Freezer working O.K. fridge coolish but not up to speed. Have cleaned condenser at back - still no improvement.Temporature guage has been on/off at intervals - have reset it but still performance impaired?
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Modern consumer refrigerators only have coils in the freezer. In the lower back of the freezer there is a small fan and possible a damper (flap that opens/closes) to push cold air from the freezer to the refrigerator. Given that the freezer is 18 deg, it's probably cold enough to keep the fridge area at typically 34 deg.
So the cooling system (compressor, coils, thermostat) are not working properly to keep the freezer at, typically 0 deg. Possible causes: partial loss of refrigerant gas, icing around evaporator coils (in freezer), compressor failing, dust clogging condenser coils (under fridge), condenser fan clogged or broken (under fridge), thermostat failure.
I'd start with condenser. Remove the slotted trim at the bottom front and look in with a flashlight. Are the coils clean? Pull out the fridge and remove the lower back cover (usually cardboard). You can now see the coils and fan. Clean and blow them out.
If it's icing, it probably means freezer door not closing tight. If auto-defrost not working properly it would probably get worse over the period of a few days so not likely.
The first thing I would do is to check the compressor and the condenser fan. Remove the cover on the back of the fridge and check how hot is the compressor? Is the condenser fan turning well? Also check the condenser coil under the fridge, it is very possible it needs cleaning. If the condenser fan is not working properly then it has to be replaced If the condenser fan motor is fine and the cleaning did not help then the sealed system is low on Freon and in such case you need a certified technician to fix a leak and to charge the system.
You could do the simple things like clean the dust and stuff around the compressor condenser. Check the condenser motor. Good air flow improves performance and cost nothing to fix. Of course if you are experiencing a defrost problem the air from below gets choke out with ice buildup around the evaporator area. If you have frost on the backside of the freezer section changes is you have a broken defrost heater.
Cleaned the condenser coils which were dusty but not severely so. Checked the evaporator coils which were NOT iced. Reset the fridge to coldest setting and freezer to #5 (mid range of temperature) and waited a full 36 hours. Fridge temp is 40 F and freezer is about 0F. Not sure what is different except coldest setting on fridge. Warm weather is here but not warm enough to require AC. Temps in late afternoon in house about 77-80F. Any thoughts are appreciated because I suspect this problem is not completely resolved.
too much ice bulid up will stop enough cold air being blown into the fridge.Try turning it off letting all ice melt then turn it back on again and set thermostat at a lower temp.There may be ice you can't see.
remove the back panel inside the freezer and check for ice build up on the evaporator pipework. if ice build up, this prevents air flow and hence temp rises. remove ice carefully with a hair dryer and it should work. if problem comes back, you have a problem with the defrost system and get back to me if you want
In back of the refrigerator is a removable panel behind which is the compressor. Listen for a hum and a click. If you hear those sounds the compressor may have failed. Behind that same panel is a condenser where heat is removed from the refrigerating system. Make sure it is clean and check that the fan operates when the compressor runs.
check freezer for frost build up on back wall and if fan blowing, check condenser make sure clean, and fan blowing,
check vents in refrig. make sure no blockage, controls should be in the middle setting,