Just when you thought you had repaired all of your major appliances and it was safe to go into the kitchen, you find a problem with your refrigerator. It’s not running at all, or not properly. It’s noisy or leaky, or maybe it won’t shut off at all. You may or may not know offhand what is wrong, but you can be sure it’s going to be a big problem if you don’t get it fixed fast. You may be surprised what the most common complaints and repairs on refrigerators may be, and you may be even more taken aback by how easily you can fix them.
When troubleshooting to determine what exactly is wrong with your refrigerator, start with the most immediate symptom that you notice. The most obvious common problem would be that the refrigerator is not running. If the light inside the refrigerator is not on, you have no power to the refrigerator. This could mean that the AC outlet is defective, that the breaker has been tripped, or that the service cord is defective. Check your breaker, and try plugging another appliance into the outlet to see if it is functioning properly. Look for nicks in the service cord, as well. If the light is on, there are a number of things that could be defective, including the temperature control device, the defrost timer, the start relay, or even the compressor. The last of these is quite expensive, and you may want to have a professional take a look at your refrigerator before buying any parts.
The second most common complaint on a refrigerator is probably that it runs continuously. If it runs all the time with no cooling, your compressor, again, may be insufficient or faulty. However, first check that there is no loss of charge on the refrigerant. This is the less expensive of the two problems to fix. If you find that the refrigerator runs continuously and is TOO cool, you either have a defective temperature control or this control needs adjusting. There may also be an instance where the unit runs excessively but the freezer and refrigerator are still not cold enough. This could mean issues with the evaporator fan, the defrost timer, or simply the sealing of the unit or could be compressor failure or a dirty or defective condenser.
The third common complaint is a normal but sweaty refrigerator. If the sweat is condensing on the inside of the unit, you have bad door seals and need to have them replaced. If there is sweat on the exterior of the refrigerator, it could be bad door seals or may be faulty insulation or even a heater that is defective in the door channel. Of course, there are several other smaller problems that regularly occur in refrigerators that sometimes are more of an annoyance than a real problem. However, if you think that something really is wrong with your refrigerator beyond these more typical issues, don’t hesitate to get it checked out by a licensed professional.