Refrigerator not cooling, but the freezer is working just fine... help!!

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by purbeast0, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. purbeast0

    purbeast0 Lifer

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    first of all i'm a total nub to refrigerators. i'm currently renting a condo from some lady and have never bought or had to repair any appliance like a refrigerator.

    so i noticed the issue last week for the first time. the fridge was just starting to get less and less cold. i also noticed it was after we hosted a baby shower here and had a TON of stuff in the freezer. i thought maybe something was blocking some air flow so i shifted some stuff around, and it seemed to fix the problem a few days later, since everything was back to normal.

    come sunday i started to notice it again. only thing is, this time the freezer doesn't have that much in it other than just a big bag of ice and some food, but it's not nearly as full as before.

    i'm just wondering if anybody has any idea what could be causing this?

    the fridge is set to the coldest possible setting, but it's just not that cold. the milk is starting to definitely be to the point i don't want to drink it.

    anybody have any suggestions?
     
  2. Pardus

    Pardus Diamond Member

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    how old is the unit? condensers and thermostats are usually first to go. easier to just replace than repair it. contact your landlord.

    you can try vacuuming the dust either from the back or underneath it, this can cause it not to keep cold.
     
  3. purbeast0

    purbeast0 Lifer

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    not sure exactly how old it is but we've been here about 4 years.

    i'll check about cleaning under it because yea i've never done that before heh
     
  4. Dessert Tears

    Dessert Tears Golden Member

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    I had a similar problem with an overfilled freezer. In addition to the obstructing food, a plastic panel had been pushed back and had to be unstuck before it would cool properly.
     
  5. purbeast0

    purbeast0 Lifer

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    where exactly was this panel? was it in the back of the freezer, maybe like where the food was pushing up against or something?
     
  6. dullard

    dullard Elite Member

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    I'm not a fridge expert, but I believe in the vast majority of units there is simply a vent in both sections (fridge and freezer) and a valve that can be set more or less open. That is it. The freezer is thermostat controlled and the spillover goes into the fridge. The fridge temperature is thus a function of the freezer set point and the valve setting. So, either one of the two vents is blocked (maybe frozen over since you overloaded it), or the valve is broken, or you have the freezer set to a hot temperature.
     
  7. purbeast0

    purbeast0 Lifer

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    well i just totally cleaned out my freezer and got rid of stuff that had beenin there too long and made some room. i did notice that there was this "cap" that was loose in the freezer that was supposed to be covering this hole in the back of the freezer. the hole is probably the size of a quarter or a little bigger maybe.

    i noticed there was a wire or some tube or something that ran past that hole. it definitely looked to be frozen. i hope that didn't * up anything.

    i also noticed some little "vent" type of things at the bottom part of the freezer and like a few of the "edges" of the vent had been bent, so i bent them back to open them a little bit. think of a vent on a wall that has bent "edges" along it. kind of like that.

    aside from that, the freezer and fridge are both set to coldest right now. so i hope this may have fixed the issue, but i'm not sure and won't really know until the morning.
     
  8. eldorado99

    eldorado99 Lifer

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    Take everything out of the fridge and store somewhere else. Leave fridge and freezer unplugged and open for a day or two.
     
  9. bobdole369

    bobdole369 Diamond Member

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    eldorado99 is right.

    Only one compressor/evap cools the whole thing. Air blows first through the evap coil (cold) and into the freezer. Then a smallish vent allows some of the freezer air to get into the fridge. This is often adjustable.
     
  10. purbeast0

    purbeast0 Lifer

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    ok if what i did does not fix it i will do that tomorrow. wenesday is my grocery day so i wouldn't really be losing too much.
     
  11. DaTT

    DaTT Lifer

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    Sign up HERE. They are a great help.
     
  12. keyed

    keyed Senior member

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    Check the back of the inside of your freezer to see if there is any ice buildup. I can't recall exactly, but the heating coil that kept ice from building up around a sensor broke and caused similar problems. The repairman just replaced the entire sensor unit.

    If this is the problem, defrosting the fridge isn't a solution as the ice just builds back up. It'll seem to work for a day or so, but the fridge side will start losing it's cool again.

    Try googling your fridge model and symptoms and see if this matches.
     
  13. WildHorse

    WildHorse Diamond Member

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    ``
     
    #13 WildHorse, Jun 22, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  14. runestone

    runestone Senior member

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    Have you checked the gasket(s) to see if one is not sealing?
    Might want to check the hinges while you are doing that.
    Hope you get it fixed.
     
  15. qliveur

    qliveur Diamond Member

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    Probably right, but it could be caused by a bad freezer defroster thermostat, so it could happen again if that isn't replaced.

    /had the same problem
     
  16. JEDIYoda

    JEDIYoda Lifer

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    have you checked the Dylithium crystals??
     
  17. Fausto

    Fausto Elite Member

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    I had this exact problem and it turned out to be a part having gone bad. I cannot recall the name of the damn thing, but it's basically a little bimetal thermostat thingy that controls how much of the cold in the freezer gets shunted to the fridge to keep it cool. Mine dies about ever 2-3 years.

    The upshot is that it's a cheap part and not that hard to fix on your own once you've seen it done. In my particular case, you just remove the back panel of the freezer, wire in the new unit, and close it all back up. IIRC, it was less than $200 for the Sears dude to come out and do it for me the first time.
     
  18. PatrickBateman

    PatrickBateman Senior member

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    when this happened to me, it was a chunk of ice blocking the duct where the freezer blew air into the fridge
     
  19. Dessert Tears

    Dessert Tears Golden Member

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    Yes, in the back. I guess it was a cover to prevent the vent from being blocked, but the food had pushed it to be an obstruction on its own. I hope your second look fixed the problem.