How to troubleshoot a refrigerator that is not cooling? Complete Guide

Running out of space in your refrigerator to store all the fresh food you just shopped for? You might have a problem with your refrigerator not cooling properly.

In this article, we provide a complete guide on troubleshooting a refrigerator that is not cooling efficiently. We’ll help you identify and solve the issue before it’s too late. So don’t let warm food ruin your summer barbeques and get started now!


The purpose of this guide is to help individuals troubleshoot their own refrigerator if it is not cooling properly. This guide will explain several common problems that can cause a refrigerator to not cool properly, as well as the tools and steps needed to fix each issue. With the help of this guide, users should be able to solve most issues they may encounter while attempting to diagnose and repair their refrigerator.

This guide is divided into two sections:

  1. Introduction
  2. Troubleshooting Common Problems Involving a Refrigerator Not Cooling

Explanation of the importance of a refrigerator in our daily lives

A refrigerator is one of the most essential household appliances that helps us store our food and drinks in a safe manner. It helps us keep safe from the heat and keep goods fresh for a longer period of time, thus maintaining the safety and hygiene of our food items. Consequently, when the refrigerator stops cooling, it causes great distress and inconvenience. Hence, it is important to troubleshoot any issues that arise immediately before it becomes an emergency.

This article will provide a comprehensive guide on how to identify, diagnose and fix any problems related to the cooling of a refrigerator. We will cover topics such as identifying common causes of cooling issues, common symptoms related to running temperatures, loading external components correctly and signs of aging parts or deteriorating efficiency. Armed with this information you will be able to resolve all your fridge related issues with ease and in no time at all!

Overview of the issue of a refrigerator not cooling

It’s important to note that there can be multiple reasons why a refrigerator is not cooling, so it’s essential to first identify what kind of issue you are having. In this guide, we will be discussing three common causes for refrigerators not cooling: compressor issue, condenser coil issue and system-wide failure.

Compressor issues are typically the most common cause of refrigerators not cooling and often require professional expertise. The compressor is the component that circulates refrigerant throughout the system. When it stops working or fails intermittently, it can cause the refrigerator to stop cooling properly. If you notice that your refrigerator is running constantly or making noises but not getting cold enough, then you may need to get a professional to come in and check out the compressor according to your model’s specifications.

If your compressor is working properly but your refrigerator still isn’t cold enough, one possible culprit could be an obstruction in the condenser coils on the exterior of your appliance. Condenser coils help dissipate heat generated during the process of compression. A build-up of dirt or dust inside these coils can impair their ability to do their job efficiently, leading to a warmer interior temperature inside your fridge. Cleaning these coils thoroughly should resolve this problem—you can consult with a refrigerator repair specialist for more detailed instruction on how best to do this depending on your model and its specific requirements for cleaning maintenance.

Finally, if all else fails and none of these solutions seem to solve the problem at hand, then there may be a system-wide failure that requires more specialized repair skills from someone who understands how all components need to come together in order for them all work efficiently without interruption or undue strain. A technician should be able undertake an analysis on each component using diagnostic tools and help track down whatever may have caused it originally before providing solutions on how best this repair should proceed according upgraded parts as necessary while also ensuring accurate functioning by performing regular preventative maintenance tasks whenever needed moving forward afterwards too!

Importance of troubleshooting a refrigerator that is not cooling

Troubleshooting a refrigerator that is not cooling is an important task. A refrigerator that is not cooling can be caused by a range of issues, such as a malfunctioning thermostat or freezer fan, or a broken compressor. A major issue can be the accumulation of dirt and grime which impedes the circulation of air in the refrigeration system. Proper troubleshooting can save time and money from costly repairs in case of severe damages.

It is important to inspect all the components for any signs of deterioration such as discoloration, clogged vents, or loose connections. The temperature setting should be checked as well to make sure it is set to low enough temperature. Checking these details help identify problems that may cause your refrigerator not to cool enough even at the proper temperature settings. Additionally, other potential causes such as inadequate air circulation or blocked vents should also be looked into while troubleshooting the issue.

GE Refrigerator Warm But Freezer Cold? | Same Day Appliance Repair

Check the Power Supply

To make sure your refrigerator has power, check that it is plugged in and that the circuit breaker is on. To check if the power cord is properly connected, unplug it and look for any frays or cracks. Once you’ve determined that there is power going to your unit, plug it back in and turn on the circuit breaker.

If your refrigerator still doesn’t run, it may be due to an issue with wiring or a component of its electrical system. In these cases, you should seek professional help from a qualified electrician.

Explanation of the importance of checking the power supply

Before beginning any troubleshooting process, it is important to make sure that the power supply to your refrigerator is working correctly. Confirm that the appliance is plugged in to an outlet or power source and that all fuses or circuit breakers are set correctly. If you are using an extension cord, make sure it is rated for use with a refrigerator.

If all of these things check out and your unit is still not cooling, then you may have a problem with one or more of the internal components.

Steps for checking the power supply

When it comes to refrigerator problems, the power supply can play an important role. Checking the power supply should be one of the initial steps taken to troubleshoot a refrigerator that is not cooling. The following steps outline how a homeowner can check for proper power supply.

1) Check if the outlet in which the fridge is plugged receives power: Plug something else in and see if it works. If it does, then you know there is nothing wrong with the outlet.

2) Check the circuit breaker: Look at your home’s circuit breaker box and see if any of the breakers are switched off or have been tripped. Try switching them off and then back on again to reset them. If any of them have caused your fridge’s power supply to be interrupted, resetting it should allow it to receive full power again once restarted.

3) Check all wiring connections leading from refrigerator: Visually inspect all wires/cables attached to refrigerator for signs of fraying or wear & tear as this could be causing interruptions in electrical flow or a possible short. If you find signs of expected wear & tear but no signs of damage, replace them with new wires/cables from a hardware store or appliance stores specializing in refrigerators and other cooling units alike – do not attempt repairs by yourself!

Tips for resolving power supply issues

Power supply issues can cause your refrigerator to fail to cool properly. To resolve these issues, first check the power cord and outlet for a connection and visually inspect sockets, plugs, switches and electric wiring. If any of these components are broken or damaged, replace them immediately.

Next, check the circuit breaker panel to ensure that a circuit breaker has not been tripped. If it has been tripped, simply turn the reset switch back to restore power.

If you find that none of these are the cause of the problem, contact a qualified technician who will be able to evaluate your system properly. Make sure that they have experience in dealing with refrigerator repair issues and get an estimate on the repair cost beforehand.

Common Refrigerator Problems and How to Fix Them | HomeServe USA

Check the Thermostat

The thermostat inside the refrigerator controls the compressor, so if it has become loose or too far away from the evaporator then it will never turn on to cool. First, check the front control panel of your refrigerator. If you have set it to “OFF” then simply turn it back on to begin cooling.

If there is nothing wrong with the front control panel switch then you need to take out the interior thermostat and check if it is loose or not properly connected. A faulty thermostat can stop cooling completely or make components overheat and damage other parts of your fridge. Most fridges have a thermistor located behind cooling coils that functions as a temperature sensor, although some may require you to manually adjust these settings from the control board instead. Make sure that these thermistors are correctly wired in place and securely connected.

If all connections are good then try cleaning off any dirt or dust that may have been collected around the electrically charged components using a soft, non-abrasive cloth to ensure there isn’t any issue with airflow obstructions between components causing them to overheat when in contact with each other. Lastly, reset your thermostat and allow for your refrigerator some time for its system to re-stabilize itself before turning everything back on again and testing whether this has resolved your problem or not.

Explanation of the importance of checking the thermostat

The thermostat is one of the most important parts to check when your refrigerator is not cooling. It regulates the temperature that your refrigerator runs at and tells it when to turn the cooling system on or off. If it’s set too low, then it may cause the fridge to run more than necessary and freezing may occur; if it’s set too high, then the refrigerator will never reach its optimal temperature, leading to spoiled food. The ideal temperature for a refrigerator should be set between 35°F and 38°F. It’s important to check that the thermostat reads correctly and adjust as necessary depending on how cold you want your food stored.

In addition, in some models of refrigerators, when the cooling system is switched off due to a faulty thermostat, some models can display a warning light or provide an audible cautioning sound. If either one of these options occurs then you know for certain that something is causing your fridge to remain switched off even though its reaches a desired temperature.

Steps for checking the thermostat

The thermostat controls the temperature in the refrigerator. It turns the power on to start the cooling cycle and then off when it reaches the desired temperature. If your refrigerator is not cooling, try these steps for checking its thermostat:

  1. Locate your fridge’s control panel, which is usually in an interior wall or on the top shelf of one of the compartments. This panel will have a dial, switch or button that lets you control your fridge’s temperature setting.
  2. Turn off power to your refrigerator by unplugging it or turning off power at its circuit breaker.
  3. Take out interior shelves and removable panels or drawers so you can access its inner parts, such as its evaporator fan motor and condenser coil located near its compressor at the bottom of the unit’s back panel. You may need to remove an access panel to see them completely.
  4. Use a Volt-Ohm Meter (VOM) to measure resistance in both terminals of refrigerator’s thermostat when setting dial is set to “max cold” position (often marked with a small dot). Depending on VOM readings, reset/replace as appropriate for model-specific instructions if indicated by VOM readings as specified in manufacturer’s repair manual for model type/number being serviced; otherwise proceed with following steps:
  5. i) Remove wires from thermostat terminals after noting configuration, set multimeter(VOM) selector switch from 0 ohms scale to X200 ohms scale; connect meter probes across terminals and note meter indications; if exact reading not marked on charts repeat tests at other points until chart indicates test successful
  6. ii) Connect wires removed from thermostat terminals according with configuration noted before removal; replace/reset thermostat per factory service procedure if indicated by chart test shown per model specifications; otherwise proceed with following step:

iii) Verify defrost termination system operation per manufacturer’s directions with all necessary tests completed correctly during troubleshooting process interpreting results correctly according with manufacturer’s specifications prescribed for specific models being serviced.

Tips for resolving thermostat issues

If your thermostat is the culprit and not functioning correctly, it is important to choose the right thermostat for the model of refrigerator you have. If you do not know what type of thermostat your refrigerator uses, check out this guide from PartSelect. Once you have identified it and purchased a new one, follow these steps to install it:

  1. Turn off power to the refrigerator by unplugging it or by turning off the power at the circuit breaker box.
  2. Locate the thermostat in or near the back wall of the fridge, often behind a cover panel held in place with screws.
  3. Unplug or disconnect any wires attached to the old thermostat and remove it from its bracket if necessary.
  4. Insert new thermostat into bracket and connect wires according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. Plug refrigerator back in or turn on circuit breaker box switch if necessary and test for proper temperature performance by setting refrigerator’s temperature dial setting higher than room temperature before checking again after an hour or two has passed.


The process of troubleshooting a refrigerator that is not cooling can be daunting. The process can involve checking the temperature and power connections, as well as examining the cooling system components, condenser coils, and evaporator fan motors. Most consumer-grade fridges have similar parts and are relatively easy to troubleshoot if you take systematic steps to diagnose the problem.

We hope this guide has provided you with information on how to troubleshoot a refrigerator that is not cooling correctly. If you are still having issues after troubleshooting your fridge or find an issue in your unit that requires professional attention, it may be worth consulting with a local appliance repair specialist for assistance.

Recap of the steps for troubleshooting a refrigerator that is not cooling

A refrigerator that is not cooling properly can be a frustrating and a potentially costly issue. To help you troubleshoot the problem, we have outlined a few steps that you can take to diagnose and resolve the issue. It is important to remember, however, that although these steps can help guide you in solving this issue, they should never replace the advice of a qualified technician.

The first step when troubleshooting a refrigerator that is not cooling is to check the thermostat setting. The temperature should usually be set between 35°F and 40°F for optimal performance. If your refrigerator thermostat is set too high or too low, make adjustments accordingly.

If the temperature setting does not seem to be an issue, then other components may need attention. Check for any objects obstructing air flow around your refrigerator— such as food items or kitchen appliances—and ensure there are no sealing issues on the doors or back panels with regards to closing properly and storing cold air securely within the unit.

If you find that either of these two components may be causing an issue—namely inadequate cooling—you may want to perform regular cleaning and maintenance on both elements according to manufacturer instructions in order to maximize efficiency and effectiveness of your unit.

If none of these steps have helped resolve your issue, then it could be time for some more technical troubleshooting involving connections behind the unit as well as checking voltage coming in from your power supply source such as a wall outlet or power strip cord connection. Again refer to manufacturer guidelines when pursuing such efforts so as not to cause damage or breach safety protocols enforcing child lock features on many models today.

Refrigerator Not Cooling: Fix Refrigerator Problems (DIY) | Family Handyman

Importance of regular maintenance and care

It is important to pay attention to regular maintenance and cleaning of your refrigerator, as lack of proper care can result in the unintentional damage of its components such as the compressor, fan motor, condenser coils and other key elements. Regular cleaning and maintenance of these components using a vacuum cleaner will help keep them in working order and make sure that the refrigerator continues to function properly.

To further prevent potential trouble, you should also clean your refrigerator’s evaporator plate, check for clogged drain tubes, replace its water filter regularly, follow user instructions for proper temperature settings if applicable and routinely clear debris from the condenser coils located on the back or bottom part of your unit.

Cleaning the condenser coils on a regular basis will also help extend their life by eliminating dirt and dust buildup in their narrow spaces which can block airflow from reaching key areas inside your fridge. Additionally, it helps ensure proper temperature levels throughout all partitions within your unit while maintaining energy efficiency as well.

Finally, you should avoid placing warm/hot food directly inside your refrigerator which can disrupt air flow and cause temperature inconsistencies across compartments preventing them from cooling adequately.

See Also :

Leave a Comment