The reason people buy refrigerators is to keep food and drink cold. However, this purpose becomes defeated when the appliance cannot fulfill its function.
Many have complained of scenarios where their fridge gets stuck at 50 degrees and doesn’t come back down.
If you have or are experiencing something such as this, then you know how frustrating it can get, especially when your food defrosts and goes bad.
Two things are involved when your refrigerator gets stuck at 50 degrees. Either you have a faulty thermostat, or the air vents in the fridge are blocked. During the cooling process, the vent releases warm air. When this air cannot find an escape route, it builds up the heat inside the refrigerator.
In this article, I will provide a detailed guide on why your fridge is stuck at 50 degrees and the possible solutions to fix the problem.
And by the end, you should be able to fix, understand and avoid situations like this.
Why Is My Refrigerator Stuck at a Temperature of 50 Degrees?
Usually, your refrigerator should be at 40 degrees (Fahrenheit). At this temperature, a reasonable amount of microbial growth and food decay is slowed.
At the same time, it keeps food condiments such as cheese, jam, and butter at the right consistency for them.
Unfortunately, anything lower than 40°F will freeze and alter the texture of vegetables and fresh produce. Hence, making them difficult to use and making some lose their taste.
Similarly, if the temperature goes up to 50°F, there is a high chance that everything in the refrigerator will go spoiled or rotten. And this leaves you at risk of falling Ill when you consume such foods.
Below are a few reasons why your refrigerator was at 50 degrees when you didn’t set it that way.
#1. Faulty Thermostat
As widely known, the thermostat controls the temperature of the entire refrigerator.
When this small item inside the fridge goes faulty, it is prone to randomly change the refrigerator’s temperature from time to time.
In other cases, the refrigerator temperature can be higher or lower by 10°F. If you notice your refrigerator has been stuck at 50 degrees, this is the thing you should look at— your thermostat.
#2. Someone Changed the Temperature
Most times, when something goes wrong, the last thing you look at is something you didn’t touch. This may be the case with your refrigerator’s temperature.
If you notice your fridge is stuck at a temperature, you should check if someone in the house changed the temperature.
Even if you live alone, there is a chance you may have hit the thermostat unknowingly while trying to get something from the fridge. So always check the temperature.
#3. Blocked Vents
If you didn’t change or tamper with the fridge thermostat and it is not faulty, the problem is most likely blocked Vents.
Walk-in and big refrigerators are the ones that predominantly suffer blocked Vents. Nevertheless, your regular fridge can still have a clogged vent.
The vent installed in your refrigerator is what helps it expel hot air that is formed during cooling.
If anything blocks this vent, the hot air goes back into the refrigerator and leaves the temperature at a static hot one. Mostly, 50 degrees as it is closer to the regular 40°F you leave your fridge.
#4. Dirty Compressor Coils
Your fridge has a refrigerant system that transfers the heat inside to create cool air. What makes your fridge function properly is evaporation and a gas compression cycle.
During this cycle, a part of the refrigerator, known as the compressor coil, expels the heat.
These compressor coils are kept safe and sealed in a metal box or tubes behind your refrigerator. So, if these coils get dirty, they can make your fridge’s temperature oscillate speedily.
How Do I Fix a Refrigerator That Is Stuck at 50 Degrees?
Here are some possible solutions if you find your refrigerator stuck at 50 degrees or any other high temperature. But before you proceed, there are a few things you should check for.
- Strange noises, like a scraping sound, may indicate a faulty condenser fan.
- Check if the freezer is frozen or freezing.
Depending on what may be causing your refrigerator to be stuck at 50 degrees, these options could help.
#1. Ensure the Refrigerator Is Getting Electrical Power
Even though this sounds too simple to be the solution to your problem, there is a chance your refrigerator may have flipped a breaker.
This is not only capable of shutting down the entire refrigerator, but it can also make the temperature stuck. Moreover, the whole idea of fridges revolves around temperature.
#2. Look At Your User’s Manual
Wait to bring down your toolbox. Even most of the top brands of refrigerators, like Kenmore, and Whirlpool, may have straightforward solutions to the temperature being stuck at 50 degrees.
Most refrigerators come with easy troubleshooting tips you can try once you experience issues like this.
Despite many brands having commonalities in functions, some brands may have a simple feature that can trigger something else.
For example, you may have set a Samsung refrigerator to Demo mode whenever it’s not cooling.
#3. Check the Thermostat
From time to time, things like the milk carton or vegetable studs can tamper with the thermostat in the fridge. When this happens, the temperature changes and stops cooling.
So before you call the repairman’s attention, please check the thermostat to ensure the temperature is set in place and it is not faulty.
#4. Test the Refrigerator Seals
Another reason your refrigerator is stuck at 50 degrees or not cooling, maybe because of a faulty door gasket.
If the door gasket or magnetic seals are defective, the cool may be escaping from your refrigerator.
#5. Ensure the Condenser Coils Are Neat
Your condenser coils come filled with refrigerant. Over time, the ones not sealed in a unit can get dusty and dirty.
Fortunately, cleaning your refrigerator condenser coils is a straightforward process. All you need to do is:
- Buy a condenser brush.
- Get a vacuum to suck up extra dust.
If you find so much dirt on the coil, you’ll need to fix a routine for cleaning the coils.
#6. Ensure the Air Vents are Unblocked
If you cram the air vent space with items or push the refrigerator to the wall, there will always be residual hot air in the appliance.
How Long Can Food Stay Good at 50 Degrees in a Fridge?
If you have tried out every solution possible and it’s working, you have probably called the handyman.
However, you may wonder what happens to your food and how long it can stay fresh.
Usually, the FDA says that you should throw out perishables left at a temperature of 50 degrees after two hours.
Below is a table showing how long particular typical food can stay good in the refrigerator if the temperature is 50 degrees.
|Food||Period It Can Go|
|Meat||At least 3 hours.|
|Yogurt||Less than two hours.|
In conclusion, a few reasons your refrigerator is stuck at 50 degrees are
- A faulty compressor.
- Faulty Thermostat.
- Blocked air vents.
If resetting your refrigerator doesn’t fix the problem and you notice it isn’t any of those issues mentioned earlier, swiftly contact a professional for help.