If your fridge is not cooling though the light is on, here is what you should do.
Why is the fridge not cooling? Sometimes, the problem could be as simple as not plugging the socket; or, food packets blocking airflow.
If that isn’t the problem; it could one of the following parts.
These are the parts that make your refrigerator work- Compressor, Condenser coils, Evaporator coils, Air Damper, Refrigerant or the Thermostat
The compressor compresses the refrigerant gas. It increases the temperature. The vapor is sent to the condenser coil.
The hot gas cools down in the condenser coil and becomes liquid.
The cool liquid flows through the expansion valve.
It enters the evaporator coils inside the freezer and fridge.
The refrigerant absorbs the heat inside while flowing through the evaporator coils.
The refrigerant converts into vapor and goes back to the compressor.
The cycle repeats.
It’s a simplified version of how your refrigerator works. It’s called a vapor compression cycle. Now, we can fix the problems.
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The fridge is not cooling though the light is on
The light is connected to a separate circuit. It is working means the refrigerator is receiving electricity. The problem could be in one of the parts given below.
What if Freezer is cooling but Fridge not cooling
This means the refrigeration is fine, but cold air not able to get into the fridge due to ice blockage.
First of all, remove back panel in the freezer in order to check thermostat and heater for continuity.
Both Fridge and Freezer are not cooling
If both Freezer and Fridge are not cooling, the problem could be in any of the parts. Let’s see where the parts are located and how we can fix the problems
The compressor is a pump and motor. This is the part that makes the sound you hear from behind the fridge.
This is where refrigeration begins. The compressor looks like a tank and is located behind the refrigerator at the bottom.
Problem: Compressor relay switches on and off
If you hear periodical clicking coming from the compressor side, it most likely Start Relay failed and trying to start the compressor, but unable to.
It might be due to overload or due to the age of the compressor, which requires more current to start. It can be also due to a fluctuating voltage supply. This isn’t a big problem to solve.
Solution: Change the start relay.
It’s a small white or black switch-like device located in the wiring of the system. It is mostly located on the bottom side.
It can be easily bought and replaced. You need to ensure that the system is unplugged and you have given it time to slow down.
The condenser is a heat exchanger that takes heat from the inside and cools the fridge.
It takes the latent heat from the refrigerant and cools it down. It is in the middle, above the compressor.
Problem: Refrigerant Leaking
The refrigerant passes through condenser coils during the heat exchange. Any leak in the coil can impact the cooling system.
Solution: Repair the condenser coil and replace the refrigerant
The condenser coil can be repaired. As the refrigerant is lost, the whole refrigerant has to be replaced. Low refrigerant is detrimental to the whole cooling unit.
Problem: Dirty Condenser coil
With time, layers of dirt and dust can settle on the coils. This layer disrupts the function of heat exchange and thus the cooling of the fridge.
Solution: Routine Cleaning
The condenser should be cleaned regularly: once a year is good. This is also preventive maintenance.
Problem: Condenser fan not working
The fan attached to the outside unit is the condenser fan. It helps in the dissipation of heat and maintaining airflow. If it stops, the fridge not cooling becomes an issue.
Solution: Replace the condenser fan
Check whether the problem lies in the wiring or motor itself. Find it and replace. The parts can be replaced. The technical specifications come with the unit.
Air Damper is the device that decides how much cold air enters the fridge’s lower portion from the freezer.
The Air Damper is housed inside a plastic box, sealed well to prevent loss of cold air. It is mostly found in the panel at the top.
Problem: Housing Damage
Damage in housing causes a loss of cool air. Even the slightest leak can give rise to both fridge and freezer problems, with no cooling issues.
Solution: Fix the air leaks if possible. Or, change the housing.
Cold Temperature Thermostat
The thermostat is the device that controls the temperature inside the refrigerator. It’s like the brain tells the refrigerator what to do. It is located behind the knob you use to set the temperature.
Problem: Thermostat is not working
You might be setting a low temperature but the temperature inside is not as per your settings.
Solution: Replace Thermostat
Open the unit inside the refrigerator and take the thermostat out. Remove the wiring, clean it and put it again. If it doesn’t work, you have to change it. You can’t repair a thermostat.
Fridge not cooling is not always a big problem. It could be fixed sometimes. If not, call a professional.
And, if the repair is taking more than half of the price at what you bought it, don’t spend money towards repair, rather buy a new refrigerator.