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Repair and disassembly guides for food cooling appliances including refrigerators, freezers and fridge-freezers.

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Refrigerator suddenly stopped cooling

Well I have a whirlpool refrigerator, with the double doors on top, and a slide out freezer door at the bottom. I noticed within the last day, or so. The refrigerator isn't cooling at all.

So I checked the freezer below, and everything is staying cold in the freezer, and I put my hand near the vent, at the back. I felt coolness, however air flow wasn't that strong.

At this point I was thinking it might be the fan not working. After that, I looked up the refrigerator by model number, and found you can run different test's, including checking the fan. So I did the fan test, and when I hit the button to turn the fan on. I heard something start running, and sounded normal. So it seems the fan is running, still I feel the air flow in the freezer should be much stronger. Being that the fan is located right where the freezer vent is.

After this, I decided to pop the cover off the front of the refrigerator vent, and behind the vent, is where the diffuser(?) is located. which at the time the door flap was open, in the state of allowing air flow into the refrigerator. However there was zero air flow, or even coolness back there.

So I'm now at the point of wondering... Why is the refrigerator getting zero air flow to it? I actually turned the refrigerator off, and the diffuser(?) closed the door, which I expected, and after turning it back on, it opened again. So that all seems to be working as intended.

I was reading of a possible blockage due to ice, and such. Which earlier I turned it off for 3-4 hours, after turning it back on, and waiting a little while. Nothing has changed the same problem is still happening. I plan to turn the fridge off overnight tonight, and see what happens in the morning.

So with all this said.. Anyone have any added idea's what might be my issue? I'm trying to fix this problem myself, as having someone out really isn't an option right now. My next step will be removing the freezer door, and getting access to the evaporator fan motor.

Anyways I figure I should include the model number of my refrigerator, for anyone curious. I would link to it on the whirlpool site, but I don't know the exact rules of posting. So I will just link the model number, and anyone can look it up on their site if needed.

Model# GX5SHDXVA00

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I have what sounds like a similar issue. I have put the fridge in service mode to test the evap fan and damper and even removed the damper and checked for an obstruction in the duct with a boroscope, but found nothing. The fan will run, but move no air to the fridge. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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I have a whirlpool frige/freezer on top and it worked fine for about a week then it started getting warm and stayed that way ive checked the fan in the freezer and it works fine and theres no dust or dirt in the bottom of the back of it what or where do i check next and how can i fix this myself and i have no money to buy any parts if needed so how can i fix this problem myself, signed A GIRL WITH NO HELP WHOS STUCK ON HER OWN

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Hi @KELLY MA'HONEY ,

What is the model number of the refrigerator?

Is it "new" as you said that "..... it worked fine for about a week then it started getting warm and stayed that way"?

If it is a brand new refrigerator then get it fixed under the manufacturer's warranty. Check the user manual that should be with the fridge what to do to make a claim for a warranty repair.

if it not a brand new fridge just bought , is the compressor motor running? (usually located under the fridge at the back)

If the compressor is running what is getting warm, the fridge section, freezer section or both?

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Hi,

Which "fan" did you test?

The compressor fan or the evaporator fan?

It seems as though the evaporator fan is not working. Either due to being blocked with ice or a faulty fan motor perhaps. It might take more than 3-4 hours to melt the ice, especially if you had the freezer section closed.

If the evaporator fan does work in the morning due to the fridge being off overnight then you'll have to start looking at the defrost system, i.e. defrost heater, defrost thermostat.

If the fan doesn't work then check the fan motor first.

Update (04/17/2018)

Hi,

Check the defrost heater first.

Use an Ohmmeter (function found in a DMM (Digital Multimeter - adequate ones available <$20 at larger hardware warehouses - sorry if you know all this) to test continuity of heater itself. Do all testing with power disconnected and heater disconnected.

If heater OK check defrost thermostat.

Some parts replacement companies offer a good return policy if the part you order does not fix the problem.

Worse comes to worse if you end up suspecting the control board, you may be able to get it and if it doesn't fix it return it for only a small cost to you. Worth checking their policy or asking them before you get it .

Re the doors I've found that if you raise the fridge at the front enough so that the doors automatically shut from 1/2 to 3/4 open position that it solves a lot of problems, especially caused by people who don't check the door is shut. ;-)

ps. Just occurred to me that you said you ran a test and the fan was OK. just wondering if it was "iced up' at the time how it would turn. Can't figure that out yet unless it was struggling to turn, therefore minimal airflow or slipping fan blades perhaps. Don't know.

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As for the fan, your guess is as best as mine. There wasn't any odd sound when I tested the fan. So it's possible it was causing the fan blade to slip, or possibly everything was froze around it somehow. As I could feel a little air flow in the freezer yesterday. It just didn't feel normal. The fridge was getting zero air flow, fridge actual felt very warm, and the vent the air flows thru was warm as well.

I just checked the fridge again, been 4 hours since I turned it back on. Fridge was cold, and it was off when I opened it. The vent flap was closed. I had it open for about a minute, and it turned back on as I expected it would, vent open up with cold air flowing out.

So it seems to be running good right now, will keep an eye on it the next 2 days, if it continues to run good. I will assume someone in the house left one of the doors open, probably overnight, and caused it to freeze up pretty good.

Thank you for the replies as well Jayeff. Will keep everything you said in mind, if issue happens again.

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Hello Jayeff,

I unplugged the fridge around 7pm last night, and just powered it back on at 10am. Which was less then 30 minutes ago. After powering the fridge back up, I could instantly feel some air flow reaching the fridge area.

So it does indeed seem everything had frozen up, so now my eyes are on the defrost system. However I want to wait a little bit before I assume it's a defrost system issue. My reasoning for this... The fridge itself isn't the main fridge, it's in the garage, and it mostly stores meats, and drinks in the fridge section. So I think it might of been possible someone left one of the doors open, and someone later just shut it when they noticed it.

It's a whirlpool fridge with the double doors at the top, and from using this fridge many times myself. I know at times one of the doors will not shut all the way properly, and after reading more about refrigerators the last 24 hours. They say this can be a common issue when doors are left open, with moisture build up, causing everything to freeze up.

I honestly hope this is the case for me, however if it isn't. Where should I start the troubleshooting with the defrost system? What's the most likely part to fail? I don't mind buying a new part if needed. I just know under the problem I'm having for my fridge, one of the parts suggested is electronic control board. Which is a $200 part I hope not to need to replace. I honestly feel the control board is working fine though.

Also as for the fan, it was the evaporator fan. The fridge itself has a self test system which can test a couple things, one was for the evaporator fan. Which allows you to turn it on, and off. When I turned it on, I could hear it running, and sounded normal. So I think the evaporator fan is fine. With the fridge's self test, I don't remember much of anything regarding the defrost system, besides a forced defrost mode.

So I'm now keeping a close eye on this fridge to see how things are the next 24-48 hours. If this issue happens again, I'm open to suggestions on where I should start looking regarding the defrost system, and what I should be looking at replacing within the defrost system.

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Hi @ brian bowersox,

What is the make and model number of the refrigerator?

Have you checked that the evaporator fan blade is actually rotating and not slipping on the fan motor shaft?

Mark a vane on the fan blade with a marker pen and check if it has moved position after doing a diagnostic check or setup a phone’s camera to record if it moves or not as someone else once did on this forum ;-)

The diagnostics probably only rely on current flowing through the fan motor and not testing for airflow

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MY side by side whirlpool runs great for two days then it starts warming up what could be the problem? I bought a new freezer fan this didn't help, I changed the thermostat that didn't work. What should I try next model number is GC3PEHNB00

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@rjr0877

You didn't say what was getting too warm, the freezer compartment, the refrigerator compartment or both. Also which thermostat did you change?

If you haven't already done so check that the bi-metal defrost thermostat, part #6 airflow parts diagram is OK

Here’s a video that shows how to test it.

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