A dead refrigerator can leave a sour taste in the mouth, quite literally. The worst aspect of a faulty fridge is that it is very hard to notice unless you open the fridge and check the temperature. By then, milk would turn sour, curry might get spoiled, and pretty much any leftover food would be rendered useless.
However, the good aspect about repairing a fridge is that you don’t necessarily require a technician for it. If you are lucky and the fault is a minor one, you could fix it yourself. In this article, we will be looking at some of the most common cooling problems that you can encounter in a refrigerator.
Minor Causes of Faulty Cooling:
1. No Power Supply
This is one of the most common issues but an easily fixable one. Sometimes, a loose power cord might be the reason why your fridge is not cooling. Alternatively, the circuit breaker might have been tripped. Plug the power cord tightly and switch the circuit breaker back on and see if there is any improvement. If not, move on to the next solution.
2. Dusty Condenser Coils
When the condenser coils accumulate a lot of dust, temperature regulation might get very hard. On paper, hearing words like condenser coils might seem daunting but it is very easy to deal with. First and foremost, you need to locate the condenser coils. Usually, the condenser coils are located at the bottom or at the back. Use a brush and wipe off the dust. This process has to be done at least 2, 3 times a year.
3. Overloaded Refrigerator
Sometimes, the fault might not lie with the fridge but with the user. Next time, you notice issues with the temperature, check how many items you have in storage. Overloading of the fridge makes the air circulation very hard. Additionally, it could also be that your food items might be blocking the cold air vent. Also, frost buildup can lead to the blockage of air vents as well. If you find the freezer heavily frosted, remove the power supply and open the refrigerator door. Once the frost melts, put the power back on.
4. Thermostat Alteration
The thermostat is responsible for maintaining the required temperature. Sometimes, foodstuffs like Juice Cans or Milk Cartons could change the Thermostat temperature by physical contact. Digital Thermostat Settings can be altered as well by an unwanted touch or press or lean against the control panel. Hence, you need to reset the temperature to the default value. We also recommend that you keep the temperature locked to the desired value so as to prevent any such issues.
5. Position and Location of the Refrigerator
The condition of the place where the fridge is kept can affect the working of the thermometer. For example, if the temperature of the room is too chilly, then the fridge might shut down. Similarly, if the temperature is too hot, the fridge will have to work continuously. Also, make sure that the refrigerator is leveled properly. Else, the legs need to be adjusted with the help of some pliers or a wrench.
Major Causes of Faulty Cooling
1. Defective Door Gaskets
As the fridge gets older, the seals on the fridge door could suffer from wear and tear and get defective. This causes the cool air from the inside to leak outside. There are two easy methods by which you can check if the door gasket still works fine. Firstly, examine whether there are any cracks on the gasket. Else, take a currency note and slip it across the gaskets. If you can feel some resistance, then the gaskets are still functional. In case, the gaskets are not functioning, then you would need to call a repairman as it is a complex task for the normal user.
2. Broken Evaporator
Evaporator Fan is responsible for the coldness you feel when opening the door. If the fridge is a lot more noisy than normal, then usually the problem is with the evaporator fan. Also, do check whether the freezer is working fine. A perfectly working freezer compartment and a faulty refrigerator is the definitive indicator of a defective evaporator.
The evaporator fan is located near the freezer wall. You would need to replace the motor. Start by removing the mounting and fan blades. Place the new motor into the wire harness and then insert the motor into the housing. It is best to leave this job to a professional.
3. Faulty Start Relay
This causes issues with the compressor. The compressor is the part of the fridge that is responsible for pumping the refrigerant throughout the fridge. This refrigerant absorbs heat and cools the interior. If the freezer fan is still operational but there is still no cooling effect, then the problem mostly lies with the start relay.
The compressor is located at the rear portion and the bottom. Keep in mind that replacing the relay is quite cheap as compared to replacing the entire compressor. Just buy a new relay and test it using the current unit. However, while replacing the compressor, you will need to disconnect from the suction and discharge line. Only after removing the electrical connections, you can remove the bolts. Then proceed to install the new compressor. However, you should consider an expert for this job.
4. Air Damper
Air Damper determines the amount of cold air that enters the fridge from the freezer. If the damper can’t open or close, it will affect the temperature inside the fridge. Usually, the damper is located in the upper left corner.
While proceeding to remove the damper, first remove any screws on the damper cover. From the freezer, disconnect the motor and the ice bucket. Then remove the screws from the duct panel and finally remove the damper. Install the new damper and plugin every part that you have removed. While removing a damper does not involve any complicated procedure, you can contact a technician if you are not confident.
5. Refrigerant Loss
Sometimes the refrigerant levels might decrease either by natural means or through the leakage. Insufficient refrigerant levels will affect the cooling process. Refilling the refrigerant is a tough task as too much or too little quantity will impact the working of the refrigerator. Also, refrigerants are usually toxic and might cause health issues if you handle them without care. Usually, refrigerant losses are caused by faulty pipes and it can be fixed by soldering them or replacing.
6. Faulty Defrost System
Defrost System has two components- timer and heater. It is responsible for controlling the defrost cycle. The defrost timer is responsible for changing between the defrost mode and cooling mode. If it goes bad, it might lead to excess frost buildup. When it stops at the defrost mode, it will melt all the frost, which may cause several issues.
We have shown you some of the common cooling defects that a refrigerator might catch. If your fridge is experiencing cooling issues, it is important to check the basic troubleshooting guide like lack of power supply, accumulation of dust, etc before hiring a technician. Also, we wouldn’t recommend you handling complicated tasks like replacing a compressor and door gaskets by yourself.