Refrigerator not cooling

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Refrigerator not cooling

The part (s) or condition (s) listed below for the symptom Refrigerator not cooling are ordered from most likely to least likely to occur

Refrigerator not cooling

Commercial Refrigerator not cooling

Cause 1 – Condenser coils are dirty

Condenser coils are usually located on the back or the bottom of the refrigerator; they dissipate heat as refrigerant liquid passes thru them. If condenser coils are dirty, they will not dissipate heat properly. As residues and dust gather in the coils, the refrigerator gets less efficient; forcing the refrigerator to work harder to maintain proper temperature. When coils are significantly dirty, proper temperature will not be maintained. Check the coil to determine if they are dirty; if they are, use a vacuum or a soft brush to clean them. This is the fist possibility if Refrigerator not cooling

Cause 2 – Condenser fan’s motor

Most modern refrigerators have a fan moving air over the condenser coils and the compressor, aiding in the heat exchange on the coils and cooling the compressor. If this fan is not working properly, the refrigerator may not be able to maintain proper temperature. To determine if the condenser fan is faulty; first check the blade of the fan for obstructions, then try spinning the blade with your hand. If the blade does not spin freely, replace the fan. If there are no obstructions and the blade spins freely, use a multimeter to test the continuity of the fan motor. If there is no continuity, replace it. This is a high possibility if Refrigerator not cooling

Cause 3 – Evaporator fan’s motor

Most modern refrigerators have a fan moving air over the evaporator coils (cooling) and circulate it all over compartments on the refrigerator and freezer. Some refrigerators have more than one evaporator fan.  In refrigerators with only one evaporator coil, it is located in the freezer compartment, if the evaporator fan does not work, cold air will not be able to circulate to the refrigerator compartment; therefore, freezer compartment will work properly but refrigerator compartment will not be cold. To determine if the evaporator fan is faulty; first check the blade of the fan for obstructions like frost, then try spinning the blade with your hand. If the blade does not spin freely, replace the fan. If the fan is unusually loud during operation, replace it. Finally if the fan is not working, use a multimeter to test the continuity in the motor of the fan; if the windings have no continuity, replace the evaporator fan’s motor.

Cause 4 – Start Relay

Start Relay is a small device located near the compressor, and its main function is to help the compressor to start up. If the start relay is faulty, compressor may not function properly or at all, as a result refrigerator will not maintain proper temperature or will not work. To determine if the start relay is faulty, test the continuity between the terminals of the relay. In most relays terminals are marked S, L and M; place the two probes of the multimeter on the two terminals S and M. The reading should be zero. With the probe still touching the terminals, flip the relay over. This time, a click should be heard and the tester should read continuity. Repeat for terminals S and L with same results. Terminals L and M should have opposite results. Different result may indicate that the relay is faulty, replace it. Also, if the relay smells burned, replace it.

Cause 5 – Thermostat

Thermostat controls temperature by controlling current to the compressor, the evaporator fans and condenser fan (if it applies). If the thermostat is faulty proper cooling operation may be impeded. To determine if the thermostat is faulty, turn the thermostat from the lowest setting to the highest and listen for a click. If it clicks, it’s unlikely to be faulty. If it does not click, use a multimeter to test for continuity, if it has no continuity on any setting, replace it.

Cause 6 – Start capacitor

Start capacitor gives a power boost to the compressor to start up. If the start capacitor is faulty, the compressor may not work, as a result, refrigerator will not cool down. To determine whether the start capacitor is faulty; test it with a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace it.

Cause 7 – Thermistor

The sensor that controls air temperature inside the refrigerator and sends the reading to the control board is named thermistor. The control board regulates both the compressor and the evaporator fan in accordance to the thermistor readings. If the thermistor is faulty, then the compressor and the evaporator fan may not function when needed. As a result the refrigerator will not maintain proper temperature.  To determine if the thermistor is faulty, test it with a multimeter, the resistance on the thermistor must change as temperature inside the refrigerator changes. If the resistance at the thermistor does not change or the thermistor has no continuity, replace it.

Cause 8 – Temperature control board

The temperature control board provides electricity to the compressor and the fan motors. If the board is faulty, it will not send energy to the cooling system when required; this however almost never happens. Very often, temperature control boards are misdiagnosed as faulty; before replacing it, test all other most commonly faulty elements. If no other component is faulty, consider replacing the temperature control board

Cause 9 – Compressor

A compressor is a pump that pressurizes refrigerant and as a result forces circulation and heat exchange on the evaporator and condenser coil of the cooling system. If the compressor is not working, the refrigerator will not get cold. This however is rarely the case, before replacing the compressor, first test all other most commonly faulty elements. If no other component is faulty, verify the compressor.  Use a multimeter to test all terminals to the carcass, if there is any continuity, the compressor is faulty and must be replaced by an authorized technician.

Cause 10 – Main Control Board

The main control board may be faulty, however this rarely ever is the cause. Before replacing it, test all other most commonly faulty elements. If no other component is faulty, consider replacing the main control board. This is a low possibility if Refrigerator not cooling

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One thought on “Refrigerator not cooling

  1. It was a very interesting and instructive reading. Not only I learned the basics of diagnosing a refrigerator that is malfunctioning but also enjoyed the Reading. If I have time in the future i would like to continue learning more about this, and of course, I will tell about this site to anyone I believe may be interested in this field. I think it is a good start for anyone who wishes to learn about this area of expertise.

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