You’d only invest in a refrigerator to store your food items in a cold environment. So, a Maytag refrigerator that isn’t cooling is quite a severe problem that requires immediate attention. But why does this problem happen?
When your Maytag refrigerator and its lights are on, but the appliance isn’t cooling, the cold air isn’t getting to where it needs to be. Firstly, the evaporator fan could have failed, resulting in no cold airflow. Besides that, a defrost system failure leads to frost building up at the evaporator, preventing cold air from being distributed.
This guide will tell you which components you must troubleshoot to determine why your refrigerator isn’t cooling. As you read through, you’ll also discover the solutions you can use to get the fridge working correctly again.
Why Is My Maytag Refrigerator Not Cooling?
A refrigerator will only reach the cold temperatures you expect if it can generate cooling and drive that cold air to where it’s needed.
So, if your appliance turns on but stays warm, here are the most likely reasons the fridge is not cooling and what you can do to solve the problem:
1. Failed Evaporator Fan
Whenever you troubleshoot a refrigerator that won’t cool down as it should, always start by checking the evaporator fans. These small but powerful fans blow air through the cold evaporator coils and into the refrigerator compartment.
More importantly, those evaporator fans ensure that the cold air reaches all sides of the compartment. That will prevent any hot spots from forming inside the compartment, thereby cooling all your food items equally.
However, evaporator fans can fail in several ways. Firstly, a frost and ice buildup will prevent the fan blades from spinning. That will prevent it from generating cool airflow, leaving the fridge warm.
Besides that, the fan blades could also suffer damage and break off, causing the same effect.
Lastly, the motor on an evaporator fan could wear out (if it’s old) or short out (if it experiences an electrical fault). When that happens, the fan won’t spin even though the refrigerator sends power to it.
The Solution: When one or more evaporator fans fail, you have two solutions. Firstly, you must defrost the compartment to melt away any ice buildup preventing the affected fan from turning.
Shut the refrigerator off and open the door so it can defrost naturally. However, do not use a heat gun or hair dryer, as the concentrated heat will damage the fridge’s plastic panels.
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The second solution is to replace the affected part, whether that’s a broken fan blade or failed fan motor. You can’t repair or service these parts, so a total replacement solves the problem.
2. Faulty Defrost Thermostat
When you troubleshoot your refrigerator that isn’t cooling, look around for any frost or ice buildups, especially in the freezer compartment. Those buildups are telltale signs that the lack of cooling is due to a defrosting problem.
Remember: your refrigerator is designed to defrost itself automatically several times a day. More specifically, the fridge will melt away any frost around its evaporator coils so they can continue to cool the appliance efficiently.
One of the most crucial components in that defrost system is the thermostat. It’s designed to measure temperatures around the evaporator and power the defrost heating element to melt away any frost.
When the thermostat senses that all the frost is gone, it will shut the heating element off and allow the refrigerator to resume cooling.
However, a faulty defrost thermostat can be problematic in two ways. Firstly, it could keep the heating element on even though all the frost has already melted away. As a result, your refrigerator continues heating its compartment instead of letting it cool down.
Secondly, the thermostat could fail to start the defrost at all. That will cause frost and ice to build up around the evaporator coils, freezing them over until they can’t provide cooling to the rest of the compartment.
The Solution: Firstly, you must confirm that the defrost thermostat is faulty using a standard
If it’s not, your only solution is to replace the thermostat with a new one. That will allow your refrigerator to defrost and resume cooling correctly. After a while, your refrigerator will be as cold as you’ve set it to be.
3. Burnt-Out Defrost Heating Element
There’s also a possibility that the thermostat is working correctly. If that’s the case and your evaporator coils still have frost built up around them, you likely have a burnt-out defrost heating element instead.
In other words, the heating element can’t generate any heat to melt away frost during the defrost cycle. As you read earlier, something like that will eventually cause the evaporator coils to freeze into a solid block of ice.
That will prevent the fans from blowing air through the evaporator coils, leaving your refrigerator compartment warm and unable to store your food items safely.
The Solution: Burnt-out defrost heating elements can only be replaced with new ones. Before you do that, you can confirm its condition by looking for burn marks. You’ll see them somewhere on the heating element, confirming that the component is damaged and needs to be replaced.
4. Problematic Jazz Control Board
The final component you’ll want to troubleshoot is the ‘Jazz’ control board. That’s the name Maytag gave to their Adaptive Defrost Control (ADC) board, which controls all the defrost components described earlier.
Unfortunately, this printed circuit board has a reputation for failing in one of two specific ways. Firstly, the board fails to start the defrost cycle in your refrigerator. Secondly, it might begin the defrost cycle but without turning off the appliance’s cooling system temporarily, as it should.
Both failures will cause frost and ice to build up around the evaporator coils. As you’ve seen many times, that will prevent your refrigerator from cooling as air can no longer flow through the coils to distribute cooling.
The Solution: Firstly, you should only troubleshoot the Jazz control board after you’ve ruled out all other possibilities. Once you’re sure that the other components are in excellent working condition, then it’s likely that this control board is the root cause of your problems.
When that’s the case, you’ll have to remove the existing board and replace it with a new one. Be sure to only purchase a compatible board to ensure that your refrigerator will function normally after the replacement.
While it’s possible for you to perform this replacement yourself, it’s still a good idea to contact a qualified repair technician if you’re unsure how to do it.
As you can see, a lack of cooling in your Maytag refrigerator is likely due to the cold air not getting to where it’s needed. That could be due to a failed evaporator fan that won’t generate the airflow needed to make that happen.
However, failure in the defrost system can also cause the same problem. Without regular defrosting, the evaporator coils will freeze over and prevent air from flowing through. That’s enough to leave your refrigerator warm inside.
A defrost failure can be due to a failed thermostat, a burnt-out heating element, or a problematic Jazz control board.