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LG Refrigerator LMXC23796M randomly stops cooling for a couple days, but then starts back

repair_newbie

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
33
Location
NC
Model Number
LMXC23796M
Brand
LG
Age
1-5 years
Fridge is barely over a year old. About 3 months ago, it stopped cooling, fridge got to over 60 inside. Freezer was thawed out. All ice in ice maker melted. I called LG since it was under warranty and they setup a service call for a few days later. I called back and cancelled two days later, because temps got back to normal.
Fast forward to this week....it happened again.. we first noticed the ice seemed a little thawed, and then noticed a puddle of water under the ice maker. This was 3 days ago. So i called LG and they setup a service appt for yesterday. Day before yesterday, fridge was 70 degrees inside and freezer was 68 in the morning. But then by the evening, it started cooling again. When I went to bed, it was 20 in the freezer and 50 in the fridge. Of course by the time the repair guy got here yesterday, it was back to normal-ish. 43 in fridge and 10 in the freezer (Still not all the way back to normal temps) He said, since its working now, theres nothing he can really do. He did check for error codes, and there were none. And made sure the fans were working. And he did say the compressor was hotter than it should be, which he measured with a temp gun.

He said he was thinking maybe theres no enough air flow behind the fridge, and was causing the compressor to overheat. I asked him why it would cause the fridge to stop cooling for a couple days, and he said maybe the compressor kept trying to come back on, overheating, and causing the thermal shutoff. I asked him why it would all the sudden recover after a couple days and start working normal again, rather than just continuing to try to come back on, overheat, etc, and he didnt have a great answer.

He instructed me to clean the coils. Which i did, and they really werent that dirty, but did have a little dust on them. He also pointed out how the fridge is setting inside a wooden box essentially (not in open air), and that he tells customers to cut vent holes into the cabinets to the left and right of the fridge, and maybe even the cut a couple holes into the cabinets above the fridge, to allow more airflow and heat to escape.

A couple questions:
  1. Does his concern about the heat and airflow have any legitimacy? Should I cut the vent holes he has mentioned?
  2. Based on my description of the symptoms, does it sound like the compressor overheating like he has said, or does this sound like a different issue?
I am fairly confident that 2-3 months from now, I am going to experience this same thing happening again, and have to call LG back. So I'm just trying to get to the bottom of this so I can determine the real issue and fix it myself, or get it fixed under warranty.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,621
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Yes, the more air circulation the better.

Next time it happens, pull the refrigerator out from the wall, then put your hand on the compressor and see if its running/vibrating, if so then the compressor is the problem.

Jake
 

repair_newbie

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
33
Location
NC
I will do that. Is it possible for a compressor to be running, and not cooling, and that go on for a couple days. And then all the sudden a couple days later its running and cooling. If so, what kind of problem in the compressor would cause that? I'm more just curious than anything else, but also, so that if it happens again and I feel the compressor and its running, I can have an intelligent response about what I think might be the issue. :)
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,621
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
That would still be a compressor problem. LG compressors are very common for failures within the first 5 years.

Jake
 

repair_newbie

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2020
Messages
33
Location
NC
Yes, I was just curious...is it possible for a compressor to be intermittent like that? To where it works most of the time, but sometimes stops working? I guess I just assumed when it goes bad, it goes bad.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
122,621
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Yes Sir! It can be intermittent like that, trust me.:)

Jake
 

home4sale2

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
29
Location
Chicago
Yes, I was just curious...is it possible for a compressor to be intermittent like that? To where it works most of the time, but sometimes stops working? I guess I just assumed when it goes bad, it goes bad.
Your fridge is being nice enough to send you warning shots. Some of us never got them, poof, dead.
 
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