"Is your refrigerator running?" may be the introduction to a classic prank call, but if your refrigerator can't seem to achieve a cool enough temperature or is cycling on and off more frequently than normal, you probably find it anything but funny. Whenever the workhorse of your kitchen appliances begins showing signs of trouble, you may wonder whether an expensive repair (or worse, replacement) is in your future. Fortunately, there are a number of refrigerator problems that can be easily fixed with a bit of elbow grease. Read on to learn more about some common refrigerator problems you may be able to tackle yourself, as well as a couple of repairs you'll want to leave to the professionals.
Which refrigerator repairs can be performed yourself?
If your refrigerator keeps cycling on and off, you'll first want to check the thermostat inside your refrigerator to ensure it's set at the proper temperature. For food safety, your refrigerator should always remain at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, and many refrigerators with electronic thermostats are automatically set several degrees cooler. If your thermostat is malfunctioning and telling your refrigerator it isn't cold enough, your refrigerator's compressor will continue to run until the thermostat registers this lower temperature. Replacing your thermostat is a fairly simple process that should be covered for your specific make and model of refrigerator in the owner's manual. Essentially, you'll need only to disconnect the power to your refrigerator, remove the thermostat cover, untwist the wires holding the thermostat inside your refrigerator, and twist the new thermostat onto these connecting wires.
If your thermostat appears to be in good working order, you'll next want to check the compressor coils on the back and bottom of your refrigerator to ensure they're clean. When dust accumulates on these coils, it can eventually work its way into your refrigerator's air filter, causing the compressor to risk overheating if it runs for too long at one time. This can lead your compressor to cycle on and off frequently to avoid overheating while still attempting to keep the refrigerator at its programmed temperature.
For situations in which your refrigerator seems to be accumulating frost or ice at a rapid rate, you'll want to check your door seals. A leaking door can allow moist, outside air to flow into the refrigerator, forming frost once it condenses. If your door seals are dry-rotted or otherwise damaged, you should be able to purchase a new rubber insulating strip at a hardware or home supply store, remove the old strip from your refrigerator with a razor blade, and affix the new rubber strip to the door, creating a tight seal.
In other cases, your refrigerator may be leaking water, leaving a puddle on the floor beneath -- or you may also notice mysterious water puddles forming in your crisper drawer. This is usually caused by a blocked defrost drain at the bottom of your refrigerator, which can be quickly and inexpensively unplugged with an ordinary plumbing snake and a bit of effort.
When should you call a professional repairperson to fix your refrigerator?
If your initial troubleshooting efforts haven't pointed you toward a specific cause of your refrigerator's issues -- or if you notice the telltale loud humming or buzzing noise that points toward a problem with the compressor (located beneath the service panel on the back of your refrigerator), you'll want to contact a professional, such as Pro-Staff Mechanical Inc, to evaluate and fix this issue. Most homeowners are ill-equipped to repair a refrigerator compressor, and attempting to perform these repairs yourself could leave your refrigerator completely inoperable, rather than just running a bit warm.
You'll also want to call a repairperson if any of the plastic tubes leading to the icemaker in your freezer seem to be crimped or punctured. Although you may be able to physically patch or replace the tubing yourself, ensuring that it is properly connected and bleeding any air from the tubing may be difficult for those without much experience in refrigerator repair.Share
7 March 2016
As a DIY enthusiast, I started doing everything I could to make my household appliances more effective then ever before. I insulated my attic, worked on cleaning the vents around my kitchen appliances, and eventually turned my attention to my air conditioner and furnace. Unfortunately, the process of taking care of my HVAC system was more intense than I had originally anticipated. I realized that I needed to read about air conditioners and furnaces before I started tinkering around. I made this blog to showcase all kinds of different articles that talk about HVAC, so that you can become a more informed homeowner.