Troubleshooting A Warm Fridge And Freezer |

Uploaded by partselect on 18.10.2011

>> Steve: Hi, it’s Steve from Partselect. Today we are going to try to determine why
your refrigerator and/or freezer may be too warm or not cool enough. Remember, parts are
specific to your model of refrigerator and the ones shown today may not be the right
parts for you. To get the right part for your refrigerator, be sure to search
using your model number. If you need help finding your model use our model number locater.
The link is in the description. Refrigerators are usually built with two main
compartments, the frozen food section, commonly referred to as the freezer, and the fresh
food section, commonly referred to as the fridge. You may notice a temperature change
in one before you notice it in the other but since they are cooled by the same system what
affects one will affect the other. Frost free refrigerators operate by circulating
air through the cooling unit, called an evaporator, to both the freezer and the fresh food sections
of the refrigerator. The evaporator and the evaporator fan are located in the freezer
section of the refrigerator. The evaporator will cool and remove moisture from this air.
The moisture that collects on the fins of the evaporator will freeze and turn into frost.
The defrost system in the refrigerator will periodically melt the frost and drain the
water to the exterior where it can evaporate. Before we start looking at the different parts
that can result in a warm refrigerator, we need to try to determine whether the problem
is with the internal air flow or with the cooling unit.
Any restriction to the air flow will create a problem.
Check to make sure that the evaporator fan is functioning. When the compressor is running,
so should the evaporator fan. Turn the temperature control to a colder setting to start the compressor.
You should feel cold air blowing into the freezer section. Locate the air inlet to the
fresh food section and you should feel cold air blowing into this section. Make sure that
nothing is blocking the outlets from the evaporator fan. If little or no airflow is present, then
check the operation of the evaporator fan and the electrical connections.
If little or no airflow is present but you can hear the fan running, then look at the
possibility of a severe frost or ice buildup as the problem.
The placement of new food items or any door openings will introduce moisture into the
refrigerator. Frequent door openings, high humidity and leaking door gaskets will add
abnormal amounts of moisture into the refrigerator and sometimes create frost buildup on the
evaporator faster than the defrost system can remove it.
Ensure that the gaskets are sealing properly and that nothing on the interior shelves could
be causing the doors to not close tightly. Check the evaporator drain tube to ensure
that it is properly attached and that the P-trap portion is intact.
A malfunctioning defrost system will also cause a severe frost buildup and will restrict
the amount of air that can flow through the evaporator and will cause temperatures to
rise. This would be more noticeable in the fresh food section because a temperature rise
of a few degrees may cause food to spoil. The defrost system components consist of the
defrost heater, defrost timer and termination thermostats.
The defrost heater is used to heat the evaporator to melt the frost or ice buildup.
The defrost timer is used to activate the heater circuit. Mechanical timers will activate
this circuit for approximately 20 minutes about every 8 to 10 hours of accumulated compressor
run time. Adaptive defrost controls will monitor the length of the defrost cycle and adjust
the frequency of the defrost cycles accordingly. The termination thermostat will stop the defrost
cycle when the evaporator area reaches a specific temperature during the defrost cycle.
Mechanical defrost timers can be operated manually to check the operation of the defrost
cycle and most electronic adaptive defrost controls will have a method to manually test
as well. Defrost heaters and termination thermostats can be tested for continuity with a multi-meter.
Also check for a blocked drain. This can prevent the defrost water from draining to the exterior
and cause an ice buildup which could restrict the airflow.
Sealed system problems are more difficult for the average home owner to resolve. The
sealed system consists of the compressor, the evaporator, the condenser and the associated
refrigerant tubing. The compressors function is to pump refrigerant
through the system. The evaporators function is to remove heat
and moisture from the refrigerator. The condensers function is to expel the heat
collected by the evaporator. Newer model refrigerators will have a fan forced condenser.
If any of these components is not functioning properly, then the refrigerator will not work
efficiently and may not be able to maintain the proper temperatures.
If the compressor will not start, but the fans will, then you may have a faulty overload
relay, start capacitor or electrical connection. These components can be checked with a multi-meter.
A faulty compressor should be serviced by a trained refrigeration technician.
If neither the compressor or the fans will start, and the refrigerator is not in a defrost
mode, then you should look at the temperature control or control board and associated wiring
as a possible problem. You can check for applied voltage to these circuits with a multi-meter.
If the compressor runs, but either of the fans do not, these can be checked with a multi-meter
for both applied voltage and for continuity. Make sure that the condenser is free of any
dirt accumulation, particularly pet hair, and that the condenser fan can circulate air
freely. Make sure the refrigerator is installed according to the manufacturer’s specifications
regarding clearances. If the compressor and fans are both functioning,
and you do not suspect an airflow or defrost problem, then you may have a restriction or
leak in the sealed system that prevents the evaporator from getting cold. This type of
problem should be serviced by a trained refrigeration technician.
Now that you have a better idea of your problem and can identify what the solution could be
and what, if any, parts you need to repair or replace, go to There you
can order your parts and find more information about your specific repair.”