How To Troubleshoot KENMORE Refrigerator That is Not Cooling?

Keeping your Kenmore refrigerator cold is your top priority for the appliance. Low temperatures are necessary to preserve your food items and keep them safe to eat. If the machine doesn’t cool down after 24 hours, you need to troubleshoot it immediately.

Your Kenmore refrigerator isn’t cooling because the condenser coils are dirty. Besides that, the condenser or evaporator fan could also have failed from damaged fan blades or failed fan motors. Lastly, check the compressor or main control board because a problem with either will prevent the fridge from cooling.

Diagnosing your Kenmore refrigerator requires an organized approach which this guide will provide. Keep reading to find out how to solve this problem.

Why Isn’t My Kenmore Fridge Cooling?

There are several reasons your Kenmore fridge isn’t cooling. Some of those reasons are more complex than others.

To save time and effort, it’s always best to troubleshoot the ones that are easier to rule out before checking the more complex things.

Here are the most likely reasons your fridge isn’t as cold as it should be:

Dirty Condenser Coils

About this part: Your Kenmore refrigerator is cooled and kept that way, thanks to a sealed refrigeration system. That system circulates refrigerant to absorb heat from the fridge compartment and release it to the surrounding environment.

Once the refrigerant absorbs that heat, it flows to the portion of the system called the condenser coils. Here, a fan will blow air through the coils to help release that heat into the air, keeping the refrigerator compartment cold.

What’s wrong with it: From what you read above, you’ll see two things about the condenser coils. Firstly, they’re on the outside of the refrigerator. And second, they have plenty of moving air flowing through them.

Because of those factors, plenty of dust quickly accumulates around the condenser coils. When that dust buildup becomes severe, it’ll prevent the coils from releasing heat into the air. 

As a result, the refrigeration system fails to cool the refrigerator compartment.

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How to fix it: You’ll have to restore the condenser coils’ ability to release heat if you want your Kenmore refrigerator to cool normally. That’s pretty straightforward to do with a brush and a vacuum.

Firstly, use the vacuum to remove loose bits of dust around the condenser coils. Then, the brush will help remove stubborn dust stuck on those coils.

Once you do that, the cooling system will work efficiently and cool your fridge.

Read: Kenmore Elite Refrigerator Temperature Setting

Failed Evaporator or Condenser Fan

About this part: Your Kenmore refrigerator relies on two types of fans to stay cool. The first is the condenser fan. As you read in the previous section, the condenser fan is crucial because it helps to release the heat absorbed by the refrigeration system.

The second fan is the evaporator fan. The evaporator fan inside the fridge distributes cold air throughout the refrigerator compartment.

Both those fans must work effectively to remove heat and keep your Kenmore fridge cold.

What’s wrong with it: Your Kenmore refrigerator will not cool if either of the fans mentioned above has failed. That will happen if the fan blades are damaged or jammed or the fan motor has stopped working.

The evaporator fan blade (inside the fridge) might be jammed by a foreign object or ice buildup. Meanwhile, the condenser fan blade (outside the refrigerator) can get obstructed by a foreign object stuck inside.

Meanwhile, the fan motors likely fail from an electrical fault like a short circuit. They can also fail due to excess wear if they’ve been in use for many years.

How to fix it: Either fan needs two things to function: a working motor and fan blades that aren’t damaged.

Inspect the affected fan closely and remove any foreign objects if you find them. Then, replace the damaged fan blade or motor if necessary.

Read: Top 6 Issues When Kenmore Elite Refrigerator Stop Cooling

Problematic Compressor

About this part: Now, we’ll move on to the more complex reasons why your Kenmore refrigerator isn’t cooling. The first one is a problem with the compressor.

The compressor is like the heart of the sealed cooling system that your fridge depends on. It compresses the refrigerant and circulates it throughout the system to remove heat and distribute cold air.

The compressor only runs when your Kenmore refrigerator needs to cool down. Once the appliance reaches its set temperature, the compressor will temporarily shut off until it’s needed again.

What’s wrong with it: Refrigerator compressors generally last as long as the fridge does, so it has a long lifespan. The only reasons it would fail are if it is worn out, defective, or if it suffers a severe electrical fault.

For example, a strong electrical surge can damage the compressor from the inside. When that happens, the compressor can’t circulate the refrigerant, and your appliance will not cool down.

How to fix it: Compressors don’t fail often. But when they do, a replacement is the only practical solution.

Still, the compressor is part of the fridge’s sealed cooling system. That means you cannot repair it yourself unless you have the necessary certifications from the EPA. That means you’ll have to engage a technician to troubleshoot and replace it for you if necessary.

Read: How To Fix Samsung Refrigerator Fan Noise? – Troubleshooting Guide

Faulty Main Control Board

About this part: Your Kenmore refrigerator relies on many components to keep itself cool. The component that controls all the others is the main control board.

That printed circuit board sends electrical power and signals to things like the fridge’s cooling system and fans.

When the main control board functions correctly, it coordinates all of the fridge’s functions.

What’s wrong with it: The main control board is another component that doesn’t fail quickly. Unfortunately, when it does, it can prevent your Kenmore fridge from working at all.

For example, the board could suffer a short circuit or power surge that stops it from turning on the cooling system.

How to fix it: Once you rule out all the other possibilities, you must take your time inspecting the main control board. That’s because it cannot be repaired once it fails. So, once you’re sure it’s the root cause, remove it and put a new one in.

The board is somewhat pricey, so only invest your hard-earned money in a genuine part from Kenmore.

Kenmore Refrigerator Control Board
$19 - 210
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Read: Where Is Kenmore Freezer Reset Button?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are a few more questions and answers to give you more clarification about this problem:

How Long Does A Kenmore Refrigerator Take To Get Cold?

Your Kenmore fridge needs at least 24 hours to cool down and stabilize its temperature. That’s true whether your fridge is being turned on for the first time or has been off for an extended period.

Read: 5 Reasons Why Refrigerator Is Making A Knocking Sound

Is It Worth Replacing The Compressor On A Fridge?

That will depend on the fridge’s age. Suppose the refrigerator is over a decade old, and you have to replace the compressor. In that case, you’ll be better off investing in a newer model with the latest features.

How Do You Reset The Compressor On A Kenmore Refrigerator?

You can reset the compressor and the rest of your Kenmore fridge by shutting off its power for at least one minute. Disconnect the power cord or shut off the circuit breaker, as putting it on Standby mode isn’t enough.

How Long Should A Refrigerator Control Board Last?

A fridge control board can last a decade or more. However, once it gets closer to the end of its lifespan, you can expect it to display more problems due to excess wear.

How Do You Defrost A Fan In The Freezer?

The best way to defrost a fan in the freezer is to shut the appliance off and leave the door open. If that’s not practical, you can empty the freezer and put a pot of hot water inside. The steam from that pot will melt any ice buildup around the fan.

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