The electric refrigerator is undoubtedly one of the greatest things to come out of the industrial revolution. In the middle of the 19th century, the first refrigerators were put into factories, establishments, and the like. In 1923, only a few years after the end of World War I, Frigidaire introduced the first home refrigerator. The rest, as they say, is history.
The home refrigerator has since been viewed as one of the most reliable, dependable appliances on the market. A well-made refrigerator is designed and manufactured in such a way that guarantees we will be able to enjoy it for many years, without the need to fix or even maintain it.
Even these days, many refrigerators which are being marketed to the public really are top notch. On the other hand, there are some that are not as high quality and tend to bust after a few years. As a general rule, it’s best to invest a little bit more in a refrigerator, since the whole point is to buy one that will be around for the long haul. Some refrigerators can last several decades, without any need for intervention.
Refrigerators are indeed very reliable, but they are still electrical appliances. As such they can be high risk for malfunctions. Unlike some other home appliances, the fridge has several common issues which can you may be able to handle alone. Let’s go over the more common issues that occur with refrigerators.
Lighting element: Light isn’t working? Check if the bulb is blown or if the switch isn’t moving freely. The light is meant to come on when the door opens, so if there is no light, try replacing the light bulb. This will solve your issue unless the problem is electrical.
Door gasket: Your fridge has a component which helps to seal the door, similar to a dryer or dishwasher. When the gasket is removed or loose, the door may not close properly. To solve this, try to reinstate the gasket. If you are not able to though, then you’ll need to contact the manufacturer or a supplier for a new one.
Noise: The refrigerator has a motor, compressor and multiple fans. Because of this, your refrigerator will occasionally make various noises. At what point should you be concerned? When the noise levels become too high. This could be indicative of a problem with the mechanics. Sometimes, the noise could be magnified because the fridge is touching a nearby wall or closet, etc. If that’s the case, just move the fridge away from the object. If, however, the internal mechanism is causing the noise, then only a professional will be able to solve the issue. Remember, any refrigerator – even one which is in perfect working condition – will make some noise.
Breakage: Not an issue, per se, but rather the result of normal wear and tear. During the lifetime of your fridge there may be shelves or handles – mostly of glass or plastic – which will be damaged. In that case, you could buy spare parts via an outside source or through the original manufacturer and install it yourself. In most cases, there will be no need to call a technician.
You’re hot and you’re cold: In some cases, the fridge just isn’t cold enough, or maybe even too cold. Generally, this all has to do with the defrost system and/or the thermostat. For this, you will need to call a technician.
What To Do?
First of all, create a checklist. Make sure you are using the fridge properly:
- Make sure there is enough air flow in the fridge, and that you are not packing it to full capacity.
- Close the refrigerator door when it’s not in use.
- Keep hot dishes and pots out of the fridge until they cool.
- Make sure the thermostat is at the appropriate level, and that it hasn’t been moved accidentally.
- See that nothing is in the way of the gasket and the door is fully closed – a faulty gasket may let in hot air.
If you’ve ruled out these issues and the fridge is still not functioning properly, there is a chance that the cooling liquid needs to be refilled. This is a common issue with older refrigerators, and a certified refrigerator technician must be called to refill the coolant or replace the canister.
These are the most common issues with refrigerators, but they are not the only ones. As stated earlier, these are appliances designed to work and built to last without any maintenance other than cleaning or replacing minor parts.
— HomeAdvisor (@HomeAdvisor) May 22, 2017
Call The Technician Or Do It Yourself?
When there is an issue with any kitchen appliance, there is always the dilemma of DIY vs. calling a technician. Anything having to do with the heating and cooling system has to be addressed by a professional. Furthermore, remember to make sure that the person you hire is certified to fix the specific make and model you own. It would be a pity to call the company, pay a visiting fee, waste time and energy, all for nothing. Any professional and reliable technician will ask you about your appliance’s make, model, and issues during the initial contact.
We spoke of replacing glass, rubber, and plastic parts of part of a refrigerator’s regular maintenance. Fitting spare parts can be obtained, in most cases, by contacting the manufacturer’s official suppliers and distributors. Prices vary from one part to another, and from one supplier to another so it’s important to conduct a short survey and compare prices. Make sure that the supplier you choose has the part you need.
In the event that these parts are not from the manufacturer’s official supplier, they may be generic and not made by the original manufacturer. In most cases, it doesn’t have to be. A glass shelf is a glass shelf, after all. On the other hand, if looks and aesthetics are of great importance to you, make sure to acquire an original part in your chosen color.
Each fridge and each model is different. Be sure to read your original warranty carefully, and make sure that independent installation of spare parts will not harm the guarantee. Always operate in accordance with your original manual.
If the original warranty has expired, ask the supplier if the spare part comes with any warranty. Remember that ordering original parts from the manufacturer – and having them installed by the manufacturer’s certified technician – could prevent legal issues in the future. Sometimes it’s better to not invest in an older fridge, and instead replace it with a new one. It is all about the circumstances and the situation at hand.
An iron-clad law of independent repairs is: if you lack the tools and technical know-how, let someone else take care of It. Not necessarily a technician, if you aren’t interested in one, but nevertheless someone with knowledge and experience.