cooling part of your fridge is only in the back of the freezer compartment. The cold air from the freezer blows up through a vent in the back to the fridge and comes out at the top. If the coils do not defrost (which is what happened with mine) the air flow is blocked by the ice and can't get to the fridge compartment. Your freezer will still be cold but your fridge won't. If you pull the plug on it and time things right you can defrost the coils but this will only postpone the problem. Both will work for awhile again until the coils ice up again. You can also pull out the freezer drawere and try to defrost the coil with a blow dryer. You have to disconnect the icemaker and pull out the back panel behind the freezer to get to it though.
does your fan blow? freezers have a fan that pushes cold air to the fridge side if fan is bad freezer will run extremely cold and fridge won't cool down and since frige won't cool down thermostat in fridge doesn't tell compressor to stop