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Warning: If you don't feel comfortable working around electricity and equipment--call the repair technician!
If the freezer is cold but the refrigerator is warm, it is probably a defrost problem. But what if the freezer isn't cold either (warm or room temperature), but the refrigerator sounds like it is running?
...and it is plugged in, the cord isn't damaged, the lights are on inside the refrigerator, the temperature dial is at the proper level, there is a normal "running" noise coming from the back of the refrigerator (no rattling or burning odors), and it isn't giving off a strong and unpleasant smell (coolant leak)--it just isn't getting cold!
Is it time to call the refrigerator tech?
"After I have checked the defrost system, and everything checks out okay... before I call the repair tech, is there anything else that may be causing a cooling problem?"
Dirty refrigerator parts can cause many problems. Wouldn't it be nice if this were your only problem?
More about cleaning coming up in a few paragraphs!
The motor/compressor, condenser coil, condenser fan,
run capacitor, start relay, and overload protector
are located in the bottom section of the refrigerator.
If the defrost system tests out okay, a repair technician may test the refrigerator compressor and other related electrical components. S/he gains access to the compressor and the several related parts from the back of the refrigerator, behind the small cardboard cover at the bottom. (You probably removed this cardboard cover to monitor the water level when defrosting earlier.)
Where is the compressor and other related components?
You probably remember this photo from the defrost repair section. It is the rear of the refrigerator after you removed the cardboard cover. The compressor is the large black object to the left.
As you know, there are many different brands, models and the age factor that makes it almost impossible to provide materials to cover every refrigerator. You will find some generic information that may or may not apply to your specific refrigerator. Look for a repair manual for your specific refrigerator if you need more information/guidance and to check if your refrigerator does or doesn't have certain parts/features.