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Refrigerator isn't cooling,
but it isn't a defrost problem.
Refrigerator Parts--Cleaning
Warning:  If you don't feel comfortable working around electricity and equipment--call the repair technician!

Refrigerator Parts--Cleaning


Inspect and Clean This Area!

...and remember to clean at least every spring!
This could be part of your cooling problem!
CautionUnplug the refrigerator! Do the cleaning of this area with the unit NOT being plugged in, i.e., NO ELECTRICITY!
   Assumption: The refrigerator isn't cooling so the contents have been emptied and the refrigerator is unplugged.  (unplug)

Note:  Even if you are just routine cleaning the compressor/condenser/coils area, the unit should be unplugged to avoid dust and other debris from being blown around.  Also, there is a danger of possible shock from some parts or physical injury by a spinning fan.
      Remove the five or more screws that hold the cardboard cover to the refrigerator frame, and then remove the cardboard.  Make sure you have enough clearance to observe and work.  Make sure you are wearing eye protection, a dust mask (and ear protection if you are vacuuming).
Use Eye Protection!
Shroud Condenser + Fan
(note dangling insulation)
Here's what a technician might do:
Dust and other debris can be removed gently with a vacuum cleaner and a soft brush and cloth.  You can purchase several different attachments/brushes specifically designed for hard-to-get-at coils, as well as a soft  brush, at your favorite store. (compare prices before you buy!)  You will use these again and again!

Condenser coils come in many different forms

and can be located in different areas of the refrigerator, e.g., under, on the rear or in a condenser shroud.
How to clean:
Outside Coils  [under] covered with debris
(older models)
Back-Mounted Coils
Condenser Shroud
Do NOT use Water!
Water and electrical parts do not go together!
This Section for Repair Technicians Only
Here's what a technician might do:
1-   After the cardboard is removed for cleaning, the technician makes sure that nothing (e.g., tools, clothes, BODY PARTS) is touching any of the now exposed refrigerator parts. S/he is wearing eye protection.

2- The technician will stand back, then plug the refrigerator in for
a few seconds to observe if the condenser fan is turning freely. S/he uses a mechanic's light or a bright flashlight to observe the condenser fan and listens for any other "unusual" sounds coming from the compressor/condenser fan area.
WARNING: If you are not a trained professional technician, you are probably just reading for general knowledge so you can understand your repair person, not to implement what could be dangerous procedures for the untrained.
In any case, the reader/viewer assumes all responsibility for his/her actions.   Know your limitations!  It is recommended that you call a licensed professional refrigerator repair person for actual testing and repairs.
Use Eye Protection!
+ physical injury
Keep away from the fan while plugged in!
S/he makes sure not to touch anything--just observes and listens!              (More on this later.)
>>>3-  Then the technician immediately unplugs the refrigerator.
(For Technicians)
Make sure this area is clean. Dust, pieces of disintegrated insulation and other debris accumulate on the

condenser fan

, fan shroud and coils.  This can affect the cooling process.


Dust and dirty coils

could cause the overload protector on the compressor to shut down the refrigerator.  If the condenser fan is making noise, there may be a build-up of lint or other debris on the fan blade and/or surrounding areas.

You can vacuum (plastic) and (dry) clean with a soft brush and cloth.
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