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Refrigerator Troubleshooting: Why Is My Refrigerator Not Cooling? | PartSelect.com


Hi, it’s Steve. In this video, we’ll help you troubleshoot
why your refrigerator may not be cooling at all. We’ll discuss some of the components that
may cause that symptom, where they’re located and, how to test them. The first step in this diagnosis would be
to determine whether or not we have power to the refrigerator. The simplest check is simply you open the
door up and see if the lights come on internally. If so we know that we do have power to the
appliance and then we can move on to the next step. If no lights come on in your refrigerator
we may suspect that either we have burned out light bulbs or the receptacle itself may
have no power to it. At that point, you would want to plug in another
appliance into that receptacle to verify that you do have power. Our next step will be to determine whether
or not the fans in the refrigerator and the compressor are running. If you don’t hear any fans running you may
suspect that we have a problem with the controls. On a standard refrigerator with a dial-type
control or a slide-type control, there is basically an on/off switch in here that turns
power on to the compressor and the fans. If neither of those are running we can suspect
a problem with the control. On models that use electronic controls, you’ll
either need a good understanding of how those controls work or you’ll need to contact a
technician to troubleshoot it further. If the fans on your refrigerator are running
but not the compressor, we may suspect a problem with the start device for that compressor. Most compressors use either a relay overload
device or our start device. To get that compressor running those components
can normally be tested with a multimeter to check for their proper function. Without the start device working properly
the compressor may not start and therefore you would not get any cooling. Most of these are easily checked with a multimeter
you would simply pull that device completely off of the compressor. The three typical components of a relay start
device would be the capacitor may be called either a run capacitor or a start capacitor,
about the only thing that you can check on these is to verify that they’re not shorted. The numbers will typically rapidly change
and then go to a overscale condition or an overload condition. That test simply means that that capacitor
is not shorted and is not open. Next on this device would be the overload. The purpose of the overload is to protect
the compressor from starting and stopping mid-cycle with pressures built upon. There should be continuity between the two
sets of terminals on that device. One terminal that attaches to the compressor
and the external terminal. They should show somewhere close to zero ohms. Now, the next portion of that device is the
relay. The purpose of the relay portion of this device
is to activate both the start and run windings on the compressor and once the compressor
comes up to speed the start winding will get dropped out so that it does not draw too much
current. Typically they will use some type of a thermistor
or varistor device internally. There will be some continuity between these
two terminals. If there isn’t you can assume that that device
is defective. Other styles of relays may look like this,
we basically have some type of a varistor that would measure continuity between both
sides as they heat up they will go to a very high resistance and drop out that start winding. Some very new styles on these devices. These little electronic control boards internally
and these are very difficult to check with a multimeter without extensive knowledge of
how that circuit works. Lastly, you may find that your refrigerator
has an inverter drive style of compressor which would have this type of a box mounted
to the side of the compressor. This performs the same function as the start
device with the exception that it also has the ability to operate a variable speed compressor. Again these are a very difficult device to
troubleshoot without extensive knowledge of the circuits. The last check we would make would be on the
compressor itself. We can actually test the internal windings
on that compressor to verify that they’re in working order. You’ll find three male pins on the side of
that compressor typically the one at the top would be our common terminal and the other
two would represent both the start and run windings. Measuring between the common terminal and
each of the remaining two terminals would indicate that they all have continuity. Start winding typically has a higher resistance
than the run winding. We would also look for any continuity between
these three pins and ground or the case of the compressor. Simply find a spot that you can scratch through
the paint and make sure that there is no continuity between any of those terminals. If so the compressor is shorted and would
need to be replaced which would require a certified technician to do that repair. If both the evaporator and condenser fans
are running and the compressor is running and you still are not getting any cooling
in your refrigerator you can suspect that you have a seal system problem. That will require a qualified technician to
perform a proper diagnosis. Need help with anything else around your home? Search our channel for thousands of helpful
videos that will walk you through your home repairs. For more information or the parts needed for
these repairs don’t forget to check out Partselect.com. Thank you so much for watching and be sure
to subscribe.

Bernard Jenkins

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