The following is a list of common problems and causes for refrigerators. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it will help to familiarise yourself with the inner workings of your appliance. If you find that you have a problem that isn’t listed here, then refer to the user guide or consult a technician. Once again, if you work on your own refrigerator be extremely careful not to electrocute yourself or shock other people in the area. Make sure everything has been unplugged from power before working on it!
Refrigerator doors are designed so that they should fit tightly together when closed to reduce cold air loss – this can be tested by pushing lightly on both sides of the fridge door until it closes. If there is a gap between the doors even when they are lightly pushed together, then this is known as an airlock and can be caused by ice building up near the hinge of the door due to lack of good airflow in front of the refrigerator.
A loud grinding noise emanating from behind your fridge? Then you might have a fan bearing that has seized up or is out of balance. This problem can sometimes be fixed with oil, but if it sounds like something bad inside, then I would suggest investing in a new fan assembly – these work out quite cheaply for most brands.
The gasket which seals the doors shut may lose its elasticity over time so that it no longer holds itself tightly enough against the door seal. Another cause of an airlock is when the gasket has become torn or twisted around its hinges and isn’t sitting correctly.
A refrigerator evaporator (a tube behind the freezer section which houses a fan and fluid) can sometimes ice up if it isn’t efficiently removing warm moist air from inside the fridge, causing it to refreeze on the evaporator and spoil food in that area of storage. Try turning down your fridge thermostat as this may be pushing too much cold air through which causes water vapor to condense and freeze in front of the unit.
The compressor may only intermittently turn off, leading you to believe that it isn’t running. If this is the case, then there will probably be a power problem with your home’s electrical system (perhaps a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker), make sure that all of your appliances are also off at the same time that you switch off power to your refrigerator.
The evaporator fan may only intermittently turn off, leading you to believe that it isn’t running. If this is the case, then there will probably be a power problem with your home’s electrical system (perhaps a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker). Check that all of your other appliances are also turned off whenever you do need to flip the main switch for power.
Some models have an ice build-up issue in which ice forms around where the back of the freezer joins with the fridge section and restricts airflow from outside air through vents in front. This can sometimes be resolved by taking out the lower drawer and thawing out the ice with a hairdryer or heating pad.
Water leakage is almost always caused by an issue in the door seal, either due to age or damage. First, try closing your fridge (if it isn’t already) and wiping up any water that has formed on the bottom of the unit. If this doesn’t solve the problem, open up the freezer section and inspect around where the door meets with its gasket to ensure there are no rips in it.
If food stored near power cords is accidentally cooked by these cords – this is probably because you have placed them too close to your refrigerator resulting in poor airflow between shelves which makes warm air more likely to settle above the power cords.
Keep your fridge clean by wiping it down with a damp cloth or using a mild dishwashing liquid on it from time to time, but avoid abrasive cleaners as they will scratch its surface and leave traces behind which may contaminate food. Also keep in mind that leaving any fruit out for too long at room temperature can cause condensation inside your refrigerator if you have been keeping its door open.
In the case of not being able to find another solution, then perhaps replacing faulty parts or even buying a new model may be the only answer left…
The light inside a refrigerator is powered by a small switch which usually rests near where the power cord meets with its plug connector. If this switch gets stuck due to malfunctioning or food becoming lodged nearby, then the light may fail to turn on even if the power is still being supplied.
In order to correct this problem, you can either flip down the switch manually by using a toothpick or something similar or take apart your fridge and remove whatever has become stuck in it.
If your refrigerator is too hot whenever you do open its door – even though it’s properly plugged into electricity and you have no other problems associated with it – then check that its thermostat isn’t set above 40°F (4°C), since temperatures above this threshold aren’t recommended for household appliances which carry foods.
If your freezer seems only moderately cold or doesn’t actually freeze anything anymore because of a lack of ice buildup, then perhaps it’s time you consider cleaning the evaporator coils. If your refrigerator is more than ten years old, then chances are its coils will probably be dirty and need to be cleaned or replaced.
If your fridge keeps tripping the breaker of your home’s electrical system whenever you plug it in and close its door, but doesn’t actually seem faulty otherwise, then this may simply mean that there is a problem with the way in which power is supplied to it from your wall socket. You can either get an electrician to look into this issue or try plugging in another appliance into that same socket to see if this makes any difference – if not, then there is probably a problem with wiring somewhere between electricity entering your home from outside.