Your refrigerator is one of the most used appliances in your home. It is also one of the most dependable and doesn’t require a lot of routine maintenance. Refrigerators seem to operate in a very simple manner and provide a cooling temperature to items you place in it. However, the method in which this appliance operates is quite complex and does not actually involve cooling, but instead the compressor within the refrigerator condenses gas, known as a refrigerant, which then passes through the expansion valve and subsequently removes heat to provide the correct temperature in the freezer. This gas is then distributed to obtain the desired temperature in your refrigerator.

Even though this appliance operates in a complex yet interesting manner, you are probably only concerned with the fact that it cools properly, and that all the features are functioning. But once in a while this usually reliable machine malfunctions, and the consequences could become quite expensive if food spoils or you have leakage problems. Understanding how to repair common refrigerator problems could save time on troubleshooting issues and save you money on service calls. The most common refrigerator repair issues are water leakage problems, the cooling fails, and icemaker breakdown.

How to Stop Water Leakage Problems

If you notice water puddles under the refrigerator or even inside, then the water supply lines within the unit has failed. When this happens it could be a number of troubleshooting issues. First check to see if the refrigerator is elevated properly. If it is not, then it could cause the water that drains from the fridge to spill from the pan and therefore cause a leak. When a refrigerator is elevated correctly, water will drain directly into the pan where it is then evaporated.

Another cause for a leakage could be if the compression nuts are loose on the inlet valve. If this is the case, tighten the screws and the problem should be fixed. The third issue that could be the reason for the leak is if the drain tube is plugged. To correct this, simply unclog the drain by removing the cover panel and blowing hot air into it to melt the frozen water. Next, clean around the tube and clear it.

Repairing Cooling Failure

Before troubleshooting cooling failure issues, you should make sure the electricity is operating and that the fridge is plugged into an outlet. If that’s not the problem, then check that the temperature control is set to an appropriate degree. Next, look to see that the air vents are not clogged or blocked by items so that the air will flow freely to the freezer and fridge.

Another issue that could cause the refrigerator to cool improperly is if the condenser coils are blocked by dust or other materials. Depending on the model of your fridge, the condenser coils could be on the back or underneath. Make sure you do not have anything covering this area. In addition, check to make sure the condenser fan is free from dust to avoid blockage in airflow, which will also induce cooling problems. As rule of thumb it’s a good idea to clean condenser coils at least once a year.

Fixing the Icemaker

Fixing an icemaker is a relatively easy process once you identify where the water supply is blocked. First remove the icemaker and check to see if the inlet ice tube is clogged. This can sometimes happen if the water pressure is low and dribbles of water freeze inside the tube. If it is blocked, the solution is to unplug it.

Another area of concern is if the saddle valve is blocked and if this is the case, this area must be cleared also. This tube could be located underneath the fridge if you have an unfinished basement, or it could be placed under the kitchen sink. If the icemaker is still broken, and you’ve checked to see that the water supply is flowing, you may have to replace the inlet valve.

Repairing a refrigerator can be a simple process once you understand how to troubleshoot common issues and locate vital areas on this durable appliance. Even though very little maintenance is required, you should conduct regular cleaning of gaskets and coils to keep your fridge operating smoothly.


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