Freezer Section is Working, Refrigerator Not Cold

This is probably the most common problem when it comes to refrigerator cooling issues.  There are a number of simple problems that can cause your refrigerator section to stop cooling when your freezer is still freezing your food.

This complaint is usually the result of a defrost problem. The first thing to check in this case is the freezer area. Look at the back panel inside the freezer. If you notice frost covering the back panel, you have defrost problem.

Ice Build up on Back Panel of Freezer Compartment

If the problem is not a defrost issue you may have a problem with the damper that goes between the freezer and fridge compartments. This is usually an adjustable "flap" that opens to allow cold air from the freezer to enter the fresh food side. Most top freezer and certain side x side refrigerators have an adjustable flap. That means its set open at a certain point and doesn't open and close when the machine runs.

Most newer side by sides and bottom freezer refrigerators have an electric damper that opens and closes as the machine runs. These are machines that have separate thermostats for the freezer. The machine can call for cold inside the freezer without affecting the fridge side temp by keeping the damper closed.

To test this will require you to locate the damper assembly. Once you find the damper on your machine, make sure the thermostat is on and you hear the freezer fan running. Normally at this point you can feel the air coming through the vents on the damper. Certain models will close the damper when the fridge door is open. So you will have to hold in the light switch or tape it so the machine thinks the door is closed. After you do that and you still don't feel air, remove the damper cover. Check to see if the damper door is closed. If the door is closed, make sure it isn't froze shut. Manually open the door with your fingers to make sure it can move freely. If it can move freely then replace the damper. Sometimes some insulation or foam can fall into the path of the damper and cause it to jam. If you look inside the damper and it's open but you don't feel air, check your evaporator freezer fan.

Door Left Open Overnight or all Day

One of the doors on your refrigerator being left open for a long period of time can cause the same problem.  Moisture from the air in your kitchen will freeze and block the air flow from the freezer to the fridge.  It will look like everything in your freezer go snowed on.  This is easy to fix.  Unplug the fridge or turn it off, use a hair dryer in the freezer section to melt the ice inside the damper area.

Freezer Fan is Not Running - Evaporator Fan Motor

The Freezer Fan should be running if the machine is not in defrost mode. If the refrigerator is warm and the compressor is running, the freezer fan should be running also. If not you are going to have to gain access to the freezer fan and check to see if it has 120 volts. If the fan is getting the proper voltage and is not running, replace the fan. If the fan is not getting voltage and the compressor is running, you more than likely have a problem with the defrost timer. Try turning the blade on the fan to see if they move freely. I have seen where a fan has developed rust and that prevented the motor from turning. It may start up if your get it a turn so watch your fingers. If it has rust and that's why it stopped, you should replace it anyway. It will just happen again. But at least your machine will work for the time being.