5 Reasons Why Whirlpool Fridge Is Not Cooling

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A Whirlpool fridge must have all of its components in good working order to cool any items inside. So, if your Whirlpool fridge can’t stay cool, we’re here to help.

A Whirlpool fridge will not be able to cool properly if it has dirty condenser coils. Besides that, failed fan motors on the condenser or the evaporator coils could also prevent the fridge from removing hot air and distributing cold air. Lastly, the temperature control thermostat and compressor start relay could prevent the fridge’s cooling system from turning on at all.

In the following sections, we’ll show you which parts on your Whirlpool fridge to troubleshoot to get your fridge cold again.

Caution!

Before performing any repairs on your Whirlpool fridge, be sure to disconnect the power supply to the appliance. You must do this to avoid the risk of electrocution and reduce the risk of injury, especially when working closely with the fridge’s components.

Dirty Condenser Coils

The condenser coils of your Whirlpool fridge are located at the back of the appliance, typically closer to the floor. These coils are part of the fridge’s closed-loop cooling system, which circulates refrigerant.

Once the refrigerant has absorbed all of the heat on the fridge’s inside, it will flow through the condenser coils on the back to release that heat away from the fridge.

The condenser fan helps with this process by ensuring continual airflow past the coils, allowing them to release heat even quicker.

How it fails:

With air continually blowing past the condenser coils, they tend to accumulate plenty of dirt and dust quite quickly. As this buildup gets worse, the coils become a lot less efficient at releasing the heat from the refrigerant that passes through.

That starts a chain reaction that prevents the Whirlpool fridge from cooling. With dirty condenser coils, the refrigerant continues flowing through the closed-loop cooling system at a high temperature, which keeps the fridge warm instead of cooling it down.

How to fix:

Fixing dirty condenser coils is very straightforward. First, move the fridge away from the wall so you can have easy access to its condenser coils at the rear. Next, you will need to remove any panels that might be covering those coils.

Related: How to Clean Condenser Coils On a Whirlpool Refrigerator

As mentioned earlier, the fridge must be turned off before you do this. That’s because the condenser fan is located in the same area and could injure your fingers.

Using a vacuum and a brush, clear all of the dust from the condenser coils. For maximum efficiency, you should clean these coils regularly to prevent future buildups of dust. Doing this once a year would be a good frequency to start with.

Condenser Fan Motor

As mentioned above, the condenser coils help to cool down the refrigerant that circulates in the fridge’s cooling system. However, the condenser coils can’t do this effectively on their own and need plenty of help from the condenser fan.

This fan continuously blows air past the condenser coils, allowing heat to dissipate into the air behind the fridge. The condenser fan motor must be in good working order and operating at total efficiency for the fan to do this.

How it fails:

If the condenser fan isn’t working, the motor may have shorted out or broken down from excessive wear and tear.

Related: Top Reasons Why Viking Refrigerator Is Not Cooling

To troubleshoot the motor, first, ensure that nothing is stopping the fan blades from turning. That could happen due to a dust or dirt buildup or foreign objects getting stuck between the blades.

When you’re sure that the fan is free from any obstructions, try to turn the fan blades manually. If you can turn the fan blades, that means there’s nothing stuck in the blades. So, the motor may have shorted out. 

How to fix:

To resolve this issue, you’ll need to replace the condenser fan motor. First, remove the access panel covering the condenser section of the fridge, and place it to the side.

Once you’ve reached the condenser fan, remove the fan blades first. Then, unthread the screws holding the condenser fan motor in place and disconnect its power connector.

Mount the new condenser fan motor in the same way as before, and reconnect the power connector. Then, attach the fan blades, and put the access panel back on the fridge.

Evaporator Fan Motor

Besides the condenser fan in your Whirlpool fridge, there is another fan located at the evaporator as well. When the refrigerant flows through the evaporator section of the cooling system, it’s at a very low temperature. As a result, the evaporator cools down the fridge’s inside by absorbing heat while supplying cold air.

The evaporator will cool down the fridge efficiently as long as the fan is helping to distribute the cool air coming off of it.

How it fails:

If your Whirlpool fridge isn’t reaching the temperature that you’ve set, it could be because the evaporator fan motor has failed. For instance, the motor might have shorted out or burned out. If the fridge has been in use for a long time, it’s also likely that the motor has been through lots of wear and tear and stopped working correctly.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Mini-Fridge Is Not Cooling

If you have a multimeter, you could test the evaporator fan motor for continuity to be sure. Plus, you could also look out for other symptoms, such as if the motor runs very noisily.

How to fix:

To resolve this issue, you’ll need to take out the existing evaporator fan motor and replace it with a new one. Unlike the condenser, the evaporator fan motor is located inside the fridge. So, you’ll be accessing it from inside the fridge compartment.

First, remove all the contents of the fridge, including its shelves. Then, remove the back panel to expose the evaporator coil. Here, you should be able to locate and identify the evaporator fan motor quickly.

Unthread the screws holding the motor housing in place and disconnect the electrical connector. Once you’ve removed the housing, you can then take off the fan blade before removing the old motor. 

Place the new motor on the housing. Then, work your way backwards: reattach the fan blades to the motor shaft, mount the housing in the fridge, and plug the electrical connectors back in. Lastly, replace the panels that you removed earlier.

Temperature Control Thermostat

The temperature control thermostat is designed to sense how cold your Whirlpool fridge might be at any moment. This thermostat is responsible for supplying power to the cooling system (e.g. compressor and fan motors) and will turn them on when necessary.

Suppose your Whirlpool fridge is too warm. If that’s the case, the thermostat will supply power to the cooling system to remove heat and generate cold air.

As soon as the thermostat senses that the fridge has reached your set temperature, it will shut off the cooling system to avoid over-cooling the fridge and wasting energy.

How it fails:

When the temperature control thermostat fails, it could mistakenly sense that the fridge is already cold even when it’s not. As a result, it will never send power to the cooling system, leaving your fridge warm.

Related: 5 Reasons Why LG Refrigerator Is Not Cooling

How to fix:

To resolve this, you’ll need to replace the temperature control thermostat. You’ll find it on the inside of the fridge, above the top shelf. Disconnect the wire harness and remove the thermostat housing to work on it outside the fridge.

The control thermostat will have electrical connectors and a capillary tube attached to it. First, remove the connectors, then replace the faulty control thermostat with the new one in the housing.

Lastly, reinstall the housing inside the fridge by reconnecting the wire harness and threading the mounting screws.

Start Relay

The start relay is a component that starts and powers the compressor. For example, when the fridge isn’t cold enough, the start relay will power the compressor, circulating the fridge’s refrigerant throughout the cooling system to make the fridge cold.

How it fails:

When a start relay gets faulty, it will not keep the compressor running for as long as it should. Worse yet, a failed start relay might not even start the compressor at all. Without any refrigerant circulating throughout the closed-loop cooling system, your Whirlpool fridge will fail to cool down and reach your set temperature.

A common symptom of a failed start relay is a clicking sound coming from the back of your fridge, even though the compressor does not start. Besides that, a burning smell is another sign that the relay has shorted out.

How to fix:

A faulty start relay needs to be replaced. You can do this by accessing it through the back of the fridge.

Depending on the model and its design, you might need to remove a rear panel to access the relay. You’ll find that the start relay is attached to a run capacitor, both of which are attached to the compressor motor.

Disconnect the run capacitor and attach it to the new start relay. Then, attach them back onto the compressor motor.

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