Frigidaire Refrigerator not Cooling

Todays blog post is going to be on a service call that I performed today.  It was on a Frigidaire Side by Side refrigerator.  The problem the customer was having was that most of the food in the freezer had thawed and nothing in the refrigerator side was cool.

They had been away for a couple days and they had family coming over and checking on the pets at the house.  Their dad had notice that there was water on the floor in front of the fridge during one of the visits.  So the father opened up the freezer door and notice all the ice had melted from the ice bin, but the food in the bottom of the freezer was still frozen.  When he opened up the refrigerator door the temperature display was reading 65 degrees for both freezer and refrigerator side.  The water dispenser was also not working.

OK, so now that we know what was going on with the machine we can move on to diagnostics.  Because I have been repairing appliances for so long I already knew what was wrong with the machine, or at least what wasn't working.  So what I'm going to do is try my best to explain the basic operation of the fridge and how I determined where to start digging into the machine.

On most side by side refrigerators the evaporator coils are located in the freezer behind the rear panel toward the bottom half of the back wall.  The evaporator fan sits above that.  That fan blows the cold air from the evaporator coils to the top of the freezer compartment behind the back wall.  From there the air is divided.  Most of the air blows into the top of the freezer and creates a circular pattern of air movement.  Some of the air is pushed into the refrigerator compartment through what is called the damper.  Its basically a little door that opens and closes controlling the air flow into the fridge side of your machine.  That air starts at the top, moves down over the shelves and returns to the freezer through another damper at the bottom of the compartment.  OK, moving on.

I'm going to spoil the suspense and tell you that the fan was not working on this refrigerator.  I didn't say the fan was bad, I said not working.  There is a difference.  If the fan was bad, it would have been getting the proper voltage and not moving.  If the fan is not getting the correct voltage to operate then something else is bad and the fan is not working.  Anyway, moving on....the frost build up from the defrost issue was what was causing the fan to not be able to rotate.

What was happening with their fridge was the all the cold air being produce by the evaporator coils was not being moved around in that circular of air motion that I was talking about earlier.  The coldest air will always settle at the bottom of the fridge and of course the warmer air is going to stay at the top.  Now that we know this it makes sense that if the fan was not moving air to the top of the freezer, the ice will melt.  It will run out of the bucket, through the shoot on the door and right onto the floor.  Because the compressor is still running and producing cold air in the freezer, things at the very bottom of the freezer remained frozen.

Lets talk about why the temperature was reading almost room temperature.  The thermistors that read the temperature are located on the back wall in both compartments about 3/4 of the way up.  Now we know that warmer air is higher up, I shouldn't really have to explain any further.  Do I?  YES, thats why its frozen at the bottom and still reading a high temperature!

Why did the water stop working on the dispenser?  Well, this one is easy enough now that we know the frozen air rests at the bottom.  There is a water tank the rests behind crisper drawers of the refrigerator compartment.  That is why the water is always nice and cool when it comes out of the dispenser, when its working of course.  But that's in the refrigerator side?  Yes, because air from the freezer is going into the fridge compartment through the lower damper (that's always open), so everything at the bottom of the fresh food side of the refrigerator is also frozen when the fan stops moving the air.  That includes the water in the tank.  So when its frozen, it doesn't flow.

Here is a post with a Frigidaire Refrigerator being used a test machine to help you troubleshoot a little better.

Refrigerator Not Getting Cold

Here is a Website for Troubleshooting Frigidaire Refrigerators - Step by Step


Do you have any questions?  If so just leave them in the comment section below.  I will do my best to follow up and pass on some knowledge.





34 comments:

  1. My Refridgerator isn't getting cold the odd thing is the Freezer is still working. Not sure if a fan is out that circulates air flow thoughout the Frig. Any suggestions?

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  2. I had the same problem. Take out the bottom shelves in the freezer and remove the lower section of the back wall. When you will remove it you probably find that there is a a lot of ice or what looks like snow. For a quick fix take a fork to remove the ice as best you can without bending all of the fins. Once you do this you can get a hair drier and use that to melt the ice between all of the pipes and fins. Be careful not to overheat any wires that are present.

    As a long term fix......do the complete defrost of the Fridge. We had this problem and were still under warranty. The guy came and did this very thing. 2 months later it happened again so this is very temporary. Defrost the whole fidge. They say it is self defrosting but even the service guy said this is not true.

    Hope this helps since the original guy never wrote the solution.

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  3. My Freezer went into total Defrost top to bottom and the frig is only slightly cooling. Any suggestions? Thanks.

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  4. Thank you very much for saving atleast $50 for me.

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  5. the service guy is a fool. They are self defrosting .. There is a problem with the heater, defrost thermostat or the defrost timer.

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  6. the fridge has an automatic defrost system. If it does not defrost, you have a problem

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  7. Hola, yo tengo un problema semejante, la nevera no está enfriando lo suficiente a pesar de estar en la opción más fría, de hecho solo lleva una semana en funcionamiento y los primeros 3 días tuvo un funcionamiento normal, pero luego de unas repetidas idas de luz por largos periodos, observamos que no estaba enfriando mucho. El hielo del compartimiento del congelador esta como derretido.
    Yo estoy siendo muy optimista y pienso que no debe estar dañado nada de la nevera, mis sospechas son que el ventilador o alguna área de la nevera este congelada y no distribuya de manera adecuada el frio.

    Que opinan y que sugerencias pueden brindarme???

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  8. My frigidaire refrigerator side by side stopped cooling the fan is working in the back by the coils (which were quite dirty). The freezer was completely defrosted the fridge sounds like everything is working but it is not cooling at all. Please any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

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  9. I just wanted to say thank you for writing this. I bought a Frigidiare Fridge Side-by-side off of craigs list trying to save some money. Of course no warranty and no refunds right but hey it was only $300 dollars for a very nice clean fridge. I got it home and plugged it in and waited 24hrs to get cold... Never happened, only the bottom of the freezer and fridge got extremely cold. I did what you explained above - Went to the freezer side and took off the bottom panel and what do I see, the coils were all frozen from about mid-way - rest of the way up. I looked above the coils and there was the fan.. NOT spinning at all. I just manually pushed it with my finger to give it a jump start and I heard it try to spin. Pulled it out a little and it finally spun. I think it was caught on something or the wires needed adjusting but I was finally able to keep it spinning and now I can feel the cold air flow through the filter on the fridge side "top left corner, blowing cold air in. And I seen where the air goes back into the freezer side on the bottom left corner. You just saved me a bunch of money. I know the fan could have been bad but it wasn't since it was still trying to spin. Thanks again and I hope this helps someone else. =)

    -Don

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  10. thanks donheezy...u helped us with the same problem!

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  11. the blog is great,i like it very much,This blog is representing the reality of the real world through the article provided here

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  12. I have a Fridgidare self defrosting refridgerator and the temp in the fridge is about 58 and not much cooler in the freezer part. I cleaned off the coils on the back of the unit. What else should I be doing so i don't have to buy a new one

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  13. we just moved and our fridge is not cooling...how long should it take?

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  14. Your comment: "If the fan is not getting the correct voltage to operate then something else is bad and the fan is not working." I took the fan to the appliance store, they tested it to ensure it was working, it was and now I am about to put it back in the refrigerator and my question is what could be causing the incorrect voltage?

    Please help me here. My symptoms are exactly as you outlined in your article. thank you

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  15. My husband and I use lots of ice. We've had our icemaker replaced twice. With this last replacement, we are getting ice, but not at the volume we used to. We are constantly having to push the "extra ice" button. Normally, we weren't able to keep up with the icemaker. Now, it's the other way around. Any suggestions? We could really use your expertise. Thanks!

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  16. Pretty great publish even i may possibly say that complete internet website is wonderful. I preserve knowing new problems every one and just about every solitary evening from publish like these. extraordinary things!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Pretty nice post basically your blog provide such a great and useful information.

    ReplyDelete
  18. If your fridge is running and looks and sounds like it should be cooling, but it slowly becomes warmer and warmer: Unplug the fridge and open the freezer door and look inside. Look to the bottom and back of the inside and there is a plate that covers the refrigerant coils. Four screws hold that plate against the inside of the back of the freeze wall. You will have to remove the sliding baskets and any removable shelving in order to have access to the plate. Once you remove the plate from the back of the inside freezer you will see massive frost build up. Get some towels to absorb the water and then get a blow dryer and melt the ice. Clean it all up and make sure everything is dry and then plug it back in. The fridge should start cooling again.

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  19. frigidare friges are notorious for not cooling Im in the repair business and guys wont even touch them they won't stay fixed has something to do with a blockage Im sure, but cant get anything from the company to verify this putting a deep vacuum on the system helps sometimes but 3 mos down the road they come back like indigestion if your an engineer for electrolux contact me I would like to know why your product has so many cooling issues gpods@aol.com

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  20. Thanks so much for this blog post! I opened up our fridgidaire side by side that wasn't cooling this morning, and sure enough those coils were caked in with ice. The fan seems to work fine but couldn't move air through that iced-in area.

    My question though is what would cause the coils to ice over? Anything I can do to prevent a repeat of this oh-so-wonderful morning?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had the same issue my fan was working fine but it was still frozen solid. There appears to be a sensor at the top of the coils. My guess is that it detects that the coils are frozen and turns on the defroster. My wires there were broken. I put them back together with a wire nut and am hoping that was all it was. If not I will try replacing that sensor. Hope this can help someone esle.

      Delete
  21. replaced damper and electronic control but temp still reads high on ref side evaporator fan is ok and no air through damper return vent is clean

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you ever get an answer for this?
      My freezer was working well,but the fridge was too cold.I replaced the damper and controls the freezer is now below zero and the fridge is at 44 degrees.Could i have pushed the capillary tube in too far or not far enough? Thanks
      retyryung@yahoo.com

      Delete
  22. my side by side frigidaire freezes liquids on the fresh food side. i have both sides set near the lowest settings

    ReplyDelete
  23. How to unclog the drain hole on a Frigidaire refrigerator? Where is the drain hole located? My refrigerator keeps leaking water. I believe its the drain hole.

    Best,
    Jack

    ReplyDelete
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  26. Frigidaire Refrigerator is less then 4 years old, started having problems with it around 2 years ago. The freezer freezing up and the refrigerator keeping food room temperature. I have thrown out more food, unplugged and defrosted the freezer. works okay for a couple of days then same old thing. I kept my 15 year old Kenmore in the garage as a second refrigerator when I bought this one, that one is still running great, and Frigidaire needs to be thrown out, all the bottom doors cracked. It is a price of junk. I called customer service they told me keep the air ducks in the freezer unblocked, I have nothing but 2 ice trays in the freezer and still freezes up. horrible experience and would never buy another product of theirs

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