While KitchenAid may not be the household brand name that LG or Whirlpool is, they have a long history of making great refrigerators that make an excellent addition to anyone’s kitchen.
With that being said, sometimes their fridges can run into a troublesome issue where it will suddenly stop cooling, leaving you with spoiling food and no obvious way of fixing it.
Don’t worry! We’ve got your back. In this article, we’re going to explain why this problem might occur and give you 11 simple and easy methods to get it fixed, so you don’t have to worry about your food going bad.
Why is your KitchenAid Refrigerator Not Cooling
Table of Contents
- Why is your KitchenAid Refrigerator Not Cooling
- 1. The Condenser Coils are Clogged
- 2. The Condenser Fan has Failed
- 3. A Start Relay Issue
- 4. The Internal Fan has Failed
- 5. The Thermostat isn’t Working Properly
- 6. Start Capacitor Failure
- 7. The Temperature Control Panel isn’t Working
- 8. The Door Gasket has Failed
- 9. The Compressor isn’t Working
- 10. A Faulty Main Control Board
- 11. The Fridge isn’t Level
- How to Fix a Kitchenaid Refrigerator Not Cooling
- 1. Unblock the Condenser Coils
- 2. Defrost the Condenser Fan
- 3. A start Relay Issue
- 4. Replace the Internal Fan
- 5. Fix the Thermostat
- 6. Replace the Start Capacitor
- 7. Fix the Temperature Control Board
- 8. Repair the Refrigerator Door Gasket
- 9. Replace the Compressor
- 10. Fix the Main Control Board
- 11. Level the Fridge
One of the most challenging aspects of dealing with a fridge that won’t cool is the wide variety of potential causes of this problem, which can make diagnosing and fixing it a real pain!
So we’ve made a handy step-by-step list you can follow through to ascertain the root source of the problem before we dive in and fix it.
1. The Condenser Coils are Clogged
The condenser coils are essentially a large radiator at the back of the machine, which will have the refrigerant vapor pass through it. As this condenses back to a liquid form, it expels the heat through the evaporator coil, cooling itself rapidly.
As these coils are located outside the KitchenAid fridge, what can often happen is they will become blocked up with dust and debris, which ends up insulating the coils and removing their ability to expel heat.
2. The Condenser Fan has Failed
To assist with the cooling process, the condenser fan will take in fresh air from the front of the fridge and pushes it through the evaporator coil and out the back of the fridge, taking the heat that the condenser coil is expelling away from it.
So if the evaporator fan motor stops working for any reason, the fridge’s ability to dispel heat will be dramatically reduced, and we need to get it working again before the fridge will cool to an acceptable temperature.
3. A Start Relay Issue
The start relay is a small electrical device that uses an electrical current to ‘jumpstart’ another bigger component. In the context of a fridge, it is used to start the compressor.
These little components can quite commonly burn out. You can identify this by listening for a repeating clicking sound which means it’s trying to start the compressor but is unsuccessful.
Fortunately, these can be replaced pretty easily, so oftentimes the best solution is to swap them out with a new one.
4. The Internal Fan has Failed
Many fridges utilize two fans, the first is the condenser fan which helps to cool the evaporator coils, but the second is located inside the fridge and helps to circulate the air and provide as even cooling as possible.
When this fails, you might get ‘cold spots’ where one area is exceptionally cold, but others have not been cooled at all.
By restoring functionality to this fan, we can get that nice and even cooling
5. The Thermostat isn’t Working Properly
The role of the thermostat is to monitor the internal temperature of the fridge, and when it drops below the user-set level, it will turn on the compressor and cool the refrigerator.
Sometimes the thermostat itself may be experiencing an issue that prevents the compressor from turning on.
Other times it may be an outside issue, such as the door gasket failing, which in turn constantly causes the internal temperature to drop making the thermostat and compressor work overtime to keep the fridge cool.
6. Start Capacitor Failure
Not to be confused with the start relay, although their functions are similar. The start relay helps to physically start the compressor, while the start capacitor will slowly store up energy which is then released to help the compressor along when it needs to start.
Like any kind of capacitor, these can sometimes blow, burn out or just fail which means your compressor may not be getting the juice it needs to work properly, rendering the fridge unable to cool.
7. The Temperature Control Panel isn’t Working
A temperature control panel is essentially a thermal sensor that monitors the temperature and informs the thermostat so it can react when it meets the required threshold to turn the compressor on.
These sensors are pretty sensitive devices and can be prone to burning out due to things like a power surge and oftentimes will need to be swapped out.
8. The Door Gasket has Failed
That rubber/plastic seal that lines your fridge is extremely important in keeping the cold air in, and preventing warm outside air from getting in.
For various reasons the seal it creates might not be completely secure which will let air in and lower the internal refrigerator temperature.
You should inspect the door seal for visible cracks or something like a food spill or buildup that might be enough to break the door seal.
Depending on what caused the problem sometimes it can simply be cleaned, and other times it may need to just be replaced.
9. The Compressor isn’t Working
The compressor is the single most important component in a fridge, it’s what activates when the refrigerator temperature drops below the designated threshold and starts to pump the coolant water around the fridge.
Needless to say, if this component fails the fridge will not be able to cool at all. We will need to inspect the compressor and test it for functionality and if it’s not working, then it will simply need to be replaced.
10. A Faulty Main Control Board
The main control board is the brain of the fridge and controls many of its functions including things like the defrost cycle.
As these are quite complicated electrical devices it’s not uncommon to see them fail. In most cases, they are very difficult to self-diagnose and normally just need to be swapped out with a new one.
11. The Fridge isn’t Level
When a fridge isn’t level it can cause unwanted temperature fluctuations as the compressor struggles to pump the coolant water around the fridge evenly.
It’s an often overlooked aspect of how well a fridge can cool, but if you take some time to level the fridge you will notice its cooling ability will increase.
How to Fix a Kitchenaid Refrigerator Not Cooling
As you can see there are many individual components that all work together in order to keep the KitchenAid fridge cool. Should any of these fail, then it will throw the balance off.
Now you’ve been able to diagnose the issue using the previous section, let’s now take a look at how to get these problems fixes.
1. Unblock the Condenser Coils
When the condenser coils are all clogged up with dust and hair they will not be able to dissipate the heat, so we need to give them a good cleanout.
The easiest way to do this is to take a brush and a vacuum, hold the nozzle near to the coils to catch the dust as you dislodge it, and simply brush all the dust out of the coils, which the vacuum will then suck up.
2. Defrost the Condenser Fan
The condenser fan won’t be able to operate if the condenser coils have become frozen, so you should first ensure the condenser coils are defrosted.
If this doesn’t fix the issue, you should remove the condenser fan and check it’s not clogged up with dust and debris. If it looks clean then it may have failed in which case it will need to be replaced with a new one.
3. A start Relay Issue
If you’re hearing a repeated clicking sound it means the start relay is probably failing.
The starter relay can be easily replaced by removing the back of the fridge, then unscrew the cap that hides the starter relay, then simply swap it out for the new one.
4. Replace the Internal Fan
There are a few easy ways to troubleshoot a failed internal fan. But in this case, the easiest solution is to simply replace it with a new one sourced from Kitchen Aid.
5. Fix the Thermostat
Sometimes you can kick the thermostat back into gear by adjusting the temperature control, you may have set it too low by accident.
But if this doesn’t work then you will need to call KitchenAid customer support who will arrange for a technician to replace it for you as it’s not easy to do this yourself.
6. Replace the Start Capacitor
Once a start capacitor has failed, it’s not an easy repair, so we recommend replacing it.
Refer to your user’s manual to locate the start capacitor for your particular model of fridge, then you can just slot the new one right in its place.
7. Fix the Temperature Control Board
Sometimes you can fix the temperature control board by inspecting the wire harness for obvious loose wires and broken connections which you can repair as needed.
If there is nothing noticeably wrong with it then it has most likely blown in which case it will need to be replaced.
8. Repair the Refrigerator Door Gasket
Once you have visually inspected the gasket you should have a good idea of what is causing its seal to be broken.
If it’s something like built-up food or a spill that’s giving it an uneven surface you can easily wipe it down with an all-purpose cleaner and it should restore the seal.
However, if it’s seriously damaged or cracked it will need to be replaced (you cannot glue these). Fortunately, it’s very easy to install and you can just pull out the old one and insert the new one by hand.
9. Replace the Compressor
Whether it’s due to overheating or a power surge, when a compressor fails it’s not easily repaired unless you have the skillset required to do so.
So again, the recommendation is to source a new one and replace it; if you are not confident in doing this yourself, you can call a qualified technician to do it for you.
10. Fix the Main Control Board
The main control board is connected by a series of wires mounted to a wire harness, these should be inspected for loose connections and repaired accordingly.
If the board itself has failed you can quite easily replace this yourself as it’s just held in by a few screws, just remember to power down the machine first.
11. Level the Fridge
You should first check the level of the fridge using a spirit level to identify which corner is too low, then you can raise the foot on that corner to make it level.