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Refrigerator is running but not cooling down - Whirlpool Refrigerators

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  • Whirlpool Master
  • 3,051 Answers

Hello there
Some refrigerators are very quiet and smooth when they operate. If you cannot hear your refrigerator running or feel the compressor vibrating, you must investigate further.
First, try turning the cold control to the "off" position or unplugging the fridge; this will stop the compressor. Do you hear or feel a difference? If so, the compressor was running. WAIT SEVERAL MINUTESat leasst 10 minutes before turning the compressor back on for your diagnostic checks.

If you perform the above test and do not feel a difference, try "listening with a screwdriver." Access the compressor by opening the back panel and place the metal end of a long screwdriver against the compressor and your ear against the plastic end of the screwdriver. You should hear the compressor running. If you are still unsure and you own an amp meter test the current draw of the compressor at the compressor leads. If the compressor is running, it should draw about 6 amps.
If your compressor is running and your refrigerator is warm in both compartments (or not as cold as usual, i.e. chilly but meats are thawing,) first check your CONTROLS. You never know if your kids got in there and messed around with them. Set them on mid-range settings. .
Inside either the freezer or refrigerator compartment you will generally find at least two dial type controls.
One of them, called the cold control, is an electric switch that starts and stops the compressor based on the temperature that it senses inside the compartment.
The other dial is an air door that controls the small amount of air that passes to the food compartment while the evaporator fan is running.
Next, check your condenser and condenser fan.
type condenser mount may be used on bottom-freezer, top-freezer or side-by-side units.
condenser has no condenser fan. Air flows over it by convection; the warm air rises and is replaced by cooler air from below. Some of these condensers are covered by a metal plate.
bottom-mounted condensers come in many configurations. Most look like a radiator or grille beneath the fridge, behind the kickplate. They are accessible for cleaning through the bottom front of the refrigerator. A condenser fan moves air across these condensers.
If you have a back-condenser refrigerator, make sure that nothing has fallen behind your fridge that might block the airflow.
If you have a bottom condenser, remove the baseplate (kickplate) from the bottom front of the refrigerator and look beneath it with a powerful flashlight. If you have kids or dogs or if your clothes dryer is installed nearby, you are a prime candidate to have a blocked condenser. i will post more in the next post

Posted on Nov 10, 2010

  • 1 more comment 
  • Michael Thomas
    Michael Thomas Nov 11, 2010

    Quite a bit of dust is normal; still, enough may be impacted to block the airflow completely. Feel for a steady flow of warm air from the drain pan side; it should be obvious (see Figure 11). Clean your condenser with a condenser brush. (NOTE: Some condensers must be accessed through the back panel.)

    CAUTION: When cleaning the condenser, you want to do it thoroughly, but don't be too vigorous about it. You don't want to knock loose any wiring beneath the fridge. Also, you may hit the condenser fan (with a grinding thud) with the brush. Don't worry too much about it; you probably won't hurt the fan or motor, though it is something you want to avoid if possible.


    If the airflow improves dramatically, then that may have been your only problem.

    After you clean your condenser, pull the lower back panel off the fridge. Make sure that the condenser fan is running and not blocked by any loose insulation or other objects.


    On some models, the evaporator fan shuts off via a door switch when you open the refrigerator door. Thus, when trouble-shooting the evaporator fan, you must depress the door switch(es).

    Open your freezer door, depress all door switches and listen for the evaporator fan. If you do not hear it running, there's a problem. It might be ice-blocked, or it might have worn out and stopped. The door switch that operates it might be defective. If you do hear the evaporator fan running but you do not feel a strong blast of freezing air from the freezer vents, then you probably have a frost problem;

    IF THE EVAPORATOR FAN IS NOT RUNNING, You may need to pull off the entire evaporator panel to access the fan. Look first for a separate access panel or a tower within the freezer that houses the fan. Check for anything that may be blocking the fan, including ice from a backed-up defrost drain or a frost problem. If something is blocking the fan, clear it out of the way. If the blockage is due to frost or ice, you must investigate the source and solve the problem.

    Depress the door switch. If nothing is blocking the fan and it still does not run, check for voltage across the fan motor leads (with the door switch depressed, of course.)


    If you have voltage across the fan motor leads, the fan motor is bad. Replace it.

    If you don't have voltage to the fan motor, the door switch might be bad. Take power off the fridge and pry out the door switch. You might have to destroy it to get it out. Check for voltage to the switch. If the switch is bad
    f you hear a "whistling" or "warbling" noise emanating from the fan motor itself or from the inside of the food or freezer compartment, it is probably coming from the evaporator fan motor. The bearings are worn and loose or sticky. Replace the motor.

    As I said, a slow evap fan can be very difficult to diagnose. Usually it is done by sound and by experience. The chances are, if it sounds slow or strange, it is malfunctioning. Try replacing it. They don't cost much

  • Michael Thomas
    Michael Thomas Nov 11, 2010

    and last but not least if all of the above did not help you will want to have a service technician come and test the refrigerant level to see if it is getting the proper amount of refrigerant it needs if it is low you will have to refill the system , this generally costs around 80 to 100 bucks for a refill if it is fully empty ok ?
    So there you go i have given you almost all of the informatin on this that i can ok
    Hope this is very helpful
    Best regards mike

  • miss_mt Nov 15, 2010

    Thanks for taking time out to answer this question!

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