How to Diagnose and Repair a Refrigerator that Won’t Cool

Jerry's Appliance
July 9, 2018
Refrigerator Repair
The freezer temperature is set to 0 degrees and the fresh food compartment is set to 37 degrees. But when you open the door, a burst of warm stinky air hits you in the face and you notice the actual temperature of the freezer is 71 degrees and the fresh food area reads 75 degrees indicating a nice warm spring day in both compartments of your refrigerator. It seems that your Frigidaire is not cooling at all.
When you open the freezer door, you should hear the compressor fan running. This is the fan that moves the cold air across the evaporator coil into the fresh food cubicle, recirculating back through the freezer.
If the fans and lights are working then the problem is either the compressor, the starting component, or something might be burned out.
Note: If this were a defrost problem the condenser fan would not be working because the unit would be stuck in defrost.
Tools Needed For This Repair
  • ¼ inch nut driver
  • Multimeter
  • Wire Strips
  • Flashlight
  • Electrical Tape
The following repair is referencing a Frigidaire refrigerator.
To prevent a serious electrical shock and a trip to the ER, unplug the unit from its power source.
  • Pull the refrigerator from the wall.
  • With the ¼ inch nut driver, remove the lower back panel.
  • Locate and remove the starting component which should be just to the left of the compressor.
  • Use your multimeter to check the ohm resistance at all three pins coming from the compressor. You may notice some minor fluctuations in each reading. Two of the readings should add up to the third.
  • Again, use the multimeter to check for continuity. You are checking each pin to ground to ensure nothing has shorted out. (If there is a short, then we are talking about a different repair)
  • If all checks out okay, consider the starting components.
  • Remove the relay from the overload component and shake it. If it rattles, it is broken, and the starting components will need to be replaced.
  • Replace the back panel as it helps allow proper air circulation throughout the freezer and refrigerator compartments.
This concludes this repair. If you are still having trouble with this or any other appliance repair needs, feel free to contact us here.

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