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Your Guide to Troubleshooting Refrigerator Problems

Parashar Joshi Oct 13, 2018
Refrigerator, one of the essential home appliances, pose a big problem when not in a working conditions. Have a look at different ways to troubleshoot its problems.
Like many other important household appliances, refrigerators are something that are often taken for granted. There they are, standing quietly in the corner of the kitchen, quite inconspicuous to us.
The only time that the refrigerator gets noticed of its existence is when something goes wrong with it. It's true, and everyone can relate to what is being said. Only when this over-sized cooling box has a functioning problem, it gets the  attention and importance.
These particular issues are of varying types, and troubleshooting them in a systematic way helps the owner get an idea about the necessary repairs that need to be undertaken. Before proceeding to the problem troubleshooting technics, read here about some common refrigerator problems that one should be aware of.

Common Problems

  • The light inside the fridge does not work.
  • Cooling is less than normal or isn't happening at all.
  • There is excessive cooling.
  • The fridge makes too much noise.
  • The fridge is working, but the freezer isn't.
  • There is water leakage in the freezer.
Once you have identified the exact problem, you can proceed with troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting Guidelines

  • First and foremost, check the electrical connections. Ensure that the wire is in good condition and is plugged in properly.
  • Make sure that the refrigerator door closes properly. Often, if the door remains ajar or does not close properly, it can lead to certain complications in the functioning of the fridge.
  • Closely inspect the light and its push-button mechanism. Check for any split or broken wires. Also, inspect the bulb filament. If it is broken, then you will have to replace the bulb.
  • Inspect the thermostat controls; meaning, the cooling-temperature controls. There is a possibility that the knob might be set to an out-of-limit setting, or it could be that the knob itself is broken. At the same time, you should also check the freezer cooling controls and the defrost button for similar issues.
  • Lastly, examine the rear portion of the refrigerator that usually houses the condenser, condenser coil, condenser fan, evaporator, evaporator coil, evaporator fan, and the coolant tubes. Check for any breakage, leakage, or other similar problems.
  • Before attempting any repair activity, make sure you unplug the refrigerator cable from the power socket.
  • If you find that the fridge is unbalanced, observe the casters, meaning the legs, and check whether each of them is at the same level. If not, then they will need to be adjusted such that the fridge eventually remains balanced and does not tilt towards any side.
  • If the door happens to be a little loose or rackety, you may have to unscrew the hinges, apply a bit of grease or any other domestic lubricant on the moving parts, and screw it back on. In very rare cases will you actually have to replace individual parts of the door or the whole door itself.
  • Next, clean the condenser coils and the surrounding area. Condenser coils are usually exposed to air, and tend to get covered with layers of dust, dirt, etc. over a long period of time. Use a dry brush or a dry rag for cleaning them.
  • Inspect the condenser and evaporator fans. If there is any dirt or debris stuck in between the fan blades, you should remove it delicately using a soft brush.
  • In case there happens to be a leak in one of the coolant tubes, you will be able to recognize it instantly by its distinctive smell. In such cases, it is better to get professional help rather than experimenting yourself.
  • If the fridge has become unusually noisy, there may be a problem with the internal motor. Once again, it is recommended that you seek professional help as repairing or replacing the motor is a special job.
At the same time, it is always advisable to get your refrigerator serviced and checked by a professional technician on an annual basis. It can go a long way in keeping it problem-free.