How To Fix It?
Where would we be without the refrigerator? In the past, food was either preserved to be stable at room temperature, or deep holes in the earth were used to keep perishables fresh and semi-cool for perhaps a couple extra days. Thankfully, the invention of the icebox, and then the fridge as we know it today, have allowed us to take fewer trips to the grocery store, and mitigate the unnecessary waste and expense of spoiled food. However, it can be a serious problem when your fridge suddenly stops working.
Unlike other appliances, a broken refrigerator is a serious disruption to your household life, and a time-sensitive one. Whereas you can always hand-wash when your dishwasher is on the fritz, or hang-dry clothes until your dryer is working, there’s no practical alternative to storing food in the fridge. When the cooling stops, the clock starts ticking on everything inside, and you’d better hope you can get a hold of a refrigerator repair person in time. That’s why it’s so important to have your refrigerator regularly serviced and maintained, as well as to have ongoing contact with a reliable repair company when you need it.
Common refrigerator issues
Beyond a total shutdown of the unit, there’s a few other issues we often run into when servicing refrigerators in the course of our appliance repair work in Langley BC. Here are some of the most common snags we’ve been able to help out with:
- Refrigerator has shut off
The most serious issue your refrigerator is likely to face. It’s receiving no power – the lights, fans, and motors are completely shut down, and things are starting to warm up inside. There are a number of things that can cause this problem, including:
- Damaged refrigerator power cord
- Tripped circuit breaker
- Bad wiring connection inside the fridge
- Faulty internal power components
If you’ve checked that the cord is plugged in, that the circuit breaker isn’t tripped, and that the outlet you’re using is working, the problem likely lies in the circuitry and hardware in the fridge itself. Some of the more common parts that malfunction and cause a fridge shutdown are fans, overload switches, as well as internal thermostats and timers. If any of these stop working correctly, there’s a chance it will bring the entire unit to a halt. A technician will be able to look at your fridge and identify which components have stopped working, and can replace or repair them as necessary.
- Fridge is leaking water onto the floor
Not only is a puddle of water a slipping hazard, but it can also damage your floor if left for too long. A blocked defrost drain, found on the backside of your fridge, is one possible reason for water leaking out of your unit. Bits of food debris can gradually build up in this drain hose if it’s not regularly cleaned out, causing a build-up of ice that eventually melts and winds up on your floor. If clearing the drain hose doesn’t solve the issue, there may be more debris build-up in the valve, which connects the hose to the fridge itself.
Typically, washing the valve and clearing the hose will solve the issue, however, if it persists, there could be a problem with the water supply to the fridge. This is only found in units with ice and water dispensers, which are supplied with water via a hook up from your kitchen water line. If this is the suspected issue, a technician will activate the water shutoff on your fridge, and check the plastic supply line for any kinks, blockages, damage, or freezing.
- Crisper is getting too warm
In most fridges, the refrigerator section of the unit is actually kept cold by the freezer section. There are a few components that are responsible for controlling the temperature of the fridge, as well as the various compartments inside of it. An evaporator fan moves cold air from your freezer to a diffuser, a component found inside your fresh food compartment. The diffuser is responsible for keeping your fridge cold, but not freezing.
If your food crisper is getting too warm, there’s probably an issue with either your evaporator fan or diffuser. If you’re able to hear the evaporator fan when the fridge is running, the problem could possibly be that your diffuser duct has become blocked with ice – a problem often caused by leaving your fridge door open for extended periods. Although your fresh fruit and vegetables won’t be frozen, which is a plus, they may start to get warmer than they would be on the counter, which isn’t ideal. If you’re not able to hear the evaporator fan, chances are you’ll need to spring for a new fan motor.
- Fridge is too noisy
A noisy fridge is one of those seemingly small inconveniences that can really start to grate on you over time. Sure, you might get used to it, just as you’d get used to living next to a train track—but why make that compromise? Typically, a fridge making excessive noise is a sign of it cycling too often, and not only is this annoying, but it’s likely costing you extra money every month on your utility bill as well.
There’s a number of reasons for a fridge cycling excessively. One cause for over-cycling is simply that you’ve set the temperature of the fridge too low, causing it to work much harder just to keep things cold enough. More complex problems, such as buildup of debris and dust on the coils of the fridge condenser, are more challenging fixes. If a technician determines that your condenser coils are to blame, they’ll locate the condenser on your unit, and get access to it in order to be able to vacuum any foreign objects away. If none of these tactics fix your noisy fridge, you may need to have your repair person replace your fan motor or internal fridge thermostat.
- Freezer temperature isn’t cold enough
Inside of your freezer looking less frozen and a little more…wet? Chances are your freezer isn’t reaching the temperature it should be to store your frozen food safely. Again, check to see if you can hear your evaporator fan running, as it may not be working properly to regulate the unit’s temperature. If the fan is in working order, it could again be a problem with buildup on your condenser coils. Your technician will look at these components to determine the cause of the problem. If the fan and condenser are in good shape, but the freezer is still not getting cold enough, it may be time to replace the unit.
- Excessive ice in your ice dispenser
Your ice dispenser is powered by gravity, in that a pile of ice collects that is able to fall into your cup when you activate the lever on the front of your fridge. If nothing happens, there may be a problem with your damper door. The damper door is a simple mechanism that opens up to allow ice out. The door itself is lined with a specialized seal that allows the ice storage area to remain airtight. However, if this seal gets dirty or damaged, it might be letting air into the ice area, causing a build up frost that can back up the whole system. Your technician will inspect and, if necessary, clean the damper door to restore the seal. If this doesn’t solve your problem, you may need to replace the part.
- Food is freezing in the refrigerator
The interior temperature of your refrigerator is controlled by a thermostat. This is what determines the power output to the compressor and evaporator motor, and therefore the temperature of your fridge. If your thermostat is faulty, it may be causing your fridge to refrigerate for longer than it needs to, leading to freezing temperatures in your cold storage. Your technician will use a multimeter to determine if the thermostat is working correctly, moving on to each consecutive component to ensure they’re working properly, and make repairs and replacements as necessary.
- Faulty water dispenser
There are a number of reasons your water dispenser might not be working. The problems we run into most commonly are:
- Water supply tube has frozen – This is a fairly straightforward fix. After determining that the tube has indeed frozen shut, all you’ll need to do is disconnect it, let it thaw, and reconnect the hose. You’ll also want to check the freezer’s temperature, and make sure it isn’t so cold that it’ll consistently freeze your water supply tube.
- Insufficient water pressure – Your water inlet valve, which is responsible for regulating the water supply to your dispenser, will typically need a minimum pressure of 20 psi to work properly.
- Broken water inlet valve – Sometimes, the valve itself will stop working properly. After checking that the water pressure is high enough, your technician will determine if the valve needs to be replaced in order to get your water dispenser back to dispensing.
A working fridge is one of the most important appliances found in a home. While not every residence has a dishwasher, for example, you’ll be hard-pressed to find one without a refrigerator. We’ve come to rely on them for just about every part of our daily routines, so it only makes sense to keep them in the best shape possible.
If you’re experiencing any type of issue with your refrigerator, whether in the freezer, fresh food compartments, cold storage, or water and ice dispensers, it’s important to get it looked at by a professional as soon as possible. With something as urgent as refrigerator repair, you’ll need an appliance repair company that you can truly count on to get you back up and running efficiently, effectively, and at a reasonable cost.
Starfix’s team of highly experienced technicians is well-suited to any maintenance or repair your refrigerator might need. We have extensive experience with all major residential refrigerator brands, including Samsung, LG, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, GE, Kenmore, Frigidaire, Viking, Bosch, Sub-Zero, Electrolux, and Maytag. So if your refrigerator’s on the fritz, give us a call, and let us help you get things back on track.