Imagine you hurry home after a hot day at work, hoping to relax with a cold glass of milk. But upon opening your Whirlpool refrigerator, you find the milk jar warm, but the meat in the freezer is frozen.
What a letdown that would be. After seeing this, we understand your frustration and are here to help you troubleshoot the issue.
Below, we will explore possible reasons why your freezer is cold but the fridge stays warm.
Here are some troubleshooting tips that work for a Whirlpool refrigerator with a cooling freezer but a warm refrigerator:
- Check for overstuffing (cold air will not circulate properly when too many items are in your Whirlpool refrigerator compartment).
- Check the condenser coil and rid them of dirt.
- Check for a defrost system failure.
- Inspect the gasket for breakage and the vents for blockage.
- Inspect the damper control assembly, etc.
Below, we will go through nine ways to troubleshoot your Whirlpool refrigerator when the freezer is cold, but the refrigerator remains warm.
Afterward, we will answer some common queries about this household appliance.
Troubleshooting the Issue With Your Whirlpool Refrigerator
Here are some things we think may be wrong with your refrigerator in this circumstance:
1. Your Refrigerator Is Overstuffed
One common reason a freezer may be cold but the fridge remains warm is overstuffing. Air will not circulate properly when too many items are in your refrigerator compartment.
As a result, the refrigerator will become warm over time since there is not enough cold air to go around. But how do you determine whether your fridge is full or not?
It is easy. Open the refrigerator door and take a peek inside. A decently packed fridge should look about ¾ full. Anything more than that will prevent air circulation.
So, to relieve your refrigerator, you may need to move things around and take measures to improve air circulation. For example, dispose of all spoiled food, drinks, raw ingredients, and empty containers.
Then, rearrange your refrigerator shelves to allow better air circulation. You can use jars, baskets, and other containers to manage space in your refrigerator.
Then, clean your refrigerator’s interior with a cloth, soap, and warm water to finish the job.
2. Your Whirlpool Condenser Coil Need Cleaning
Another reason your Whirlpool refrigerator is warmer than usual may be that the condenser coils are dirty. These condenser coils help keep the temperature inside the refrigerator cool. However, with constant use, they can gather dirt and debris.
When this happens, cold air will not circulate evenly through your refrigerator. So, while your freezer may freeze food, the refrigerator stays warm.
We advise that you clean your condenser coil at least once in six (6) months. To do this, you must first unplug your refrigerator and find where the condenser coils are using the manual.
Next, get your vacuum and attach a long hose to it. Using this attachment, vacuum the dirt off the condenser coils.
You can use a coil cleaning brush or any soft-bristled brush on the hard-to-reach areas. Now, go over the coils again with the vacuum to be sure.
Alternatively, you can add a coil cleaning solution to wipe the dusty coils and rinse them off with water. Then, wipe with a dry cloth.
Once satisfied with the results, you can plug your refrigerator back in and see if this strategy works.
3. Broken Evaporator Fan Motor
Your Whirlpool evaporator fan motor sits in your freezer and blows air over the evaporator coils. In return, the evaporator coils help keep the air in the fridge cool.
But how can you tell that the evaporator fan motor is the culprit?
First, try to spot the evaporator from the back of your refrigerator; it should resemble a black box. Then, try to spin the fan blades by hand and see if it turns freely.
If it doesn’t, the motor is broken, and you must replace it.
Another way to check if the evaporator fan motor still works is to listen for a humming sound. The evaporator fan motor is typically noisy whenever it is in operation.
So, open your refrigerator and wait to hear the motor running. If you hear nothing, the evaporator fan motor no longer works.
You can test it further using a multimeter set to “ohms.” Place one of the multimeter’s leads on each one of the evaporator fan motor terminals.
If you notice a reading on the multimeter, the evaporator fan motor still works. But, if a reading does not appear, the motor is broken and needs replacement.
In some cases, the motor may be blocked and not damaged. In that case, check to confirm, remove the blockage and ensure that there is a power connection.
4. The Refrigerator Gasket Is Broken
The gasket is the rubber strip that runs around the inside of your Whirlpool refrigerator door.
If the gasket is broken or too old, it may cause the refrigerator not to close properly. As a result, cold air escapes from the fridge, causing the refrigerator to stay warm.
But, before concluding that this is the reason, conduct an integrity test on your refrigerator door. Like a dollar bill, get a thin strip of paper, and place it halfway inside your open refrigerator door.
Now, close the door and try to pull the paper out. If the paper comes out with a little force, the gasket is broken and needs development.
Another way to check whether your gasket still works is to clean it with a cloth and water. But while cleaning, watch out for signs of damage, like a crack or torn bit on the strip.
5. Blocked Vents
Refrigerators often come with vents in the back or sides. Sometimes food and other items can fall into these vents, blocking them.
If these vents get blocked, the blockage can prevent cold air from circulating inside the fridge. As a result, the refrigerator will not hold a specific temperature for long.
So inspect your Whirlpool refrigerator vents to see if anything is stuck there restricting airflow. Clear out the vent and see if the refrigerator works better if you find any.
6. Faulty Thermostat
The thermostat monitors and regulates the temperature within your Whirlpool refrigerator. So, if your Whirlpool freezer is cold but the refrigerator part is not, the thermostat is probably faulty.
Where the thermostat is faulty, power will not reach the compressor, which spreads cool air throughout the refrigerator. As a result, inside the appliance, the freezer temperature rises while the refrigerator drops.
So, check whether your thermostat is set properly and fix it if not. You can check your refrigerator user manual for guidelines and see if it works. But if it doesn’t work, call a technician to check it out.
7. Frozen Evaporator Coils
The evaporator coils on your Whirlpool refrigerator may freeze over when the defrost thermostat has a problem. This thermostat directs power to the defrost heater, which, in turn, melts accumulated frost from the evaporator coils.
You can find these evaporator coils at the back of your freezer. They help release cold air from the appliance.
Whenever you notice that these evaporator coils are frosting over, unplug your refrigerator and wait for the ice to melt. After that, carefully clean the evaporator coils with a vacuum cleaner or soft brush.
Then, reconnect the refrigerator to electricity and monitor the temperature to see if things return to normal.
8. Defrost System Failure
Another factor that may cause your Whirlpool refrigerator to malfunction is a defrost system failure. So, if you have gone over the options above and the problem persists, check out the defrost system.
The defrost system is arguably the most important component of your refrigerator. Without it, your freezer alone may hold chill air, leaving the fridge compartment warm.
Many factors, like a faulty defrost timer, thermostat, or control board, can trigger a defrost system failure. However, of all these options, a faulty defrost timer is the most likely cause of failure.
This timer regulates how often the freezer defrosts by turning the heater on to melt the frost on the evaporator coils.
Whenever there is a glitch with this timer, the fridge section suffers. So, if you notice any issue with this timer, replace it immediately.
9. Faulty Damper Control Assembly
The damper control assembly on any Whirlpool refrigerator lies in the section between the freezer and fridge compartments. As a result, it controls the free flow of cold air between both compartments.
But sometimes, this damper control assembly may not get stuck, restricting the amount of cold air that gets to the fridge. This then causes the temperature in the fridge to drop, making it unable to keep food cold.
Place a palm before the vent to solve this problem and feel the air. If you don’t feel airflow through the vents, the damper control assembly is broken and needs professional attention.
Home appliances may malfunction after constant use. For example, since refrigerators operate almost daily, they are likely to malfunction.
Do not be in a hurry to call a technician when your Whirlpool refrigerator malfunctions. Instead, use some of the tips above to troubleshoot the issue and get your appliance working as expected.
But if none of these tips work, you may take your Whirlpool refrigerator in for repairs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Often Does My Freezer Need Defrosting?
This will depend on your specific model. But generally, small freezers need defrosting every two weeks. Then, for larger freezers, you can extend the time to six months.
Why Do Frost and Ice Appear in the Front Baskets of My Fridge?
Frost may appear in the front baskets of your fridge if you leave it open for too long.