How to Repair Wine Cooler?

Last Updated on October 17, 2022 by Tom

Wine coolers are great at preserving the quality of your wine, and not knowing how to repair wine cooler can really put you in a dilemma. A broken or sluggish wine fridge will speed up the chemical reactions in your wine and alter its flavor. You might be confused and don’t know where to start if you encounter this problem for the first time, right?

Maintenance costs can sometimes exceed your fridge’s actual value, so in today’s article, we will walk you through some tips on how to fix a wine cooler when it’s not cooling. Be sure to read to the end to find out what causes your wine cooler to stop working as well as some simple tips that can save you some money. 

how to repair wine cooler
how to fix a wine fridge


Wine coolers are designed specifically for wine storage as the beverage needs the right temperature and humidity as well as a dark, cool, and vibration-free area. Wine coolers generally come in two types – a built-in or a freestanding and uses either a compressor cooling or a thermoelectric cooling system. They can have a single zone (one temperature) or dual zones (divided sections with two separate temperatures). 

A compression cooler is more powerful, bigger in size, gives off some noise, so its small vibrations can disturb the sediment in your wine. A compressor a liquid called a refrigerant into hot gas and passes it through metal coils. The gas then cools down, returns to the liquid refrigerant, and expands as it flows through the coils inside the refrigerator. 

The refrigerant then absorbs heat from the surrounding air, cooling the internal temperature. It absorbs more heat, raises its temperature, and effectively cools the interior if it has a larger surface area.

On the other hand, thermoelectric cooling is gentler, less expensive, noise-free but is highly affected by ambient temperatures. It uses the Peltier effect to transfer heat between two pieces of metal, making one side hot while the other cools. The heat sink attaches to the hot side, consisting of aluminum foil – a great heat conductor – and a fan that helps the fins absorb heat while providing cooling for the device. 

Now you have a basic understanding of the functions of the wine coolers, let’s jump right into the reasons why they are broken and how to repair wine cooler when it’s not working. 

Reasons the Compressor Wine Fridge Is Not Working Or NOT Cooling

1. Condenser Fan (Not Running)

The compressor wine fridge consists of four main components; compressor, condenser, metering device, and evaporator coil. There is a condenser fan designed to turn on with the entire system, and when it fails, the compressor and the condenser coils may overheat. Over a long period of time, this raises the internal temperature that warms your wine. 

How to fix a wine fridge

First, you need to check if the fan has accumulated dirt that prevents the fan from spinning freely. If so, go ahead and use a small vacuum to suck up all the dust, or simply use a clean cloth and wipe everything out. Or, if the fan is damaged, then replace it with a new one, and your wine cooler is good to go again. 

2. Broken Evaporator

The evaporator absorbs the warmer air from the condenser coils and produces cooling air. It also uses a fan so there can be dust and debris build-up causing blockages. If this component is damaged, your wine may end up being cooked and the aging is accelerated as there is no cold air to slow the process.

How To Fix It?

It is possible that ice has formed on the evaporator due to the humidification feature. If this happens, unplug your device and let it melt completely before plugging it back in. Besides, check if the fan is working properly, is there anything obstructing it, and replace a new one if the blades are bent.

3. Defective Thermostat

The thermostat monitors the air temperature inside the unit by turning the compressor on and off accordingly and supplying power to other components. When the temperature goes over the setpoint, the compressor turns on and turns off if the temperature drops below the setpoint. Since it’s temperature-controlled, a defective thermostat can make the interior hotter or even colder than it should. 

How To Fix It?

How to fix a wine cooler when a thermostat is broken? Unfortunately, when it comes to a faulty thermostat, you can’t fix it yourself and have to call a technician to replace it for you. As this requires skills and knowledge, your amateur effort can further damage the cooler. 

Reasons the Thermoelectric Wine Fridge Is Not Working or Not Cooling

1. The Room Temp Is Too Warm

As explained above, a thermoelectric wine fridge is extremely sensitive to the outside environments, so it is less effective in maintaining a cooling temperature. Therefore, if the room is too hot, the Peltier module will have a hard time cooling the unit. That’s why you should place your thermoelectric wine cooler in an environment between 50°F (10°C) and  75°F (24°C).

How To Fix It?

Luckily, if you know the reason that your wine cooler isn’t operating is because the room temperature is too warm, your unit isn’t damaged. An easy method is to turn on the air conditioner on hotter days for a cooler environment. Or, you can choose to put it somewhere else, where the temperature range is ideal.

2. Improper Ventilation

A ventilation system works best when there is nothing around it. It needs to be clean and have an open space for the heat to dissipate. Make sure nothing is obstructing the heat sink as hot air from the inside needs to be pushed to the outside.

How To Fix It?

When positioning your thermoelectric wine cooler, remember to leave a few inches between the wall and the unit as well as other nearby furniture for heat to escape. Another important reminder is to never use thermoelectrics for built-in wine coolers, as an enclosure doesn’t allow heat to escape, and in the long run, your unit will overheat.

If it is a countertop wine cooler, it should be located away from appliances that emit excessive heat such as microwave ovens, stoves, and toasters.  

3. Disconnected Or Faulty Fan

In contrast to the compressor, a thermoelectric also utilizes a fan to conduct heat outside but it is easily disconnected. A fanning system also means that dust and debris can build up blocking the passage of hot air or maybe it was broken at some point.

How To Fix It?

A quick fix is to check if the connectors are connected to the motherboard, if not, then attach them firmly and correctly if necessary. Clean the fan to make sure hot air can pass through and replace it with a new one if it stops working. How to repair wine cooler will no longer be a problem when it comes to the thermoelectric cooling system as the issues are relatively predictable. 

How to fix a wine fridge by video

how to fix a wine fridge

Some Types of Wine Cooler

About Technology

Compressor Wine Coolers.

A compressor wine cooler is one of the most popular types on the market today, and it’s easy to see why. Compressor units offer excellent cooling performance compared to other similar models, plus they’re very quiet–a common complaint about thermoelectric coolers.

These units use a fan to draw room-temperature air over metal fins that are cooled by the refrigerant gas, which then blows across the heat exchanger coils. Be sure not to let these units run dry or you can damage them permanently – check out our care guide for more advice on how to properly maintain your unit.

Thermoelectric Wine Coolers.

These units work much like your home refrigerator, though they produce little to no noise while operating. Thermoelectric wine coolers are very popular because of their quiet nature, but they don’t work nearly as well as compressor units when it comes to actually cooling down your bottles.

So, if you’re looking for a unit that can both refrigerate and keep wine at the correct serving temperatures, then these units probably aren’t right for you.

About Design and Structure

Single Zone Wine Coolers.

Single zone wine coolers are the most common type of wine cooler, these units can be found in sizes ranging from small 1 or 2 bottle units to mammoth 16+ bottle models designed for large restaurants and bars only.

These small single zone cooling systems draw air across one shelf per bottle similar to a refrigerator, this allows them to work well with both reds and whites because they are not meant to have their own separate temperature settings, but rather control the overall room temperature in which they sit in much like that of a breaker box on a wall.

Dual Zone Wine Coolers

Dual zone wine coolers are becoming more popular air-cooled cooling systems that offer the ability to store both reds and whites at their optimum serving temperatures with separate temperature controls for each side of the unit, which makes them great for users who host large dinner parties or enjoy having a variety of wines ready to serve.

These units are equipped with two separate internal cooling chambers, one for reds (55°F – 65°F) and one for whites (45°F – 55°F), often times they will have an external digital display allowing you to switch between zones without opening the door depending on your needs.

Priced much like single zone counter top models these units offer less storage space than either of their larger counter top or built-in cousins.

Counter-Top Coolers

Very similar to a counter top cooler, the only difference being the height of these units which can vary from under a foot tall to as tall as a standard wine bottle at 35″. Often times free standing units will also include wheels on the bottom allowing them to be moved from place to place if necessary with ease.

These units are great for those who enjoy having white wines or champagne chilled but do not have the space for a full-sized unit in their home.

Built In Wine Coolers

Built In Wine Coolers: This type of system is what most people imagine when they think about a wine refrigerator, either placed flush against your cabinetry or attached via metal frame work, these cooling systems can vary greatly in overall capacity but all offer total wine preservation for your favorite bottles.

They are available in single zone, dual zone with cooling zones separated by a wall like with counter top models or even dual zone with each compartment kept at their own separate temperature controls.

Free-Standing Coolers

Free standing wine coolers can be found in almost any size imaginable. These units are designed to stand alone in the room of your choice either on caster wheels or built into legs making them perfect for basements, attics and anywhere else you might want to place them without sacrificing valuable floor space.

Conclusion on how to repair wine cooler

As you can see, there are two types of wine coolers and several reasons related to their downtime. However, before looking for how to repair wine cooler, you need to first determine the type of your wine cooler. Knowing this at the beginning will get you on the right track. 

In general, a thermoelectric is easy to fix as it only needs the right place to function properly while a compressor is more complicated in some parts, such as a thermostat failing. Again, you need to check the severity of the problem before starting or calling a professional.

Now you have discovered some simple ways on how to fix a wine fridge yourself before spending some cash. We hope this article is helpful in providing you with a guide to take care of your wine cooler. 

Thank you! Real Gastropub

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