Insufficient cooling is a fridge repair job that you can do without the help of a professional. Often the fridge has a frost-free failure, or the compressor is faulty but there are many other reasons for a fridge not cooling properly.
Step 1 – Find the Problem
Your first job is to locate the source of the problem. Consider each of the following:
* Gaskets - Make sure the gaskets/seals are not torn and are sealing properly.
* Evaporator fan – Make sure it is working. If it is now working you may have a problem with the fan motor. Check for power to the motor and also examine the fan switches around the door (not all fridges have these switches).
* Air damper – Sometimes the air damper will not open up to allow the cold air from the freezer part to blow into the fridge section.
* Condenser coils – Check to see that the condenser coils don’t have a dust build-up and that the condenser motor is working.
* Compressor – Make sure your compressor is working with on and off clicking noises.
Step 2 – Frost-Free Failure
This is the most common cooling problem in fridges. Expose the evaporator coils by accessing the panel in the freezer section. The coils in the freezer section can sometimes get clogged up with frost. This can stop the evaporator fan motor from blowing cold air around, or cause the fan to hit it and stop, or become noisy. The defrost timer can be a bit tricky to find but it is usually located behind the back bottom corners of the fridge, although they can sometimes be found in the ceiling of the fresh food section, or behind the cold control cover.
Step 3 – Find the Timer
When you find the timer, turn the wheel-like screw slowly with a screwdriver until the fridge shuts off. The refrigerator is now defrosting. If you find that the fridge starts now, you will need to replace the defrost thermostat and the defrost timer.
Step 4 – Volt Test
If the heaters do not come on, use a volt meter to ohm test the defrost heater or volt test for 120 volts to the heater. You can bypass the defrost thermostat if you haven’t got power to the defrost heater to check if the defrost heater will come on. To bypass the thermostat, join the two wires together. Replace the defrost thermostat and the defrost timer if the heater comes on now.
If there is a ticking or squealing noise in the defrost timer, or it seems hot to touch, replace it.
Many fridges have and inline fuse on both sides of the defrost heater. You will need to replace the whole heater if one of those fuses blows. Check these fuses with a volt meter if the defrost heater doesn’t work.
A quick check if you have a cooling problem is to inspect the evaporator coils. If there is a build up of white snow on the coils, this indicates a frost free problem; if there is balled ice on part of the coils with the rest bare, this indicates a system problem, like a problem with the pumping compressor.
Aug 14, 2010 |