How To Repair a Refrigerator


Problem: Fridge or freezer won't cool

There are lots of malfunctions that can take the chill out of your fridge. One common cause of suddenly soft ice cream or warm juice is a simple loss of electricity. If the light doesn't come on when you open the fridge door, make sure the fridge is plugged in and check the breaker panel. If the fridge runs but doesn't get cold enough, chances are one of the following fixes will restore the chill.


Easy solutions for cooling problems

FIRST, check the thermostat and vents. The temperature control dial inside the fridge is sometimes irresistible to curious kids. Make sure it hasn’t been turned way down. Also make sure the vents in the fridge and freezer compartment aren't blocked by food containers these vents supply the flow of frigid air.

SECOND, clean the coils. In order for your fridge to create a chill, air has to flow freely through the condenser coils. On most older refrigerators, these coils are on the backside. Cereal boxes on top of the fridge or grocery bags stuffed behind it can reduce the needed airflow. Most newer refrigerators have coils underneath, where they can get blocked by trash and plugged with dust. Even if your fridge is working fine, you should pull off the front grille and clean the coils every year for efficient operation; do it every six months if you have shedding pets. Long brushes are available at appliance stores for $8.

THIRD, free up the condenser fan. Coils on the back of a fridge create their own airflow as they heat up. Models with coils underneath have a fan to push air through them. Dust buildup can slow the fan; wads of paper or other trash can stop it altogether.