Whirlpool Refrigerator Not Cooling: Common Reasons And Solutions

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When your refrigerator stops working properly, it can be very frustrating and stressful, as this can lead to food spoilage. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to identify and resolve the issue so that your Whirlpool refrigerator can function properly again.

This guide covers all major models of Whirlpool refrigerators, including:

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The temperature setting is too high

It is a good idea to check the temperature setting before moving on to more complicated issues. For optimal cooling, a refrigerator should be set to 37°F. Someone in your household may have changed the thermostat, which could explain why your refrigerator is suddenly not cooling.

The thermostat is faulty

If your thermostat is set to the correct temperature, the next step is to see if the thermostat itself is working.

Check your thermostat as follows:

  • Check that the power to your refrigerator is turned off.
  • Locate the thermostat that controls the temperature (consult your user manual if you’re unsure where it is).
  • Check to see if you can manually adjust the thermostat from the lowest to the highest setting. As it progresses to the higher settings, you should hear a clicking sound.
  • If you don’t hear a click, you can use a multimeter to see if the thermostat has continuity.
  • If the thermostat fails the test, it should be replaced. Whirlpool can supply you with a replacement part.
  • Check to see if your refrigerator is cooling properly now that you have installed the new thermostat.

The refrigerator is overcrowded

Overcrowding in your refrigerator can obstruct airflow and cause it to stop cooling properly. If your refrigerator isn’t cooling and you overstock it on a regular basis, try cleaning it out to see if that solves the problem. You should keep the vents and fans clear and allow for adequate airflow on all shelves.

If the refrigerator was overcrowded, you will notice that it cools properly once it is no longer crowded. If it still isn’t cooling, proceed to the next step in the guide.

The door seals are faulty

The gasket on your refrigerator door is responsible for keeping the cold air inside and the warm air outside out. If the door does not completely seal every time you close it, cool air will escape, raising the temperature of your refrigerator.

To test the door seals, do the following:

  • Close your refrigerator door by placing a piece of paper flat on the gasket.
  • Pull on the paper again. If there is little to no resistance when attempting to remove the piece of paper from the door, the seals must be replaced.
  • Make sure to test at various points along the seal.
  • If your seal is damaged, you can replace it by contacting Whirlpool.

The condenser coils need cleaning

Another common cause of a Whirlpool refrigerator not cooling is a problem with the condenser coil. Condenser coils in the back of your refrigerator help it stay cool. They will be unable to perform their duties if they become too dusty or dirty.

If necessary, inspect and clean the condenser coils as follows:

  • Make sure the power to your refrigerator is turned off, and then pull it away from the wall.
  • Locate the condenser coils. They may be hidden behind a panel that must be removed with a screwdriver.
  • If your refrigerator’s condenser coils are covered in ice, keep the power off so they can defrost.
  • If the coils are dusty, give them a thorough cleaning. You can clean the coils using a vacuum cleaner to suck up the dust and an old paintbrush to loosen the dust if necessary. 
  • Turn your fridge back on to see if the issue has been resolved.

The fans are faulty

The evaporator fan and the condenser fan in your Whirlpool refrigerator aid in cooling. If either of these fails, your refrigerator will not be able to cool properly.

To examine the condenser fan:

  • Turn off the electricity and pull your refrigerator away from the wall to reach the condenser fan.
  • Locate the condenser fan. (If you’re not sure where it is, consult your user manual.)
  • Once you’ve located the fan, remove the cover and try to rotate it 360 degrees by hand. If the fan cannot be rotated completely, see if anything is blocking it.
  • A multimeter should then be used to check the fan motor for continuity. If the motor fails, it must be replaced.
  • The fan is operational if the blades can freely rotate and the motor passes the multimeter test.

To examine the evaporator fan:

  • After turning off your refrigerator, look for the fan in the freezer.
  • Remove the fan’s cover and try rotating the blades 360 degrees by hand.
  • If you find any obstructions in the fan, remove them.
  • Next, use your multimeter to check the evaporator fan motor for continuity. If the test is successful, the problem is not caused by the evaporator fan. If the test fails, you’ll need to order a new part.

There is a problem with the start relay

The final component to investigate is the start relay. Here’s how you can tell if it’s broken:

  • Make sure the refrigerator is turned off.
  • Locate the start relay. A burnt odor indicates that the start relay has most likely failed and must be replaced. If you don’t smell anything burnt, use a multimeter to check for continuity. 
  • If the continuity test fails, you must replace the start relay.

Other causes

If you’ve gone through our guide and still can’t figure out why your Whirlpool refrigerator isn’t cooling, the problem could be a faulty compressor or a problem with the main control board. 

Due to the high cost and labor hours involved, it is almost always more cost-effective to replace the refrigerator than to replace these parts. If you suspect that one of these components is faulty, you should consult with a qualified technician.

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