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Not Cooling - Refrigerator

Troubleshooting Refrigerators Last Updated 09/29/2015
Not Cooling - Refrigerator

When facing cooling issues with your refrigerator, the difference between a unit that is not cooling enough or not cooling at all can be easy to miss. Watch our LG Refrigerator Not Cooling Video which explains why your refrigerator is not cooling and what you should do.

If you see any error code on the display screen of your refrigerator, please visit our Error Codes - Refrigerator article to properly disable and prevent the error from showing again.

  1. Which part of the refrigerator is not cooling?

  2. On the RIGHT door, push in the DOOR SWITCH, or hold a magnet over the door switch to imitate closing the doors.

    Push Door Switch

    NOTE: The door switch is usually located at the top inner part of the unit (this switch is what your door presses when closed, it shuts off the light and triggers the cooling of the unit).

    Does the lights turn on?

    Yes No
  3. If you have two doors, you need to REPEAT the same step on the LEFT door. Push in the DOOR SWITCH, or hold a magnet over the door switch to imitate closing the doors.

    • If you have one door, proceed to the next step.

    Proceed to Next Step

    If the lights do NOT turn on, Click Here.
  4. Let's check the vents.

    1. With the door opened, press in the door switch.

    2. If there is any food in front of the vent, please move it, so that they will not block the air vents.

    3. Place your hand near the vents (while holding the door button), and check for cold air.


    Can cold air be felt coming from the vents?

    Yes No
  5. The door switch may be disconnected. Troubleshooting a disconnected door switch requires a professional technician's expertise. Please visit our Request a Repair page for a professional service.


    Once the light is working, proceed to the next step.

    Proceed to Next Step
  6. The unit is cooling correctly; it is possible that the unit just came out of defrost mode, or the door was not sealed properly, this could make it appear that the refrigerator is not cooling properly.

    Check the refrigerator again in 4 to 6 hours to see if it is cooling correctly.

    If the unit is still not cooling, it will require a technician for further troubleshooting. Please visit our Request a Repair page for a professional service.

  7. If the unit is still not cooling, it will require a technician for further troubleshooting. Please visit our Request a Repair page for a professsional service.

  8. You need to check if the freezer is in the defrost cycle. During the defrost cycle, the freezer warms up for less than an hour to remove the frost.

    Is there any sign of frost buildup in the freezer?

    Yes No
  9. Is the frost built up on one side more than the other?

    Yes No
  10. Is the unit making ice? (If your model does not have an ice maker, select NO)

    Yes No
  11. Frost that builds up more on the left or right side indicates that the freezer drawer is not sealing properly. Fully open the freezer drawer, and close it firmly three times. This will reset the guides for the pull-out freezer drawer. Rearrange food items to ensure that nothing is blocking the door from shutting completely.

    Monitor the unit for 4-6 hours.

    Proceed to Next Step
  12. To produce ice, the unit must be below 19°F. If the unit produces ice, the unit is capable of cooling. Fully open the freezer drawer, and close it firmly three times. This will reset the guides for the pull-out freezer drawer.

    Monitor the unit for 4-6 hours.

    Proceed to next Next Step
  13. Are the items in the freezer still frozen or soft/thawed?

    Frozen Soft/Thawed
  14. What you are experiencing is likely the defrost cycle. To keep frost from building up on your food, the freezer will enter the defrost cycle periodically, warming up just enough to remove the frost, but not enough to thaw your food.

    Important note:

    • LG refrigerators do not have a set defrost cycle.

    • The refrigerator automatically monitors the usage of the freezer, and will change the time between defrosts based on the usage of the unit.

    • The unit will begin cooling again after the defrost cycle ends.

    • Check the freezer again in 4 to 6 hours to verify the unit is cooling correctly.

  15. With the freezer closed, feel the sides of the freezer drawer on the left and right sides for cold air.

    Can cold air be felt coming from the freezer drawer while the door is closed?

    Yes No
    • Open, and firmly close the freezer, and verify if cold air can be felt from the freezer drawer while closed.

    • Make sure the unit is leveled by placing a leveler on the inside of the refrigerator. An off-level refrigerator may not cool properly due to a number of reasons.

    • Note: If you need instructions on how to level the unit, visit our Leveling - Refrigerator article.

      Check the freezer again in 4 to 6 hours to verify the unit is cooling correctly.

    If the unit is still not cooling, it will require a technician for further troubleshooting, please visit our Request a Repair page for a professional service.

  16. The unit will require a technician for further troubleshooting, please visit our Request a Repair page for a professional service.

  17. If the unit was just installed, it could take up to 24 hours for the unit to reach the set temperature.

    Was the refrigerator recently installed or moved (within the last 24 hours)?

    Yes No
  18. After the unit is installed for the first time, or reinstalled after being moved, the unit must be allowed 24 hours for the internal temperature to stabilize.

  19. All LG refrigerators are equipped with a DEMO MODE or DISPLAY MODE. This feature disables all cooling in the refrigerator and freezer sections to conserve energy while the unit is on display in a retail store.

    Is your refrigerator showing any error code on the display screen?

    Yes No
  20. Error codes are indicators from your refrigerator that some operation within the refrigerator requires your attention. Please visit our Error Codes - Refrigerator article for more information and troubleshooting steps about any specific error code.

  21. Let's check if the unit is in demo mode. If demo mode or display mode is active, the lights, fans and the display will function, but the unit will not cool.

    How to check if your refrigerator is in demo/display mode:

    • Most Models - The refrigerator's temperature will read 0, and the freezer's temperature will read FF.

    • Press and hold refrigerator and ice plus button

    • Some Analog Models - The control panel will constantly cycle between selectable functions while the unit is in demo mode.

    Does the refrigerator seem to be in demo mode?

    Yes No
  22. To disable demo mode:

    • Open one, or both of the doors (it doesn't matter which).

    • Press and hold the refrigerator and ice plus buttons for at least 5 seconds. If you do not have these buttons, refer to your owner's manual for the specific instructions for your model. Visit our Manuals and Documents page to download a copy of your owner's manual.

    VIDEO: How to Disable Display Mode

    Note: The location of the buttons may be different depending on your model.

  23. Now let's check if the unit is functioning correctly. Most LG refrigerators supply cold air to the refrigerator from the freezer. Let's test the freezer first.

    We need to check an item inside your freezer that should be hard or frozen such as meat or vegetables.

    Are the items in the freezer still frozen or soft/thawed?

    Frozen Soft/Thawed
  24. What you are experiencing is likely the defrost cycle. To keep frost from building up on your food, the freezer will enter the defrost cycle periodically, warming up just enough to remove the frost, but not enough to thaw your food.

    Important note:

    • LG refrigerators do not have a set defrost cycle.

    • The refrigerator automatically monitors the usage of the freezer, and will change the time between defrosts based on the usage of the unit.

    • The unit will begin cooling again after the defrost cycle ends.

    • Check the freezer again in 4 to 6 hours to verify the unit is cooling correctly.

  25. With the freezer closed, feel the sides of the freezer drawer on the left and right for cold air.

    Can cold air be felt coming from the freezer drawer while the door is closed?

    Yes No
    • Open and firmly close the freezer, and verify if cold air can be felt from the freezer drawer while closed.

    • Make sure the unit is leveled by placing a leveler on the inside of the refrigerator. An off-level refrigerator may not cool correctly due to a number of reasons.

    • Note: If you need instructions on how to level the unit, please visit our Leveling - Refrigerator article.

      Check the freezer again in 4 to 6 hours to verify if the unit is cooling correctly.

    If the unit is still not cooling, it will require a technician for further troubleshooting. Please visit our Request a Repair page for a professional service.


    Now that we have checked the freezer, let's troubleshoot the refrigerator.

    Proceed to Refrigerator
  26. The unit will require a technician for further troubleshooting. Please visit our Request a Repair page for professional service.

  27. You may prefer to refer to our Refrigerator Section as the instructions below are culled from the section.

    • Open the refrigerator door and press the door switch.

    • If there is any food in front of the vent, move it, place your hand close to the air vents to check if some cold air is coming from the vents in the rear of the unit.

    Can cold air be felt coming from the vents?

    Yes No
  28. The unit is cooling properly. If the door wasn't sealing correctly, or the unit just came out of defrost mode, this could make it appear that the refrigerator is not cooling properly. Check the refrigerator again in 4 to 6 hours to see if the unit is cooling correctly.


  29. If the unit is still not cooling, it will require a technician for further troubleshooting. Please visit our Request a Repair page for a professional service.

Author - Sanmi Ajanaku

Sanmi is a Home Appliance expert and author of this help library article. Please leave him feedback below about the page.

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