Common Problems with Refrigerators

person opening a refrigerator

Refrigerators have revolutionized the way we eat food. Thanks to these marvels of technology, we have ice cream, cold beer, and the wonders of ready-to-eat microwavable food. Imagine, then, if all of a sudden, your refrigerator stops working.

Apart from the stale (and rotten) food, living a life without a refrigerator is unthinkable in modern times. Fortunately, you can diagnose the common issues that afflict this appliance. In a pinch, you can perform the appropriate fridge repair yourself, Salt Lake City experts say, but it’s still a good idea to call your repair technicians when you spot these signs of trouble.

Leaking Water

Leaking water is a common occurrence, but it doesn’t mean you can ignore it. It can be a slipping hazard, after all. This is usually because of either a blockage in the defrost drain or a clogged or frozen water supply line. The defrost drain gets blocked because of debris or food particles clog the drain hose, which leads to ice build-up. This means that the ice will eventually melt, thus leaking water out of the refrigerator and freezer. To deal with this issue, you can flush the drain hose with warm water from inside the fridge or manually remove the debris from the drain hose.

The second cause is a bit more labor-intensive. A frozen water supply line not only creates puddles of water beneath the refrigerator but can also affect the operation of your ice maker. To fix this, unplug the unit, close the shut-off valve, and locate the supply line. If the line is damaged, you can replace it with one from your hardware store. However, when the line is unscathed, but you see a cold bulge somewhere along its length, ice is the problem. Keep the fridge unplugged for a few hours to thaw the ice and then turn the refrigerator on as usual.

A Tropical Freezer

small refrigerator loaded with snacks and beverages

A freezer should be able to keep things icy, so if your food is spoiling much too quickly for your taste, there might be a problem with the evaporator fan or the compressor. Feel if there is air flowing from the freezer vents. If there is none, it’s the first; but if you can feel the air, it’s probably the latter. Check the coils behind and underneath the refrigerator and clean them, which can help with performance and energy efficiency. Note that broken condenser and evaporator fans need the expertise of a refrigerator technician.

An Arctic Freezer

Conversely, if your freezer looks like it’s gone into the next ice age, it’s also a sign of something wrong. The most common culprit is not shutting the freezer door completely, which invites humid outside air to find its way into the freezer. This results in the formation of frost when the moisture from the air freezes.

Another cause, related to the first, is a faulty gasket. Again, this invites outside air into the freezer, causing the same problem. Gaskets are easily replaceable, but make sure you know the correct model of your refrigerator. Finally, another cause of ice build-up in the freezer is when too many items block the flow of air from the rear wall of the fridge. Rearrange the things in your freezer to fix this issue.

Troubleshooting refrigerators is simple enough. Problems not mentioned here, however, might be too technical for the average Joe. If in doubt, call your technician.

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