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Refrigerator is Not Cooling

Refrigerator is Not Cooling

If your refrigerator/freezer is too warm, or if it’s not cooling at all, then one or more of the parts that are responsible for regulating the appliance’s temperature could be malfunctioning. Lucky for us, these parts are all easy to replace. We’ll walk you through the parts that could be causing the problem, how to test that they are operating correctly, and links to the replacement parts that you’ll need to get your fridge up and running again. Snap Supply product pages come with easy to follow installation instructions.



Evaporator Motor

 


When the evaporator motor is operating as intended, it supplies the cold air circulation to the refrigerator and freezer. It talks to the cold control about when to activate and circulate cold air through the appliance. If it is not working correctly, it will not be able to provide the cold air necessary to keep the refrigerator adequately cool. 


How to Troubleshoot an Evaporator Motor:


  1. Disconnect the refrigerator from its power source.
  2. Find the evaporator motor cover inside the freezer compartment.
  3. If the evaporator motor is frozen over and cannot turn, defrost the freezer and try to turn the motor shaft manually once it is unfrozen.
  4. If the motor shaft is not frozen and still cannot be turned easily, the evaporator motor is damaged and must be replaced.

Don’t forget: just because parts look the same does not mean that they are the same. Make sure to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your refrigerator.

 

Find the right evaporator motor for your refrigerator here!


Defrost Heater


Because the refrigerator/freezer can get so cold, the components themselves can freeze over. The defrost heater is the part that is responsible for heating up and melting the ice that can accumulate on the components. In some cases, a refrigerator can have more than one defrost heater.


How to Troubleshoot a Defrost Heater:

Note: this process requires a multimeter


  1. Disconnect the refrigerator from its power source.
  2. Find the defrost heater - it is commonly located behind the back panel of the freezer. In some cases, it is located under the floor of the freezer. 
  3. To get to it, you will be required to remove the items and components that will get in your way: the food in the freezer, shelves, ice maker, and, depending on where your defrost heater is located, the back panel and/or freezer floor
  4. Remove the defrost heater from the refrigerator. You’ll find it underneath the evaporator coils. 
  5. The defrost heater will be connected by two wires that are connected with slip-on connectors. 
  6. Remove the connectors from their terminals - pliers may be necessary to fully disconnect the connectors.
  7. Note: Do not pull on the wires themselves. 
  8. Test the heater for continuity using the multimeter. 
  9. Set multimeter to RX1 scale.
  10. Place one of the multimeter’s tester leads on each of the defrost heater’s terminals.
  11. If the reading is zero or infinity, then your defrost heater must be replaced.

Don’t forget: just because parts look the same does not mean that they are the same. Make sure to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your refrigerator.

 

Find the right defrost heater for your refrigerator here! 


Cold Control


The refrigerator’s cold control monitors the temperature of the appliance and talks to the refrigerator’s fans and compressor to tell them when to supply cold air and when to stop. When the cold control is not functioning properly, it will not be appropriately controlling the temperature. This can result in a refrigerator that is too warm, or not cool at all.


How to Troubleshoot a Cold Control


Note: this process requires a multimeter


  1. Disconnect the refrigerator from its power source.
  2. Find the cold control - it will be behind the temperature knob.
  3. Remove the cold control.
  4. Test cold control using a multimeter on RX1 scale.
  5. Touch probes to terminals to test continuity.
  6. Set cold control to the hottest setting - you should receive a reading of infinity. 
  7. Set cold control to the coldest setting - you should receive a reading of zero. 
  8. If you do not receive these results, then your cold control must be replaced.

Don’t forget: just because parts look the same does not mean that they are the same. Make sure to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your refrigerator.

 

Find the right cold control for your refrigerator here!


Defrost Timer

 


The defrost timer controls the defrost heater, ensuring it runs on a regular basis to keep the freezer components from freezing over. If it is damaged or not functioning correctly, the defrost cycles may not be occurring regularly or even at all, leaving open the possibility that the freezer components might freeze. This can then result in the refrigerator having difficulty reaching the desired temperature.


How to Troubleshoot a Defrost Timer


Note: this process requires a multimeter


  1. Disconnect the refrigerator from its power source.
  2. Find and remove the defrost timer. 
  3. Depending on the refrigerator model, it might be in the refrigerator’s control panel.
  4. Depending on the refrigerator model, it might be behind the lower kick plate of the refrigerator.
  5. Depending on the refrigerator model, it might be on the refrigerator’s back wall.
  6. Use the multimeter’s RX1 setting to test each terminal. Connect one probe to the common terminal (will be marked “C” or “3”).
  7. Connect the free probe to the first terminal. You should receive a reading of zero, or close to zero.
  8. Connect the free probe to the second terminal. You should receive a reading of zero, or close to zero.
  9. Connect the free probe to the third terminal. You should receive a reading of infinity. 
  10. If you receive readings other than those listed, your defrost timer must be replaced.

Don’t forget: just because parts look the same does not mean that they are the same. Make sure to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your refrigerator.

 

Find the right defrost timer for your refrigerator here! 


Defrost Thermostat 

 


The defrost thermostat measures the internal temperature of the refrigerator/freezer to ensure that the defrost heater does not make the appliance too hot. However, if the defrost thermostat is not functioning correctly, then it will never tell the necessary components to begin the defrost cycles. This could result in the build up of frost and ice in the freezer, which could prevent other components from operating as intended. 


How to Troubleshoot a Defrost Thermometer:


Note: this process requires a multimeter


  1. Disconnect the refrigerator from its power source.
  2. Find the defrost thermometer.
  3. It is located in the back of the freezer or beneath the floor of the freezer depending on the refrigerator.
  4. Remove the defrost thermometer.
  5. It might be necessary to remove any components that are in the way. 
  6. Test the defrost thermometer using the multimeter on the RX1 setting.
  7. Connect each probe on a thermostat wire.
  8. A cold thermostat should give a reading of zero, or close to zero.
  9. A thermostat above 40 degrees should give a reading of infinity.
  10. If you are receiving different readings, then your defrost thermometer is not operating correctly and should be replaced.

Don’t forget: just because parts look the same does not mean that they are the same. Make sure to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your refrigerator.

 

Find the right defrost thermometer for your refrigerator here!


Condenser Motor

 


Refrigerators operate using condenser coils that cool and condenser the refrigerant, allowing the refrigerator to reach and maintain the desired temperature. Condensers have fans that remove heat from the condenser coils, allowing them to operate as intended. If the condenser motor is not functioning correctly, then the fans will not cool the condenser and it will continue to run to compensate for the hot air that is not being removed. This will result in a refrigerator that will not properly cool.


How to Troubleshoot a Condenser Motor:


  1. Disconnect the refrigerator from its power source.
  2. Find the condenser motor by removing the rear access panel located at the bottom of the refrigerator in the rear. 
  3. Check the condenser fan for any damage or obstruction. 
  4. If there is visible damage to the condenser motor, then it should be replaced.

Don’t forget: just because parts look the same does not mean that they are the same. Make sure to use cross reference information and model numbers to confirm compatibility with your refrigerator.

 

Find the right condenser motor for your refrigerator here!

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