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Fridge Compressor Running But Not Cooling? Here's What You Need to Know!

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Why Is Your Fridge Compressor Running But Not Cooling?

If you’ve noticed that your fridge compressor is running but not cooling, you’re not alone. It's a common problem that many homeowners face, and it can be frustrating, especially if it happens unexpectedly. A fridge that isn't cooling correctly can cause food to spoil, leading to waste and even potential health hazards.

Fortunately, there are some common reasons why this problem occurs, and troubleshooting tips homeowners can try to get their fridge back in working order. In this post, we'll discuss the possible causes of a fridge compressor running but not cooling, and offer some tips for fixing the issue. We'll also discuss when it's time to contact an appliance repair professional for help.

Possible Cause of Problem

So, why is your fridge compressor running but not cooling? There are a few potential reasons that could be causing this issue:

  • Faulty thermostat: If your fridge has a faulty thermostat, it could be preventing the compressor from turning on and off properly, leading to inefficient cooling or no cooling at all.
  • Blocked air vent: A blocked air vent can prevent cold air from circulating and reaching the necessary areas of the fridge, causing it to overwork and preventing it from cooling optimally.
  • Non-functioning evaporator fan: If the evaporator fan in the freezer compartment isn't working properly, it could prevent cold air from circulating properly and lead to inefficient cooling.

Understanding and diagnosing the root cause of the problem can help you take better steps towards fixing it.

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are experiencing a fridge compressor running but not cooling issue, there are some troubleshooting tips you can try to resolve the issue:

  • Check your temperature settings: Verify that the temperature inside the fridge is set to the correct temperature. The recommended temperature range should be between 35-38°F.
  • Check the compressor: Listen carefully to the compressor to hear if it is running or not. If the local area around the compressor is warm, and it isn't running or making a humming noise, the compressor might be faulty.
  • Check the condenser coils: Make sure the condenser coils are not dirty or clogged with lint or debris. Dust and dirt build-up can cause the fridge to overheat, leading to a compressor malfunction.
  • Inspect the evaporator fan: Check if the fan is spinning correctly once you open the freezer compartment. If there is no movement, it means that the motor has failed, and it will need a replacement.
  • Defrost the fridge: Sometimes, excessive ice buildup in the freezer can cause airflow problems, leading to insufficient cooling. Unplug your fridge for a few hours and let the ice melt away.

Trying these troubleshooting tips can often help diagnose and resolve the fridge cooling problem. If they don't, it might be time to move on to other alternatives or, if necessary, contact a professional repair service.

Alternatives if Troubleshooting Fails

If the troubleshooting tips above do not resolve the cooling problem, it might be time to try other alternatives:

  • Contact a professional: If none of the above tips has fixed the issue or the problem is with the compressor, motor, or other internal components, then it might be time to contact a professional appliance repair service.
  • Consider the age of your fridge: Sometimes, if the fridge is exceptionally old, it might be more cost-effective to replace it than repair it since significant parts or repair costs may be more than it's worth.
  • Upgrade or Replace: Consider upgrading to a more energy-efficient fridge or replacing your current one with a new one altogether. With more almost all homes owning fridges, energy efficiency has become a significant development in appliance design, meaning that a new fridge might save you money in the long run.

Remember, while fixing a faulty refrigerator yourself might seem like a cost-saving solution, it's often best to leave the repair work to professionals. They can diagnose and fix the issue more efficiently and effectively, ensuring that your fridge returns to good working order.

Related: Whirlpool Refrigerator Not Cooling? Here's What You Need to Do.


Why is my fridge compressor running but not cooling?

A faulty thermostat, blocked air vent, or non-functioning evaporator fan are some of the reasons why your fridge compressor may run but not cool.

How do I troubleshoot the problem of my fridge compressor running but not cooling?

Check if the fridge is properly plugged in and has power, look for signs of damage to the compressor or cooling system, and clean the dust build-up on the coils.

Is cleaning the fridge coils really necessary?

Yes, cleaning the dust build-up on the coils helps the fridge cool faster, run more efficiently, and extend its lifespan.

How often should I clean my fridge coils?

It is recommended to clean your fridge coils at least once or twice a year.

How can I tell if my evaporator fan is faulty?

Listen for any unusual or loud noises coming from the fridge, and check if the cold air is flowing from the freezer to the fridge.

Can I fix the problem myself or should I call a professional?

You can troubleshoot the issue yourself, but if the problem persists, seeking help from an appliance repair professional is recommended.

How much does it cost to repair a fridge compressor?

The cost of repairing a fridge compressor varies depending on the type, age, and brand of the fridge. It is best to consult a repair professional to get an accurate quote.

How long does a fridge compressor last?

Generally, a fridge compressor can last up to 10 to 20 years but could vary depending on maintenance and usage.

Can a blocked air vent cause my fridge to not cool?

Yes, a blocked air vent can restrict the airflow into the fridge, causing it to not cool properly.

What do I do if I suspect a refrigerant leak?

Turn off the fridge, unplug it, and call a professional immediately. Refrigerant leaks in a fridge can cause health hazards, and it's best not to touch or fix the problem yourself.

Real experience

John was in a panic when he realized something was wrong with his fridge. He had always been punctual and attentive towards its maintenance, so why was it that this time his fridge was not cooling? He tried everything he could think of, but no amount of tinkering could get the compressor to work again. The fridge was still running, but the food inside was getting warmer by the minute.

John's wife was due home soon from a long day at work and would be expecting a home-cooked meal. As he stood there, staring blankly into the fridge, his mind raced trying to think of other ways he could keep the food cold.

He remembered hearing somewhere that if you fill empty plastic bottles with water and freeze them, they can temporarily act as ice packs. So he hurriedly began filling anything he could find with water and stuffing them into the freezer.

The next few hours were chaotic as John tried his best to keep the frozen water bottles in the fridge to keep it cool. But as time passed, the temperature inside the fridge began to rise.

Finally, John's wife arrived, and weary from a long day, she opened the fridge hoping to find something quick to whip up. To her dismay, the fridge was no longer as cold as it should be, and she realized something was amiss.

John sheepishly approached her, nervously explaining the situation. They decided to call in a professional immediately to diagnose and fix the issue.

A repair technician arrived the next day and discovered that the compressor motor had malfunctioned and needed replacing. John could only smile when he realized that all his previous efforts would have been fruitless, and he would have ended up needing to replace it all along.

After the technician fixed the compressor, John could finally breathe a sigh of relief, knowing that his fridge was back to functioning as it should be. It had been a stressful few days, but John learned valuable lessons about regular maintenance and not to panic in situations like these.

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Dealing with a fridge compressor that is running but not cooling can be frustrating and disruptive. However, when it comes to the diagnosis and repair of such an issue, there are many reasons for it that you can fix on your own. In this post, we have discussed some possible causes of the problem and troubleshooting tips that you can try to get your fridge cooling again.

Remember, if your troubleshooting tips don’t lead to a solution, it might be time to contact a professional fridge repair service or consider purchasing a new fridge. But by troubleshooting and understanding the possible causes, homeowners can take measures to prevent such issues and keep their fridge running smoothly.

We hope that this guide has been helpful in resolving a fridge compressor running but not cooling issue. If you have any doubts or concerns, leave a comment below and we'll be happy to assist you!

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