LG refrigerators have a long list of error codes, each one relating to a specific problem. If you’re trying to understand what the CL E or E CL error code means, you’ll want to read this guide closely.
The CL E or E CL error code on an LG refrigerator is triggered by a refrigerant leak on the low-pressure side. That’s most likely caused by a leak in the sealed system tubing, a clog restricting refrigerant flow, or a faulty compressor. Your fridge’s sealed system can only be repaired by a certified technician, so do not attempt to fix it yourself.
Keep reading to understand what causes this problem and what repairs are necessary to resolve it.
What Does The CL E Error Code Mean On An LG Fridge?
This error code will appear on your fridge’s display as either E CL or CL E. In both cases, the code means a refrigerant leak in your fridge’s sealed cooling system.
Seeing as how the code points to the low side of the system, that means the leak is most likely coming from the fridge’s evaporator. Still, the code can also be triggered when the refrigerant flow is restricted or a problem with the compressor.
Low Side Vs High Side; What’s The Difference?
Your LG refrigerator cools its compartments using a sealed cooling system. The system works by circulating refrigerant through tubes and components like the compressor, condenser, and evaporator.
Overall, the system has two sides: a low side and a high side. The refrigerant that circulates throughout the system is at low pressure when passing through the low side and becomes highly pressurized when flowing through the high side.
The CL E or E CL error code is specific to the low side of the cooling system. That means you can trace the problem down to the tubing on the low side, the evaporator or the compressor.
Causes And Solutions
The most likely reasons behind this error code is a refrigerant leak, restricted refrigerant flow, or a faulty compressor. This section will help you understand each cause and how it can be fixed.
What it is: The cooling system described above is designed to absorb and remove heat from the fridge’s compartments and transfer it outside of the fridge. All of that is possible as long as there’s enough refrigerant circulating throughout the system at the correct pressure.
How it happens: When the CL E or E CL error code is triggered, it’s most likely because a hole has developed somewhere along with the tubing in the low-pressure side of the cooling system. Holes like this happen because the tube has rubbed against a rough surface too much or because of corrosion on the tube.
The cooling system can only work correctly if it stays sealed. So, when refrigerant leaks out, the fridge won’t cool down, and the CL E or E CL error code will be triggered.
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How to fix it: Only qualified and certified technicians can work on sealed refrigeration systems like the one on your LG fridge. So, you can’t repair it yourself.
The certified technician will fix this problem by locating the leak and sealing it or replacing the tubing as needed. Then, they will recharge the system with the correct amount of new refrigerant, not too much or too little refrigerant, as both will prevent the fridge from working correctly.
Restricted Refrigerant Flow
What it is: As you’ve seen in the section above, your fridge’s refrigerant flows through the tubing and several components on the sealed system. Besides that, the refrigerant also flows through filters and valves that keep the overall system working correctly.
How it happens: Your fridge’s cooling system is sealed, which means that no impurities or contaminants should be able to enter the tubes. Still, if the system is ever opened for repairs, those contaminants can enter the system and cause blockages in the tubes, valves, or other components.
When that happens, the refrigerant flow will be restricted, preventing the fridge from cooling down and triggering the CL E or E CL error code.
How to fix it: Again, only technicians certified by the EPA can troubleshoot and repair a fridge’s sealed cooling system. In this case, they’ll have to locate the blockage and clear it out.
In some cases, the blockage is too severe to remove. So, the affected tube or part will have to be replaced.
Lastly, after any sort of repair to the cooling system, like sealing a leak or replacing any of its parts, the technician must then recharge the system with new refrigerant.
What it is: The compressor is also a part of the fridge’s sealed cooling system. It’s designed to drive refrigerant throughout the system while also compressing and adding pressure to it.
This is arguably one of the most critical components in your fridge and is often referred to as the ‘heart’ of the appliance.
How it fails: Refrigerator compressors typically have a very long lifespan, but they can also suffer from faults that stop them from working correctly. For example, contaminants and other impurities could enter the compressor and damage it from the inside.
Besides that, electrical faults like power surges can also damage the compressor’s internal parts and cause it to fail.
Lastly, depending on the age of the compressor, it could also fail due to excess wear and old age.
How to fix it: Refrigerator compressors are part of the sealed cooling system, so they can only be diagnosed and repaired by a certified professional. However, in some cases, a technician could be able to repair the compressor.
However, the compressor must be replaced if it’s damaged or worn out. Doing so will fix the problem and extend the overall lifespan of the fridge itself.
How To Clear The CL E Error Code?
There are two ways you can clear the CL E error code from your fridge.
For the first method, follow these steps:
- Firstly, open the right side door and keep it open.
- Next, press the temperature adjust buttons for both the fridge and freezer together three times.
Doing so will clear the error code. Alternatively, you can try resetting the fridge following the steps below:
How To Reset Your LG Refrigerator?
You can reset your LG fridge by turning it off and on again, following this sequence:
- Firstly, disconnect the fridge from its power source or shut off its circuit breaker.
- Next, leave the fridge alone for 30 seconds. During this time, any leftover electrical charge in the fridge will dissipate, which will clear the appliance’s memory.
- Lastly, reconnect the fridge and turn it back on.
Both of the methods above will clear the error code. However, the code will return and persist if the root cause of the problem has not been fixed.
Bonus Tip: Test Your Fridge After Repairs
After your fridge has been repaired by a qualified technician, it’s always an excellent idea to test the fridge to ensure the problem was fixed correctly.
The first way to test your fridge is simply to leave it on for at least 24 hours. Your LG refrigerator needs that time to stabilize itself and reach the temperature you’ve set for it.
After 24 hours, you can be sure that the repair was successful if the fridge is cold enough and if the same error code does not appear again.
Besides that, you can also test the fridge by using the dedicated test button located on the main control board.
LG Fridge’s Test Button
Some LG refrigerators have a dedicated test button located on their main control board. The board is located in a compartment at the back of the fridge, concealed behind a panel that you must first remove.
You must press the button while the fridge is on to initiate the automatic test mode. When that happens, the fridge will test its components and display error codes if there are any problems.
However, this can be risky because the control board will be electrified. So, only do this if you’re confident that you can do it safely.