How To Fix a Whirlpool Refrigerator That Isn’t Cooling

Fleet Appliance
September 6, 2022
Refrigerator Repair

Using your refrigerator’s diagnostic settings may help isolate the issue. Check your user manual for specific information on activating diagnostic settings with your particular model, and for diagnostic code interpretations.

Check the temperature control setting

One of the first—and easiest—solutions is to check that the refrigerator is at the correct temperature. If your refrigerator is too warm, but the freezer is working properly, or vice versa, try adjusting the temperature setting first. Check your manual for the optimal temperature setting for your refrigerator.

Check the power supply

Another simple solution is to check the power supply to the refrigerator. Ensure the plug is secure and that the outlet is working. Look for any signs of damage or fraying on the cord. If the plug and cord are intact and secure, check the circuit breaker for a blown fuse.

Look for blockages in the airflow vents

If the vents are blocked, air can’t circulate properly and the fridge won’t cool evenly. Air needs to flow from the back of the fridge. Ensure that the vents are not being blocked by food. Too much food in the refrigerator can obstruct airflow and keep the refrigerator from cooling properly.

Inspect the evaporator coils

These coils help remove heat and moisture from the air inside the fridge. If they’re frozen over, your fridge can’t cool properly.

To thaw the coils, unplug the refrigerator and turn off the water supply to the ice maker, if there is one. Leave the doors open to allow warm air to circulate. Once the coils have thawed, dry them off and check for any blockages in the airflow vents.

If the coils are not frozen but appear dirty, they can be cleaned with a cloth or brush. Be sure to unplug the fridge before cleaning.

Reset the motherboard

If the temperature settings have not changed after a period of time, or you’ve had a power outage, the next step might be to reset the motherboard. This can be done in a few ways. 

If your refrigerator has a switch inside the door, simply flip the switch three times. If the compressor rests and begins pumping air again, you’ve done it right, and your refrigerator should begin cooling again. Proceed to do the same with the switch in the freezer compartment. Unplug the refrigerator for 30 seconds, then plug it back in. 

The motherboard can be reset by disconnecting the power to the refrigerator. If the plug is easily accessible, simply unplug the refrigerator for 10 minutes, and then plug it back in. If not, you can turn off the power at the circuit breaker. Simply switch off the power at the corresponding breaker on the circuit breaker panel.

Some refrigerator models may take 5-10 minutes to reset after losing power, so don’t worry if your refrigerator doesn’t come to life immediately. Check back in ten minutes, then toggle the switches three times as stated above. If the compressor is whirring again, you’re good to go.

Make sure the door seals are tight

If there are gaps in the seal, cold air can escape and warm air can enter, making it harder for the fridge to maintain a cool temperature. Check the seals for any gaps or damage; if there is damage, or the seals aren’t closing properly (you should hear a slight suction when closing or opening the door), replace them.

Clean the condenser coils

These coils help remove heat from the refrigerant. If they’re dirty, they won’t work as well, and your refrigerator won’t cool properly. Move the refrigerator away from the wall to access the coils at the back. Unplug the refrigerator, as the condenser fan is in the same area and can cause injury. 

Remove any panels covering the condenser coils, usually at the base of the fridge. Using a vacuum and brush, clear away dust or debris around the coils. 

The condenser coils should be cleaned annually to keep your fridge nice and cool.

Check the condenser fan motor

This will require a bit more investigation, as the condenser fan motor is located behind the fridge. With the refrigerator still unplugged, locate and remove the screws or bolts holding the back panel in place. Carefully remove the panel to access the motor.

If the fan is blocked by an obstruction or dust, gently clean the fan blades with a brush and remove the obstruction.

If there is any visible damage, such as burnt-out wires or a broken fan blade, the motor will need to be replaced.

If there is no visible damage, check that the wires are properly connected. If they are, the issue may be with the motor itself and will require a replacement.

Inspect the evaporator fan motor

The evaporator fan is located in the freezer compartment and helps circulate air throughout the fridge. To access it, you’ll need to remove the shelves from the freezer. Once the shelves are removed, locate the evaporator fan at the back of the compartment.

Inspect the fan itself for dust or an obvious blockage. Check for any damage, such as burnt-out wires or a broken fan blade, and replace the motor if necessary. 

If there is no visible damage, ensure that the wires are properly connected. If they are, the issue may be with the motor itself and will require a replacement.

If all else fails…

If these solutions don’t work, it’s time to call a professional. They can inspect the compressor and evaporator coils and replace them if necessary. They can also check for Freon leaks. 

These are just some of the potential causes of a Whirlpool refrigerator not cooling properly. With a little troubleshooting, you should be able to identify the problem and fix it yourself. But if not, don’t hesitate to call a professional for help.


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