The refrigerator is one of the most durable of home appliances and can last well past the decade mark without needing major repairs. Problems that arise with your refrigerator may not be as complex as you fear. A little basic troubleshooting may save you a big payout to a repair professional.
Commence your refrigerator troubleshooting by making sure that the unit is solidly plugged into the wall. If the cord is plugged, but the refrigerator is not running, head to your main service panel and make sure that a fuse hasn’t blown or a circuit breaker hasn’t tripped.
Make sure that the light goes off when you shut the refrigerator door if the temperature seems warmer than usual. A faulty switch that no longer turns off the light when the door closes can make the interior of the refrigerator considerably warmer than the temperature setting would indicate.
Check that the sealing gasket has not come loose from around the refrigerator door. This gasket seal should create a strong vacuum between it and the door. Test the suction power by closing the door on a dollar bill. If you can easily remove the bill with no resistance, your gasket seal is too loose for the refrigerator to operate at peak efficiency. Replace the gasket seal if necessary.
Reset the temperature inside the refrigerator if it is either too warm or too cold. You can tell if the temperature is set too low if you find ice building up on items. A temperature that is too warm will melt some products and could potentially spoil some of your food, making it unsafe to eat.
Inspect the condenser coils for dirt or dust build-up if the refrigerator seems to be constantly running or does not cool the food adequately. Clean the coils if they are dirty. If the coils are clean, check for an obstruction in the condenser fan.
A blocked or obstructed condenser fan can cause the refrigerator to stop running entirely. Remove any foreign object that may be obstructing the condenser fan.
Ensure that the door switch that activates the refrigerator’s evaporator fan is working if the problem is accumulation of frost on the walls of the freezer section. Check that the fan blades are not iced over if the door switch is operating properly. Melt ice that has formed on the fan blades with hot water.
Correct a refrigerator that is not level if the problem is a vibrating noise. If the noise is called by a rattling drain pan, reposition it so that the pan clears the compressor.