Troubleshooting a Whirlpool Refrigerator

A malfunctioning refrigerator can be far more than a minor annoyance. The cost of repair bills and spoiled food can add up. Whirlpool has been making reliable refrigerators for decades, but no fridge is immune to problems. Learning some basic troubleshooting can save you time, money and aggravation.

Initial Troubleshooting

Try these basic tips before moving on to more in-depth troubleshooting. Make sure the refrigerator is plugged into a proper three-prong, grounded outlet that is functioning properly. You can test the outlet by plugging a lamp or other electrical device into it.

Also, check your fuse box to make sure a breaker hasn't tripped. A refrigerator can consume a decent amount of energy, and this may overload a circuit, especially in older houses.

Make sure the refrigerator controls are set to ON as well. On most Whirlpool refrigerators, the controls will be in the front right or left corner of the interior of the fridge. Look for a dial about an inch in diameter.

Finally, if it is a new refrigerator, Whirlpool states that it will take up to 24 hours for the appliance to fully cool.

The Door Won't Close

Make sure the door is not blocked by something in the refrigerator. Move food items away from the door and fully insert the shelves. Check all bins to ensure they are properly inserted and the doors are fully closed. Investigate the seal around the door to make sure it is sealing tightly.

Make sure the hinges on the door are properly tightened. If your refrigerator is old, the hinges may need to be replaced. Whirlpool recommends starting with the bottom hinge and working your way toward the freezer.

The Door Is Hard to Open

Clean the door and the gasket around it with soap and warm water. Make sure the door hinges are free from dirt and debris. Consider using a small amount of WD-40 or other lubricant on the door hinges.

Temperature Problems

Make sure the settings on the refrigerator are properly set. If the fridge is too cold or too warm, try adjusting the temperature setting. On Whirlpool models, such as the W2RXEMMWS, turn the dial clockwise to make the fridge warmer, and counterclockwise to make it colder.

If a large load of food has been added, the refrigerator will be warmer for about 24 hours until the food has fully cooled. Finally, if the door is left open for long periods of time it can decrease cooling and allow humidity to build up in the fridge.

Ice or Water Problems

See whether the refrigerator is properly connected to a water supply line and the valve is turned on. The water supply is hooked up differently on various Whirlpool models, so refer to your owner's manual when connecting it. Make sure there are no kinks or cracks in the water supply line.

Make sure the ice maker is turned on by checking the shutoff switch or arm, depending on the model, and that no ice is jammed in the ice dispenser.

Contact Customer Support

If these troubleshooting tips don't work, contact Whirlpool Customer Support at (800) 253-1301, or go to Do not attempt major repairs, such as replacing cooling coils, because doing so can void your warranty.