Top 10 Reasons Your Hotpoint Fridge Is Not Working
Refrigerators are absolutely awesome contraptions that drastically improve our quality of life. But when they stop working it can become stressful – after all, they’re expensive little suckers. Not to fear, though, as DreamyHome is here to help you pinpoint the problem.
The most common reasons your Hotpoint fridge is not working are the condenser coils or fan motor, the evaporator fan motor, your start relay, temperature control thermostat or control board, start capacitor, thermistor, compressor, or your main control board.
That’s a big list! So let’s break it down a bit and get this problem solved, shall we?
10 Problems For Hotpoint Fridges
As you saw above, there are a lot of things that can go wrong with a refrigerator. After all, they’re complicated technical machines that have a lot going on inside. So first things first, let’s get this out of the way.
If you’re not confident that you can perform any of these repairs or tests, call an appliance repair person for help. They exist to make your life easier and will likely do a better job than you could anyway. Now let’s get to it!
Problem 1 – Condenser Fan Motor
This is by far the most common cause for a Hotpoint fridge not working. In short, the condenser fan motor pulls air over the compressor and through the condenser coils. If it stops working, your fridge won’t be able to properly cool. To determine if this is the problem:
- Locate your fan motor and fan blade. They should be near your condenser coils.
- Ensure your fan blades are free of obstructions and clean. If they’re dirty, use a damp soft cloth to clean them off and remove any debris.
- Try turning the fan blade by hand – if it moves, it’s not the problem. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to replace it.
- If the fan blade spins freely and isn’t blocked, you can use a multimeter to test the fan motor for continuity. In other words, if it appears as an open circuit, something is wrong.
Problem 2 – Evaporator Fan Motor
This is the next most likely problem for your fridge. It works similarly to the above fan motor but does things slightly differently. It draws air over the cooling coils and moves it throughout the fridge and freezer components. Some refrigerators will have more than one, making it more likely as a problem.
If your freezer gets cold, but not your fridge, this is a likely cause. To figure out if this is the culprit:
- Follow steps 1 and 2 above – it’ll be located in the freezer compartment. Make sure it’s clean, as well.
- Turn it by hand – if it doesn’t turn freely, replace it.
- If it does turn freely, test the fan with a multimeter in the same way as step 4 above.
- If the motor is unusally loud or makes odd sounds, replace it – it’s likely about to fail.
Problem 3 – Dirty Condenser Coils
Condenser coils are super important to your refrigerator and will often get dirty, making them work less optimally than you’d like. They dissipate heat as the fridge works, keeping everything cool – and if they’re dirty, they can’t do that.
To check if they’re dirty, simply locate them at the bottom of your fridge and look at them. Do they look dirty? If so, clean them with a wet, soft rag and gentle soap such as Dawn. Ensure everything is clean and dry, and it should work. If not, move down the list.
Problem 4 – Start Relay
Your start relay and start winding work together to make the compressor start. If the relay stops working, the compressor can’t start up or will fail randomly. This will cause your refrigerator to not stay cool, or at least not as cool as you’d like.
To check if this is your problem, you’ll need a multimeter. Test for continuity between the run and start terminal sockets. If there is no continuity or a burnt smell coming from the relay, replace it.
Problem 5 – Temperature Control Thermostat
The temperature control thermostat (TCT) controls voltage to the evaporator and condenser fan motors, as well as the compressor. If the TCT stops working, it will cause the refrigerant system to not run properly (or at all). To determine if this is the issue:
- Rotate the thermostat to its lowest setting, and then back up to the highest setting. Listen for a click – if it clicks, it’s likely not the problem.
- If it does not click, us a multimeter to test for continuity. If there is no continuity on any temperature setting, you need to replace it.
Problem 6 – Thermistor
This part is the piece of your fridge that monitors temperatures and sends them to the control board (number 10 on this list). It regulates power to the compressor and evaporator fans based on the thermistor readings. The result of a faulty thermistor is a refrigerator that cannot run its compressors and evaporator fan, resulting in an uncooled interior.
To test the thermistor in your fridge, you’ll need a multimeter again, though you’re testing resistance instead of continuity. You’re looking for resistance (measured in ohms) that changes based on the refrigerator’s temperature. If there is no changing resistance or it has no continuity at all, replace your thermistor.
Problem 7 – Start Capacitor
Your refrigerator’s start capacitor increases power to your compressor while it starts. If it doesn’t work, the compressor doesn’t start, resulting in, you guessed it – a warm fridge. Test this with a multimeter for continuity as you have with the above issues and replace if there is none.
Problem 8 – Main Control Board
As with the below issues, this is a less common cause of your Hotpoint fridge not working. The only way to know if this is the issue is to call a professional for help unless you really want to take apart your refrigerator.
This is both commonly misdiagnosed and a pain to replace and troubleshoot. Go through all of the above checks first before looking at this.
Problem 9 – Compressor
The compressor pumps and compresses (I know, big surprise) refrigerant through the evaporator and condenser coils. If it doesn’t work, the fridge can’t cool. As with the above problems, you can test your compressor for continuity with a multimeter. An open circuit reading will tell you that your compressor is likely dead – but this is a job for professionals.
This is both commonly misdiagnosed and a pain to replace and troubleshoot. Under no circumstances should you replace this yourself – swallow your pride and ask for help, as refrigerant is not fun to mess with.
Problem 10 – Temperature Control Board
This is the part that provides power to the compressor and fan motors. Without it, the voltage will not make it to the cooling system, preventing your fridge from getting cold.
This is the least likely problem and is often misdiagnosed. Do not test this yourself – if you’ve tested everything else and believe this is the issue, call a professional. These are expensive parts to replace and it’s not worth taking the risk of misdiagnosing it yourself.
If your Hotpoint fridge is not working, there are many moving parts to consider as the culprit. Begin by going through this list in order to ensure you’re not wasting time or money troubleshooting bits that aren’t the problem. This list is ordered to make sure you’re checking easy things first, and hard things last.
The evaporator and condenser fan motors should be your first stop, alongside the condenser coils. Ensure that each is clean, unobstructed, and (with the fans) that they can move when pushed with your hand. If they are unable to move, test them with a multimeter for continuity – it should not show as an open circuit. This is the same for all of the following parts, with one exception: the start relay, temperature control thermostat, thermistor, start capacitor, main control board, temperature control board, and the compressor. With the thermistor, however, you should test resistance first, then continuity.
And as always – don’t be afraid to make yourself a drink, call a pro for help, and kick back while they do their job. If you find yourself needing a new fridge, consider an ultra-large American one! Click here for a list of the best American fridge/freezer combinations on the market right now. (Or don’t, I’m a writer, not a cop.)