Refrigerator repair (for most homeowners) can be a costly and time-consuming proposition, but with a little research and elbow grease, many common problems that plague refrigerators can be fixed without calling an appliance repair service.
As with any type of repair, refrigerator repair should be carried out with safety being the top priority. The unit should be unplugged and moved to where the area behind the refrigerator will be easily accessible. Some refrigerators come equipped with motors and compressors that have a capacitor. In this case, the capacitor may still carry an electric charge. In order to discharge the device, a 20,000 ohm, 2 watt resistor will be needed. These are readily available at most hardware stores. The panel housing the motor or compressor will need to be removed, after which the resistor can be used by connecting one end to the capacitor’s terminals. In the event that a capacitor has three terminals, the unit can be discharged by placing one end of the resistor on the main terminal, then using the other end of the resistor to make contact with one of the outer terminals, after which the resistor should be touched to the other outside terminal while maintaining contact with the central terminal.
Before attempting to tackle any problem with a malfunctioning fridge, verify exactly what the problem is. After all, if the icemaker refuses to work or does not work properly, there is little to no sense messing around with the motor or compressor, as the problem is more localized and likely lies with specific components of the unit, such as the inlet tube that feeds water to the icemaker. Conversely, if the entire refrigerator is not powered, the problem is more generalized. Verifying and localizing the specific problem will save time and potential additional damage to the fridge.
Refrigerator is not working at all
In the event that a refrigerator is not working at all, the easiest methods to diagnose the problem are to verify whether or not the unit is receiving power. Using a volt-ohm meter to test the refrigerator’s power cord is the easiest way to verify that the appliance is receiving electricity.
A surprising number of problems arising from dysfunctional refrigerators stem from problems with the refrigerator door. Build-ups of frost as well as leaks can result from a reliably tight seal not being maintained between the door and the refrigerator itself. In this case, it is likely that the door gasket is no longer able to maintain this seal, especially if the refrigerator is old, as this part tends to become hard and cracked over time, compromising the quality of the seal that separates the environment inside the refrigerator from the environment in the rest of the kitchen.
The most important steps
These are just a few of the ins and outs of refrigerator repair. The most important steps to bear in mind before carrying out any repair are to put safety first and to do as much research as possible on the problem your refrigerator is experiencing and the correct course of action to take in carrying out a repair.