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The evaporator fan at the back of the refrigerator blows cool air into your refrigerator and freezer when the compressor turns on. If your refrigerator isn’t cool because the evaporator fan isn’t blowing cool air, this video from Sears PartsDirect can help you diagnose the problem.

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1. Check the electronic control board in diagnostic mode
First, test if the evaporator fan runs in the diagnostic test mode.
To enter the diagnostic test mode on this Kenmore model, within 2 seconds, press the light switch 3 times and then press and hold it a 4th time until you hear a long beep. (If this method doesn’t work on your model, check the tech sheet for instructions. It’s usually behind the bottom front grill or on the back of the refrigerator.)
Test the evaporator fan by pressing the light switch twice. You’ll hear two beeps. Repeat 3 more times.
• If the evaporator fan runs in test mode, replace the electronic control board. Here’s a link to a video that will show you how to do that.
• If not, go to the next step.

2. Troubleshoot wiring problems
If the evaporator fan doesn’t run in the diagnostic test mode, check for a break in the wiring.
Unplug the refrigerator. Remove the screw that holds the control box and lower the control box. Check the red wire with the white stripe for visible damage. Repair the wire if it’s pinched or broken. See our video about repairing a broken wire.

If the wire isn’t visibly damaged, check for electrical continuity in the wires supplying power to the fan.
First, remove the electronic control board, lower the back freezer panel and unplug the evaporator fan.
Put a multimeter lead on each end of the red wire with the white stripe. If the wire is intact, the multimeter reads near 0 ohms Check the light blue wire in the same way.
• If both wires have continuity, the problem is with the fan motor or the electronic control board. Go to the next section.
• If neither wire has continuity, unplug the wire harness from the refrigerator ceiling. First, check continuity between the ceiling plug and the control board plug on the wire that had no continuity.
If that checks out, check continuity between the ceiling receptacle and the fan plug.
If you find a wire that reads infinite resistance, repair the broken wire or replace the wire harness. If both those wires had continuity, the problem is with the fan motor or the electronic control board.

3. Check the fan motor
If you eliminated wiring problems in section 2, check the evaporator fan motor.
In this refrigerator, the evaporator fan motor has a control board inside the motor casing, so you can’t check for continuity. Instead, remove the support bracket and fan motor cover and examine the fan control board for damage. Replace the evaporator fan motor if the board has visible burn marks.
If you don’t see any damage, have a service technician do a bench test on the evaporator fan..
• If the fan doesn’t run when the technician tests it, replace the evaporator fan motor. See our video that shows how.

• If it runs in the bench test, replace the electronic control board, because the electronic control board isn’t sending power the evaporator fan motor. This video explains how to replace the control board.

Or call 1-800-437-1673 to speak with a parts specialist.

The video includes these parts. Look up your model to make sure you get the right parts for your refrigerator.
Electronic control board

Evaporator fan motor

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Or click here to schedule an appointment with a repair technician.

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22 thoughts on “Troubleshooting Evaporator Fan Problems in Refrigerators

  1. shamseer vm says:

    I have double door refrigerator sanyo… if you work continuously for a week, then there will be no cold …. If you turn off the power for an entire night and turn it on again in the morning, it will start to cool again ….

  2. JIJOE says:

    Hello,
    I have an LG bottom freezer refrigerator model number # LRBC20512WW. The refrigerator gets cold in both compartments, but will not freeze in the freezer. Do you have any suggestions for me? Thanks, Joe

  3. David Mee says:

    My fridge fan was getting noisy after 10 years. Same model . There's only 2 screws holding the brass bearings on & there are little slots on the inside where YOU CAN OIL THEM . I used synthetic 5 W- 20 & it's quiet now !

  4. Dean Winchell says:

    I removed the fan and found 110v at the jack. The coil on the motor was blackened and a resistance check showed infinite. I have a question. The cooling coils are loaded up. Is this because the evaporatior fan was broke or is this a defrost switch fail?

  5. Max Singh says:

    Hey can you help me on this

    My fridge is stop working so I open coil side and I see there is lots of ice so clean all ice and start machine on but it’s not working
    I replace thermistor and compressor relay still not working

    Model no whirlpool WRID45TN

    Can you help on this

  6. Carlos Padron says:

    111.7302…kenmore fridge…only bottom freezer works…both evaporator fans are good but they don't turn on…no 13 volts to them…any idea what feeds them?a relay or a control board?seeing both dont work you think I need a new control board?thanks in advance for your help sir 🙏

  7. Anand Nagappan says:

    My year and a half old kenmore refrigerator seems like has a similar problem. While the freezer is cold, the fridge is warm. Opening the back panel, see that the freezer fan is running, but the evaporator fan isn't (froze, saw lot of ice build-up). After cleaning it up, it seems to be run, but not always. Fridge is not cold enough. Is there a problem with the control board that turns on/off the fan or the fan itself needs to be replaced ?

  8. DLC ENERGY says:

    I just used a hair dryer and a presto!👌I had put too much stuff in front of it earlier today which meant all the cold air didn't have much place to go, so was colder than it was supposed to be in the area behind the fan. And of course they prevent the fan operating if it's too cold back there so that it doesn't damage itself. So it would've naturally defrosted and came back on anyway. But using a hair dryer will quickly resolve the issue. And no longer obstructing the air flow.

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