Freezer still works but the fridge is getting warm?

Tittle says it all.

The fridge is still getting cold but I’ve got the setting on the coldest setting possible and the food inside feels barely cold enough to be safe. (or like I’ve got it on the economy setting)

Any idea what this might be?

A friend suggested I I clean the coils off in the back of the fridge, but I don’t know, it seems like if that were the problem, the freezer would be on the fritz too.

Please help, I’ve got beer that needs to be drank! :smiley:

I would start with the coils and see what that does. It may be that your refrigerator’s thermostat has failed and that you need a new thermostat , or , if removing and replacing the thermostat is difficult or costly, a new refrigerator.

Clean the coils and make sure there’s a little space between the refrigerator and the wall behind it and see what happens,

Throw everything in the cooler, put towels around/under the fridge, and unplug for at least 24 hours. That’s what I had to do when an ice dam caused the precise problem you’re having. Cheap and easy fix. (Incidentally, vacuum the coils while you’re fixing stuff.)

If none of the above works, check the fan that blows cold air from the freezer down into the refrigerator section. It should be physically located in the freezer, and directs air down a duct to the fridge. You would probably have to remove the back (inside) panel of the freezer to access the fan.

If this isn’t running, then replacement is fairly cheap.

There’s a fan inside the freezer compartment that blows cold air into the fridge part of the refrigerator. A couple of things might be happening.

First, you could have a failure in the auto-defrost mechanism that has caused ice to build up, either in the fan, or the duct mechanism. To detect this, open the freezer compartment and look for ice build up.

The other problem could be that something could be blocking the air flow either to the fridge (usually at the top of the compartment) or from the fridge back to the ice box (usually at the bottom of the compartment).

Our fridge at work does this about 2x per year. We remove any perishable food (trash it) and unplug the unit overnight. Then we clean up any watery mess the next morning, and plug it back in.

I’m told this happens because water has frozen in the duct that allows the chilled freezer air to reach the fridge (as mentioned above). The “manual defrost” method we use has worked for us, but YMMV.

Whirlpool’s have the problem that the air duct between the freezer and cooler sections can get blocked too easily. The drain hole at the very back is blocked by food or dirt or something. Then the auto-defrost every day builds up as ice , which spreads over into the air passage between freezer and cooler.

So you can just defrost it manually, but that’s not effectively unblocking the drain hole, and hence you need to do the defrost again every 6 months.

After melting all the ice, you should test the drainage is flowing properly to the OUTSIDE and rear… (to the reservoir down at the motor, whether its the floor pan or a bucket above the motor, the air flow there is meant to dry it up.) Just throw a cup of water in to the back of the freezer and see if it goes to the back.

If you don’t see the water flow to the outside, Or it flows to the cooler (food) section, then there is still a blockage…

It is not too uncommon for the defrost timer to stop working. They are not too expensive, but I have managed to get a couple working again by cleaning/Lubing the synchronous motor bearings with kerosene.

yeah something is preventing cold from going from the freezer to the fridge. often this is ice buildup blocking cold from traveling to the fridge.

move stuff into coolers or the cold outdoors if you have it.

leave it unplugged until the whole unit comes to room temperature and any ice is melted. this may take more than a day, you might have ice in the insulation (from moisture in the air that has condensed and froze). so let it sit until room temperature and no water. during this time you will find the pan under the fridge may fill with water 3 or 4 or more times, so keep emptying that (do so before bedtime too) to not have a big puddle.

When this happened to my fridge, it was the timer that controls the fan that defrosts the freezer. The timer failed, so the duct at the back of the freezer iced up, and the fridge didn’t get cold anymore. The repair guy said that the factory installed timers were crappy and always failed, but he replaced it with a better one.

This happened to me recently. There is a small duct between freezer and fridge, it has a flap that can open. This duct is opened and closed automatically to maintain a certain temperature in the fridge. All the cooling stuff happens in the freezer, the fridge just gets fed cold air from the freezer. In my case, the little motor in that duct mechanism had failed. I removed the mechanism and ordered a new one. It took a little while for the new one to arrive. In the meantime, I took a piece of styrofoam and taped it over the hole that was left. I punched about 5 holes in the styrofoam with a screwdriver. I monitored the temp in the fridge and kept punching more holes until the fridge maintained about 39 degrees. I probably could have gone on like that for quite some time :wink: New duct mechanism fixed it.

As a former landlord having dealt with this issues plenty of times, here’s what I learned:

Refrigerator/freezer combos work by cooling the freezer to freezing temps and venting a small portion of that chilled air into the fridge compartment. Often, after some time, that vent gets frozen and the freezer continues to freeze, while the fridge stops chilling. Sorta confusing!

But the fix could not be easier, simply unplug the fridge for twenty four hours! That’s it! The blocked channel will clear on its own and when you plug it in it will go right back to working flawlessly.

The person who taught me to always do this before calling a repairman saved me a ton of money, as most of the units I managed had second hand fridges. I probably used this approach over twenty times. Only once did it not solve the problem, and I had to replace the fridge!

I encourage you to try this first.

Good Luck!

If the problem is with an ice dam and you don’t want to do the “remove all the food and unplug it overnight” thing, you can usually melt it in about 5 minutes with a hair dryer. We had to do that once a day while waiting two weeks for a part once.

I recently used a coffee pot full of hot water and just slowly poored it in the freezer, my drain was also blocekd with ice so I caught the water as it dripped into the fridge.

My mom’s frig had the same issue. She had just stuck too much stuff in front of the duct in the back of the frig where the cold air from the freezer came in. A simple shelf rearrangement fixed the problem.

(there is no D in refrigerator, so there should me none in frig. :slight_smile: )

My current fridge has this problem. I’ve defrosted it and changed the thermostat without success.

For the defrosting, I pointed a fan heater at it.

LOL, thanks for pointing that out. You’re right of course, but still, “frig” doesn’t look right to me. (Nor does frige) :slight_smile:

I had the same symptoms. I turned out to be the fan in the freezer. A wire was blocking it from turning. Once it began to turn, the problem was solved.

I don’t know why, but when I saw the thread title I immediately thought “country song name!”.

Well, “fridge” is the “correct” spelling for the shortening of “refrigerator.” It doesn’t really matter how the full word is spelled, as “frig” in English has a different pronunciation than “fridge.” And “frige” just looks odd and unnatural.