Your LG refrigerator relies on a sealed cooling system and flowing refrigerant to stay cold. When there’s a leak in that system, the fridge can no longer cool down and function correctly.
The E CH error code on an LG refrigerator means that there’s a refrigerant leak, particularly on the high-pressure side of the sealed cooling system. So this code is most likely triggered by a refrigerant leak. Still, it can also be triggered by a bad compressor or if the doors have been left open for too long, causing a drastic temperature change inside.
As you read through this guide, you’ll learn more about what causes this problem in your LG refrigerator and how it can be fixed.
What Does E CH Mean On An LG Refrigerator?
The E CH error code that you see on your LG refrigerator means that there’s a high side refrigerant leak. In simpler terms, that means that refrigerant is leaking from the high-pressure side of your fridge’s sealed cooling system.
The refrigerant that flows through that system is critical for the fridge to cool down its compartments to your set temperature. So, a leak like this is a critical problem that must be repaired as soon as possible.
Low Side Vs High Side; What’s The Difference?
The E CH error code relates to the high side of the fridge’s cooling or refrigeration system. That is a sealed system that circulates refrigerant to absorb heat from inside the fridge’s compartments and transfer it to the outside of the fridge.
The sealed refrigeration system consists of two parts:
- The low-pressure side (or ‘low side’) where the refrigerant is cold as it passes through tubing and components like the evaporator.
- The high-pressure side (or ‘high side’) where the refrigerant is hot and passes through even more tubing and components like the condenser.
Causes and How To Fix Them?
The E CH error code is most likely triggered by a refrigerant leak or restriction at the condenser. However, the same code can also appear if the fridge compressor has gone bad or if the door has been left open for too long.
This section will help you understand each of these possibilities and how they’re fixed.
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Refrigerant Leak Or Restriction At Condenser
What it is: As pointed out above, your fridge relies on a cooling system that circulates refrigerant to generate cold air inside its compartments. That refrigerant must be contained inside the sealed cooling system at all times to work correctly.
On top of that, the refrigerant must also be kept at the correct levels and pressure. For example, if the pressure is too high or too low, the cooling system will fail.
How it fails: When it comes to the E CH error code, the most likely cause is a leak at the condenser, which is on the high-pressure side of the cooling system.
This leak happens when the condenser coil rubs against a surface for too long, causing friction that makes a hole in the coil. Besides that, excess corrosion is another reason why a leak might develop in the same area.
How to fix it: Firstly, you must know that only a qualified technician certified by the EPA can work on a refrigeration system like this one. There are two reasons for this:
- Troubleshooting and repairing the sealed refrigeration system requires specialized training and is not safe to take on as a DIY task.
- The refrigerant involved can be toxic to your health if mishandled.
When you call a technician to fix this for you, they’ll first remove all excess refrigerant in the system. Then, they’ll replace the sections affected by the leak, whether that’s a coil or parts of the tubing.
Once that’s complete and the system is sealed again, the technician will recharge the system. That means they’ll fill it with the correct amount of refrigerant at the correct pressure levels.
Compressor Has Gone Bad
What it is: The compressor is arguably the most critical component in the sealed cooling system. Many refer to it as the ‘heart’ of the system, as it compresses the refrigerant and drives it through the entire system.
How it fails: Compressors typically have a very long lifespan. Still, they can fail if they’ve suffered from an electrical fault or impurities in the refrigerant.
Firstly, electrical faults like power surges and short circuits can cause internal damage to the compressor. As a result, this component will stop working correctly.
Besides that, any dirt, dust, or other impurities inside the refrigerant will find their way into the compressor and cause it to malfunction on the inside.
In both cases, the E CH error code will be triggered.
How to fix it: The compressor is part of the sealed cooling. So, just like with the refrigerant leak described above, only a certified technician can work on it.
A technician can repair and recondition the compressor. However, if yours has already been in use for a very long time, it would be better to invest in a brand new compressor instead. That way, you’ll also lengthen the useful lifespan of your fridge as a whole.
Door Left Open For Too Long
What it is: The doors on your LG refrigerator are designed to form a strong seal whenever they’re closed firmly. That’s the result of the doors being perfectly aligned with the fridge’s main body, as well as door seals that prevent any air from leaking through gaps.
By forming that perfect seal, those doors simultaneously prevent cold air from escaping and stop warm air from entering the fridge.
How it fails: Your fridge doors can only do all of the above when they’re closed firmly. However, if those doors are left open for too long, lots of cold air will escape and exchange places with warm air from the outside.
As a result, the temperature inside your fridge’s compartments will rise too much and too fast, triggering the E CH error code.
How to fix it: To fix this problem, simply close your fridge doors firmly and be mindful of them every time you use the fridge.
Depending on how long the doors have been open, it can take up to 24 hours for the temperature inside to stabilize.
How To Clear The E CH Error Code?
To clear the E CH error code, you must first solve the root cause of the problem. For example, as long as the cooling system is leaking refrigerant, the code will stay on the fridge display.
Once you’ve completed troubleshooting and repairing the problem, you can then reset the fridge to clear the error code.
How Do I Reset My LG Refrigerator?
Resetting your LG refrigerator is very straightforward. Follow these steps:
- Firstly, disconnect your fridge from its power source. It must have no electricity coming to it at all.
- Next, leave the fridge alone for at least 30 seconds.
- After that time has passed, you can reconnect the fridge.
The fridge needs to be off for at least 30 seconds to clear its memory and the E CH error code along with it. Once you turn it back on, give the fridge up to 24 hours to stabilize and cool down to your set temperature.
How To Test Your Fridge After Repairs?
You should always test your fridge after it’s been through a repair. The best way to do this is to let the fridge run overnight, then inspect the unit. When you find that the fridge compartments are at the correct temperatures and no error codes appear on display, the repair was successful.
Where Is The Test Button On An LG Refrigerator?
Some LG refrigerator models also have a test button on their main control boards. Pressing this button will trigger the fridge to run automatic tests to check for any errors. If any are found, the fridge will show the relevant error codes on its display.
You can access the main control board on the back of the fridge by removing the board housing’s panel. However, trying to push the button while the fridge is turned on can be quite risky as there’s electricity flowing through the board’s many components.
So, please only perform this task if you’re confident that you can do it safely. If you’re unsure, it’s always best to have a professional troubleshoot the fridge for you.