Troubleshooting Your Refrigerator

When you have an appliance that isn't working right, you might initially think that you have to pull out your wallet and buy a replacement. With an expensive item like a refrigerator, this kind of expenditure isn't very appealing. However, every time you have a problem with your refrigerator doesn't mean it needs to be replaced. It's frequently the case that you can either get your refrigerator working properly yourself by carrying out a few simple steps or by calling in a qualified technician. Before you can decide whether you can fix the problem or someone else should, you should try to troubleshoot and figure out what it is.

It's Not Cooling Down

When your refrigerator doesn't cool down enough (or at all) you might think that it's ready for the scrapheap. However, it could be something as simple as a loss of power. Make sure the light comes on when the door is open. If not, it's possible that you might have a blown fuse in your electrical panel or a damaged electrical plug. If you are getting power, make sure your thermostat is actually set as cool as you wanted it to be. Sometimes the knobs are loose and might look like they're set up correctly when they're actually not. If this doesn't solve the problem, check the refrigerator coils (located at the bottom or on the back) to ensure they aren't clogged. If they are, you can use a vacuum cleaner wand to clean them off. If the refrigerator still doesn't work, it's time to contact a professional.

It Doesn't Cycle On and Off

Normally, a refrigerator's thermostat turns on and off based on the temperature outside of the unit. When it detects that the outside temperature is higher than the internal setting, the refrigerator will turn on to drop the temperature back below the setting. If you happen to notice that the refrigerator doesn't cycle on and off (or only does so for a few seconds at a time) it may be that your condenser coils are clogged. Again, a vacuum cleaner can take care of this problem. On the other hand, if your coils aren't clogged and you have this problem, it's possible that your thermostat may be broken and will have to be replaced (since they can't be repaired). Finally, if the thermostat is working properly you may have a problem with the refrigerant. This will have to be addressed by a professional like DBH Appliance Repair or others.

There Are Leaks Inside

If you notice leaks inside your refrigerator, this might mean that the drain tube is blocked. In normal operation, this tube is designed to drain excess water produced during the defrost cycle into a channel located at the bottom of the refrigerator where it then evaporates. But if the drain tube is blocked, the water won't be able to escape and will leak back into your refrigerator compartment. To address this issue, unplug your refrigerator and find the tube. It's usually located at the back or bottom of the appliance. Squirt a half and half solution of water and bleach from a turkey baster into the tube. This should dissolve the clog, although you may have to do it several times.