If your Kenmore refrigerator’s not getting cold, follow these nine troubleshooting steps to help you locate where the problem is so you can repair or replace the faulty parts and get your refrigerator cooling properly again.
WARNING – If you are attempting to repair any refrigerator yourself, be aware that you are working with potentially dangerous electrical currents that can cause serious bodily injury or death. Always remove the electrical power source from the appliance before you ever begin working on it. If you are attempting to repair any household gas appliances yourself, always be sure to turn off the gas that is designated to the appliance before you ever begin to repair it. Be aware that refrigerators have extremely sharp edges and moving parts that can cause serious bodily injury or death. Be aware that there are many other dangers and precautions involved in refrigerator repair besides those listed above. We strongly suggest that you please read our DISCLAIMER before any further actions are taken or proceeding any further. Think safety first!
Kenmore Refrigerator Help
Step – (1.) Dirty Condenser Coils
The condenser coils are located under the refrigerator, behind the vented grill at the very bottom of the fridge. If the condenser coils become clogged with dust and pet hair etcetera, there won’t be sufficient air flow being moved by the condenser fan across the coils. If the coils can’t release the heat, the refrigerator will strain to stay cool. You can remove the kickplate from the bottom of the refrigerator and clean it if it is needed, then inspect the condenser coils for dust buildup, if there is buildup present, it will need to be removed. You can remove the dust using a vacuum hose and small attachment or a long narrow refrigerator coil brush, which can be purchased fairly cheap from your larger hardware stores. You will need to be careful not to damage any of the electrical wires or components on the compressor or damage the condenser motors fan blades. This should really be done at least once a year if you have pets that shed in the house or live in a dusty environment.
Step – (2.) Evaporator Fan Motor
The evaporator fan motor is used in side-by-side refrigerators and refrigerators with a top or bottom freezer to circulate air over the evaporator coils which converts heat from the coils into cold air that is then circulated throughout the refrigerator from the spinning fan blade. The evaporator fan motor is located in the back of the freezer compartment on a refrigerator. The most common symptoms of a defective evaporator fan motor are, the refrigerator is warm, the refrigerator is noisy, the freezer compartment is too warm, or both the fridge and freezer are too warm.
Step – (3.) Condenser Fan Motor
The condenser fan motor is located in the very bottom part of the refrigerator behind the access panel on the back side of the fridge. It is used to draw cool air through the front grill and circulate the air around the compressor and through the condenser coils, then moving the hot air out into the room. It also aids in evaporating water from the drain pan beneath the fridge. Some typical symptoms of a faulty condenser fan motor are, the refrigerator is warm, the fan turns slower than normal, the compressor is noisy or the freezer is warm.
Step – (4.) Temperature Control or Cold Control
Check the cold control knob located in the refrigerator section, is it set at too warm of a position? If so, this will not allow the refrigerator to operate often enough to stay cold, try turning the dial to a colder position. Repair Note – The refrigerator cold control dial should only be turned about 1/8 of a turn in a 24-hour period, you will need a refrigerator thermometer to adjust and set the refrigerators temperature correctly, you can purchase a refrigerator thermometer fairly cheap from almost any hardware store. The factory suggests the cold control knobs indicator dial be set at the mid-range, 12 o’clock position. The optimum temperature inside of a refrigerator for safe food storage is in between 34 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature is any colder than 34 degrees F food will freeze, any warmer than 40 degrees F food will start to spoil quickly. Adjust the cold control knob 1/8 of a turn every 24 hours, and take notes of how much colder the fridge has become and repeat the process until you hit the optimum temperature range, between 34 degrees F and 40 degrees F.
Step – (5.) Overloading The Shelves
If your refrigerator shelves have been overloaded with food, sometimes this can block the normal cold air flow into the fridge’s cabinet from the air inlet damper, thus not allowing the cold air to circulate into the refrigerator section. Overstocking the shelves can also disrupt the refrigerator’s air flow system, not allowing the cool air to circulate properly the way the refrigerator was designed to do.
Step – (6.) Refrigerator Door Gasket
The refrigerator may be warm caused by a defective door gasket. If the refrigerator’s door gasket is not making a proper seal between the fridge’s door and the console, this will allow the cold air to escape and the warmer room temperature air to enter. You will need to visually inspect around the door and make sure that the gasket is sealed correctly into position and does not have any folds, creases or gaps anywhere. This usually happens around the corners of the door gasket. If the gasket is damaged, it will need to be replaced to solve the problem.
Step – (7.) Door Light Switch
The door switches operate the lights in both the refrigerator and freezer’s food compartments, the light switch also operates the evaporator fan motor in the freezer section. When the refrigerator door is open, this releases the switch to the off position and the evaporator fan shuts off. If the light switch has failed, the evaporator fan won’t be able to circulate the cold air into the refrigerator cabinet. Test the light switch for continuity using an analog multimeter or a digital meter, if the switch has continuity, it is good. If the test shows that it does not have continuity, it is defective and the switch will need to be replaced.
Step – (8.) Light Stays On
If the refrigerator’s interior light stays on, this can cause the refrigerator to be warm. You can test the light switch for continuity using a digital or analog multimeter, if the test shows the switch has continuity, it is good. If the test shows no continuity, the switch is defective and will need to be replaced.
Step – (9.) Excessive Use
If the refrigerator is being used more often than normal, repeated door openings in a short amount of time will cause the temperature in the fridge to rise temporarily, then cool back down to normal operating temperature the longer the refrigerator door stays shut.