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Whirlpool Fridge/Freezer Won’t Cool

Whirlpool Fridge/Freezer Won't Cool

Having a fridge or freezer not working correctly can be a pain. Not only can it be costly in terms of food waste, but it can also cost in terms of services. Knowing what to look for and how it can be quickly fixed at home can save you lots of time and money.

The main reason that your Whirlpool fridge/freezer won’t cool is often debris built up on the condenser coils. However, faulty fans, blocked vents, and even a packed fridge can affect how well the unit works. Check and clean the coils before unplugging the unit and testing internal parts for issues.

This article will discuss the common causes behind cooling issues in your Whirlpool fridge/freezer. We will also explore what you can do before calling a repairman.  

Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Cool 

Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Cool

If you’re finding that your Whirlpool refrigerator is not cooling down, the first thing you should do is carefully pull it clear of the wall by just a few inches. In many cases, the fridge is too close to the wall and not getting enough air circulation. 

However, there are a few internal issues that can cause your fridge to stop cooling. These include:

  • Dirty condenser coils
  • Damaged internal fans
  • Faulty start relay

Before you look for a service, there are a few things that you can check yourself. Always be sure to unplug your fridge before checking anything, and call a repairman if you are not confident that you can safely test the parts yourself. 

Check the Condenser Coils

This is the most common cause of cooling issues in a Whirlpool Fridge. Located at the back and often under the unit, the condenser coils are used to dissipate the heat created as the coolant is pumped into the fridge. 

Day to day life, especially in the kitchen, creates lots of dust, dirt, and debris. Though you may sweep and mop the floor, it is not uncommon to see a build-up underneath your fridge. As this debris builds up, it can attach itself to the underside of your unit. 

If they have become clogged with dirt, debris, or dust, they will not work effectively. Rather than releasing the heat from the fridge, they will hold it in, making it harder for your unit to cool down.

To check and clean the condenser coils:

  1. Carefully unplug the fridge and move away from the wall.
  2. The coils will be found under the refrigerator, sometimes behind a plastic guard, which can be removed.
  3. Using a vacuum cleaner, attach the narrow hose and run it over the coils and surrounding area, being careful of the cable.
  4. Any stubborn debris can be scrubbed with a dry brush.
  5. Vacuum once more so that no dirt is remaining in the area.

Check the Condenser Fan

The condenser fan draws in air through the condenser coils to cool the compressor. The compressor is used to pump the coolant into the fridge to keep it cool. However, if the condenser fan stops working, the compressor will overheat and not work effectively. 

With the fridge unplugged and powered down, locate the fan and check that there are no blockages or any debris restricting its movement. You should be able to turn the blades manually without issue. If they stick or won’t turn at all, the fan will need to be replaced. 

You may also need to test the condenser fan motor. This is a little more invasive but can be checked using a multimeter. You can usually tell if this is not working as it will make a lot of noise.

When checking with your multimeter tool, you are looking for continuity. If there is no continuity in the readings, the motor will need to be replaced. 

Check the Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan pulls in the air over the cooling coils into the fridge and freezer. In some units, there will only be one fan, which is located in the freezer. If this fan malfunctions, it will stop circulating cold air.

You can check this fan by first unplugging the unit. Once you are sure that nothing will be moving, try turning it by hand. If you find that it is sticking or not turning at all, you will need to replace the fan.

If the fan turns, it could be that the motor has broken. This can be checked in the same way described above. 

Check the Start Relay

The start relay is responsible for providing power to the compressor. When damaged or broken, the compressor may start and stop or not start at all. This will prevent the fridge and/or freezer from cooling. 

In the video below, you can see how to locate and test your start relay:

Once you have your fridge unplugged, locate the Start Relay switch and test using your multimeter. If you see no continuity, or sometimes you may even smell burning, it will need to be replaced. 

Whirlpool Refrigerator Freezer Not Working

A Whirlpool refrigerator freezer may cease to work due to a faulty thermostat, a critical component for regulating temperature. To troubleshoot, rotate the thermostat from the lowest to the highest setting, listening for a click. If no click is heard, the thermostat may need replacing. Consulting the user manual or a professional for replacement guidance can help restore your freezer’s chill and preserve your edibles efficiently.

In some cases, the issue with the Whirlpool refrigerator freezer not working might be linked to a malfunctioning start relay, which is crucial for driving the compressor. A faulty start relay might prevent the compressor from running and, consequently, hinder the freezer from cooling. Unplug the refrigerator and locate the start relay, typically found at the rear, near the compressor. You might listen for a rattling sound when you shake the relay, indicating it’s defective. Replacing the start relay with a new one, ensuring it’s compatible with your model, can often rekindle the freezer’s cooling capabilities, safeguarding your stored items.

Moreover, a clogged or frosted-over evaporator coil could be the hidden antagonist behind your freezer’s woes. The evaporator coil plays a pivotal role in cooling the freezer. However, if it’s clogged with frost, it cannot effectively cool the space. Unplug the refrigerator and locate the coil, usually found behind a panel inside the freezer. Manually defrosting it by allowing the frost to melt, or using a hairdryer to expedite the process, can often resolve the issue. Ensuring the freezer door is securely closed when not in use can prevent excess frost buildup, maintaining a clear path for consistent cooling.

Whirlpool Refrigerator Clicking Noise Not Cooling

Whirlpool Refrigerator Clicking Noise Not Cooling

The most likely reasons behind a clicking noise and no cooling in the fridge are:

  • Dirty condenser coils
  • Bad start relay

The clicking sound could be the result of the overheated condenser trying to work. If covered in dust and debris, it will struggle to cool. Similarly, if the start relay is not working, you will likely hear a clicking as the compressor tries to turn on.

Both of these can be checked by following the steps laid out above. 

Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Cool After Power Outage

Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Cool After Power Outage

Sometimes, after you lose power, you may find that certain appliances won’t turn back on. This could be because a fuse has blown, and you will need to check the circuit breaker. After you check the fuse box, try plugging a lamp into the outlet before plugging the fridge back in to be sure it is working correctly. 

Some models will turn off automatically if you lose power. The fix could be as simple as making sure the fridge is powered on. There should be a switch either inside the refrigerator or on the control panel on the door. 

After a power outage, some units may require some time to begin cooling again. If the fridge has only been powered for a few minutes, wait for at least 15 minutes before checking.

Whirlpool Refrigerator Side Won’t Cool but Freezer Does 

Whirlpool Refrigerator Side Won't Cool but Freezer Does

If you find that your freezer is running, but your fridge is not cooling, chances are your fridge is either overfilled or the door seal is loose. Other issues could be dirty condenser coils or broken fans, which you can check following the steps laid out above.

An overloaded fridge will prevent the cold air from circulating, and often the fan is blocked and unable to work properly. Similarly, if the door is not closing right, the fridge will struggle to stay cool as the air seeps out. 

Two simple ways of checking the door seal are:

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on November 29, 2020.

  1. Slowly move your hand around the door when it is closed. If there is a problem with the seal, you will feel cold air escaping. In this case, the seal will need to be replaced. 
  2. Seal a piece of paper between the door and the unit. You should not be able to pull it free if the seal is working. However, if it comes free without any resistance, the seal will need to be replaced. 

Your fridge should be no more than ¾ full. If you have every shelf taken up, the air will not flow, and the food will not cool. If your fridge is overfilled, you will need to:

  1. Remove any old food containers and throw out uneaten, spoiled food.
  2. Pull everything and clean the shelves and sides down, making sure to wipe clean the vents.
  3. Carefully reload the fridge, being sure to leave plenty of space for air circulation. 
  4. Make sure the refrigerator is not too close to the wall to cool sufficiently from the outside. 

Whirlpool Refrigerator Cool but Freezer Won’t Cool

Whirlpool Refrigerator Cool but Freezer Won’t Cool

In the same way many of the above issues can affect the cooling of the fridge, they can prevent the freezer from cooling also. If your freezer is not cooling, check the following using the same steps mentioned above:

  • Clean the condenser coils
  • Check the evaporator fan
  • Check the start relay
  • Check the condenser fan

Your freezer may also be affected by a defective seal around the door and by overloading. Follow the steps outlined above, check the door seal, and always be sure not to overfill the freezer to allow ample airflow. 

Final Thoughts

A broken fridge can be a nightmare, but the good news is that there are several things you can check at home without needing to call for a service. 

The most common reason behind cooling issues is that the condenser coils have become clogged with debris from day to day life. Once cleaned, you should see a return to normal function. However, if the issues persist, it could be a faulty fan or damaged relay switch.

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