Old Fridge Freezer - Fridge Compartment Not Cooling - Freezer OK

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My brother has a 20 year old fridge freezer - fridge top, freezer section below. Freezer is fine, but fridge compartment not cooling. As far as I'm aware, there is no fan on this appliance - assuming not all f/fs have them? Stat is set to highest number, ie. lowest temp.

What is likely to be the problem? There is a fair amount of ice in the freezer section - is this a likely cause?

Grateful for any advice.
 
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Quite often, a buildup of ice clogs the ducts through which cold air is supposed to flow. I have only known it happen when there are ducts built into the back wall, so they are out of sight and difficult to defrost. Once clogged and filled with ice, you have to turn off and empty the FF and leave both doors open for at least 24 hours, or until water has stopped dripping inside the cabinet or into the collection dish at the back. If you stop before it is all out, you have wasted your time. There may be a circulation fan, and it might be jammed by frost buildup. In your case, cold air may "fall" into the freezer by convection.

If this works, make a note of the date on a label, and see how long it takes to do it again. If the defrost heater has failed, it might take a year and maybe you can put up with it, because repair is expensive. If the door seals are leaky, you might be able to replace them. If, however, the sealed circuit has lost refrigerant gas, it is irrepairable.

Put thermometers in each cabinet so the problem can easily be spotted.
 
OK, thanks John. I thought as much. Not sure if it will have a defrost system as I don't think it's frost-free model. Will get him to do a thorough defrost - ideal weather. If no joy, will see if there's any panels to remove inside at the back and have a look what is in there.
 
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Wouldn't be at all surprised if this had separate compressor, old stuff often built far better than new so it could well have two units, check at the back. If it has could be the compressor has failed, could be thermostat.
 

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