Kenmore refrigerator troubleshooting guide

kenmore refrigerator troubleshooting

Refrigerator issues are one of the most common problems that homeowners experience. Whether your refrigerator is not cooling properly or you’re having trouble opening the freezer, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue and fix it. This guide will walk you through the steps necessary to fix common Kenmore refrigerator troubleshooting problems.

Troubleshooting a Kenmore refrigerator

If you are having problems with your Kenmore refrigerator, there are a few things that you can do to try and solve the problem. Here they are:

1. Interior Temperature Issues

  • Ensure that the refrigerator’s interior is not too hot or too cold. If the temperature is close to the ideal range, adjust the ventilation settings on the fridge’s interior.
  • Your refrigerator’s air vents should also be open to allow cool air into the refrigerator and freezer.
  • Ensure that all the doors and drawers are closed properly. 
  • Ensure enough space between the fridge and freezer to prevent condensation buildup. 
  • Finally, check for any food or drinks that may be blocking airflow in the freezer section or behind the shelves in the refrigerator. 
  • Over time, thermometers can become less accurate, meaning that their temperature readings may not be entirely accurate. Checking the thermometer’s accuracy can help you determine whether or not it is causing your interior temperature issues.
  • Check to see if the door is properly closed by pressing down on the top and bottom of it and pulling it towards you. If the door is not closing properly, try to open the door from the inside by pushing on one side and pulling on the other. If this does not work, a broken wire or hinge inside the door may need to be fixed.
  • Frost or ice buildup on the inside of the refrigerator can damage the insulation and the compressor. It can also make the refrigerator run more slowly.
  • The best way to deal with frost or ice buildup is to melt it off. You can do this by running the defrost cycle (usually found on the control panel) or turning off the refrigerator’s power and restarting it.
Refrigerator Doesn't Run

2. Refrigerator Doesn’t Run

If your Kenmore refrigerator doesn’t run, there are a few things you can check first. 

  • Check your electrical panel if your fridge isn’t working.
  • Reset the breaker if the power is flowing to the appliance.
  • In a refrigerator with power, a defrost cycle may take 30 minutes
  • Look at your side-by-side’s control panel. Refrigerators in store-demonstration mode disable cooling if they blink sequentially.
  • “Demo Mode” can be disabled by opening a door and pressing “Ultra Ice” and “Ref.” simultaneously.
  • Call a qualified technician if the issue persists.

3. Ice Maker Problems

If the ice maker doesn’t work correctly, check the following things:

1. Make sure the water supply is turned ON.

2. Turn the power switch to the On position.

3. Wait 24 hours for the refrigerator’s internal temperature to reach sufficient temperature before checking the level of ice production.

4. Check if the freezer temperature is set to Level 3 at least. 

5. If all else fails, contact a professional plumber to fix the problem.

4. Evaporator Fan In Freezer Frosted Over

If your Kenmore refrigerator is not cooling your food as it should, there is a good chance that the evaporator fan is frozen.

To thaw the fan, turn the refrigerator off, wait about 40-60 minutes, then restart the refrigerator. The frosty ice will begin melting, and the fan should start working again.

Damper Control Broken

5. Damper Control Broken

If you experience problems with your Kenmore refrigerator, start by checking the damper control. This part can break and cause several problems with your refrigerator, including the inability to cool or freeze food.

Damper controls allow the flow of cold air into the refrigerator. A broken damper control could cause the food inside the refrigerator to spoil faster.

You’ll need to remove the cover plate and find the damper to fix this problem. Damper controls should be able to move freely. Next, check the position of the damper; if it is not positioned correctly, you’ll also need to replace the air replacement inlet.

6. Defrost Thermostat Or Defrost Control Assembly Failed

If you’re experiencing problems with your Kenmore refrigerator, it’s likely that the defrost thermostat or defrost control assembly is defective.

  • Put a continuity setting on your multimeter. Then, if the multimeter makes a noise, the circuit is closed, and the defrost thermostat works fine.
  • If the multimeter does not make noise, the circuit is open, and the defrost thermoset needs repair.
  • When the thermostat closes, the compressor kicks on and heats the back of the freezer. This causes the ice to melt and release water into the system.
  • If the thermostat does not open, the compressor stops running.
Compressor Failed

7. Compressor Start Relay Failed

If you’re having trouble with your Kenmore refrigerator and the compressor start relay has failed, try these steps:

1. Disconnect the power cord from the refrigerator.

2. Check the continuity between the run and start terminals.

3. If you smell something burning, inspect the relay for burn marks.

4. Replace the compressor start relay if it’s burned out or if it doesn’t work when you hit the power button. 

If you’re having trouble with your Kenmore refrigerator and the compressor has failed, here are some steps to try. 

  • A refrigeration system consists of several parts, including a compressor, condenser coil, evaporator coil, expansion valve, evaporator fan, thermostat, etc.
  • Refrigerators work by absorbing heat from the air inside the fridge and releasing cold air into the space around them.
  • A failed compressor will cause restricted airflow and food spoilage. 
  • Check for warranty and replace the compressor if necessary.

8. Freon Leak

If you’re having problems with your Kenmore refrigerator, check to see if it’s leaking Freon. If it is, you can try to fix the problem by following these steps:

1. Check the seal around the Freon cylinder. Freon can leak out and cause problems if it’s loose or broken.

2. If the seal is intact, check to see if the cap on the Freon cylinder is screwed on properly. If it isn’t, air can get into the cylinder and cause leaks.

3. Check for any obvious signs of leaks. This includes seeing Freon dripping from the refrigerator, noticing a strong smell, or seeing moisture buildup on the walls or shelves.

4. If there are no signs of leaks, replace the Freon cylinder if it’s damaged or expired.

9. Moisture Inside or Under the Refrigerator

Kenmore refrigerators can be problematic when it comes to moisture. Keeping the refrigerator clean and free of moisture is important to prevent problems. Here are a few tips to help with moisture inside or under the Kenmore refrigerator:

-Clean the condenser coils regularly – this will help keep the fridge cooler and less likely to have moisture problems.

-Check for water leaks – if you notice any water seeping from around the sides or bottom of your fridge, take action to fix the leak. If you cannot find the leak, call a professional.

-Clean the shelves and compartments regularly – this will help remove any moisture buildup. Remember that food particles and debris can also contribute to moisture problems inside a fridge.

-Open a window if possible – allowing fresh air into a closed space can help dissipate any moist air.

10. Light Isn’t Working or Constantly Stays On

If your Kenmore refrigerator light isn’t working or is always staying on, follow these troubleshooting steps:

1. Make sure that the power is turned on to your refrigerator

2. Check if a fuse or breaker near the refrigerator is tripping.

3. Close any open cabinets and doors to the refrigerator and check for drafts that could be causing the light to go out.

4. If all else fails, contact an electrician.

Excessive Noise

11. Excessive Noise

First, check to see if anything is blocking the fan or compressor. If so, remove the obstruction and try again. The fan is making excessive noise so try cleaning the fan or changing the blade.

Kenmore refrigerator troubleshooting water leak

In the event of a frozen defrost drain, water will overflow and drip down into the compartment’s bottom. First, check the defrost drain to ensure it is connected correctly and free of kinks. If the hose is clogged, clean it using a brush or vacuum cleaner.

Kenmore fridge, not cooling but freezer working

If you are having problems with your Kenmore refrigerator not cooling, but the freezer is still working, there is a likely solution. The issue could be due to a blocked airflow or ice build-up in the refrigerator. Also, the freezer or refrigerator will not cool properly if the evaporator fan does not work. To fix the problem, follow these steps:

1. Check for obstructions in the refrigerator’s airflow. 

2. Clear any ice from the freezer. This will help to improve airflow and reduce the chance of ice build-up.

3. Check the evaporator fan.

4. Try a different power cord if possible.

5. Contact your appliance manufacturer for assistance.

Kenmore fridge, not cooling but freezer working

Kenmore refrigerator troubleshooting water dispenser

A clogged water filter can cause the water dispenser to stop working. Follow these steps to clear the blockage:

1. Pull the top cover away from the body of the water dispenser and remove it.

2. Clean or replace the water filter.

Kenmore refrigerator control board troubleshooting

First, check to see if any of the following is causing the problem: a broken or disconnected control board, a loose wire, or a dirty electronic component. Next, test each component for continuity and voltage using a multimeter to determine which one might malfunction. Finally, consult your owner’s manual to figure out how to fix the issue.

Kenmore refrigerator fan not working

Check if debris is blocking the airflow from the fan motor to the blade assembly. Remove any obstruction and try again. If your refrigerator is very old, it may be time for a new fan motor. Contact an authorized service technician to have this installed.

Kenmore refrigerator water filter replacement troubleshooting

First, unplug the unit and disconnect the hoses to replace the water filter. Then, pull off the top panel and remove the filter cartridge. Finally, replace the filter and reinstall the panel.

Kenmore refrigerator water filter replacement troubleshooting

Kenmore refrigerator thermostat troubleshooting

The thermostat is likely defective if the refrigerator is not cooling or freezing. To troubleshoot the thermostat, follow these steps:

1. Remove the cover of the refrigerator and locate the thermostat located on the back wall. 

2. Use a multimeter to test the thermostat. If it reads a sign of infinitude, then the thermostat is bad. Replace the thermostat.

Kenmore refrigerator too cold troubleshooting

The refrigerant system can run for a more extended period if the thermostat controlling the temperature is not working properly. However, you should replace it immediately. 


If you’re having trouble with your Kenmore refrigerator, there are a few things that you can do to try and fix the issue. In this article, we have discussed some of the most common problems people experience with their Kenmore refrigerators and provide tips on how to solve them.

Hopefully, by following these steps, you will be able to get your refrigerator working again as smoothly as possible.


How to Reset Kenmore Refrigerator?

To reset Kenmore Refrigerator:
1. Turn the refrigerator on and open the door. Next, hold down the ‘home’ button and the ‘ultra ice’ button for 5 seconds. You can turn off the refrigerator’s controls by doing this.
2. Disconnect the refrigerator’s power cord.
3. Reconnect the power cord. Refrigerators are reset this way.

Is There a Reset Button on a Kenmore Refrigerator?

No, there is no reset button on a Kenmore refrigerator. However, you can manually reset the controls on some models.

What would cause a Kenmore refrigerator not to get cold?

Here are the most common reasons why a refrigerator may not be cooling:
1. Check to see if the power is turned on. Ensure the power cord is plugged into an outlet and the circuit breaker is flipped off.
2. Check if there is an obstruction in the refrigerator’s airflow (for example, a large piece of furniture in front of it).
3. Check for water leaks or floods in the refrigerator.

How do you reset the compressor on a Kenmore refrigerator?

If your Kenmore refrigerator is not cooling or the compressor is not working, you may need to reset the compressor. To reset the compressor, follow these steps:
1. Unplug the refrigerator and wait for the power to dissipate.
2. By using the control panel, shut off the refrigerator and freezer.
3. Temperature settings for your freezer and refrigerator should be reset.
4. Allow the refrigerator temperature to stabilize.

What is the most common problem with a refrigerator?

The most common problem with a refrigerator is the freezer not cooling.