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Fridge not cooling - freezer works fine


Premium Member
Aug 6, 2023
Model Number
6-10 years
Fridge door was left cracked for a few hours and then the fridge would not cool. Freezer was fine and has been throughout this ordeal.

Unplugged it for 24 hours to defrost and plugged back in and everything worked fine for 3-4 days and then the same…fridge would not cool.

This time I took the freezer rear panel off and the coils were entirely covered in ice and frost so I used a heat gun (from a safe distance) and melted all the ice and let it sit for 24 hours. Plugged it back in and of course it worked. For about 48 hours. Each time the fridge would not cool, there was no air coming in from the top vent to the fridge – unless I opened the freezer door, the air would flow as usual. The damper door was not blocked by ice, the bottom return vent was not blocked by ice, either. The evaporator fan is running as it should be.

It seems there are a handful of possible issues:

  1. The defrost heater is not working
  2. The defrost control is not working
  3. The defrost thermostat is not working
  4. The damper control is not working properly
  5. The thermistor is bad

I guess my question is, based on what caused the issue, which is the most likely culprit that has gone bad and what’s the best/easiest way to confirm which part is causing the issue?

Thanks for any help that can be provided!
Did you check for ice blockage at the return air hole on right side at the bottom of the evaporator?
Hey Todd, yes that’s what i meant by “the bottom return vent was not blocked by ice, either”. i should’ve been more clear - the vent was open on both sides.

If the evap isn't defrosting, I would check for continuity within the heater and the thermostat. The stat should be closed in a frozen state. The heater should have 20 or 30 ohms, just guessing on that, it shouldn't be open.
Thanks, Todd! Do you know of a good resource where I could read/learn a bit more on the process for checking the continuity?

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