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What would we do without a refrigerator? A lot more trips to the grocery store, for sure. When our fridge breaks down, so can we. Warm beer, warm milk on our cereal, sour milk in our coffee...eugh! Guess when most of our calls for refrigerator repairs are... Yep! Right when the warm weather starts and the ice cubes are in great demand.
Fridges / Fridge-Freezers allow us to stock up on all our favorite goodies at least a week ahead of when we need them. Some have iced water and dispense ice, cubed or crushed, on demand. They even serve as a focal point of the kitchen. We mount photographs, calendars, to do lists on them.
We even have fridges that have screens on them so that you can see what’s inside without even opening the door. Crazy!
We mustn't forget that, although we use and abuse them, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, they are sometimes very delicate little souls. They do need some love and care, and a little cleaning, from time to time, here and there. Don't forget that lettuce in the back of the Humidity Control drawer from 7 and a half weeks ago. And that cheese. Was it blue when you bought it?
So, what can go wrong with these virtual robots?
1) THE REFRIGERATOR SECTION IS NOT COLD ENOUGH INSIDE
a) Is the fridge getting power? Is there a light on? The light isn’t the perfect indicator though if the bulb has blown
b) There are coils on the back of the fridge, these need to be kept free of dust build up. Lightly brush them or carefully use a vacuum cleaner.
c) Make sure the vents inside the refrigerator are not blocked or obstructed by anything inside. The cool air needs to be able to flow freely.
d) Check the fridge thermostat to make sure it is on the desired setting.
e) Faulty compressor.
f) There could be a shortage of coolant in the system.
These last two are repairs that would need to be attended to by a technician.
2) THE REFRIGERATOR SECTION IS TOO COLD INSIDE – THE MILK IS FREEZING
a) This could be a faulty thermostat. You can check this yourself by adjust the control up and down to see if you can hear a click. If there is a click, it’s unlikely that there is a problem with the thermostat.
b) If your fridge is overloaded, this can affect its ability to detect when the correct temperature has been reached and therefore it can keep blowing in cold air. This can result in some items freezing. Try not to overload the refrigerator to ensure its ability to work efficiently.
c) The thermistor could be faulty, sending wrong information to the control board.
3) ICE MAKER IS NOT DISPENSING ICE
a) This could be caused by a clogged-up water inlet
b) The motor could be faulty
c) There could be a mechanical malfunction in the mechanism that releases the cubes and pushes them into the receptacle. Check to see of there something that has come adrift.
d) There could be a fault with the control circuit board.
4) THERE IS WATER LEAKING FROM THE REFRIGERATOR
a) This can be caused by the fridge not being level on the floor. There is a tray at the back of the fridge that collects condensation water which is then supposed to harmlessly evaporate into the air. If the fridge is not level, the condensation water may simply spill over the edge of the tray and onto the floor. Check to see of the fridge is level and adjust the front legs where necessary. This is more easily done by two people. Make sure not to tilt the fridge to far as it is designed to be level at all times.
NOTE OF CAUTION: If, at any time, the fridge has been laid down for whatever reason i.e. transportation, it is vitally important to allow it to stand upright for several hours before switching it on. The coolant inside needs to settle back down. Failure to allow sufficient “settling” time can result in a permanently damaged compressor which could be an avoidable refrigerator repair.
b) The drain hole inside the fridge may be blocked. You should find information about its location in your owner’s manual. You can use a small plastic tube or a pipe cleaner to clean the blockage and then flush it through with clean water and mild disinfectant to kill off any bacteria.
5) THERE IS A HISSING SOUND OR SOMETHING ELSE STRANGE GOING ON WITH THE FRIDGE
a) If your refrigerator is old, this could be a sign of a serious fault. You would need a technician to check and test the fridge to determine what the fault is for you to decide whether a repair is economically viable.
b) If your fridge is not very old, it may be economically viable to repair, again, a technician will determine what the fault is and give you an idea of the cost to repair.
6) THE LIGHT IS NOT WORKING
a) Assuming you have changed the bulb and it is still not working, and also assuming that the fridge itself is otherwise working perfectly normally, then we can almost certainly assume that the problem lies with the door switch. This is a simple switch that is pushed by a part of the door as it closes, to switch off the light. When the door is opened the switch is released, and the light comes on. Check the location of the switch and see if it has been stuck in the closed position. If not, then it probably needs to be replaced.
7) A SHELF (OR SOMETHING ELSE) HAS CRACKED OR IS BROKEN INSIDE, CAN I REPLACE IT
a) Yes, you can quite easily find replacement parts for your refrigerators online. If you’d prefer us to supply and fit it for you, please give us a call so that we can determine precisely what it is you need.
For information about the Freezer part of Fridge Freezers, see the Freezers page.
This is not a complete list of all the things that can require a repair on refrigerators but if what you’re looking for is not covered, please give us a call for help or advice. Frederick Appliance Repairs on (301) 683-5959