How To Fix A Refrigerator That's Too Cold | Refrigerator Repair | Fridge Repair
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How To Fix A Refrigerator That's Too Cold

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  • Rated as REALLY EASY
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Air Inlet Damper Or Baffle

The air damper, baffle or diffuser is the device that balances the air flow from the evaporator fan housing. This normally is a mechanically controlled baffle or flapper that controls the amount of cold air entering the fresh food compartment. If the baffle is damaged or the linkage to the control knob is damaged, then too much cold air may enter the fresh food compartment resulting in lower than normal temperatures. The baffle or damper will be located where the cold air enters the fresh food compartment.

The housing that the baffle or damper is encased in is often made of plastic with a Styrofoam lining and may have a foam seal to prevent air leakage. Care should be used when inspecting the housing to avoid damage to the seal or the Styrofoam. Locate the baffle/damper and operate the control knob to verify that the linkage is intact and that it moves freely. If the damper/baffle is stuck in the open position or does not move freely, then it should be replaced. Some refrigerator models use a temperature sensing bulb attached to this control that will automatically adjust the control for changes in the interior temperature. Make sure that the sensing bulb is in the correct position and is not damaged.

Temperature Sensor Or Thermistor

Some electronic controls models will use a thermistor to sense the temperature. The electronic control monitors this temperature and will automatically adjust the damper. The temperature sensor is normally a plastic encased capsule with two wires attached and may be located near the air inlet. The thermistor will have a specific resistance based on temperature and is therefore difficult to diagnose without the manufacturers specifications. Some models may indicate a fault code when the sensor is faulty.

Main Control Board

Some newer models may have an electronic control board that controls all of the refrigerators functions. Sensors are connected to the board that monitor fresh food and freezer compartment temperatures and the control board will use that information to operate the compressor and fans as well as the defrost system and in some cases the air baffle/damper to balance temperatures. A defective control board could cause a symptom of the fresh food compartment being too cold, but you should first eliminate the sensors and the damper before changing the control. Some manufacturers may provide detailed information on the procedure for testing the board and the sensors.

Cold Control Or Temperature Control

The cold control thermostat monitors the temperature inside the refrigerator and will operate the compressor and fans when the temperature rises. The control is often labeled as the refrigerator control but in some models may be called the freezer control. The control will have wires attached to it that operate the compressor circuit, and will normally have an “off” setting on the knob. If the control is defective it may create a symptom of the fresh food section being too cold but would also lower the temperature in the freezer compartment as well, and the compressor would run longer than normal. Try adjusting both controls starting at the middle settings and monitor the temperatures for 24 hours before making any further adjustments.

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