There are a host of issues that can cause a cooling problem with your refrigerator. Don’t let a simple issue like a power failure have you calling for repairs. Check if the light comes on when the Fresh Food section door is opened. If it does not light don’t automatically assume it is the refrigerator. Work backwards from the circuit breaker at the panel to the outlet at the wall to verify the presence of power. If the fridge runs but doesn't get cold enough, chances are you could solve with one of the following DIY fixes.
- Not Cooling DIY Fix 1
It may sounds simple but I have lost count of the number of times we have been called out to a refrigerator not cooling only to discover that the temperature control was not correctly set or that the vents responsible for distributing air throughout the unit are obstructed. Check the temperature control is correctly adjusted. These could have been inadvertently moved during cleaning or by curious fingers if you have kids in the house. If your freezer is over loaded, you may be blocking off vital air flow.
- Not Cooling DIY Fix 2
In order for the refrigerator to work optimally there needs to be unobstructed airflow through the condenser coils. These are the coils most often located at the rear of the refrigerator on older models or at the bottom where the compressor is located. On some models they may be at the top of the unit as in some Sub Zero models. These coils will become dirty over time, especially those that are located on the bottom. Dirt build up can be surprisingly heavy and will affect the airflow and cause the refrigeration system to labor, work inefficiently or not at all. In extreme cases this will lead to permanent failures which can result in very expensive repairs or the unit refrigerator replacement due to the cost associated with a failure in the sealed system. Simply cleaning these coils can often restore your appliance to peak operation. Even if your fridge is working fine, you should take the time clean the coils annually or more frequently if you pets with coats that shed a lot.
- Not Cooling DIY Fix 3
Older Refrigerators with coils on the back are self-cooled as they crate their own air flow when they heat and have a larger service area to contact air needed to cool. Newer models have compact coils with a fan that blows air over them. When checking for dust build up on the coils, check to see that the fan is running. Be very cautious however as the blades are sharp and the unit will have power applied at the time any you risk electrical shock as well as nasty gash if you get your hand into the fan blade while running.
Condensers fans can are a relatively simple DIY job. If you need parts, get your model number and check out our parts site for availability.
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