When a mini fridge refuses to cool, much like a standard-sized refrigerator, it could be a number of problems. Whether these issues are major or minor, you should always check to see if there is a repair or a replacement on the horizon. From a failed compressor to an issue with the seals, here are the reasons your mini fridge may not be working properly.
To start off, you should always make sure you know your refrigerator’s age. You can do this by checking the warranty on your mini fridge. Much like standard-sized refrigerators, mini fridges are issued with particular warranties. In the case of a mini fridge, they are typically under a one-year appliance warranty.
Checking Your Warranty
Checking for your fridge’s warranty is also very important. If your mini fridge is no longer under warranty, then troubleshooting these issues gets more complicated. If you are no longer under warranty, then you should just get a full replacement, rather than look into getting repairs. Expired warranties are typically due to an older model of fridge and are not worth the trouble.
Listening to the Compressor
Your compressor is found at the back of the mini fridge. To diagnose if the compressor is having trouble, slide the unit out and carefully listen to any sounds it might be making.
If the compressor is quiet, then inspect the sealed system’s capillary tube, which is attached to the condenser. It may just be that the capillary tube is leaking.
If your compressor is running, then it may be restricted due to a blockage. Calling in a repairman to help will give you an easy and efficient fix.
Some models of mini fridges come equipped with evaporator coils. Look up your model to determine whether yours has this feature. If it doesn’t, skip this section.
If yours does, then they may be frosted over due to abnormally low temperature, which leaves them dysfunctional. If this happens once, it isn’t a big issue, and a repairman can help you out. However, if it is a recurring problem, then it is symptomatic of a much larger issue, specifically a problem with the compressor.
If Your Compressor Doesn’t Run
Start by relaying the mini fridge. This works to start the compressor over and over. If you hear a clicking sound followed by the sounds of a motor generating, your relay has successfully started.
If there are no audible clicking sounds, then the relay has failed, and you will need to replace the entire mini fridge in order to get a functioning compressor.
Sometimes mini fridges have issues with their thermostats, rather than the compressor, control board, or evaporator coils. When this happens, there will be no power to send to the compressor. Typically, thermostats sense when temperatures get around their general acceptance level and send energy to the compressor to get the fridge working.
This is a pricey and complicated repair, so consider getting a replacement.
The Control Board
Normally, newer models of mini fridges come equipped with a control board. The control board acts as the “brain” of the fridge, as it saves power, dials specific temperatures, and engages power cool cycles if the door has accidentally been left open.
With these newer models, if the control board is faulty, it will compromise the compressor, and the compressor will not start. These are not worth replacing either, as they are expensive, time consuming, and hard to find. Control boards only come with brand-new models of mini fridges, so it isn’t in your best interest to look for a repair.
Instead, replace your fridge with a new one, as it would be cheaper in the long run.
If Your Compressor Is Running but Your Fridge Is Not Cool
If your compressor is running, but the fridge itself is still not cool, then there could be an issue with the evaporator fan motor. However, not all mini fridges come equipped with an evaporator fan motor. Only read this step if yours comes equipped with one.
When you have issues with the evaporator fan motor, air circulation will be limited or not happen at all. This can give you cold air but not cold temperatures from inside the fridge.
A Restricted Dryer Filter
Lastly, you could be experiencing a restricted dryer filter. This component, too, is located in the sealed system, and it filters freon from the compressor coil, as well as water condensation. Restrictions in the dryer filter can cause freon to remain in the compressor coil, not giving the compressor enough time to cool the fridge in normal time.
While there are many different working parts involved in mini fridges, the important thing is being able to distinguish the parts from each other in order to get your fridge working again. Fridges can often be simply repaired through assessing the different parts and consulting with your instruction manual, manufacturer, or repairman to diagnose the problem and fix it. With this handy guide and other guides like it, you should be in for an easier, quicker repair or replacement.