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Not Cooling - Refrigerator

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

When facing a cooling issue with your refrigerator, the difference between a unit that is not cooling enough or not cooling at all can be easy to miss.

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

    Yes No
  2. 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.

  3. Is your refrigerator showing any Error Codes on the display?

    Yes No
  4. Please refer to our error code article here.

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

    To check if your refrigerator is in Demo Mode or Display Mode:

    • Most Models - The Refrigerator Temperature will read 0 and the Freezer Temperature will read FF.
    • Press and hold refrigerator and ice plus button

    • Some Analog Models - The control panel will constantly cycle between selectable functions.

    Does the refrigerator seem to be in Demo Mode?

    Yes No
  6. 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.

    VIDEO: How to Disable Display Mode

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

  7. Which part of the refrigerator is not cooling?

    Refrigerator Freezer
  8. Find the door switch
    1. Open the refrigerator door, (if it has more than one, do this step for each door)
    2. Press in and hold the door switch or hold a magnet over the door switch to imitate closing the doors.

      Usually located at the top inside of the unit (this is the switch that the door presses when closed to shut off the light and start cooling).

    Do the lights turn off?

    Yes No
  9. Is there any sign of frost buildup in the freezer?

    Yes No
  10. The door switch may be disconnected.
      1. The connector in the door hinge can be easily checked by removing hinge cover.
      2. Use a Phillips head screwdriver to remove one screw holding the hinge cover.
      3. Once the hinge cover is removed, check the connectors to make sure they are secure.
    • If you prefer an LG technician to help, you can request Repair Service.

    Once the light is working, proceed to the next step. Next step
  11. Is the frost built up on one side more than the other?

    Yes No
  12. Let's check the vents.
    1. With the door opened, press in the door switch
    2. Place your hand near the vents (while holding the door button), and check for cold air.

      If there is any food in front of the vent, please move it, as to not block the vent.

    Can cold air be felt coming from the vents?

    Yes No
  13. Frost that builds up more on the left or right side indicates 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.

    Next Step
  14. The unit is cooling correctly, it could be 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 it is cooling correctly.

    If the unit is still not cooling, it will require Repair Service.

  15. If the unit is still not cooling, it will require Repair Service.

  16. Is the unit making ice? (If your model does not have an icemaker, select NO)

    Yes No
  17. In order 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.

    Next Step
  18. Are the items in the freezer still Frozen or Soft / Thawed?

    Frozen Soft / Thawed
  19. 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 frost, but not enough to thaw your food.

  20. 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 close.
    • 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, click here.

      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 Repair Service.

  21. The unit will require Repair Service.

Many instances when the refrigerator is not cold enough can be resolved with some troubleshooting, or even by reorganizing items on the inside of the refrigerator. Some things you can check are:

  • Your refrigerator needs to be leveled in order for the doors to open, close, and seal properly.

    If you need instructions on how to level the unit, click here.

  • LG refrigerators have recommended default temperature settings (Refrigerator: 37°F, Freezer: 0°F). Make certain that the temperatures for both the freezer and refrigerator compartments are set properly. The more food that is in the unit, the hotter the ambient temperature of the room or the more the unit is opened and closed, the cooler that the unit should be set. This is because it will take more for the unit to keep cool.

    It is also important to know that the inside temperature and the external settings display may vary +/- 5 degrees.

    If you made changes to your current settings, allow the refrigerator approximately 24 hours to stabilize.

    • Check the vents in all compartments.
    • Relocate any items that might be blocking the vents.
    • Check the model specific owner's manual for recommended food storage locations.

  • Visually inspect the doors to make sure that they are aligned correctly. Run your hand along the rubber door seals, feeling for any areas where cold air is able to escape. If the doors are not aligned properly or the refrigerator is not sealing properly, cold air will escape and thus prevent the unit from maintaining the set temperature.

    If the door seals are damaged, the unit will require repair service.

    Each time the doors open, cold air escapes and warm air enters the unit. The digital sensors in the unit will pick up on this and turn the compressor back on to cool the unit back down. If the doors are being opened and closed frequently, the unit will not be able to maintain temperature settings. Leave the doors shut to cool the unit.

  • If a lot of food or hot food items have been added to the refrigerator recently, the refrigerator compartment will temporarily warm, requiring the unit to run longer to bring it back down to the set temperature. Please allow enough time for the unit to cool back down. How long will vary depending on the amount of food added and the settings of the unit.

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