Condenser Coils are Dirty
The condenser coils are usually located under the refrigerator. They dissipate heat as refrigerant passes through them. If the condenser coils are dirty, they won’t dissipate the heat effectively. As debris builds up on the coils, the refrigerator becomes less efficient, causing the refrigerator to work harder to cool down. If the coils are significantly dirty, the refrigerator will not be able to maintain the proper temperature. Check the condenser coils to determine if they are dirty—if the condenser coils are dirty, clean them.
Evaporator Fan Motor
The evaporator fan motor draws air over the evaporator (cooling) coils and circulates it throughout the refrigerator and freezer compartments. Some refrigerators have more than one evaporator fan motor. On refrigerators with only one evaporator, the evaporator is located in the freezer compartment. If the evaporator fan is not working, it will not circulate the cold air to the refrigerator compartment. If this occurs, the freezer may still get cold, while the refrigerator will not get cold. To determine if the evaporator fan motor is defective, try turning the fan blade by hand. If the fan blade does not turn freely, replace the fan motor. Additionally, if the motor is unusually noisy, replace it. Finally, if the motor does not run at all, use a multimeter to test the motor windings for continuity. If the windings do not have continuity, replace the evaporator fan motor.
Condenser Fan Motor
The condenser fan motor draws air though the condenser coils and over the compressor. If the condenser fan motor is not working properly, the refrigerator won’t cool properly. To determine if the fan motor is defective, first check the fan blade for obstructions. Next, try turning the fan motor blade by hand. If the blade does not spin freely, replace the condenser fan motor. If no obstructions are present and the fan blade spins freely, use a multimeter to test the fan motor for continuity. If the condenser fan motor does not have continuity, replace it.
The start relay provides power to the compressor. If the start relay isn’t working properly, the compressor may run intermittently or may not run at all. If the compressor won’t run, the freezer will not cool. To determine if the start relay is defective, unplug the freezer and remove the start relay from the compressor. Use a multimeter to test the start relay for continuity between the start and run terminals. If the start relay does not have continuity, or if it smells burnt, replace it.