Viking Refrigerator Not Cooling- 7 reasons why

Is your Viking refrigerator not cooling? Problems with the thermostat, the evaporator fan, or compressor can keep it from working properly. No matter what type of fridge you have, they all eventually fail. Viking refrigerators are no different. We’ll look at seven common failures, depending upon the type of cooling issue you have.

If your Viking refrigerator fails to cool only in the fridge compartment, it might be a problematic defrost thermostat or heater. It could also be an issue with the evaporator fan. If the fridge and freezer both fail to cool, that could be a problem with the compressor start relay, control board, compressor, or condenser fan.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common reasons why your Viking refrigerator might not be cooling down.

If Only The viking Fridge Compartment Isn’t Cold

Here, the cause of the problem might be a problem with the defrost thermostat, defrost heater or evaporator fan.

1. Defrost Thermostat– viking fridge temperature problem

What it is: Modern fridges do not require you to defrost them from time to time.

They do it automatically by activating a defrost heater to melt away any excess frost.

A defrost thermostat keeps track of the temperature rise and shuts off the defrost heater when it gets too hot.

Why it fails: Defrost thermostats can fail in one of two ways. Either it got some moisture inside or it fails electrically and not engaging internal contacts.

When the latter happens, the defrost thermostat will cause the defrost heater (discussed below) to stop heating and thus frost on the evaporator coils will keep building up to the point where it completely blocks airflow from the freezer to the fridge compartment.

How to fix: Faulty defrost thermostats must be replaced as they can’t be fixed.

That involves removing any access panels in the way and unplugging the thermostat, replacing it with a new one. 

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2. Defrost Heater

What it is: As mentioned in the previous section, modern fridges defrost themselves automatically.

To do this, it activates a defrost heater that melts away any frost buildup inside the appliance.

Viking defrost heater failed

The defrost cycle may happen once or twice a day, for anywhere between 20-45 minutes, depending on the manufacturer and the model.

Why it fails: The defrost heater is connected inline with the defrost thermostat.

There is no one common reason why defrost heater burnt out. Maybe its due to age of the fridge or heater internal short curcuit.

Whatever the case might be, this problem will cause the fridge to stay warmer than it should be.

How to fix: Here, the fix is to replace the defrost thermostat as mentioned in the previous section.

However, if there is any damage to the defrost heater, you should also replace that part to prevent further problems.

3. Evaporator Fan – viking refrigerator not cooling

What it is: Another critical part that’s responsible for cooling down your Viking refrigerator is the evaporator.

That’s the part of the cooling system where cold refrigerant passes through into the fridge.

Viking refrigerator not cooling

Still, a cold evaporator coil isn’t enough to cool down your appliance by itself. That’s why it relies on a dedicated evaporator fan to push cold air straight into the fridge’s compartment.

Why it fails: Evaporator fan blades can get physically stuck, and as a result, fail to turn on their own like they usually do.

Besides that, the motor itself may have shorted out, or the electrical connections have somehow come undone.

How to fix: Once you’ve located the motor, all you’ll need to do is remove it and install the replacement while ensuring that any electrical connections are on tight so they don’t come undone.

Then, work your way backwards. Replace any panels you removed previously and reconnect the power supply to the fridge.

If Both The Freezer and Fridge Compartments Aren’t Cooling Down– viking refrigerator not cold

Here, the problem could be with the compressor, compressor start relay, control board, or condenser fan.

4. Compressor Failed

What it is: A fridge’s cooling system relies on its compressor. That’s the component that acts as an electronic pump that circulates refrigerant throughout the entire system.

While the control board may be the fridge’s brain, it’s safe to say that the compressor is the heart of the system that keeps it working correctly.

Why it fails: Fridge compressors consist of an electrical motor kept inside a fully-welded and sealed metal enclosure.

After many years of being in use, it’s pretty normal for a compressor to fail.

Perhaps the motor has stopped working, or there may be other problems with any other components inside.

That means the compressor won’t be able to circulate refrigerant throughout the fridge’s cooling system, and none of the compartments in the appliance will be able to cool down.

How to fix: Depending on the compressor’s age and how severe the problem is, people typically replace compressors rather than fix them.

Repairing them can cost quite a fair bit and will take a long time.

Replacing a compressor by yourself is usually not a good idea as it involves working with a pressurized refrigerant.

It’s best to call a trained and qualified technician to handle this repair. In some areas, it may not be legal to work on a compressor without a license.

5. Compressor Start Relay Failed

What it is: The compressor start relay has one purpose: to supply power to the compressor when it is needed.

Simply put, when the fridge is too warm, the relay will power up the compressor so that it can cool the appliance down until it reaches its set temperature.

When that temperature is reached, the relay will then cut power to the compressor.

This cycle will repeat itself throughout the day to maintain the correct temperature as set by you.

Why it fails: Several reasons might cause a compressor start relay to fail.

Depending on the fridge’s age, the relay may simply suffer from excessive wear and tear after many years in use.

Besides that, something like an electrical surge during a thunderstorm may also cause damage to a start relay.

A simple inspection can confirm whether or not the relay is still functional.

You’ll hear a click each time the relay tries to turn on the compressor.

If that click frequently happens in the span of a few minutes (without the compressor turning on), that’s a clear sign that it needs to be replaced.

How to fix: To resolve this issue, the start relay must be replaced. It’s usually located next to or near the compressor itself, which is usually at the back of the refrigerator. 

It’s best to hire a professional to do this for you. If you’re doing it yourself, however, be sure to disconnect the power supply from the socket first.

You may have to remove any panels in the way and any brackets holding the relay in place. Then, simply remove the faulty relay and plug in the new one.

Lastly, work backwards and replace any brackets and panels that you removed previously.

6. Control Board – viking refrigerator not cooling

What it is: You can think of that control board as the brain of the entire appliance.

Its main function is to coordinate all of the fridge’s parts and supply power to its components when needed.

That includes the cooling system, which cools down your fridge.

Why it fails: Over time, control board components could fail, causing certain functions throughout the fridge to stop working.

Besides that, it’s also possible that the fridge control board has shorted out.

That could be due to an electrical problem somewhere in the fridge or external reasons such as a power surge during a lightning storm.

One easy way that people diagnose these problems is by inspecting the control board up-close.

Sometimes, the board may have visible signs of damage, like burnt components or that it gives off a burnt smell.

How to fix:  For starters, the fridge must be disconnected from its power supply.

Then, you’ll need to access the control board by removing any panels that are covering it.

Once you see the board, it’s always a good idea to take a clear picture of it. That picture will act as a reference for when you’re installing the new board.

Once you’ve removed the old board and installed the new one, next comes putting all electrical connections back in place.

That photo you took earlier will be useful in helping you connect everything back the right way.

7. Condenser Fan Failed – viking refrigerator not cold

What it is: When it comes to fans in fridges, there are evaporator fans (discussed earlier) and condenser fans.

While the evaporator fans blow cold air into the fridge’s compartments, the condenser fan, on the other hand, helps to blow hot air from the condenser coil out into the surrounding environment.

In doing so, it cools down the refrigerant as it continues circulating throughout the fridge.

Why it fails: A condenser fan may fail because the blades are physically stuck and can’t move. Besides that, a short circuit or another fault could cause the condenser fan motor to fail as well.

As a result, the fan fails to remove heat from the condenser coil, making it challenging for the inside of the fridge to cool down.

How to fix: To resolve this issue, you’ll need to replace the condenser fan and motor.

Seeing as how condenser fans are typically located at the back of the fridge unit, accessing it should be much easier as well.

Just remove the panels that cover the fan, remove it from its mount, and replace it with the new condenser fan.

Reader Comments (4)

  1. I absolutely agree, we made the same mistake. My Viking fridge has broken many times since we bought it five years ago and the guys who have come in to fix it were all ripping me off, for example one ‘repair man’ wanted 320 dollars to purchase a small fan that cost twelve dollars, yet my 26 year old Whirlpool Inge in my garage is still going and has never broken down!

  2. Viking appliance r one of the worst products- We made a huge mistake buying all Viking products- they r expensive – useless and worthless-

    • Agreed. We have a 12 year old Viking All-Refrigerator. The Evaporator Coil failed (leaked) at 8 years. While the parts were covered under warranty, the labor to replace the coils – and the compressor – and new refrigerant, cost $1000.

      Then, about 3 years later, the replaced, smaller coil inside at the bottom leaked. That was out of warranty. Another $1000.

      Then, 6 months after the new coil, it leaked again. (It was supposed to be a better part, but dissimilar metal corrosion ate it.) This time our Fridge guy used copper tube to make a new coil. While he covered the failed coil under warranty, it was another $500.

      We tell everyone who asks “NEVER buy a Viking All Refrigerator.”

      • Worst products ever !
        Viking range stopped working after 5 years. $1200 to fix. Fridge stopped after 7 years… $1000 to fix. Dishwasher plastics and rollers broke .. I using the way it is 🙁
        This brand is junk. $300 GE work better and for years.

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