Refrigerator is Running but Not Cooling

Today I woke up to find that my fridge decided to stop cooling. My first thought was, I needed a new fridge. Fortunately that was not the case.

Step 1: Do not panic, there are many things that can go wrong with your refrigerator that you can fix yourself.

Step 2: Check to make sure all the obvious issues are not the problem.

  • Make sure the breaker did not trip.
  • Make sure the door was not slightly open.
  • Check for evidence that there was not power failure.
  • Check the coils under the refrigerator and clean them if needed

Step 3:  If none of those presented an issue, then you will have some work to do. Troubleshoot the problem by the following steps below.

The refrigerator does nothing, no fans, no lights, not cooling… This is a power issue.

  1. Double check the breakers. If the breaker has tripped then there is an issue with to power on that circuit.  If this happens more than once or twice before you call an electrician find out what is on that breaker. Switch the break to OFF and check to see what is not working. Sometime it may be lights, microwaves, electric car… etc. If you find something that is a power hog move it to another circuit and that should take care of the problem.
  2. Make sure it’s plugged in and that the outlet is working. You can test the outlet with a lamp. If the lamp work in the same outlet then you can assume the outlet is good.
  3. Check the power cord for any damage. If the power cord is damaged you will need to have it replaced. Most box stores will have power cord in stocks. It’s fairly simple and most come with very good directions

The refrigerator is running but it does not cool and the compressor is hot.

  1. Double check to make sure that the coils are not blocked with lint, etc. You should never let dust or lint build up on the coils as this reduces the life of your refrigerator.
  2. Check to make sure all the fans are working. Most refrigerators have several fans 2 -3 fans outside the box and 1-2 fans inside the box. If you find one that has failed you can easily replace it. Most of them are as easy as unplugging the old one and snapping in the new.
  3. If everything appears to be working, check the compressor located under the box in the back for heat. If you can not hold you hand on it for more than a few seconds (warning they can get very hot and burn you, so be very careful). This just happens to be what happened to my refrigerator. This problem lies within three components.
  • The Compressor – big job call in the pros
  • The Start Device – simple you can do it.
  • Overload Relay – simple you can do it.

Start off with the easy things and hope that fixes it. DO NOT FORGET TO UNPLUG the refrigerator.  This is very important since there are many places you can get electrocuted.

The start device and overload relay.

Attached to the compressor  is the start device and the relay. They plug into the side of the compressor by three pins. Many times the start device and relay are plugged in as one unit. Then can be taken apart after you unplug them. They should pull straight out from the compressor. Once you get them off, give them a little shake. If you hear a rattle then there is a chance this will be an easy fix. Take the parts and the serial number from your fridge to a local appliance shop and they can find the part for you. If you happen to notice that you have  an Embraco EGY 100 or EGY 70 today is your lucky day. Embraco has sent out a free upgrade kit, since they were having a problems with the factory installed parts. If you have an Embraco compressor make sure to ask them if they have the upgrade kit. Unfortunately, I did not have one so I was out $40. Once I had the part in hand it was simple as plugging it in and powering it up. One thing to remember it may take a few hours before the fridge is cool. If this part was the problem you will notice a temperature change in about 10 mins. But wait 3-4 hours before you start to fill it up.

If you do not see a temperature change within an hour, unplug it and call a tech or start shopping for a Refrigerator. Also don’t forget to check the warranty, I know this is an easy thing to overlook especially when the fridge is several years old.

Hopes this helps

124 thoughts on “Refrigerator is Running but Not Cooling

  1. The compressor should be hot while running. If the compressor is cold, then you will need to run test on the start and run winding of the compressor. This will tell you if the compressor is blown.

  2. I have a fridge that is not cooling. Whirlpool ED25TQ about 12 years old. I hate to just set it by the curb.

    Looking at the back, I don’t see a way to get into it at all, no screws, nothing like that. It looks like you would have to take off the side panels with some type of special tool to get in the back. So I guess I’ll have to call someone either way.

    The fans are running, every 20 seconds or so, something tries to “kick” on and then stops.

    I was hoping that might lead me to think that it’s the start device or overload relay, instead of the compressor?


  3. Danny,

    Near the floor on the back of the fridge there should be a panel that removes to allow you access to the compressor and start relay. It may or may not have screws but should be fairly straight forward and you should not have to disassemble side panels. I have never seen fridge where a special tool was need to access the compressor.

    I once completely disassembled a dryer to get access to the heating element. As it turned out all I needed to do was to pop off a small front panel and pull the element. What should have taken 5 minutes turned in to a 2 hours. Sometimes it’s best to study how the unit is assembled and understand, for the most part appliances are assembled in such a way that they can be easily opened for repairs.

    Keep me posted.

  4. Im having the same problem. I have an Amana brand, compressor runs and gets warm but not hot. Not cooling at all, what I did was that i unpluged the fridge and disconnected the thermostat, plugged the fridge back again, it ran the same way as if the thermostat was plugged. Do you think that i have a bad thermostat?

    1. I doubt it is the thermostat, I would guess it could be the start device or the relay. The first thing to do is to find the diagram or schematics for your make and model. Look for a local appliance repair shop where you can buy parts. Take the parts to the shop and they can test them for you and if one or both are bad they should have them in stock or can order them for you.

  5. My compressor runs but the start device does have a rattle when removed and shaken. Could this be the reason for low cooling even though the compressor runs normally?

    1. If the fridge is cooling even just a little, the issue will not be the start device. It will have to be something to do with the compressor, fans or coils.

      Possible good news:
      Check to make all the fans are functioning correctly and coils are clean. This can cause poor cooling. That’s an easy fix, just clean away the debris and/or replace the fan it should cool as before.

      Possible bad news:
      Check the evaporator coils located inside the fridge. There should be a panel that you can remove to expose the coils. If there is no ice or very little ice in the corner, the compressor valves are most likely worn out. More that half the coils should be covered with a thin layer of ice. If the coils are iced completely over then it’s a defrost issue.

      You also can check the high side line which should be hot. If it’s not hot then there may be a leak and the coolant has leaked out. Unfortunately the cooling system of a fridge is not like an central air or car air conditioning where you can add coolant. You might want to start shopping for a new fridge.

  6. Thanks, stopped freaking out and cleaned the places I had missed for years. I thought I was cleaning under – not enough, far enough back or from the back, removed the foamish board and that’s where most was. Ok I think now. Ruined some food, but it is save my frig I am ok with that.
    Oh god what else haven’t I cleaned right or know the up keep to???

  7. My compressure is hot and the fan was blowing so I checked the other parts like you said . the relay rattled. got new one installed it. Now the fans are not blowing did when first turned it back on. HELP>>>>>>

    1. Check to see of there is ice or debris around the fan that keeps it from spinning. If not you will need to test the fan with an ohmmeter it should read around 100-130 ohms. If you have ohms, check the voltage on the fridge side at the fan plug, should be around 120 volts. If you have volts and ohms the check the thermostat and the ADC board.

  8. My fridge fans were all running but it was warm inside. I was leaving for vacation so I unplugged it (only soft drinks inside). When I returned I plugged it in again to see if I could locate the problem and to my surprise it began cooling again. Checked again in the morning and thought it was OK, but it became warm again after about 36 hours. Replaced the run capacitor and plugged it back in but the same result – cooled overnight but then warm again after 36 hours. Any thoughts?

    1. It sounds like it could be the defrost timer or the thermostat or the coils are freezing over and causing the fridge to get stuck in the defrost cycle. Try resetting the defrost timer. If that does not work test the thermostat.

  9. My fridge I half working. when it kicks on it makes a ticking noise and other times I’ll check on it and the light is on but nothing else. suggestions?

    1. It could be a few different things. It could be the evaporator fan, ADC board or the compressor. The reason for the ticking noise is the compressor is having to draw more electricity (amps) than normal. I would get the ADC board and evaporator fan checked out, if they are not the issue, it’s probably the windings in the compressor.

  10. I have a whirlpool that was working just fine but we had to move to another house and we had it setting for about four months in my friends garage, because he have to do some home improvements, then i bring it to my kitchen plugged it and to my surprise it was not cooling I check the compressor and is running the condenser its very clean, inside also is clean all fans working, thermostats but the evaporator is just not getting any cold only a little where this thermo switch is hooked (I think is for the heather) I came to the conclusion that it lost the freon. but how?

    1. I would pull the start device and have it tested. It is unlikely that it has lost freon. If the freon is the issue, it is not possible to add freon to a fridge.

  11. I have a Kenmore refrigerator that does not cool or freeze. I just replaced the water filter and then it started to defrost and it is no longer working. The coils are underneath the fridge, so it is hard to clean. The compressor is hot and the fan blows. Everything is behind the fridge at the bottom. What do you think is the problem?

    1. Given that the fridge stopped cooling suddenly and the compressor is running hot, changes are it’s the start device and/or the relay. Both of these items are easy to fix and relatively inexpressive. If you have an appliance repair shop near by they can test them for you. If you shake them and hear a rattle that’s a sign they are bad but have them tested to be sure. Also while the fridge is out and back cover removed the coils should be much easier to clean with a vacuum. Clean coils are very important.

  12. I have WH frost free fridge/freezer. Was more than 4 months switched off. Now freezer is ok, but fridge not cooling, Motor working and is hot. I check thermostat and has continuity. Change door seals on fridge, still not cooling. What can be problem? Coil under fridge clean, no fans, check heater ok.

    1. Check the coils inside the evaporator coils on the inside of the freezer. There is a removable panel that covers the evaporator coils. If they are frosted over then it’s a defrost problem. There should also be a fan that blows on to the evaporator coils this will also cause the fridge not to cool. Sometime the fan will freeze over too. If the fan is working and the coils are not frosted over then check the temperature control board.

  13. Our refrigerator is lint/dust free, all fans are blowing, the compressor is running, the switch on the compressor clicks on after we unplug and plug back in the refrigerator and it is still blowing warm air…suggestions?

  14. My Hotpoint fridge stopped cooling so I called my brother in-law who is a general handyman and works on air conditioners for living. When he checked, found the board had gone bad. He ordered another one. When he replaced the board, it started cooling again but only the lower half of the fridge and freezer. He took the panel off the freezer and found the evaporator fan wasn’t working. He replace that. Then the fridge didn’t work at all again. Called a professional and paid their 50 dollar service call fee. He said the new board was a bad one. My brother in-law replaced the bad board with a new one. Everything is now running fine now but after 6 hours there isn’t any change in temperature. Money wise I’m into the fridge to a point I’m not going to have it fixed unless it’s something cheap and easy. My brother in-law is now stumped and I was clueless from the start. Any suggestions? Everything was vacuumed and cleaned.

    1. Never mind. After reading through the replies here I decided to check the start device or relay whatever the thing attached to the compressor is. I took the back panel off, found the thing I was looking for, I was going to shake it but as soon as I touched it the device fell off the compressor. It wasn’t even connected. It looked like it was but it wasn’t pushed in onto the prongs. I shook it anyway and no sound, so I pushed it in all the way and plugged in the refrigerator and now we have an ice cold freezer and working fridge. Thanks to everyone who contributed on this page.

  15. I have samsung (RA-18F) fridge with manual defrost which has stopped cooling. Compressor is getting hot. Compressor runs for 10 (i feel vibration by touching) and gets off for 3 minutes and repeats. I hear relay switching sound each time.

      1. That sounds like a bad overload relay. I would pull and test the relay. If the relay test good, I would check or replace the defrost thermostat.

        1. Thanks, after going through comments in this blog i doubted the same. But couldnt pull the relay out (may not have applied enough force). So instead of damaging it, I called service center. Service guy came removed the relay, shook it (there was some sound). replace the relay. Now its working fine. He charged me with 300+ 300(visit charge). Being an Electronics engineer I felt bit down by paying double the amount :(……..

  16. Hi, im having an issue with my frigidaire side by side refrigerator. I can hear the compressor running the coils are clean but the freezer and refrigerator portions are room temperature. I touched the compressor and it is not hot at all but a bit warm (I can hold my hand on it after its been running for A while.)

    1. Hi Jason,
      Pull the start device and overload relay and give it a shake. If you here a rattle it’s bad, replace them and that should fix the issue. Even if it does not rattle it still could be the issue. If you have a local appliance center they can test it for you and most likely will have a replacement available.

  17. frigidaire refrigerator top freezer model wont cool compressor and fan in the inside freezer is working i took the back off found fan and coils they are not frozen .. the start device and overload relay i shook no sound from them at all the conpressor gets very hot the frige was made on 1-12-2000 getting kinda old any answers would help im lost lol.

    1. Since the compressor is getting hot the problem should be in the start device or overload relay. Even though it does not rattle, I would have the start device and overload relay tested. If you have multimeter or ohm meter you could test it yourself. Or take it to any appliance parts/service store and they will be happy to test it for you and they should have the part on hand.

    1. Did you test the capacitor with a multimeter? If you don’t have a multimeter, any appliance store, Radio Shack, HVAC shop, probably even an auto mechanic could test it. Also did you pull the overload relay. This is what will rattle when it’s bad. Many times the capacitor and overload relay come as a single unit. In your case they are two separate components.

      1. Hi Zippy. Does it take a special meter to test the start capacitor or will the basic meter do it? If so could you describe how to do it? Thanks

        1. A multimeter will work, it’s not 100% reliable but it can give you an idea if you are on the right track. What you really need is a capacitor tester. Typically any place that sells fridge parts, electric motor repair shops or a mom and pop tv shop (not sure if there are any left) will have testers for these types of parts. Also just to let you know a capacitor is a type of battery that releases all it’s stored energy at once, when it’s discharged. You can get shocked or burnt or kill your meter if you do not discharged it. The easiest way to discharge it, once the part is REMOVED, is to short the capacitor with an insulated screw driver, while holding the insulated part 🙂 Basically finding someone with a capacitor tester is the best option.

          A basic test, you can test to the capacitor’s resistant to see if it’s open or shorted. Set the meter to highest resistance (ohms), if you get a reading on higher than 100,000 ohm, then it might be good. Any other reading it fails. Also note some digital meter may use K for thousands and M for millions.

          You can test the capacitance or the amount of change it will hold (if your meter has a capacitance function). Typically anything less that 95% of the rated change is considered bad. For example if it’s a 100 micro farad mfd and it reads 94 mfd then it should be replaced. For the capacitance test, you will need to find out the rating for the capacitor. Many times it’s printed on the side, if not you will need to look it up. Set the meter to capacitance and connect the leads give it a few seconds to stabilize for a good reading. Take the rated mfd and multiply it by .95 and if the number from the meter is the same or greater, the capacitor is good, otherwise it needs to be replaced.

  18. Hiya, can you explain why the compressor would be hot and running when the start capacitor and relay were not working? Surely the compressor would be cold as it wouldn’t run? My compressor is vibrating (running) and very hot but I can’t feel any hot liquid in the exit pipe up to the condenser. It does not seem to have a relay or capacitor…I have removed the whole assembly attached to the side..checked the overload protector which it does have and is working. The wires go up to the control box at the top of the fridge, which I think handles the relay/capacitor job. Also has a temp probe instead of a capillary thermostat… I have checked the compressor using a multimeter and seems ok, I can hear gas gurgling sounds inside, but no cooling occurring. Do you think there is a loss of gas in the system maybe? I am a bit stumped!

    1. The compressor needs the to start capacitor to fully start. Without there is not enough power or phase shift to start the compressor and keep it running. The compressor will become hot because it is not fully functioning. It’s getting power but there is not enough power to compress the gas. You can think of it like pushing a car, to get the car moving is very difficult, once it’s rolling ( preferably downhill 🙂 ) it is considerably easier to keep moving. Same thing happens with the compressor, once the piston passes the top of the compression cycle, the pressure pushes the piston down and adds force to the next cycle. Without the capacitors initial jolt of power the compressor can not get over the top of the cycle. So it is just pushing the car but it’s not moving. That’s why the fridge does not cool and the compressor is hot.

      As for loss of gas, that is very unlikely unless there has been damage to the gas lines. A fridge is a sealed system, meaning you can never add or remove any of the coolant. If there is a leak, there is no cost effective repair.

      It would be very unusual that it did not have a start capacitor and relay. Most of the time they are attached to the compressor.

  19. Thank you for this. I phoned the manufacturers and they said there is no capacitor on this compressor and the relay is not obvious. Anyway they have given me a part number to replace the assembly which is just £25 so I’m happy. Thanks for your explanation into why the compressor would get hot…my book doesn’t even explain it that well! *smiles*

  20. Hi, I have a Kenmore Refrigerator Model# 253.77879505 and I noticed that its not cooling anymore like it used to. The coils are clean. The Compressor it warm and not hot. The ohms on the input of the compressor looked ok so the windings are fine. On the Relay and Capacitor side, I measured 115VAC to Common on the Start and Run Pins. I also noticed when the compressor is unplugged and then turned back on; the one line builds a little frost and < 30 Seconds it melts. All the usual signs says the compressor is good but I think it is the compressor or the Gas leaked out somehow slowly. It is only 7 years old. I am about to go and pick a new Fridge. By any chance do you see something I missed?

  21. I have the same issue of a hot compressor which turns on for about 3sec before kicking off leaving all the fans running but not cooling. I found the problem to be located on the starting relay. The relay gets really warm indicating an internal fault but doesn’t rattle when shaken. Don’t always rely on simply looking or shaking a part, always use a multimeter. It doesn’t lie.

  22. I have an Amana bottom freezer unit that has stopped cooling. One night, i heard some trickling or whirring sounds that i had not heard before. The next morning the freezer was 40 degrees and by night the fridge and freezer were not cool at all. I opened up the back panel in the freezer and see that the fan is working, the defrost heater is not on, and no ice build up of any kind. The evaporator fins are not even cool to the touch. Around back of the fridge, i see the condenser fan is working and the compressor is vibrating (feels normal) and slightly warm to the touch- not hot. I don’t feel any heat or cold on any of the copper lines leading to/from the compressor.

    Any ideas would be welcome!

    1. Jonah, I would test the relay and start device. This is the most common and the easiest to fix. You can test them with a multimeter or give it a shake to see if it rattles. As mentioned in another comment the multimeter would be the best method. Or you can take the parts to an appliance repair shop and they would be happy to test them for you. The parts are usually around $30 – $40 for both. It will be located on the compressor where the wires plug in. Just make note of the wiring prior to disconnecting the wires and discharge the capacitor (short it with an insulated screw driver by crossing the terminals). As always unplug the power cord before you do anything. You also can check the thermostat and control board. They do short out, but not as often as the start device and relay.

  23. Thanks again. I am testing the relay and capacitor with my DMM. I read no continuity across the capacitor terminals although it looked like it was reading continuity for a split second. There is continuity between the top two terminal sockets (which are continuous with one of the tabs where the wire harness clips in) but none between the bottom socket and either of the top two sockets. The bottom socket is continuous with the other tab on the front of the unit where the wiring harness clips in.

    How do i tell if the unit is bad or good? I don’t hear any rattling.

    1. It depends on the type of relay you have.

      For an electromechanical relay ( typically will have an exposed coil ) with three terminals on the relay and they should be label S, M and L. This is the easiest relay to test

      Testing the L and M terminals :
      The reading should be 0 for both right-side up and upside down.

      Testing the S and M terminals:
      Turn the relay upside down and the reading should be zero.
      Turn the relay right-side up and the reading should be OL.

      Testing the S and L terminals:
      Turn the relay upside down and the reading should be zero.
      Turn the relay right-side up and the reading should be OL.

      For a solid state relay (little plastic box) the shake test is the easiest. If you have the specs on the fridge you can test the relay against the specs. Typically they are tested by replacing them with a known working relay.

      For a variable speed compressor relay (large plastic box) These on typically on high end or commercial fridges. The easiest test for this type is to test by elimination, if everything else test good it is very likely that the relay is bad.

  24. One other bit of info: I re-installed the start relay and cap. I believe the compressor is running but only measure about 0.6 Amps on the wires that pug into it with my amp clamp. Is that typical?

    1. This would depend on the type of compressor. Some DC compressor have a very low draw. What is the make and model?

  25. Thanks for the relay testing guide! I’ll do that today.

    New information that seems to confirm the starter is bad:

    I start with the fridge plugged in but dialed to OFF. Then I measure the amp draw of the starter as my wife dials the controller in the freezer to ON so that the compressor should turn on. The draw is 0.6A. Then i tap the starter with my screwdriver handle and the starter clicks and the amp draw jumps to 9.0 A for about 5 seconds when it emits a CLICK and the draw drops to 0.6A again.

    From your description, i have a solid state unit. It’s a little plastic box with a separate capacitor that plugs into it.

    Does that add anything to the diagnosis?

    1. When you replaced the starter did you also replace the relay?

      Also test the winding in the compressor. There are three prongs that the starter plugs in to. With the ohm meter test each prong to a ground. Take the two smaller values and add them. The added value should equal the value of the largest reading. i.e. If you have readings of 2, 4 and 6 ohms ( 2+4 = 6) then the winding is good.

      1. Hi Jonah. I’ve been following your problem as I have the exact issues with a Maytag bottom freezer fridge. i know it’s been a while but I’m curious what the resolution to your problem was.

  26. My fridge only gets cool not cold and I just noticed that the freezer is starting to let things thaw , I added a bunch of food to it yesterday .I checked the back of the freezer for the panel that covers the coils and it’s frosty ( didn’t actually remove the panel ) my guess is that it’s the defrost timer . How do I change that?

    1. What is the make and model of fridge? To get the freezer back to working, you can manually defrost the coils and that should allow the fridge to temporally work as normal to save the food and buy you some time until you can have the timer in hand.

  27. I have a frigidaire, side by side. Runs but its not getting cold. I took the back off, coils were dusty. I cleaned them, I do believe the compressor is the round object in back. It does not get hot, nor does the coils. There is also a clicking every so many secounds. The fan in back runs, you can hear the freezer and fridge runs too. Do you have any ideals?

    1. Hi Tonya, this is a common problem. The clicking sound is the compressor trying to start. When the compressor does not have enough power (much like a car with a dead battery) the compressor clicks. It’s best to work on the inexpressive, easy to fix parts, first.

      I would pull the relay and start device. This is the most common and the easiest to fix. These two devices are located on the compressor usually plugged in to the compressor where the wires run in to the compressor. Most of the time they come off the compressor as a single unit. Then you can separate them once they are removed.

      Unplug the fridge and pull the relay and start device from the compressor. Once you have the relay and start device in hand take them to an appliance repair/parts shop and they can test them for you. These parts are typically in-stock and they should have a replacement. Then just plug it back in the same way you unplugged it. Also you might want to snap a couple of pictures for reference.

      1. Hi Zip,
        I have similar issue. Model Westinghouse freestyle rj422.
        The compressor is quite hot to touch. The coil underneath cover a bit of dust but the dust doesn’t touch one to another.
        Should I vacuum it?
        The issue, I think the start device doesn’t work because it try the compressor but stop again (click sound).
        It only works if I unplug the cable for a minute or two and plug it back again.
        So after several hours it is working and then stop and then after a while failed to start again (but the fan still running but no cold air) then I need to unplug and plug it back again to start it.

        Question: Do you think it is the problem with the start device? Do I need to replace both the relay and start device or the start device only?

        If it is then I have another issue tried to open/unplug the black box cover next to the compressor, I am guessing this is where the relay or start device is.
        It is hard to unplug the black cover, check the link below.

        Thank you for your help and waiting for your feedback.

        1. Typically the start device and relay are connected. If you have a parts store near by you can take them in and have them checked. Otherwise if they are not too expensive I would replace both.

          1. I was able to open the black cover (I broke it though 🙁 ) but it is ok to cover it again and still stick or almost close and not fall down.
            As per link above: “Now what is the next step? It reveals L2, L1, N(neutral), Earth (symbol). Apart from L2, they all are held with a screw….”
            I don’t know or how to do the next step because it is totally different to the one that I watch from you tube. They all looks easy but this one is different.
            I’ve tried to disconnect it from the compressor but looks like it is hard. Any idea about this model Westinghouse RJ422S?
            So far the fridge is still running about a few hours but I am not sure when it is stop and unable to start again.
            It is a weekend now so I will try to hold till Monday. If still unable to start then I need to call the expert unless you or I find a website or instruction on how to replace
            the relay or start device for this model. so far I cannot find any and no manual because we’ve got it for free from a friend. Thank you for your help Zip.

          2. I take it this is a Australian fridge, I could not find a manual for it. If things are considerably different you may have an electromechanical relay. Does the relay have exposed coils or is it a small plastic box?

  28. Thanks for the info here.
    I have a small Coca-Cola fridge that is not cooling. I cleaned everything well, and noticed the fan in front of the coils/condenser not running. When the fridge kicks on this fan should be running correct?

    1. Yes the fan should be blowing on the coils. If there is no air circulating through the coils, the fridge will not cool properly. You can probably find a replacement fan online fairly easy. You also could test to see if a fan replacement is the only part needed. Just plug in a little table top fan and blow it on the coils. If the fridge cools all you need is the fan. If the fridge does not cool there could be some other issues too.

  29. ok after reading all these posts i began to disect my fridge from top to bottom examining all the parts mentioned i removed access panel and found no frost after about 4hrs running however the freezer was nice and cool i played with the temp control and fan underneath turned on/off as engineered to on 0 it was off and at 1-9 was on slight dimming of light when it first turns on but not enough to really notice on to the fridge portion seemed everything was working inside light housing lights/vent/ect. still not cool after 4 hrs no damage to the walls no cracks, the freezer coils seemed to gargle a lil at first run and after 3-5 mins if that it stopped slight frosting on one of the copper pipes that turns into a copper wire and runs back into the backside (assuming it goes to the bottom). i get a few initial clicks after 3mins or so and then what seems to be the compressor turning on with a slight high pitch ringing that just continues when its running but nothing that i havent heard from a working fridge in the past not much vibration in the compressor however its warm to the touch not super hot and one of the copper tubes are warm and one is cold not sure what runs where as they run up and in fridge i would assume intake/outlet from freezer coils, the fan in the bottom works was a lil dirty cleaned that out i am looking into finding a video on this model to remove the Filter looking thing that is attached to fan where the air comes in/out i can feel it moving air through it so it shouldnt be a problem but since im working on it might as well get it nice and clean power works lights on fans working but fridge not cold/cool however after reading all this forum i realized the fan inside freezer never came on the GE website troubleshoot guide says tempature sensor which is the thermostat by the look of it

    1. and continued as i couldnt type anymore,,,,, as it dont really turn on/off or cycle if u will for short i have ordered the evaporator fan (the one for the freezer) and a new temp sensor should i just go ahead and replace the compressor sensor things too or what im not used to working on appliances like this but am kind of a handyman and with enough time to research and test i usually figure this stuff out but seeing how i know nothing about this i thought i best ask and see before i do to much i can afford 30-100 to fix but if its gonna cost a compressor or more i would just junk it and buy a new one and hiring a tech to come look at it is out of the question local guy charges 75 just to come out not including 30hr and parts man is completly out of his mind for that i can find one on craigslist to fix and while i have it where i can work on it might as well do some preventative maintenence on any cheap sensors/capacators i can get to thanks again GE model#GTS22ICSARBB

  30. testing the compressor things now by shaking but still need a diffinitive answer to this i am getting this part first and the temp sensor from same site and if i need anything else they have it cheap so if i need it tell me i just order and replace the cheap stuff and hopefully one or all fixs the lower cabinet to cool

    1. I think you are on the right track. Replace the temp sensor and see if that fixes the issue.

      If the freezer is cold then the compressor is functioning as normal. Which means the start device and relay are good.

      1. well after a closer inspection someone had already bypassed the temp sensor so im looking for a wiring diagram for this model and ordered 2 it says it has 3 but unless diagram shows and if this doesnt fix the fan then a new motor will

  31. Zip, sorry, I couldn’t reply directly under your comment.

    Yes, Australian fridge.
    Here is that I found from internet search
    The issue is when I open the black box, I cannot see any this relay/start device at all.
    In only see cables as per link below.
    So I don’t know what is the next step.

    1. I don’t think these parts can be safely rebuilt. They typically short out, so you would have to replace everything (wires, connector, capacitor, etc) and the plastic boxes are heat sealed so you would have to break them part and reseal them once it was rebuilt to reduce moisture. If the specs are not matched, it can become a fire hazard. Replacing the relay and start capacitor is a better and safer solution.

      1. Got the expert to fixed it and cost quite expensive to replace the whole unit start and relay with solid state instead of separate starter black part and white (i think overload or something like that) with labour.
        Actually, I was on the right track, I just need to pull or split the black box from the compressor. You need to put the flat screw driver on the top and push it to the left. UNPLUG power cord first.
        I saw him and I think it was quite tough (last time I didn’t do it because I scared of break something else). At least all of you know what to do next time. After that continue to replace the starter/relay.

    1. The start device and relay only controls the compressor. So the fans not working would be another issue. Check to make sure the fan connections are clean and plugged in. You also can use the multimeter to for continuity and shorts in the fan wire.

  32. Hi
    I have an ice maker, it will make ice outside in the cold, but when I bring it in, it overheats, the fan works when I power with an external power supply, but the fan has power before and after the motor when conected to the unit.
    Could this be controled by the temp sensor on the fins being faulty and not alowing the power to be switched, even though it has a live feed in and out

  33. Hi Zippyjr. I have a Maytag bottom freezer fridge. It suddenly stopped cooling. Not completely because I can feel a little, very little, coolness in tube leaving compressor. The compressor runs and is hot but I can leave my hand on it. The coils under the fridge are room temperature. All fans are turning. I’m really confused about when the start capacitor or relay can be the problem. From posts above it seems if the compressor runs but doesn’t cool then it could be the cap or relay, but mine cools just barely. How could we rule out the cap and relay? There was a gentleman above that had the same problem but he didn’t respond back to tell us how it was resolved. Any help would be hugely appreciated.

    1. The immediate tube leaving the compressor should be hot and then cools as it goes round the condensing coils at the back of the fridge. The gas then goes through a capillary tube and enters the larger tubing of the evaporator coils which are inside the fridge or freezer. The huge reduction in pressure in these pipes causes the liquid refrigerant to change into a gas, which removes heat from the surrounding area which is why it is cold in the fridge. This tube then returns to the compressor, called the suction line…is it this line you can feel the little coldness in perhaps?

      1. Thanks for the quick response Cavershamlady. The smaller tube is warm. The larger is cool. The freezer is about 31 degrees and the fridge 42. Compressor runs continuously and it doesn’t make any odd noises. Coils are reasonably clean. The fridge was working fine then just started doing this a few days ago. No other problems other than damper motor door issues, (noises).

        1. Fridge is maintaining that temperature but clearly something is wrong. Anyone have any ideas? From reading the posts above it would seem that the compressor is bad.

          1. Did you check the coils inside the freezer for ice? If there is ice build up, it would most likely be an issue with the defrost side of thing, heater, thermostat or timer. Most of the time you can buy a kit with all three.

            You can check the compressor for shorts, but I doubt that is the issue, as it does seem to be working. It also could be a thermostat going bad or a blown resistor on the main board (depending if your model has one or not).

          2. Thanks Zippy. Didn’t check the coils for ice but I let things stay off long enough to thaw coils, then restarted and still not cold.. model is Maytag PBF2253HEQ…. Could you please elaborate on how it might be the thermostat or a resistor. I’m thinking that if thermostat were bad it would either not start the compressor (which it does) or cut the compressor off before it gets up to temp, (it never cuts off)….Couldn’t the compressor be internally damaged, valve, etc.?

  34. It’s not sounding like the compressor, typically a compressor shorts out and stop working.

    A resistor can pop. This would make it work sometime and not other times. A popped resistor can make very strange things happen and is very difficult to diagnose with out checking the resistors. I think that model does have a main board with resistors. If you have that check each resistor with a flash light to see if it’s pop. It will look swollen at the top. If you are adventurous you can replace replace the resistor, they are really cheap and you can find them at Radio Shack or online. Otherwise you can get a new board.

    If the freezer is trying to defrost and freeze at the same time you end up with the defrost heater and compressor running all the time and neither one wins.

    Also I would visually check to make sure the coils are not iced up. It could take many hours for the ice to clear.

    1. Thanks for the explanation Zippy. I just removed the contents of the fridge and cranked up an old fridge I had in the garage. I’ll take the panel off the back of the freezer now and report back tomorrow.

      1. Well I removed the grill and fan is working and there’s no ice on the coils. In fact coils are just barely cool, if at all. Compressor was running and warm but then it got hot and shut down. Is it toast?

          1. I don’t know, it wouldn’t kick back on though. I just unplugged it. Called a couple of parts/repair places down here and they said it either was a bad compressor or lost freon. Couldn’t convince them that it might be a relay or start capacitor, they said if it starts at all or cools at all then it can’t be either of those. We’re starting to shop for a new fridge. Things are pricey!

  35. Please help! My fridge/freezer isn’t cooling. The fan in the back outside is running, the compressor is hot, and we took off the relay and shook it. When we shook it, we heard a small rattle, but it sounded like maybe it was something that was supposed to be there that was just rattling or loose, not anything broken. When I squeezed the relay on the top and bottom, the rattling stopped. We super cleaned the coils and everything under the unit. I really need your advice. Thanks for your help!

    1. That sounds like the relay and/or start device. If you have an parts store near by, bring the model number of the compressor and they should have the parts you need. They range between $20-$40. You can also take your parts and have them tested at the store.

  36. I have a Samsung french door/bottom freezer model RF266ABPN. Freezer quit on a Thursday and the fridge quit on Saturday. Had an appliance tech come today he checked all the fans and the coils and are all working. Compressor is running but is barely warm which he said is bad. I pulled the start/relay switch and it does rattle a tiny bit. Just wondering if you have any experience with this fridge and if any problems are typical with this model. Thanks for any help!

  37. I have a 8 year old amana side by side. I had the buzz, click going on so I replaced both the capacitor and relay switch. Since that time the refrigerator has been working for various lengths of time but it still comes back and starts buzzing (i seems the buzzing is different sounding) then clicking. The fan continues to run and the compressor gets hot. I have been unplugging it for a few hours then when I turn it back on everything fires up fine, sometimes for a few hours sometimes for a whole day. I checked the compressor and the ohm readings seemed fine. I’m at the point know where i need to decide to call a pro or keep searching for other causes i could fix or just start shopping for new one. Any ideas? It would be greatly appreciated! Thank -you

    1. It could be the relay on the adaptive defrost control (ADC) board. When you unplug the fridge it has time to warm up and the thermostat will shut off the defrost cycle. Once it’s plugged in after the warm up, the fridge would run normally until the defrost cycle is triggered.

      You may or may not have an ADC on your model. Check the manual for your fridge, if it has one, there is a built in test to trigger the defrost cycle on and off. That will also be in the manual, typically on amana it’s pressing the light button in the fridge five times within 6 seconds to activate the defrost, repeat to deactivate the defrost cycle. If the clicking and the buzzing starts when the defrost cycle is activated then it’s most like the ADC. You also can try deactivating the defrost cycle to see if it stops the clicking.

      1. I tried numerous times to get the refrigerator in and out of defrost and seemed to only be able to get it once. amana asd2624hew is my model. there is no icing in the freezer but when it runs the freezer, on the lowest setting runs between 10 and 20 below F. could any of this be caused by a compressor going out?

        1. The time that you did get it into defrost mode did it make the clicking noise? The parts for that model are a bit pricey, do you have a local shop where you can take the parts for testing.

          1. I was able to get it out of what I thought was defrost mode ‘aka clicking’ I had to turn it off once yesterday morning but the dang thing has been working fine since. I have a call in to the repair guy at the place we bought it but they called yesterday to say by the sound of it the compressor was bad. Strange to be able to know without seeing. But the whole thing seems strange.

          2. Compressors have one task, to compress the gas. If the fridge is producing cold temperatures then the compressor is compressing the gas. Based on your information I think it’s going to be something with the temperature/defrost control (thermostat, temperature sensor, ADC or main board ) If you don’t mind, let me know the outcome of the repair call.

          3. Repair guy came and replaced the compressor and all it working fine. Thankfully the compressor still had a few months warranty so we didn’t need to pay for that. Thanks again for all your help.

          4. Great! Thanks for let us know how it turned out, glad it was still under warranty.

  38. Hello,
    I have a Whirlpool ED25RFXFW01. It is the weirdest thing….It keeps things colder in the summer than it does in the winter; it is kept in the garage. Anyways, stuff started to thaw out the other day. Pulled off the back cover and front cover and found TONS of dust. Vaccuum and blew dust out. Seemed like the next evening it was really cold. 2 days later, fridge cool and freezer cold but still not cold enough. Popsicles are soft and not hard, drinks in fridge are not supercool.
    This has one fan underneath in the back on freezer side,this fan does not blow onto the coils but blows the oppoosite direction. The Condensor fan does make some noise and when I push on it, the fan blade sinks into the motor and slows down. Not sure if the fan motor needs to be replaced or not. Compressor superhot; I can feel air from evaporator motor fan blowing cold air in freezer; I can feel cool air slowly coming into fridge side.
    Is this some kind of temperature sensor cutting off before it gets cold enough?

  39. I have a very old GE sideXside unit that was working and unplugged it for a month. When I plugged it back in, the compressor kicked on, all fans are working, I cleaned the coils underneath the fridge, I’ve tested the windings on the compressor and they read that it is good.
    The start relay/overload seem to be ok if the compressor kicks on, correct? The compressor eventually gets hot but none of the cooper lines get hot or cold.
    I guess my question is, can the compressor not fully work correctly, but sound like it is, if the start relay/overload is not working correctly?

    1. The fan is probably blowing the right direction, the idea behind blowing away from the coil is to pull air across the coils. That helps keep the dust off the coils. Sometimes there is a shroud around the fan to pull the air more evenly. The main issue sounds like a thermostat issue or temperature control setting

  40. Zippy…if the compressor doesn’t go on and the fans and everything else work…could the compressor be totally shot or should I stop panicking?

    1. No need to panic, it could be the start device. That is what kicks the compressor on. I would start with the start device. You should have a start device and overload relay, most likely look like one component attached to the compressor. It will almost look like a big molex plug that plugs the wires into the compressor. That should be both the start device and the overload relay. They should just pull off the compressor. Don’t forget to unplug the fridge and all the safety stuff. Once you have the start device in hand you can take it and get it tested at any parts place.

  41. So I pulled it out after figuring out how to get the wires out. Checked resistance and it says 85…but it does rattle. Btw..thank you so much for your help!

    1. You’re welcome 🙂
      Sounds like you found the problem. If you have a local appliance repair shop, take the parts there and they can test them. They should also have the parts on hand. If not let me know the make and serial number of the fridge and I can look it up parts.

Leave a Reply