Refrigerator Fan not working Fix

If your refrigerator fan not working , You are in the right place to learn how to fix it . If Refrigerators have a fan inside to keep the cool air flow throughout the system. It not only keep the air flow but also prevents the ice building up inside the refrigerator by allowing cold air to flow throughout the system. If the refrigerator fan doesn’t work ,Refrigerator will no longer have the ability to cool. So , It’s quite easy to detect if the fan inside the refrigerator is not working. However these fans can malfunction and stop working. Here is why and how to fix it.

Refrigerator Fan

Refrigerator Fan not working - Refrigerator fan parts

Refrigerator fan parts

Most of the refrigerator fans are made using a shaded pole motor . This shaded pole motors have some advantages that suits it to use inside a refrigerator.

Reliable – Since shaded pole motors have few components , these motors are very reliable.

Simple design – Unlike other motors these motors are very simple.

Doesn’t require additional components – Unlike other motors these shaded pole motors doesn’t require any additional components such as capacitors.

less weight – Less components means less weight.

Working Principles of Refrigerator Fan

Refrigerator fan Rotor and poles - Refrigerator Fan not working

Refrigerator fan Rotor and poles

This motors doesn’t have two windings as most other motors have .Instead , These motors have single winding that act as two separate windings with the help of a shaded ring or band . This ring is usually made out of copper . Most of the refrigerators uses two pole shaded pole motors each of these poles have a cutout potion with a copper ring inserted to it . This copper ring act as a secondary winding . This shaded poles creates rotating magnetic fields (by causing main flux to shift across the pole surface) .

This changing magnetic field will cause the rotor to rotate . The rotor in this case is a squirrel cage type . The squirrel cage rotor made out of aluminum or copper laminated together. A electrical current will be created due to the the aluminum or copper parts exposed to stator poles changing magnetic fields . This current field will create an opposite magnetic field to the original magnetic field  created by the stator pole. Since , It’s an opposite magnetic field this will repel creating a torque .Thus , rotating rotor .

Testing Refrigerator Fan

Checking refrigerator heater

Checking the refrigerator heater

Since , Refrigerators uses shaded pole motors. There are not much parts inside the refrigerator fan that can go bad . The only part that can go bad is the coil . It’s at the bottom of the fan . The two ends of this coil  connected to the fan connector using wires. You can’t check the condition of the coil with a multi meter .But , you can get a ruff idea about the condition of it . Put your multi-meter in ohm scale and  touch connector pins with each probe . You should get ohm reading that near to the resistance calculated with the ratings mentioned in the motor [ Resistance of the coil = Voltage rating /  Current rating of the coil ] . If your readings shows far more low value comparing to the calculated value , you may have a shorted coil.

Causes of Bad Refrigerator Fan

There are several reasons for a malfunctioning refrigerator fan. Some of them can be easily repaired.

Burned Fan Coil

As we have mentioned in the Testing Refrigerator fan section. If your multi meter doesn’t show values that we mentioned in that section , You may have a burned or shorted coil. The only way to fix this is by replacing it or rewinding it with same gauge wires.

Stuck Bearings

Refrigerator Fan not working - Refrigerator Ball bearings

Refrigerator Ball bearings

The rotor shaft of the motor are on two ball bearings .This bearings allow the rotor to rotate freely .However , This bearings can stuck due to the rust and the wear (due to friction) . Try to move the fan blade by your hand if you feel any friction inspect the bearings . See whether the bearings have rust on them.

Fix – If you can see the rust in the bearings spray lubricant like WD-40 while spinning the motor shaft .Do this few times until you don’t feel any friction while spinning the rotor shaft.

If The balls inside the bearings are deformed due to wear , the only way to fix it by replacing the bearing. Make sure to but the bearings with exact dimensions.

Oxidized Connectors

cleaning refrigerator connector pins

Cleaning refrigerator connector pin

The copper pins inside the connectors of your refrigerator is very venerable to corrosion and oxidization. Which creates layers of oxides in top of the copper pins. Thus, breaking the connection between pins. Which results open circuits.

Fix – Unplug and Clean refrigerator connector pins using a tooth brush soaked in Isopropyl Alcohol or spray contact cleaner and brush the pins with tooth brush. Then , plug it back .


In conclusion

Refrigerators have fans inside them to keep the cold air flow through out the system. This fans are made using a shaded pole motors . This fans can go bad due to electrical or mechanical problems. Multimeters can be used for check and get a ruff idea about the motor coil. But , You need special tools to know the exact condition of the motor coil. Some of these problems can be fixed with the use of simple equipment.

Share This Article: