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Is the Evaporator Fan Not Running? Troubleshooting and Fixes

Each component in your refrigerator contributes to the cooling and freezing effect. Unfortunately, things go wrong when some of these parts malfunction. When they fail to operate as expected, the fridge does not cool.

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Once you notice the fridge getting warmer, it may be an internal fan failure. The faulty fridge fan is serious since it affects the temperatures for safe cooling.

Act fast and troubleshoot the fan failure. There is a specific reason why fridge fans stop working.

From my experience, the first cause is often due to ice build-up. It can also happen when foreign objects stick to the fan blades and hinder them from turning. There may also be trouble when the fan motor burns out or the door switch fails to operate.

The last reason for the fan failure is a power failure when the main control board fails to supply power to the fan. As a result, the fan fails to turn.

I have captured some of the potential reasons why your fridge fan may fail to work and what you ought to do to fix it. Before calling a technician, try a few of these suggestions. It may be surprising to see how they work.

Why Your Fridge Fan Fails

There are various reasons why the fan may fail. They also vary in severity and impact. Understanding each cause is best for knowing how to respond when it happens.

Ice Build Up

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The fan should always be inside the fridge compartment. The fan rotates to distribute cool air from the evaporator. This happens when the fan blows air over the cold evaporator coils.

Moreover, the fan’s rotation is continuous, as this is the only way cold air gets to the rest of the fridge. The fan guarantees even cooling in all spots of the refrigerator. It also avoids warm/ hot spots in certain areas.

If you understand how the fan works, you know the impact of ice accumulating around the fan blades. This is detrimental to fridge cooling. When ice builds up around the fan, it hinders proper circulation of the blade.

The first consequence will be knocking sounds at the back of your fridge. This happens as the rotating blades hit on the accumulating ice. As more ice accumulates, the blades will stop turning altogether.

Fortunately, the problem is fixable. I recommend melting the ice until the blades are free to rotate again. This is achievable in several ways depending on the amount of time you have.

The easiest way to do this is to defrost the fridge. Switch off the power source, open the fridge doors, and allow the ice to melt.

You can also choose to defrost the affected fan with a hair dryer. This requires opening the fridge compartment at the back to access the fan. You then dismount the fan before disconnecting it.

Put everything back in place after defrosting the fan. This method is quicker, but one has to be handy enough.

Foreign Objects are Stuck in the Fan

While the chances of this happening are slim, the fan may fail due to foreign objects. It happens when these objects find their way into the fridge compartment.

Strong items could affect the evaporator fans. It hinders their ability to run when they stick inside.

Common items that may lodge inside the fan include food boxes and cardboard pieces. The only way to fix this issue is to remove the items preventing the fan from moving. Make sure to switch off the power first before proceeding.

The Fan Motor is Burnt Out

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The evaporator fan consists of the fan motor and blades. The motor receives electrical power from the fridges and uses it to turn the fan blades and drive the cool air.

When something happens to the motor, a compromise occurs in the process. This may occur with a power surge or a short circuit problem.

Ice build-up may also cause the motor to burn out. It causes the motor to overwork and eventually burns. You will perceive a burnt smell if this is the case. You can also see burnt marks around the more you inspect carefully.

There is no way of repairing the motor as this component requires replacement. You must first remove the old motor and replace it with a new one. This calls for you to open and close the fridge’s back panel for easier access.

Failing Door Switch

The door switch is a significant communication channel in your fridge. The part relays information to the main control board. This signifies that you have closed the refrigerator. This is what causes the fan to turn.

In other words, your door switch communicates the closed or opened status to the fridge. So, it triggers the fan to switch on or off, depending on the command.

A failing door switch is dangerous because it communicates the wrong information. The fan may not turn on since the message related is that the fridge doors are stool open when they are not. The main board will not supply power to the fan motor, and the fridge will be warm instead of cool.

You can fix this by replacing the door switch and installing a new one. Find it at the top of the fridge, in the inside part.

Fail of the Main Control Board

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The main control board handles all functions in the fridge. It is the primary communication or command center.

Any malfunction or failure at this command center translates to the rest of the fridge. A huge mishap happens whenever wrong commands are sent to the cooling units.


What happens when the evaporator fan stops working?

Several reasons may cause failure in the evaporator fan. The fan motor might break, preventing proper circulation of the blades. However, identify other causes through troubleshooting.

What controls the evaporator fan motor?

ECM controllers control the fan motors

Should the evaporator fan run?

Evaporator fans run as long as they supply cold air to the rest of the fridge. They are self-adjusting depending on the specific needs.