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How to Repair a Refrigerator

Ashwini Kulkarni Sule Sep 29, 2018
Refrigerator is one of those few appliances that run day and night without demanding much maintenance. However, sometimes minor problems do crop up. You can easily solve them, and repair your refrigerator if you're aware of the basic functioning. Know more about the same.
Refrigerators have become an indispensable part of our lives. They are extremely reliable and work incessantly without much need for servicing. 
However, there might be a few occasions when your refrigerator encounters a problem. You can easily fix such problems yourself, without calling a professional help. But for that, you need to understand it's basic working.


Refrigerator consists of two functional components - evaporating coil and cooling coil. The compressor circulates the liquid freon that acts as a coolant through these coils. Freon is cooled in the condenser and flows to the evaporator, where it comes in contact with the air inside the unit. It refrigerates this air and brings down the temperature.
The cooling coil is situated outside the unit while the evaporating coil is inside the unit. The compressor is driven by a powerful motor.

Repairing Common Problems

Most refrigerator problems are pretty easy to fix yourself, now that you know the fundamentals. Here are some DIY refrigerator repair tips:

Repairing a Leaking Refrigerator

The causes of a leakage are:
  • Condensation leak by the door
  • Damaged or improperly placed drain pan
  • An icemaker leak
Condensation by the door is either due to a damaged gasket or a malfunctioning door. Leakage due to drain pans can be solved by simply replacing or repositioning the drain pan located at the bottom of the refrigerator.
Remove the grill and slide the drain pan out of the unit; discharge the water and inspect for damages. Pour some water in the pan and check if it leaks. If it does, you will need to get a new one. If the drain pan seems intact simply put it back properly.
If the leakage is due to the icemaker, you will notice the water flowing from the backside of the unit. You need to inspect the water line that provides water to the icemaker and the fitting that attaches the tube to the refrigerator. Damage to either of them can cause leakage. Check for the damage and replace the corresponding component.

Doors and Gaskets

If the door does not close properly, it means either there is a problem with the gasket sealed to the door, or the door itself. Check if the gasket is cracked or chipped, if it is, buy a new one. Make sure that you buy the one that is particularly meant for your refrigerator only.
In case of a malfunctioning door, a little tightening of screws and bolts may help. It is better to keep the refrigerator tilted at slight angle, because the closing mechanism needs a little help of gravity.

Refrigerator Light

The refrigerator light should switch on instantly when you open the door, if it doesn't, there may be several factors responsible for it. First, check if the bulb has blown out, next, if the switch has stuck. If everything seems fine, the problem is with the switch itself, which calls for replacement.

Repairing a Thermostat

A defective thermostat will make the compressor run continuously. To check if you have a defective thermostat, turn it off, and see if the compressor runs. If it does, the thermostat is indeed faulty. There must be some problem with the compressor itself, if it does not work.

Condenser Fan

The blades may get jammed due to accumulated debris in the fan unit, which may lead to malfunctioning of the fan. If the blades are clogged, simply clean the unit. In case of bent blades, straighten the blades with pliers.

Motor/ Compressor

If there is a problem with your motor or compressor, do not attempt to fix it yourself. Problems with motor or compressor, are often complicated and require a high degree of technical expertise. Hence, it can be best dealt by a refrigerator repair service.
These DIY refrigerator repair guidelines are only useful for common problems that are easy to deal with. While carrying out any kind of repair work always make sure to adhere to the safety precautions in the manufacturer's instructions.