Kenmore is a famous household appliances brand. It offers quality and affordable machines that last for a long time.
Kenmore Elite refrigerators usually work flawlessly without creating any issues, but they can develop problems from time to time. One of the common problems reported by Kenmore Elite users is their refrigerator stops cooling.
In this article, we will discuss the top reasons why your Kenmore Elite Refrigerator is not Cooling. Please note that this is a generic guide, and troubleshooting may vary from one model to another.
10 Reasons why your Kenmore Elite Refrigerator is not Cooling
Reason # 1: Dirty Condenser Coils
The condenser coils dissipate the heat produced by the movement of refrigerant inside your machine. These coils get warm during normal operation, attracting dust and debris around the machine. These things attach to the coils and slow down the heat dissipation process.
As a result, the compressor has to exert more effort to maintain a constant internal temperature. Hence, you may experience less cooling inside the machine when the condenser coils are dirty.
Solution: Clean the Condenser Coils
Cleaning the condenser coils is an easy DIY task. Follow the steps below to clean the coils on your refrigerator.
- Power off the refrigerator and pull it out, so you have ample space to work behind it.
- Locate the condenser coils. They are usually located on the backside of the machine or at the bottom.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean the dirty coils. Do not use a blower or clean the coils with your hands, as you will scatter all the dust inside the fridge and on the kitchen floor. It will result in more harm than good.
- Close the back panel and power on your refrigerator. Notice the machine for the next 10-12 hours and see if it has started cooling or not.
Reason # 2: Damaged Door Gasket/Seal
All refrigerators have a door gasket that acts as a seal and prevents cold air from escaping outside. The gasket usually lasts for 6-8 years without any fuss, but things can go bad at times.
Solution: Inspect the Door Gasket
You need to inspect the door gasket to ensure that it is in mint condition. A damaged door gasket not only lets the cooling escape; it also increases the energy bills.
A simple physical inspection can do the trick, but there is another interesting method to check if you need to replace the gasket or not. You will need a 1 dollar bill in this method. Insert the one-dollar bill between the wall and the rubber gasket on the door. Try pulling out the bill; if it comes out without any resistance, you need to replace the gasket. If it gets stuck, your gasket is working all right.
Reason # 3: Improper Storage and Wrong Temperature Settings
Kenmore refrigerator not cooling is often the result of careless usage. Many people don’t know that vents inside the refrigerator spread cool air. If you block these vents, your machine will not cool optimally.
A wrong temperature may be why the Kenmore Elite refrigerator is not cooling. After a power outage, reset, or cleaning session, the machine may lose the temperature settings.
Solution: Change your Usage Pattern
Store foods properly and keep a random look at your machine’s settings. Make sure you use storage boxes and never store hot items inside your refrigerator.
If the not cooling problem happens after a power outage, try resetting your machine and setting the temperature again on your unit.
Reason # 4: Faulty Condenser Fan
The condenser fan cools the coils that spread cold air inside the refrigerator. Your fridge’s cooling depends on the working of this fan. If this fan goes bad and stops working, your fridge will not cool as expected. Compared to other cooling-related components, checking the condenser fan is easy.
Solution: Check the Condenser Fan Motor
Unplug the machine and pull it out to access the back panel of the machine. You can either clean the fan to check if it’s working right, or you may need to replace the motor to make it work.
Clean the Fan: To check if the fan moves freely, unplug the machine and remove the back cover. Locate the fan; it is usually located near the compressor of your machine. Give it a spin with your fingers to see if it moves freely. Check and remove any dirt, debris, or hair on the fan.
Replace the Faulty Motor: The other way to deal with a faulty condenser fan is to replace the motor. Kenmore motors are easily available online but make sure that it is compatible with your refrigerator before buying. Follow the directions given below to replace the motor on your Kenmore Elite refrigerator.
- Power off your refrigerator and remove the back cover.
- Remove the fan blades and unscrew the mounting bracket.
- Remove the wire harness and pull out the defective motor.
- Transfer the rubber seals on the old motor to the new one.
- Insert the new motor in the same way you removed the old one. Connect the wire harness, install mounting screws and motor fan, and test your machine to see if it has started cooling or not.
Reason # 5: Temperature Control Thermostat
Kenmore Elite refrigerators have a temperature control thermostat that sends signals to other temperature controlling components like the compressor, evaporator fan motor, and condenser. If there is some issue with the temperature control thermostat, your machine will not cool as you want it to.
Solution: Inspect the Temperature Control Thermostat
You need to perform the following steps to assess if the temperature control thermostat is working correctly or not.
- Power off your refrigerator and locate the temperature controls.
- Rotate the temperature control to the lowest setting and move one point towards the highest setting. You will hear a clicking sound if the temperature control is all right.
- Similarly, you will hear a clicking sound when you move from the lowest point to the highest point in a digitally controlled refrigerator.
- You can double-check the thermostat using a multi-meter. If the temperature thermostat shows continuity, it is working all right.
Reason # 6: Faulty Start Relay
A start relay is a small component attached to the compressor that jumps start the compressor. Any issue with the start relay will cause your Kenmore Elite refrigerator to stop cooling because the compressor will not start.
Solution: Check the Start Relay
The only solution to a faulty start relay is to replace it. However, there are a couple of ways to find out if your start relay is working or not.
Clicking Relay Noise: You don’t need to remove the start relay for this method. A functioning start relay produces a clicking noise every time it starts. This clicking noise is independent of the compressor. Therefore it can be used to check whether the start relay is working or not. If the compressor doesn’t power up, the start relay will try again after 2-5 minutes of inactivity. The second clicking noise will confirm that the start relay is working all right.
The Shake and Rattle Test: There is another way to check your start relay. You will need to remove the start relay for this method. Follow the user manual for removing it from the compressor. Shake the start relay and hear what happens. If you hear a rattling sound inside the relay, it is broken and needs replacement.
Replacing the Start Relay: Kenmore’s start relay cannot be repaired; you need to replace it. Start relays are available online but make sure you check its compatibility before buying it.
Only replace the start capacitor yourself if you are an experienced DIY professional; otherwise, it is best to seek professional help for replacing it.
Reason # 7: Defective Start Capacitor
The start capacitor provides the necessary boost to the compressor it needs to start the cooling process. If the start capacitor fails, the compressor won’t start, or it will work slowly, resulting in no cooling or inadequate cooling.
Solution: Check the Start Capacitor
- The start capacitor is located near the compressor. You will need to remove the back cover to access it.
- Check your refrigerator’s user manual if you can’t find the start capacitor.
- Test the capacitor for continuity using a multi-meter.
- You can order a capacitor online but don’t forget to check compatibility with your machine.
- Don’t risk changing the capacitor if you don’t know how to do it. It is better to seek professional help when you don’t know how to perform a certain task on your refrigerator.
Reason # 8: Faulty Compressor
The compressor is like the heart in your machine. It is responsible for cooling your machine. If anything bad happens to the compressor, your machine will stop cooling. Kenmore refrigerators have a durable compressor that lasts for a long time. However, it can go bad due to several reasons.
Solution: Replace the Compressor
The only possible solution is to replace the compressor. You can’t repair the compressor. Listen to it when the fridge is on to assess if your compressor has gone bad. A faulty compressor will have power, and you will hear it running, but it will not cool your refrigerator and sometimes you’ll find it hot.
Reason # 9: Low Levels of Cooling Gas
The cooling gas (refrigerant) inside your refrigerant is a basic cooling system component. There is an optimum pressure for this gas as it may not perform optimally if it goes above or below that point.
Solution: Refill the Cooling Gas
Make sure you get the cooling gas checked by a professional if your refrigerator is not working properly. The refrigerator requires an optimum level of cooling gas to function in the right way.
Reason # 10: Main Control Board
The main control board on your refrigerator is responsible for keeping a check on every function. Though the main control board rarely goes bad, it is better to check it if you have checked everything and the problems are still not solved.
Solution: Replace the Control Board
You can’t do much if the control board goes bad. It needs to be replaced. However, before replacing it, it is better to contact Kenmore Customer Service.
Kenmore Refrigerator – One Compartment Cooling
Sometimes only one compartment cools, and the other one gets warm. This can happen due to various reasons. Your usage pattern may be the issue here. You may have set the temperature incorrectly. The particular compartment may be overloaded, or the vents inside are blocked.
Ice buildup in the freezer section can block vents, leading to improper cooling in the fridge compartment.
Kenmore Refrigerators are easy to troubleshoot and maintain. However, it needs periodic maintenance to operate optimally and work smoothly. Most of the problems listed above can be diagnosed at home, but if you can’t fix the problem, don’t risk it. It is better to seek professional help at such times.