If you notice your food starting to get moldy, then it is apparent that your mini-fridge is not staying cold. Other symptoms could include taking a long time to cool or only staying cold for a short period.
This will not only create a smell but can also lead to health issues. Germs can grow in your fridge that can cause food-borne illnesses. What is causing this problem? Do you need to replace your fridge or hire a technician? Let’s find out.
Why is my mini fridge not cooling/staying cold?
A mini-fridge might not get cold enough for several reasons including a faulty knob, failed compressor, damaged fan motor, and dirty coils or vents. All of them do not require permanent changes or replacement. Some issues need to be fixed quickly to prevent permanent damage to the mini-fridge.
A fridge cannot function without cold air. Hence, if it’s not staying cold, something needs to be checked out. Your vents could be blocked, your door gasket might be damaged, or your condenser coils could be overheating.
Let’s learn about some of the common reasons why your mini-fridge might not be staying cold.
It is pretty common to have food and ice-clogged inside the vents of your mini-fridge. This can prevent the inside of your fridge from cooling.
To stop this from happening, do not place any items around the vents. Ensure there is sufficient space for the cool air to pass through.
Damaged door gasket:
The fridge door gasket might have become demagnetized or something is not letting it fully close. You can test it out by sticking a piece of a sheet on the gasket and see if it comes loose or not. If it does, then the problem is with your door.
Condenser coil issues:
The condenser coils play an essential role in keeping your fridge cool. They can easily get overheated and stop working if they don’t have enough space from the wall. A dirty condenser coil can also cause the same issue.
The knob of your thermostat might be broken or the thermostat might be turned off by accident. The knob will rotate but it won’t change the temperature.
How do you fix a mini-fridge that won’t get cold?
Some of these problems can be fixed at home without any special tools or equipment. Before calling for a repair or replacement, try these steps.
Clean all vents and clear all dust:
Sometimes you don’t need expensive repairs and it is as simple as this. Give your mini-fridge a deep clean starting from the condenser coils, door gasket, and all vents.
Change the location of the mini-fridge:
Often the surrounding temperature can affect the inside temperature of your fridge. This is especially if your mini-fridge is placed opposite to sunlight or in places like the kitchen.
Try to keep it away from heat sources. A good rule is to keep it away from places where the temperature is above 80 degrees Fahrenheit or below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Change the power source:
An extension cord can affect the temperature of your mini-fridge because it will not receive an adequate amount of electricity. Ungrounded power sources are not safe. Instead, keep it plugged in a grounded electrical outlet.
Remove all items and let it cool down:
Turn the temperature as low as possible and let it cool down after removing all the food and liquid from the mini-fridge. Once it has reached its optimal temperature, keep all the food back in and change it back to the usual setting.
Mini fridge cooling problems and & how to fix them:
Although most manufacturers provide instructions on how to keep your mini-fridge cool, they might not always fix the problem. Here’s a breakdown of some possible problems you can face while keeping your mini-fridge cool and their solutions.
Mini fridge compressor running but not cooling:
Cooling system or problems with the door gasket:
The magnetism of the door gasket gets weaker over time, especially if not maintained properly.
Once it is loose, the cold air from the fridge will get out of the fridge. This will overrun your compressor.
Test the door gasket and replace it:
First, check if the gasket is worn or stretched out by using a sheet as mentioned earlier. If the paper comes loose, then the problem is with the seal.
Instead of replacing your door completely, replace the rubber gasket around the door. These rubber gaskets can be found in appliance supply stores. You can also look it up on your manufacturer’s website.
Mini fridge not cooling but freezer works:
Blocked freezer vents or an overpacked freezer:
The vents in your refrigerator have to be cleared for cold air to travel. When you overpack the freezer, it can reduce the amount of cold air that passes through.
On this occasion, the freezer will function but the refrigerator will not be cool enough.
Clear out space and check the evaporator fan:
Make sure the food in your mini-fridge is not blocking any of the vents. There should be an ample amount of space between the items for the air to flow smoothly.
Next, check and clear the vents if they are clogged with dirt or food. Lastly, see if your evaporator fan is working or not. Is it spinning properly? Clean any dust or dirt from it.
That should be enough to solve this issue. If your mini-fridge is still not cooling, you might have to change the evaporator fan motor.
Mini fridge not cold enough:
Faulty thermostat or knob:
When your mini-fridge is not cold enough, the first thing that comes to mind is the thermostat or temperature control. You might be accidentally changing the temperature while keeping food in the fridge.
Another thing to look out for is the knob. A defective knob will spin but not change the temperature.
Reset or replace the knob:
Start by resetting the temperature control. The temperature will not adjust right away. Wait at least a day for the temperature to become stable.
If you have a faulty knob, you can use a screwdriver or chain nose pliers to adjust the thermostat according to your preference. This is a temporary fix. Replace the knob when you can.
Mini fridge not cooling after defrost:
Defective condenser or evaporator fan:
If defrosting does not fix your problem then clogged vents aren’t causing it. The fan might be the reason. If your mini-fridge comes with condenser coils on the bottom, the fans might be faulty.
If the condenser fan works, then the evaporator fan could be damaged.
Test the condenser and evaporator fan:
First, make sure that the condenser fan is moving freely or not. You will have to replace the fan entirely. You can do this at home without a repairman.
Next, test the evaporator fan. Detach the interior back panel by yourself from the freezer. See if you can feel cold air coming from the evaporator fan or not.
Then it’s likely that a fan blade is not working. You will have to replace this component of your fridge.
Mini fridge not cooling after moving:
The mini-fridge was laid on its side while moving:
The oil from the compressors could get inside the cooling lines. The oil must not move from the compressor. Once it reaches the cooling lines, the fridge might not be able to cool down.
Give it time:
Do not plug it in right away. Position it the right way and let it stand for at least 5 hours before plugging it back in. During this time, the oil will go back to its original position in the compressor.
It might take a few days for the mini-fridge to cool normally. If it was transported in an upright position, plug it in after 2 hours.
Mini fridge not cooling after a power outage:
Failed freezer or refrigerator component or it needs time to begin cooling:
When the power comes back after an outage, the sudden high voltage can result in a power surge. A large amount of heat is passed through the components of the mini-fridge.
Some common components that could be affected by this high voltage surge are the control board, compressor, and freezer.
Replace faulty parts and give it time to start cooling:
Your mini-fridge will need some time to return to its normal temperature. Wait around half an hour for the mini-fridge to start cooling after the power comes back.
Besides that, the control board might be damaged which is simple to replace. If the functions of the compressor are damaged, the mini-fridge might have to be replaced completely.
The freezer is usually not that expensive to replace as long as the components are available.
How to make a mini-fridge colder?
Try adjusting the temperature to 40 degrees Fahrenheit or less. 37 degrees Fahrenheit is typically the satisfactory temperature to keep your food cold. If you can’t adjust the temperature this way and turn the fridge control knob clockwise.
Do this when the compressor is running. Turn it as clockwise as possible. This should make your mini-fridge cooler.
You can also try reducing the number of items. If the amount of food exceeds its maximum weight level, it can get harder to maintain the cold temperature. Or after storing large amounts of warm food or drinks in the fridge, give it a few hours to cool down before checking.
Is it worth fixing a mini-fridge?
That depends on several factors. The first is the age of your mini-fridge. If you’ve been using the mini-fridge for a long time, it will be cheaper to upgrade than repairing it. A new efficient mini-fridge will save you from issues and repair fees.
If you’ve already repaired your mini-fridge many times, it is not worth fixing it again. It is also a sign that it’s time for a replacement.
Most of the time, it can be cheaper to buy a new fridge than to hire an appliance technician. Aside from the high hourly rate, you will have to pay service charges too which could total from $150 to $400.
Whether it is worth it or not is up to you. If the damage is easily fixable then it is definitely worth fixing it. But if it costs you a fortune then maybe it’s time for an upgrade!
How do you reset a mini-fridge?
First, remove the power cord from the mini-fridge. Turn off all freezer controls/switches or change it to zero. Then adjust the temperature as you want and wait for one day for the temperature to be optimal again. This should reset the compressor of your mini-fridge.
You can also simply unplug the mini-fridge from the wall outlet for an hour and plug it back in. This resets most units and can also fix other issues. Contact the customer support for your Mini fridge cooling problems.
Contact Brand Support for Repair & Service
In case if you have any other issues with your mini fridge and cannot fix them, you can contact your mini fridge brand repair and service center for further assistance.
|Mini Fridge Brand||Support Page For Repair & Service||Contact Number|
|Black and Decker||Support Page||N/A|
|Magic Chef||Support Page||1-888-775-0202|
If your mini-fridge still does not cool down, it’s time to call a repairman. If you’ve already had too many repairs, it might cost you less to buy a brand new mini-fridge. There are newer and modern fridges available with tons of features and guides to help you fix any issue.