Most Common Problems With Your Whirlpool Refrigerators

Whirlpool is a generally well-trusted name in appliances, and for a good reason. They’ve been in business since 1911, making washing machines. By 1955 they had expanded into virtually every household appliance, including refrigerators, and have been widely regarded as one of the best brands in household appliances for nearly seventy years. According to USNews, the Whirlpool Bottom-Freezer Refrigerator was the #3 rated refrigerator among those evaluated. 

Of course, just because a refrigerator works well most of the time doesn’t mean that it works well all of the time. All appliances will break down from time to time, and there are certain areas where Whirlpool fridges have their issues. Below are some of the most common problems with your Whirlpool refrigerators.

Whirlpool Refrigerator Is Not Cooling

This could be any one of several parts and not an issue that you’d want to tackle on your own. Some of the possible culprits could be:

  • The condenser coils are dirty. These are located under the fridge, and they dissipate the heat as refrigerant passes through them. If they’re dirty, they won’t dissipate the heat as well. The good news is that these can be cleaned without being replaced. 
  • The condenser fan motor is out. This pulls air in over the condenser coils and over the compressor. To repair this, the service person will have to check to ensure that nothing is obstructing the fan. If something is, it can be removed. If not, it may need to be replaced.
  • The evaporator fan motor is out. This fan draws air over the evaporator and distributes it through the Whirlpool fridge. (Some Whirlpool fridges have more than one evaporator fan.) If this fan isn’t working, cold air will not circulate through the refrigerator. A good sign that this is the problem is if the freezer is still getting cold, but the fridge is not. The evaporator fan motor will most likely need to be replaced.
  • The thermostat isn’t working. Just like the thermostat in your home that runs your heating and air conditioning, this thermostat monitors the temperature in the fridge and tells it when too cool. If it fails, it will not engage the refrigerant system and will need to be replaced.
  • The temperature control board is down. This board provides power to the compressor and fan motors. This rarely breaks, so the serviceperson will probably check other parts first.
  • The start capacitor is bad. If this isn’t working, the compressor may not startup, so the fridge will not cool. 
  • The start relay is defective. If the start relay doesn’t work, the compressor may run off and on, giving you the impression that the fridge is struggling. This causes some Whirlpool refrigerator owners not to call the service person when it happens because they hope the fridge will get better on its own. But it needs to be replaced.
  • The compressor itself is faulty. This is the pump that pushes the refrigerant through the evaporator and coils. This is a less common problem, so the serviceperson will probably check other parts first.

The Whirlpool Water Dispenser Doesn’t Work

There are several reasons your Whirlpool water dispenser isn’t working. Let’s look at some of them.

  • The water inlet valve isn’t opening. This is probably the most common reason for the water dispenser not to work. This could be because the water pressure isn’t high enough (there may also be a water pressure issue from the housing supply), or it could be because the valve is defective. The valve needs at least 20psi. If you have enough pressure, then replace the valve.
  • The dispenser switch is faulty. If this is the case, the serviceperson will use a multimeter to test the switch, and if it’s not working, it will be replaced.
  • The door switch isn’t working. If the door to the fridge is open, the water and ice dispenser don’t work. If the door switch doesn’t recognize that the door is closed, the switch is probably faulty and will need to be replaced.
  • The water filter is clogged. The water filter should be replaced every six months. This can be done by the homeowner and doesn’t require a service person.

The Whirlpool Refrigerator is Not Defrosting

Generally, a Whirlpool fridge will defrost, but if it doesn’t, it may be one of these things:

  • The defrost heater isn’t working. This turns on periodically to melt the frost off the evaporator coils. It is one of the most common reasons a fridge won’t defrost.
  • The defrost thermostat is broken. This thermostat measures the evaporator coils' temperature, and when the coils get too cold, the thermostat will turn on the defrost heater. If the thermostat is broken, the heater won’t come on, and the coils won’t defrost.
  • The defrost control board is bad. This board controls when to run the defrost cycle, and if it isn’t working, then the fridge won’t defrost. This is less common than the defrost heater or the defrost thermostat, and those should be checked first by the serviceperson.
  • The defrost timer is out. This timer is set to defrost the evaporator coils automatically, and if it isn't working, then all the burden is put on the defrost thermostat. 

The Whirlpool Fridge is Making a Lot of Noise

If your fridge is making a lot of noise, you know that it’s a problem. Here’s are a few of the possibilities:

  • A fan blade is breaking or obstructed. The fan blade is probably the number one reason why a fridge makes a lot of noise. It will make more noise when the doors are opened. It could be either the evaporator fan blade or the condenser fan, and the serviceperson can check to see if the fan is rubbing against something or is obstructed.
  • The evaporator fan motor is failing (or has failed). If this happens, there will be a lot of noise, and the noise will increase when you open the Whirlpool fridge door. This will need to be replaced.
  • The condenser fan motor is defective. This noise will come from the backside of the fridge, near the bottom. The serviceperson can access it by pulling the refrigerator away from the wall and opening a panel.
  • The water inlet valve is clogged. If the Whirlpool fridge is loud when the ice maker is running, it could be because of mineral deposits in the water inlet valve. This will need to be replaced—it cannot be disassembled.
  • The compressor is damaged. A compressor can be loud for a long time before the fridge fails to work, but it is a sign that the fridge will break. The compressor will need to be replaced eventually, before or after it fails. 

Is your Whirlpool refrigerator giving you problems?

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