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Step-by-Step Guide to Fix a Fridge That’s Not Cooling

Step-by-Step Guide to Fix a Fridge That's Not Cooling

When your fridge stops cooling, it can become a significant inconvenience. However, before you panic and consider replacing your fridge, there are several steps you can take to troubleshoot and possibly fix the issue. This step-by-step guide will help you diagnose and fix a refrigerator that’s not cooling.

Check the Power Supply

The first step is to ensure that your refrigerator is properly plugged in and is receiving power.

  1. Verify the outlet: Plug another appliance into the same outlet to confirm it’s working.
  2. Check the power cord: Ensure that the power cord is not damaged.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat controls the temperature inside the refrigerator. If it’s not set correctly, your fridge may not cool properly.

  1. Locate the thermostat: It’s usually inside the fridge.
  2. Adjust the settings: Make sure it’s set to the middle setting. Wait for a few hours to see if the temperature changes.

Examine the Evaporator and Condenser Coils

Dirty coils can impede the cooling process. Cleaning them can often resolve the issue.

  1. Unplug the fridge: Safety first!
  2. Locate the coils: They are usually found either underneath or at the back of the fridge.
  3. Clean the coils: Use a coil brush or vacuum cleaner to remove dust and debris.

Verify the Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan circulates air over the evaporator coils and throughout the fridge. If it’s not working, the fridge won’t cool effectively.

  1. Locate the fan: It’s typically found inside the freezer compartment.
  2. Check for operation: Listen for the fan running. If it’s not, you may need to replace it.

Ensure Adequate Airflow

Blocked airflow can prevent your fridge from cooling properly.

  1. Check the vents: Ensure nothing is blocking the air vents inside the fridge.
  2. Rearrange items: Make sure food and other items are not obstructing the flow of air.

Check the Condenser Fan

The condenser fan cools the condenser coils. If it’s faulty, the fridge may overheat and fail to cool.

  1. Locate the fan: It’s usually found at the back near the bottom of the fridge.
  2. Examine the fan: Ensure it’s free of debris and spins freely. Replace it if necessary.

Inspect the Start Relay

The start relay provides power to the compressor. A faulty relay can cause the compressor to fail, affecting cooling.

  1. Locate the relay: It’s connected to the compressor.
  2. Test it: You can test the relay with a multimeter. If it’s defective, replace it.

Look for Refrigerant Leaks

Low refrigerant levels due to a leak can impair cooling.

  1. Examine for leaks: Look for oily residue around the coils.
  2. Consult a professional: If you suspect a refrigerant leak, it’s best to contact a professional technician.

Seek Professional Help

If you’ve tried all the above steps and your fridge is still not cooling, it’s time to call a professional repair service.

  1. Choose a reputable service: Look for licensed and insured technicians.
  2. Get a quote: Ensure you get a detailed quote before any work begins.

Maintaining your refrigerator can extend its life and save you money on costly repairs. Regular cleaning and inspection can prevent many common issues. If in doubt, always seek professional assistance to ensure safety and proper repair.


By following this step-by-step guide, you should be able to diagnose and fix many common refrigerator cooling issues. However, some problems may require professional intervention. Regular maintenance and prompt attention to issues can keep your refrigerator running efficiently for years.


Disclaimer: This guide is meant for informational purposes only. Always take appropriate safety measures and consult a professional if you are unsure about any repair.

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