Last Updated on October 17, 2021 by CHANDRAMANI
The freezer is cold but the fridge is not is a very common problem that many of us face in the appliances. But many people think it is a big problem and they cannot fix it themselves.
With the help of this guide, you can easily Do it yourself(DIY) and fix the problem of a warm fridge and cold freezer. There can be one or more of the following reasons behind it.
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Why the freezer is working but fridge is not?
When the Freezer is cold but the fridge is not, this problem occurs due to malfunctioning of the evaporator fan, thermistor, control board, damper control, or defrost system. In most cases, frost build-up blocks the air vent through which cold air gets inside the fridge, and also frost builds up on the coils.
How to fix it?
To fix the warm fridge and cold freezer first, remove all the stored food from your appliance. You need a screwdriver to remove the cover of the freezer and ice maker. Also, you may need a multimeter to check the components and a thermometer to check the temperature.
After removing the cover you have to check the following components one by one.
1. Evaporator Fan
The evaporator fan draws air over the evaporator coils(contains coolant) to cool the air and then circulates the air throughout the fridge compartment and the freezer.
If this evaporator fan is not working properly then the cool air will not get circulated throughout the fridge compartment and will result in the fridge getting warmer.
Check for any obstruction to the fan which is preventing it to turn. Generally, the obstruction can be caused due to frost build-up around it. In this condition, the fan makes a loud noise or doesn’t rotate at all.
Make sure the fan can rotate by manually revolving it with your fingers. If there is no obstruction and still the fan is not revolving then use can a multimeter to determine the electricity flow through the evaporator motor. If there is no electricity flow then you have to replace the evaporator motor.
The evaporator motor can be found on your appliance brand website. Check your appliance model and enter on the website to find a suitable evaporator fan. Check the guide on Youtube.
If the fan is rotating freely, then move ahead in the guide.
2. Defrost Thermostat, Timer and Heater(Defrost System)
This is the most common reason behind the problem. After opening the fan cover if you find frost build-up, then there is a problem with defrost system. It consists of the thermostat, timer, and heater. To temporarily solve this you can throw hot water on the ice and it will meltdown, and the water drains out from the drain.
When the evaporator coil is frosted then the air cannot be cooled by the coils.
The defrost thermostat is a bimetallic switch that controls the temperature rise. It turns on the defrost heater which heats the evaporator coils and defrosts the ice built-up over the coils. If the defrost thermostat blows up or its connection is broken the heater will not turn on and ice will build up preventing cooling inside the freezer.
You can test the thermostat with a multimeter. The LCD on the meter will display “0.000” if the cold thermostat is in a closed position.
Next check the heater if the thermostat is good. Check that the heater ends are connected with their respective wires. Check the guide in this video
The defrost timer can be another problem, it switches the fridge between different modes according to the pre-installed time. If it is broken you have to replace it.
It is a sensor that senses the temperature. It then sends information to the board. The board turns off and the compressor. If the thermistor doesn’t function properly, then it leads to improper temperatures. You can check it with a multimeter. The resistance of the thermistor should change as the temperature changes. If it doesn’t change, it means it is faulty and you have to replace it.
4. Damper Control
The Damper control lets the cold air inside the refrigerator. You can check that the damper is open and is allowing the air inside the fridge or not by putting your hand before the vent. If you don’t feel the air this means the damper is closed and working properly. It must be open to let in cool air inside the fridge compartment.
If it is not functioning properly, then you have to replace it.
5. Main Control Board
The temperature control board is responsible for controlling the defrost system. When it senses that the compressor must run to keep the refrigerator cool, it sends voltage to the compressor and fans.
If it is faulty the frost build-up will happen and the fridge compartment will not cool. In GE appliances you can check this by pressing the light switch three times to check the evaporator fan is turning off or not. If the fan doesn’t turn off this means the board is not starting the defrost mode properly.
This is not so common problem and you can test this by doing forced defrosting.
6. Temperature control board
It is present next to the compressor behind the appliance. The temperature control board controls the compressor and other major components in the refrigerator. It is not a common reason behind the problem.
Check out the Video Guide to understand the different parts of the appliance and the reasons behind the fault.
In the majority of cases when the Freezer is Cold but the Fridge is not, this problem is caused due to fault in defrost system. Due to frost build-up, the fan stops to rotate or the vent through which cold air enters the fridge compartment gets blocked by ice. Defrosting solves this problem temporarily but it can happen again after few days. Therefore, should check the defrosting system and replace the faulty part.
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Hi, I am Chandramani Bhushan. I have worked in the home appliances industry for more than 5+ years where my primary work was to check the performance and quality. I am also the owner of many home appliances in my home and love to share my experience through this blog.
I started this blog in 2020 to help users find solutions related to freezers, refrigerators, and other home appliances. Also, through this blog, I help people find the right option by giving a detailed guide and help them decide on a product.