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DIY: How to Fix a Refrigerator Not Cooling

DIY: How to Fix a Refrigerator Not Cooling

refrigerator not cooling

When your refrigerator stops cooling, it not only is a major inconvenience, but it also can be very costly. Even if your refrigerator is fixable, you enter a race against the clock before all the food inside spoils the moment the unit breaks down. If you don't have time to wait for a technician, here are some simple fixes to help get your fridge chillin' again.

What You'll Need: 

Tip 1. Check the Compressor

You should always check if the compressor is running. So how do you do it? First, remove the bottom cover behind the refrigerator unit. If you can hear something running or feel it vibrating to go along with no cooling, this could indicate a problem inside the sealed system or with the compressor itself.

If the compressor isn't running, the problem could be with the starting device or the compressor. Checking these will require the help of a technician.  

Tip 2. Check the Condenser

Check the condenser coil under the cabinet for lint build up. This may cause the compressor to overheat and stop running.

Tip 3. Check the Condenser Fan Motor

Check the condenser fan motor. On most models, it should be located under the unit in the back next to the compressor. If the fan stops running, it also will cause the compressor to overheat and stop running.

Tip 4. Check for Frost

Check for a thick frost build up on the back wall in the freezer. This can cause a reduced air flow to the refrigerator section. The two main reasons for this frost build up are:

    1. A failure in the defrosting system.

    2. The freezer fan motor has stopped running.


Tip 5. Check the Door 

Check the refrigerator door to make sure it closes and seals properly, or for a torn gasket allowing warm air from outside the unit to enter the cabinet.

Tip 6. Check the Light

Make sure the light inside the cabinet turns off when the door is closed. If not, it can actually put out enough heat to prevent the refrigerator from cooling.

Tip 7. Check Your Fuse Box

If the refrigerator is not running at all, and if the light inside the cabinet does not work even when the door is open, this usually indicates a power failure to the fridge. Check your fuse box for a tripped breaker.

If you still find you're having trouble getting your refrigerator to start cooling again, watch our video on Troubleshooting a Refrigerator Not Cooling.


Repairing a fridge motor

Need a part? find it at Sears Parts Direct 

Time to bring in a pro? Reach out to the experienced technicians of Sears Home Services