Refrigerators play a crucial role in our daily lives by keeping our food and drinks fresh and safe to consume. However, when a refrigerator stops working as it should, it can be a major inconvenience. If you’re experiencing the problem of a Kenmore refrigerator not cooling, don’t panic. In this article, we’ll cover the common causes of this issue and provide some troubleshooting tips to help you get your refrigerator running again.
- 1 Common Causes
- 2 Troubleshooting
- 3 When to Call a Professional
- 4 Preventing
- 5 FAQs
- 5.1 Why is my Kenmore refrigerator not cooling properly?
- 5.2 How often should I clean the condenser coils on my Kenmore refrigerator?
- 5.3 What should I do if the door gasket on my Kenmore refrigerator is damaged?
- 5.4 How do I know if the compressor or relay on my Kenmore refrigerator is faulty?
- 5.5 How can I prevent cooling problems with my Kenmore refrigerator?
- 5.6 Can I troubleshoot and repair my Kenmore refrigerator myself?
- 5.7 How long should a Kenmore refrigerator last?
- 6 Conclusion
There are several reasons why a Kenmore refrigerator may stop cooling. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Compressor problems: The compressor is responsible for circulating the refrigerant and keeping the temperature in the refrigerator at the desired level. If the compressor is not working properly, the refrigerator may not cool.
- Condenser problems: The condenser is the component that releases heat from the refrigerant. If the condenser coils are dirty or blocked, the heat cannot be released, and the refrigerator may not cool.
- Evaporator problems: The evaporator is responsible for removing heat from the refrigerator’s interior. If the evaporator coils are covered in ice or frost, they cannot perform this function properly, and the refrigerator may not cool.
- Thermostat issues: The thermostat is the component that regulates the temperature in the refrigerator. If the thermostat is not working correctly, the refrigerator may not cool.
- Clogged air vents: Air vents are responsible for circulating cold air from the freezer to the refrigerator. If the air vents are clogged with debris or food, the refrigerator may not cool.
|Common Causes||Description||Troubleshooting Steps|
|Compressor problems||The compressor is not circulating the refrigerant properly||Check compressor motor and relay; call a professional if needed|
|Condenser problems||The condenser coils are dirty or blocked||Clean the coils; check for proper airflow|
|Evaporator problems||The evaporator coils are covered in ice or frost||Defrost the freezer; check the defrost system|
|Thermostat issues||The thermostat is not working correctly||Check the thermostat setting and replace if needed|
|Clogged air vents||The air vents are clogged with debris or food||Clean the vents or remove the obstruction|
|Faulty evaporator fan||The fan is not circulating cold air from the freezer||Check the fan blades and motor; replace if needed|
|Damaged or faulty door gasket||The door gasket is damaged or not sealing properly||Check for resistance when closing the door; replace if needed|
|Low refrigerant level||The refrigerant level is low, causing the cooling system to fail||Check for refrigerant leaks and add more refrigerant as needed|
|Electrical problems||Electrical issues, such as faulty wiring or circuit boards||Call a professional to inspect and repair the electrical system|
|Blocked condensate drain||The condensate drain is blocked, causing water buildup||Clear the blockage in the drain; clean and disinfect the drain|
Before calling a professional, there are a few things you can try to troubleshoot the problem. Here are some steps you can take:
|Troubleshooting Tips||Description||Common Causes|
|Check the temperature settings||Make sure the temperature settings in the refrigerator and freezer are set correctly||Faulty thermostat|
|Clean the condenser coils||Use a soft-bristled brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently remove dust and debris from the coils||Dirty or blocked condenser coils|
|Defrost the freezer||Allow the freezer to defrost completely and remove any ice or frost from the evaporator coils||Covered in ice or frost evaporator coils|
|Check the door gasket||Look for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks, tears, or wear and tear on the door gasket||Damaged or faulty door gasket|
|Test the compressor and relay||Use a multimeter to test the compressor motor and relay||Faulty compressor or relay|
|Clean the air vents||Use a soft-bristled brush or vacuum to remove debris or food particles from the air vents||Clogged air vents|
|Check the evaporator fan||Remove the back panel of the freezer compartment and check the fan blades and motor||Faulty evaporator fan|
|Check the defrost system||Check the defrost heater, thermostat, and timer for proper operation||Covered in ice or frost evaporator coils|
|Check the refrigerant level||Check the refrigerant level and add more refrigerant if needed||Low refrigerant level|
|Call a professional||If troubleshooting steps do not resolve the issue, call a licensed repair service||Electrical problems or complex issues that require professional help|
Check the temperature settings
Make sure the temperature settings in the refrigerator and freezer are set correctly. The recommended temperature for a refrigerator is between 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit, and for the freezer, it’s 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To check the temperature settings on your Kenmore refrigerator, locate the control panel inside the fridge or freezer compartment. The control panel may be digital or have a dial for adjusting the temperature.
- Check the temperature settings for both the fridge and freezer. The ideal temperature range for the fridge is between 37-40 degrees Fahrenheit (3-4 degrees Celsius) and for the freezer, it’s 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 degrees Celsius).
- If the temperature settings are not in the recommended range, adjust them accordingly and wait for a few hours to see if the temperature has improved. If the temperature doesn’t improve or the problem persists, it may be due to other causes, and you should move on to the next troubleshooting steps.
Clean the condenser coils
If the condenser coils are dirty, they may not be able to release heat properly. Clean the coils with a coil brush or vacuum.
- Unplug the refrigerator: Before you start cleaning the coils, unplug the refrigerator from the power source to ensure your safety.
- Locate the condenser coils: The condenser coils are usually located on the back of the refrigerator or on the bottom behind the grille.
- Remove the grille: If the coils are located at the bottom, remove the grille by pulling it forward and then lifting it up.
- Vacuum the coils: Use a soft-bristled brush or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to gently remove dust and debris from the coils. Be careful not to damage the coils or any other parts of the refrigerator.
- Clean the coils with a coil brush: After vacuuming, use a coil brush to clean any remaining debris from the coils. Be sure to brush in the same direction as the coils, and not against them.
- Reattach the grille: If you removed the grille, reattach it to the bottom of the refrigerator.
- Plug the refrigerator back in: Once you’ve finished cleaning the coils, plug the refrigerator back in and wait for it to cool down before checking the temperature.
Check the evaporator fan
If the fan is not working, the refrigerator may not cool properly. Check to see if the fan is running by listening for it or looking for movement.
- Locate the evaporator fan: The evaporator fan is usually located in the freezer compartment behind the back panel.
- Remove the back panel: To access the evaporator fan, you’ll need to remove the back panel of the freezer compartment. This can usually be done by removing a few screws or clips.
- Check the fan blades: Once you’ve removed the back panel, check the fan blades for any obstructions or damage. Gently spin the fan blades to ensure that they move freely.
- Test the fan motor: If the fan blades are not obstructed and move freely, use a multimeter to test the fan motor. Set the multimeter to the “ohms” setting and place the probes on the motor terminals. The multimeter should display a reading between 50-200 ohms. If there is no reading, the fan motor may be faulty and needs to be replaced.
- Reattach the back panel: Once you’ve finished checking the evaporator fan, reattach the back panel and ensure that it’s securely in place.
Inspect the door gasket
The door gasket is the rubber seal that runs around the edge of the door. If it’s damaged or not sealing properly, cold air may be escaping from the refrigerator.
- Close the door on a sheet of paper: Place a sheet of paper between the door gasket and the refrigerator or freezer compartment, and then close the door.
- Check for resistance: Gently pull the paper out of the door. If you feel resistance when you pull the paper out, it means that the door gasket is sealing properly. If the paper slides out easily, it’s an indication that the door gasket is not sealing properly and may need to be replaced.
- Check for damage: Look for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks, tears, or wear and tear on the door gasket. If you see any damage, it’s an indication that the door gasket needs to be replaced.
- Clean the door gasket: Use warm soapy water to clean the door gasket regularly. This will help remove any dirt, debris, or food particles that may be preventing it from sealing properly.
Test the compressor and relay
If you suspect the compressor or relay is faulty, you can test them using a multimeter. However, this should only be done by someone with electrical experience.
- Unplug the refrigerator: Before testing the compressor and relay, unplug the refrigerator from the power source.
- Locate the compressor and relay: The compressor and relay are usually located at the back of the refrigerator near the bottom.
- Check the compressor: First, check to see if the compressor is running. If you hear a humming sound and the compressor is vibrating, it’s running. If it’s not running, it may be faulty, and you’ll need to call a professional to replace it.
- Test the relay: To test the relay, remove it from the compressor and shake it. If you hear a rattling sound, it’s an indication that the relay is faulty and needs to be replaced.
- Test the compressor with a multimeter: If the compressor is not running, use a multimeter to test the compressor motor. Set the multimeter to the “ohms” setting and place the probes on the motor terminals. The multimeter should display a reading between 3-12 ohms. If there is no reading, the compressor may be faulty and needs to be replaced.
- Replace the relay: If the relay is faulty, you’ll need to replace it with a new one. You can purchase a replacement relay from the manufacturer or a licensed repair service.
- Reattach the relay: Once you’ve replaced the relay, reattach it to the compressor and ensure that it’s securely in place.
- Plug the refrigerator back in: Once you’ve finished testing the compressor and relay, plug the refrigerator back in and wait for it to cool down before checking the temperature.
When to Call a Professional
If you’ve tried the troubleshooting steps above and your Kenmore refrigerator still isn’t cooling, it’s time to call a professional. Additionally, if you’re not comfortable performing any of the steps listed above, it’s best to call a professional from the start. Here are some tips for choosing a reputable repair service:
- Look for a company with a good reputation and positive reviews.
- Make sure the company is licensed and insured.
- Ask for a written estimate before any work is done.
- Ask if the company offers a warranty on their work.
|When to Call a Professional||Description||Troubleshooting Steps That Have Been Tried|
|Faulty compressor||If the compressor is faulty, it will need to be replaced, which should be done by a professional||Tested the compressor and relay|
|Electrical problems||If there are electrical issues, such as faulty wiring or circuit boards, a professional should be called||Attempted to troubleshoot the electrical system|
|Replacing the door gasket||If the door gasket is damaged, it will need to be replaced, which can be difficult to do without damaging the refrigerator||Checked for resistance when closing the door|
|Low refrigerant level||If the refrigerant level is low, a professional should be called to add more refrigerant and check for leaks||Checked for refrigerant leaks and added more refrigerant|
|Blocked condensate drain||If the condensate drain is blocked, a professional should be called to clear the blockage and disinfect the drain||Attempted to clear the blockage and clean the drain|
|Cooling system components||If components of the cooling system, such as the compressor, evaporator coils, or condenser coils, need to be repaired or replaced||Attempted to troubleshoot and repair the components|
|Refrigerator not cooling||If the refrigerator is still not cooling after attempting to troubleshoot the problem||Attempted to troubleshoot and repair the problem|
|Unfamiliar with appliances||If you're unfamiliar with appliance repair or lack the necessary tools or expertise||Attempted to troubleshoot the problem and feel uncomfortable performing further repairs|
|Time constraints||If you don't have the time to troubleshoot and repair the problem yourself||Attempted to troubleshoot the problem but lack the time to perform repairs|
|Safety concerns||If you have safety concerns when attempting to troubleshoot or repair the problem||Attempted to troubleshoot the problem but feel unsafe performing repairs|
The best way to prevent a Kenmore refrigerator from not cooling is to perform regular maintenance. Here are some tasks you can perform to keep your refrigerator in good condition:
- Clean the condenser coils at least twice a year.
- Check the door gasket regularly and clean it with warm soapy water. Replace it if it’s damaged or not sealing properly.
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Avoid overloading the refrigerator, as this can restrict airflow and cause cooling problems.
- Defrost the freezer regularly to prevent ice buildup on the evaporator coils.
- If you’re going to be away from home for an extended period, empty the refrigerator and turn it off.
|Regularly clean the coils||Clean the condenser coils at least twice a year or more frequently if you have pets or live in a dusty environment||Improves cooling performance and energy efficiency|
|Check the door gasket||Check the door gasket regularly for damage and clean it with warm soapy water||Prevents air leaks and helps maintain a consistent temperature|
|Avoid overloading the fridge||Avoid overloading the refrigerator, as this can restrict airflow and cause cooling problems||Helps maintain proper airflow and cooling performance|
|Defrost the freezer regularly||Defrost the freezer regularly to prevent ice buildup on the evaporator coils||Helps maintain proper cooling performance and energy efficiency|
|Keep doors closed as much as possible||Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to maintain proper temperature||Helps maintain a consistent temperature and energy efficiency|
|Maintain proper temperature settings||Keep the temperature settings in the recommended range and avoid frequent temperature changes||Helps maintain proper cooling performance and energy efficiency|
|Use a surge protector||Use a surge protector to protect the refrigerator from power surges and voltage spikes||Helps prevent electrical damage and extends the life of the refrigerator|
|Place the refrigerator in a cool area||Place the refrigerator in a cool area away from direct sunlight or heat sources||Helps maintain proper cooling performance and energy efficiency|
|Regularly replace water filters||Regularly replace water filters to prevent buildup of minerals and contaminants||Improves water quality and extends the life of the refrigerator|
|Call for maintenance checks||Call a professional for regular maintenance checks and tune-ups to keep the refrigerator in good condition||Helps prevent problems and extends the life of the refrigerator|
Why is my Kenmore refrigerator not cooling properly?
There are several reasons why a Kenmore refrigerator may not cool properly, including compressor problems, dirty condenser coils, faulty door gaskets, low refrigerant levels, and clogged air vents.
How often should I clean the condenser coils on my Kenmore refrigerator?
It's recommended to clean the condenser coils on your Kenmore refrigerator at least twice a year, or more frequently if you have pets or live in a dusty environment.
What should I do if the door gasket on my Kenmore refrigerator is damaged?
If the door gasket on your Kenmore refrigerator is damaged, it will need to be replaced. You can purchase a replacement gasket from the manufacturer or a licensed repair service.
How do I know if the compressor or relay on my Kenmore refrigerator is faulty?
You can check the compressor and relay on your Kenmore refrigerator by testing them with a multimeter. If you're not comfortable performing this test, it's best to call a professional for assistance.
How can I prevent cooling problems with my Kenmore refrigerator?
To prevent cooling problems with your Kenmore refrigerator, regularly clean the coils, check the door gasket, avoid overloading the fridge, defrost the freezer regularly, maintain proper temperature settings, use a surge protector, place the refrigerator in a cool area, regularly replace water filters, and call for regular maintenance checks.
Can I troubleshoot and repair my Kenmore refrigerator myself?
Some troubleshooting and repairs can be done by the owner, but others may require the assistance of a professional. If you're not comfortable performing repairs or lack the necessary tools or expertise, it's best to call a professional for assistance.
How long should a Kenmore refrigerator last?
A Kenmore refrigerator should last for at least 10-15 years with proper maintenance and care.
If your Kenmore refrigerator isn’t cooling, there are several potential causes, but most of them can be resolved with some troubleshooting. Try checking the temperature settings, cleaning the coils, and inspecting the door gasket. If you’re not comfortable performing any of these tasks, or if the problem persists, it’s best to call a professional. To prevent cooling problems in the future, perform regular maintenance tasks, such as cleaning the coils and checking the door gasket. With proper maintenance and care, your Kenmore refrigerator should provide many years of reliable service.
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