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Refrigerator not cooling properly .

Whirlpool refrigerator 2016 model …. #WRT318FMDB01

About a month ago we noticed refrigerator not cooling but freezer over freezing. There was a power surge in our community a few days prior…not sure if it had anything to do with the problem. We unplugged the refrigerator for 24 hours, wiped up the water that came off the freezer into the icebox, plugged it in, let it come cold and we’re very happy that all seemed to be working well…for a week… same thing happened…..we did as before ….worked well for a week. We are now repeating the process. A worker in our local Home Depot (where we purchased the refrigerator) said to thaw it out for 48 hours instead and to tilt the refrigerator back a little. (Front facing up) .

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Hi @jenbruce,

Check if you can hear if the evaporator fan is running.

The fan drags air across the freezing cold evaporator unit in the freezer compartment and it is directed to the refrigerator section and the freezer section to cool them down to the set temperatures

The evaporator unit and fan is in the freezer compartment behind a panel.

The fan will run as long as the doors are closed and the compressor is running. When you open a door the fan will stop. You may have to place an ear against the fridge cabinet to hear it stopping and starting when you open and close a door (either door).

Do not confuse this fan with the condenser fan which is outside the compartments near the compressor and condenser and can run whether the doors are open or not

If you can’t hear the evaporator fan at all then it may be faulty or it may be iced up.

If it is iced up there may be a problem with the auto defrost in the refrigerator.

The freezer will stay cold because that is where the evaporator unit is located but the fridge will get warm if there is a problem with the auto defrost which affects the evaporator fan

This could be caused by a faulty:

defrost heater - not working so all the ice is not melted and over time this builds up and the fan is iced up.

thermostat - which tells the control board to turn the compressor back on when the temp reaches 0 deg C (32 F) so as to not damage the evaporator unit.

thermistor - which tells the control board what the actual temp is

drain tube - which directs the meltwater out of the freezer. If it is blocked then the meltwater can’t drain and the ice forms again causing a build up etc.

control board - which controls the operation of the fridge.

Auto defrost occurs once every 8-12 hours (depending on manufacturer) and lasts for about 20-30 minutes. The compressor is stopped and the temperature in the freezer is allowed to rise to 0 deg C (32 F) to melt any ice formed on the evaporator unit. The meltwater then drains away to the evaporator pan below the fridge where it evaporates. The process is sped up by turning on the defrost heater as you don’t want the frozen food to start to thaw.

If the auto defrost appears to be working OK it could be a sticking damper unit preventing air getting into the refrigerator section to cool it down

As an aside, never raise the bottom of the fridge at the front more than enough to allow the doors to self close from the half open position. This will ensure that the doors are always shut and that the evaporator fan can operate to cool the fridge/freezer.

Apologies for the long answer but it may help if you know how it works so that you can determine what is not working

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I have a 4 year old Whirlpool french door and freezer in the bottom that stopped keeping the fridge cool. turns out there was a silicone plug left in the drain tube during manufacture that caused a huge block of ice to keep building and building in the drain and eventually into the freezer. It wasn’t noticed because it was behind the top drawer.

After many hours of picking at the ice and using space heaters to melt it all, then she went right back to normal.

Now a year after that, the fridge is not cooling. Whirlpool POS

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Jennifer Silva will be eternally grateful.
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