Why Refrigerator is Not Cooling?

And Simple Tips to Fix it!!

We get asked all the time why refrigerator is not cooling. We know first hand how having a fridge stop cooling on you can be unbelievable inconvenient and expensive!

When your refrigerator stops cooling properly, it can throw your daily routine off balance. We completely understand how crucial it is to have a working refrigerator to keep our families fed and happy.

In this article, we'll explore common reasons why your fridge may not be cooling and provide practical troubleshooting tips that you can try at home. Let's dive in and get that fridge back to its cooling best!

Why Refrigerator is Not Cooling:
Common Causes

Refrigerator not cooling?

There is nothing worse than opening up your fridge and finding out that it hasn't been cooling for any period of time. The questions start coming fast and furious:

  • How long has it been since this started?
  • Is it safe to eat the food in it?
  • How do I know if something is spoiled?
  • How much is it going to cost me to fix it?!?!!!!

Having lived through this process more than once and helped thousands of others through it first we want to say, "Breathe. We've got you and there could be an easy reason/solution to fixing it."

Now that you're feeling a little less alone in this process lets talk about the most common reasons (plus solutions on how to fix them) a refrigerator is not cooling.

Here's our top 8 reasons why refrigerator is not cooling:


Why Refrigerator is not Cooling:
8 Possible Reasons

1. Check the Temperature Settings:

Check the Temperature

We know it sounds too simple to be true but the first thing to do is to check the temperature settings on your fridge.

Often temperature dials can be accidentally adjusted, causing the temperature to rise and there's nothing worse than having to pay for a service call for something as simple as a dial that's too high.

If you're not sure what temperature to have it set to the recommended level for a fridge is usually around 37°F or 3°C and a freezer should be at 0°F or -15°C for the freezer.

If you check it and see that it's set too high, adjust it back to the proper temperature and check back in a few hours to see if this fixes it.


2. Check the Power Supply:


It may seem too simple to be true but often times why refrigerator is not cooling has to do with something as simple as an external electrical issue.

Kids can be curious and accidentally unplug appliances. If that isn't the case, also make sure to check for tripped circuit breakers. Any easy way to test an outlet is by plugging in another appliance to ensure it's working correctly. If the other appliance works and the fridge still doesn't turn on, it's a good time to call in a professional.


3. Check Condenser Coils:


Something that might not be as obvious as a solution is to check on your refrigerator's condenser coils. If they are dirty or covered in dust and lint it could be part of the problem.

Think of a dirty compressor like a dryer having trouble drying with full lint filter. It basically makes it harder to do what it's supposed to.

Here's the good news: Cleaning the condenser coils is easier than it sounds. The coils are usually located at the back or bottom of the fridge and accumulate dust and grime over time.

The easiest way to clean them is to use a vacuum cleaner or a soft brush and gently clean the coils. This type of cleaning on a regular basis can significantly improve your fridge's performance.


4. Check Condenser Fan:

Check Condenser Fan

Another simple issue can be if the condenser fan of your refrigerator isn't working. You'll want to take a look to see if the condenser fan is spinning.

The reason why this is so important is because it helps to circulate air over the coils and if it is obstructed by any objects this can keep it from cooling.

Make sure to clear any blockages from in front of it and check to be sure that the fan is also clean. Once these steps are done if it's still not functioning, then our gut would be to call in a professional repair person to see if they can fix the fan or replace the fan motor.


5. Check Evaporator Coils:

Check Evaporator Coils

How much frost are on your evaporator coils? A little bit or do you have a mountain of ice covering them?

If you're not careful excessive frost or ice buildup on the evaporator coils can disrupt the cooling process. If you have the Abominable Snowman at the back of your freezer then it sounds like you might have a faulty defrost system.

The solution is to try defrosting your fridge and see if the problem goes away. (You can unplug it & let it melt on it's own or get in there with a hair dryer to speed up the process. Just make sure you dry everything off before plugging it all back in.)

Once you've defrosted your fridge, if the frost continues to accumulate, it is definitely time to bring in a professional to diagnose and fix the problem.


6. Check Door Seals:

Check Door Seals

Take your time inspecting the door seals or gaskets for any signs of wear, cracks, or tears.

Something as simple as a torn or loose door seal can allow the cool air to flow out of your refrigerator easily.

It can be easy to accidentally damage a seal while closing the fridge in a hurry. To see if it's still working, close the door on the edge of a piece of paper and try to pull it out. If it slips out easily, the seal needs to be replaced.

Good news is it's easy to buy replacement kits and replace them yourself.


7. Check for Refrigerant Leak:

Check For Refrigeratant Leak

If you've come this far and nothing has helped then it's time to look for something deeper.

Take a look around the edges of your fridge for an oily or greasy residue. This indicates a possible refrigerant leak. If you have one then this can significantly impact cooling performance and it's crucial to contact a professional that is experienced in handling refrigerants to safely diagnose and repair the leak.


8. Check the compressor:

Check The Compressor

At this point it's time to get to the heart of the matter -- you may have a problem with your compressor.

Ways to know if this is the case is to  listen for any unusual noises or notice any excessive heat coming from the compressor.

The compressor is a vital part of the cooling cycle. If it's , the fridge won't not doing it's job then your refrigerator can't cool properly.

When it comes to dealing with compressor issues, you will need to find a refrigerator repair person who has an expertise in working with compressors to repair or replace it.

Why Refrigerator is Not Cooling?:
When Should I Call a Repair Person?

Refrigerator Repairman - RP - Fridge Problems? We can help.

There are several reasons why you need to call a repair person to fix a refrigerator that isn't cooling. While some issues can be resolved through the basic troubleshooting steps we mentioned above. Though persistent problems may require professional intervention. Here are a few reasons when it's time to bring someone in:

  1. Not Cooling: If your refrigerator can't keep a consistently cold temperature despite all of the steps above, it's a clear sign that something is wrong. A repair person can help you figure out if it's from a faulty compressor, evaporator fan, or a even refrigerant leak.

  2. Excessive Frost Build-Up: Even though we spoke about you defrosting your fridge above, if you notice an very large amount of frost or ice accumulation in your freezer, it could be due to a problem with the defrost system. A repair person will be able to inspect and repair parts like the defrost timer, defrost heater, or defrost thermostat to make sure it's working properly.

  3. Uneven Cooling: When you find certain areas of your refrigerator or freezer are significantly colder or warmer than others, it can often be a sign that the air circulation system isn't working properly. A repair person will be able to examine the evaporator fan, air vents, or damper control to make sure there is proper airflow and even cooling throughout the fridge and freezer.

  4. Noises or Vibrations: Unusual noises like buzzing, grinding, or rattling coming from your refrigerator could indicate mechanical issues. Faulty condenser fans, compressor problems, or worn-out components may require professional attention to prevent further damage and ensure smooth operation.

  5. Water Leakage: If you find any water pooling in or around your refrigerator, it could be a sign of a clogged or malfunctioning drain tube. You will need a repair person to unclog the drain line, fix any leaks, and prevent water damage.

  6. Constant Cycling On and Off: If your refrigerator frequently turns on and off without reaching the desired temperature, it might be overworking due to a malfunctioning thermostat, relay, or sensor. A repair person can diagnose the electrical components and address any issues to restore proper operation and make sure it stays energy efficient.

  7. Unresponsive Controls: If the control panel of your refrigerator becomes unresponsive or displays error codes, you can search it up on line to find the answer but in all honestly it's probably time  to seek professional help. A repair person can identify the underlying cause, whether it's a faulty control board, wiring problem, or software issue, and take appropriate measures to get it working right again.

Remember, while the idea of fixing it yourself and saving money may sound tempting but repairing complex refrigerator issues without proper knowledge and tools can be risky and might make things worse. Bringing in a knowledgeable repair person makes sure the problem is diagnosed accurately and resolved effectively, helping you to prolong the lifespan of your refrigerator and save on replacement costs.

Why Refrigerator Not Cooling:
Other pages that might interest you

We know that often you might need more information to solve you problem. Here are a few more pages that might help:

Why do refrigerators make noise?

Refrigerators FAQ

How to shop for a refrigerator

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