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Refrigerator Troubleshooting & Repairs

Expert DIY advice for troubleshooting and fixing a refrigerator, including how to fix refrigerator problems such as poor cooling, noises, and unwanted freezing of foods.

Though refrigerators generally operate very dependably year after year, they can break down, and, when they do, the result can be serious because food can spoil in a hurry.

Though many problems call for a refrigerator repair person, you can handle some simple repairs yourself. By doing so, you can save both money and the time and hassle of waiting for help. DIY fixes tend to involve checking the power, controls, condenser coils, and other parts outside of your refrigerator’s sealed, hermetic system.

Refrigerator Parts Diagram

Refrigerator Parts Diagram

The best way to increase the life of a refrigerator is to clean the condenser coils at least once a year—in fact, it pays to clean condenser coils on certain types of refrigerators, such as side-by-side and built-in models, at least twice a year. (For instructions on how to do this yourself, see How to Clean Refrigerator Coils.) If you have a refrigerator with black coils mounted on the back, these coils don’t require semi-annual cleaning.

Refrigerator Runs Too Much

If the refrigerator’s light works and you can hear the refrigerator running but it hardly ever stops running, make sure nothing is blocking the passageway between the freezer and the refrigerator compartments.

If airflow is restricted by, for example, a loaf of bread shoved in front of the passageway, the refrigerator won’t get cold—and it will keep running in an effort to reach the set temperature. Be aware that a refrigerator will tend to run longer when it’s full of food, the door is opened frequently, or the room temperature is hot.

If your refrigerator runs without stopping, it may be too low on refrigerant to reach the low temperature of the cold control dial setting. More likely, this is a defrost problem in which a component in the automatic defrosting system is faulty. This could be a defrost heater, a defrost timer, or a defrost terminator.

Before you call a repair person, do the following (also see Refrigerator Cools Too Much or Too Little, below):

1Determine whether the refrigerator section is being cooled. If you see frost at the top of a frost-free refrigerator even when the cold control is set low, it means the refrigerator probably has a full charge of refrigerant but the thermostat is faulty or out of calibration.

Try testing the refrigerator’s cold control.

2Try turning the cold control both up and down. If the compressor doesn’t shut off, the cold control may be broken. Call a refrigerator repair person. It is also a good idea to have the defrost timer and heaters checked to ensure they are working correctly.

3Look at the condenser coils, located at the bottom of the refrigerator (behind the kick plate) or, in some cases, at the back. These coils disperse heat from inside the refrigerator out into the room with the aid of a fan. If the coils are dirty, the refrigerator won’t operate efficiently. Most manufacturers recommend that you clean the coils on a regular basis.

4Make sure the drain line isn’t plugged. It is under the evaporator coils, which goes to a pan underneath. Water should drip into the pan when the refrigerator is defrosting.

5To put off having the refrigerator repaired for a few days, you may be able to defrost it manually with a hair dryer—if you can access the cooling coils in the freezer section. Excessive moisture in the coils can turn into a frozen mass, reducing efficiency. Caution: Be very careful when using the hair dryer near a water source as there is a serious risk of electrical shock. Also be careful not to melt the refrigerator’s plastic parts.

Cools Too Much or Too Little

As a rule, refrigerators are designed to maintain 36 to 40 degrees F. in the refrigerator box and 0 to 5 degrees F. in the freezer box. If your refrigerator compartment freezes its contents, even when the cold control is set to its lowest setting, the control is probably defective. Setting the cold control to a higher temperature will not get to the root of the problem. Instead, call an appliance repair person.

If a refrigerator doesn’t cool at all, the problem is often with the basic electrical controls and almost never with a need for a refrigerant boost. Also, do not assume the problem is related to the compressor or the sealed, hermetic system; these types of malfunctions happen rarely. Instead, the unit may have dirty condenser coils, a door that doesn’t seal tightly (see below), or a defective temperature control.

Before you call in an appliance repair person:

1Check the cold control. Be sure it is set to COLD. Normally, the temperature inside the refrigerator should be about 37 degrees F.

2Listen for the freezer fan inside the freezer. When the freezer fan is running, it means the defrost timer and the cold control in the refrigerator are both set to COOL.

3Listen for the compressor fan (which will also tell you where the compressor is located—typically behind or beneath the refrigerator). Most of the time, when the freezer fan is operating, the compressor fan should also be working. If one of the fans is not working or the compressor is off, the refrigerator will offer very little cooling or none at all.

Refrigerator Does Not Run

If the refrigerator’s light doesn’t work and its motor doesn’t run:

1Check its electrical power. Make sure the receptacle the refrigerator is plugged into is receiving power (plug in a working lamp or a circuit tester). If the receptacle doesn’t work, check for a tripped circuit breaker or blown fuse.

2Be sure the cold control is correctly set.

 

3Get help if necessary. If you discover that the refrigerator is plugged into a working outlet and the cold control is appropriately set but the device still shows no signs of life, leave the door closed to retain the cold air and call an appliance repair person.

Fridge Smells, Rattles or Leaks

If your refrigerator smells bad inside, even after you’ve removed all suspicious foods, unplug it and remove the drawers and shelves to give it a thorough cleaning with soap and water. Next scrub it with a solution of 1/2 cup of baking soda dissolved in warm water.

Next, clean the drip tray underneath the refrigerator (if there is one)—it can become moldy and funky. If the smell still doesn’t go away, try putting few charcoal briquettes in shallow bowls and placing them on the shelves inside the refrigerator to absorb odors.

Vibrating noises are generally caused by loose parts such as loose condenser coils, by compressor tubing rattling, or by rollers and feet that sit unevenly on the floor.

Look for any part that is loose and tighten it with a wrench or screwdriver. Then remove the bottom trim piece by lifting it off its supports and check the feet at the front of the unit to be sure they are all bearing the weight of the appliance—the refrigerator should not rock. As necessary, turn the adjustable feet up or down so they contact the floor squarely.

Leaking under a refrigerator may be caused by a condensation tube that doesn’t drain into a pan or by a clogged freezer drain.

Door Does Not Seal Properly

A common cause of energy inefficiency in refrigerator operation is a door that doesn’t seal properly. If you test your door and realize it doesn’t have a decent seal, then you can either adjust the door or you may have to replace the door gasket to remedy the problem.

You can buy a new refrigerator door gasket in an appliance repair shop or online. To buy it online, go click here: Refrigerator Door Gasket.

Refrigerator door gasket is relatively easy to replace. Photo: Frigidaire

Refrigerator door gasket is relatively easy to replace. Photo: Frigidaire

Here are instructions for adjusting or replacing your refrigerator door gasket:
1Remove any coverings that conceal the hinges. For models where the freezer and refrigerated sections are located side-by-side, slightly loosen the top hinge using a nut driver. For models with the freezer on top, adjust the top hinge of the freezer door with a nut driver and the bottom hinge of the refrigerator with a socket wrench.

2Put a level on top of the refrigerator door and move the door around until it is level. Hold it in place, and refasten the screws. Reaffix any coverings that you removed earlier.

3Retest the door’s seal. If it is still faulty, open the door and peel back the rubber gasket. Along the top and partway down the door’s sides, loosen the screws that fasten the strip. Take off the gasket in this area.

4Apply a new gasket, slipping it underneath the metal retaining strip and then slightly tighten the screws.

5Follow steps 3 and 4 with the bottom half of the door. Finish securing all of the screws once the new gasket is entirely in place.

Refrigerator Light Stays On

Test the refrigerator door’s switch by pressing it in. The light should go off.

Do you suspect that your refrigerator’s interior light is staying on even when the door is shut? A refrigerator light that stays on will warm the refrigerator’s interior, cutting down on its efficiency. Of course, you may not be aware that this is happening because, obviously, you can’t see what’s going on inside the refrigerator when the door is shut. But, with most refrigerators, you should be able to see the light go off when the door is a fraction of an inch from closing.

You can also feel the bulb when you open the door—but do so carefully. If it has stayed on, it will be hot. It’s actually very easy to tell whether this is happening. Test the light-switch button that the door closes against. When you push it in all the way, the light should go off. If it doesn’t, the light switch is defective and must be replaced.

If you are adept at simple repairs, this is a job that you may be able to handle yourself, but be sure to unplug the refrigerator before working on it. You can buy a replacement refrigerator door switch online at Amazon.com; be sure to get one that matches your model of refrigerator. Instructions for replacement will be inside the package.

Refrigerator Does Not Defrost

Most modern refrigerators defrost automatically. They have a defrost timer, a defrost heater, and a defrost terminator.

Frost in a freezer compartment reduces efficiency and ruins food. Photo: LOC.org

Frost in a freezer compartment reduces efficiency and ruins food. Photo: LOC.org

When a frost-free refrigerator is running, it builds up frost on the tubing in the back of the freezer wall. Normally, the defrost timer cycles the refrigerator to defrost for about 20 minutes every six to eight hours—it essentially heats up coils to melt the ice. If it isn’t working right, ice remains on the tubing and, eventually, restricts airflow through the refrigerator.

With some refrigerators, you can manually advance the defrost timer, a small black box that may be located almost anywhere but is usually on the ceiling of the fresh food section. Advance it until it clicks into the defrost mode (you should be able to hear the heaters come on). If this works, the defrost timer is defective and will need to be replaced. If this technique doesn’t work, the problem is probably the heater or the terminator. Either call the manufacturer for advice or call in a qualified Refrigerator Repair Pro.

Call for free estimates from local pros now: [telnumlink] 1-866-342-3263[/telnumlink]

About Don Vandervort
Author Image
Don Vandervort developed his expertise more than 30 years ago as Building Editor for both Sunset Books and Home Magazine. He has written more than 30 home improvement books and countless magazine articles. He appeared regularly on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert. Don founded HomeTips in 1996.

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93 Comments

  1. My icemaker recently quit making ice – Kenmore side-by-side model 5131 – I fiddled with it turned it off and it started working again. BUT now the fridge is leaking through front center. I don’t have the
    $$$$ to call Sears to come fix it since I’m sure it is easily fixable – ANY IDEAS???

    Reply
  2. It sounds like a faulty water inlet valve. I’m not sure what you mean by the “fridge is leaking through front center.” Does the leak seem to be originating in the ice maker area?

    Reply
  3. hi my fridge works perfectly but never stops running is thus normal ? or is it faulty ?

    Reply
    • No, it isn’t normal for a refrigerator to run all of the time. Please
      see “Refrigerator Runs Too Much,” above. Also make sure the light goes
      off and that the door seals properly (also above).

      Reply
  4. No, it isn’t normal for a refrigerator to run all of the time. Please see “Refrigerator Runs Too Much,” above. Also make sure the light goes off and that the door seals properly (also above).

    Reply
  5. The defrost timer was not working and I replaced it. I made sure the defrost heaters are working. When the timer shuts off the compressor, it runs for about a minute then turns the compressor back on. The return air holes stay frozen up causing the refrigerator not to get cold. I need to know what else can be done.

    Reply
    • Can we get a pro to weigh-in on this one? I’m not sure…

      Reply
  6. hi- I had a fridge technician to my house because the bottom section of my fridge was warner than it should be but the freezer was still working. He said my compressor wasn’t any good and that I needed a new fridge. My fridge is less than 8 years old. How come it is still working if the compressor isn’t any good?

    Reply
    • Call another technician. Some like to sell you a new fridge, and some just don’t know how to trouble shoot properly. If the freezer is working, the compressor is more than likely ok.

      Reply
    • Make sure the problem isn’t just a loaf of bread (or something like that) blocking the flow of cold air from the freezer to the fridge.

      Reply
  7. I have a fridge with a top freezer and I noticed moisture between the doors. What causes this? Can it be fixed by replacing the door seals?

    Reply
    • Moisture is usually caused by the condensation that occurs when humid, warm room air meets the cold surfaces of the freezer door—which shouldn’t be that cold unless the seal is leaking. Wipe the area dry, then close the door on a piece of paper; if the paper pulls out easily, the seal isn’t secure. Make sure the appliance is level. If it isn’t, level it. If it is, you may need to replace the seals.

      Reply
  8. our fridge is a little over a year old and no warranty the freezer is on the bottom and freezes well but the fridge section is not consistant at all it will cool but not cold milk spoils etc. we checked the fan and it is running there is frost on the the food in the freezer and it is a frost free please help

    Reply
    • Laura, please scroll down to the answer that I just gave Annie, regarding a similar issue.

      Reply
  9. Hi, we just moved into a new duplex, and the man who was living here before us moved out a few months back and he left some food in the refrigerator, before we moved in the maintenance man cleaned it out and said it was super nasty. So when we came in here and got the power turned on, our fridge light and everything seems to be running, but the fridge and freezer will not get cold!! We know it did work a few months back because the previous renter was using it, so we aren’t sure if it is something wrong with it or if by chance it could be stopped up on the inside since it was so gross with bugs and flies and stuff inside of it… any answers??
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Cindy, it sounds like it was pretty foul. I’ll fall back on my suggestions above under “Cools Too Much or Too Little.” But in your case, I’m wondering if the refrigerant may be low.

      Reply
  10. I got a refrigerator used last night. We plugged it up over night while it was outside to make sure it worked. We put a couple things in freezer and fridge for 7 hrs everything was cold. We move it inside today the freezer is working real good but the refrigerator don’t seem to be getting nothing cold

    Reply
    • Gracie, give it a little more time. And load it up with more food—even food that doesn’t require refrigeration at first, just to fill the space. It may work better when it has food in it. Make sure the coils are clean. After you run it for a while, if the evaporator coils are frosted over, there may be a problem with the defrost system. Other possible issues: the evaporator fan could be defective; the sensor that
      monitors the temperature could be broken; or the temperature control board could be defective.

      Reply
  11. My son purchased a igloo mini fridge FR8341-C for college and it worked when we got it. Unfortunately when he got it to his dorm the light came on but the unit wouldn’t cool. I moved this fridge upright in the back of my truck and took much care in not laying it down. When I picked it up out of the truck a small approx 6″ x 1/2″ long steel strip fell out. Any idea what the problem may be.

    Reply
  12. Hi – Had a technician look at my fridge and tell the compressor wasn’t any good. The freezer is still freezing and if I move the thermostat controls the compressor comes on – Is it just my controls?

    Reply
  13. Hi my lights work inside the refrigerator but nothing else seems to be working. The lights are the only part of the refrigerator that turn on when I plug into the wall.

    Reply
  14. Freezer works fine but the fridge only gets down to 50f at coldest setting. In troubleshooting, I found in the bottom back of the fridge a group of wires that are taped off (see pic). Are they supposed to be plugged into something? If so, I can’t seem to locate anything. It almost looks like something should be in that spot.

    Reply
  15. My freezer works fine but my fridge has started to freeze everything, the milk, and water are totally froozen, why is this happening?? And can it be fixed. Help!!! My fridge/freezer is a tall beko one if this helps..

    Reply
  16. hello i have a problem with my refrigerator, Its making a clicking sound and it’s not cooling or freezing…. i searched on line i i found that the problem was the relay and overload, of course i replaced it and its still making that sound and it’s not cooling or freezing…. What can be the problem?

    Reply
  17. Hello. I have a side by side fridge..the fridge side does not get cold enough. The freezer side developers frost stArting in the lower portion of the back wall. My husband replaced the defrost timer, but it’s still doing the same thing. If I turn it off and let the ice defrost, the freezer will freeze again, but the fridge still doesn’t get cold enough.

    Reply
    • Did you find out what was wrong with it I’m having the same problem .

      Reply
  18. I have a new Inglis Fridge with freezer on top. When I shut the fridge, the freezer door pops open unnoticed and stays open all day. I have a baby safety latch on it right now. What’s wrong with my fridge?

    Reply
  19. Hi. I have a 20 year old Amana refrigerator. The freezer fan stays on almost all the time, but not very cold air comes out. The food is getting soft. Any ideas?

    Reply
  20. I have a Frigidaire refrigerator model PLHS69EGSS1 that is dripping water from the water dispenser in the door. I have replaced the spring and the micro switches in the control unit, but it has not helped the small drip. Any suggestions?

    Reply
  21. Has anyone got any India of how to find the drip tray on a built in Siemens fridge freezer?
    Some milk was spilt in the fridge which was cleaned up but 2 days later there was an awful smell in the kitchen, after searching everywhere we googled in and think this May be the issue.

    Reply
    • usually found on top of the compressor..as the compressor heats up it evaporates the water that collects during the defrost cycle

      Reply
  22. I bought a used top mount refrigerator several months ago and all seems fine except everything seems to be getting freezer burnt really fast, like in a month time. Any ideas on what could be wrong?

    Reply
  23. I am having issues with a foul odor coming from my refrigerator when you open the door, smells like something is dead. There is nothing in there food wise that could be causing it and I ve pulled it out and cleaned behind it and underneath and also looking to see if something was dead and thank God their wasnt. Been told it could be coolant leak but dnt know how to check that, checked the drip pan and there isnt anything in it and my refrigerator is working and keeping things cool

    Reply
    • Assuming the odor isn’t coming from something else (unused plumbing trap in the basement, dead rat under the cabinets…), it’s likely to be a refrigerant leak. If this is the case, you’ll need to have it professionally inspected and/or repaired. Here is a discussion about this issue: http://goo.gl/okN3pM

      Reply
  24. this is whats happening, I hope someone has advice.
    freezer and fridge are working fine. then one day I hear a clicking from the fridge, it seems to be trying to click OFF after running for hours (I guess its cooling cycle) , after about 2-3 minutes of this clicking , it shuts off. After its off a while (defrost cycle I guess) it comes on fine and works fine. This has happened just twice in the past 2 weeks, so its not constant. and other than these two times the fridge just shuts off after cooling and works correctly. ..last I heard clicking was 5 days ago.

    But then yesterday, I noticed my fridge was not as cool. freezer was ice cold everything was a frozen solid, BUT there was frost & some ice build up on the back wall and cool air was not coming down into the fridge through the vent (I guess that vent was iced up) So I unplugged fridge for about an hour, got rid of the frost. I used some warm water and sponges. ( i actually saw some dripping water through the vent where the cold air comes in from and also a couple of drips through the two vent holes that are on the top of the fridge compartment. not a lot – just a few drops. Also know that I had food in the freezer against the back wall, against what looks like vents (Ive always had food against them, so I didint think anything of it….OK, I then plug back in, food off the back wall and vents of freezer, left it on over night and today, all is working fine. no frost/ice and cold air is coming into the fridge like its supposed too.

    are these two problems related. Whats the clicking ? why was fridge having trouble shutting off?

    and as for the frost & ice and not letting air flow to the fridge, where did the frost/ice come from -my door seals are good, i dont think I left fridge or freezer door open.

    are these two issues related. ?

    Reply
  25. Hello. Please help an idiot here. Me and my wife bought a used fridge that sat in a storage building for like 2 years. In order to transport it we laid it on its side ( I know stupid move) though we did lay it down on the compressor side. After getting it to the house we set it upright and it sat upright for 2 weeks before we turned it on. I thought that 2 weeks would have been long enough for the oil to setting back down where it’s supposed to be. Its clean now and the coils were cleaned its like a brand new fridge but now it just doesn’t cool. The fridge gets ok cool and the freezer is alright but it just doesn’t freeze things all the way. We set an ice tray in there and it’s been 2 days and still it’s not solid. Is there anything that can be done? I’m pretty mechanically inclined I just need to know what will fix it. Is there a way to recharge the lines with Freon or clear the lines of oil or some thing. I paid $125 for the fridge and I bought it from a really good friend that said if it doesn’t work that we could take it back and get my money I just don’t want to do that to this guy. He’s a firefighter and I think he has a lot more to deal with than this fridge so if it can be fixed I would like to fix it. Please help.

    Reply
    • Sounds to me like it needs to be recharged, but that is a job for a pro, and it will probably cost you more than the fridge.

      Reply
  26. I have an avanti frige/freezer combo unit. The freezer died and is now completely thawed. Fridge still works, but is at the highest setting. Several weeks ago before it died there a loud hummed like airplane engine and after weeks noise stopped and freezer stopped working. Is it time to buy a new unit.

    Reply
  27. I just bought hitachi refrigerator. The back of the freezer become frosty and the vent hole too. Please advice. Its got whistling sound when open and close the doors.

    Reply
  28. The Indicator panel of my Siemes refrigerator keeps blinking. The -22 & 4 indicators keep flashing. I opened the freezer compartment & closed it so did the flashing stop. I always double check for the doors to be securely shut. What could be the problem.

    Reply
    • I have same problem with my Siement fridge. Have you solved the problem?

      Reply
  29. I have an 26 cu. ft. Amana refrigerator, side-by-side. The freezer door was left open overnight. When I looked inside there’s no light. I replaced the light bulb with new one, suspecting that the bulb was burned out. and still it won’t turn on. There’s only one switch at the left side of the door. Is there another switch controlling the light?

    Reply
    • Not usually. Make sure the new bulb is good and that it’s screwed in properly (I’m sure you’ve already done this). I wonder if the bulb got so hot that it fried its socket.

      Reply
  30. We cleaned our KIC fridge and when we put it on, it tripped the electricity. We replaced a new thermostat and it still didn’t work. Then the technician said we have to removed the coil which was the problem and he refilled the gas. The fridge is working now but never turns off, it makes a noise. The noise sounds like a steam iron that it blowing air and steam. The fridge is cool. That works good, but why the noise. Is it possible that the fridge can work without a coil? The technician said should the fridge not work good, he will come and replace the filter!! I never read anything about filters in your blog. Please help and thank you.

    Reply
    • Sonja, this sounds frustrating. I don’t know what “filter” he is referring to…unless maybe a water supply to the ice maker? And removing the coil…? He really needs to have a clear conversation with you about what he is doing and why. If you can’t get him to come back for free or a serious discount, I would find somebody else.

      Reply
  31. Hi my name is lisa I have a fridge that I only used for 4months and put it in storage and I recently moved and when my brother moved it up a flight of stairs he plugged it in right away and it turns on but it doesnt cool what should I do?

    Reply
    • If the refrigerator was placed on its side at any time during the storage or moving, it should have been left unplugged and upright for up to a couple of days (depending on how long it was horizontal) to allow the coolant to drain back into the reservoir. Hopefully, your problem has worked itself out by now.

      Reply
  32. I have a maytag french door refrigerator. The problem I’m having is that the compressor comes on and I can see frost build up on one of the lines from the compressor but then it warms up a few seconds later and the compressor gets hot and the same line warms up, so both the freezer and refrigerator get warm. Seems like the compressor cools for a few seconds and then stops cooling. Eventually it will cool but takes a while to cool and if we open the door too many times it gets warm again and we have to leave it alone for a while.

    Reply
  33. I have a Vissani 2015 mid size fridge that fills the pan underneath with water and overflows about once a month. Is this normal and I just need to empty it every month, or is there something else I should do or be concerned with.

    Reply
    • I have had my Vissani for about a year and have never had to dump my pan and it has never run over. I live two miles from the Pacific Ocean in Oregon so it is a relatively humid area. If you live in a more humid area, such as Florida, perhaps that is your problem, but otherwise I have no clue.

      I have a problem leveling my fridge. Since there are only two leveling legs (in the front), when I adjust one of them to get it level, the fridge teeters. If I adjust to eliminate the teetering, the fridge leans to the left. Any suggestions other than putting a shim under one of the back legs?

      Reply
  34. My sister just bought a brand new modular home. It came with all new frigidaire appliances. The refrigerator and the freezer isn’t working at all. The light comes on in the refrigerator, but neither one of them are cooling.

    Reply
  35. my frig doesn’t have a defrost timer what else turns the defroster on and off.

    Reply
  36. I went granny’s for the night and came home 22 hours later fridge door was slightly ajar. Everything is fine in freezer and fridge is relatively cold. However I want to know about how long should I wait to check and see if I have a problem. There was also water on top level in fridge on roof and leftover containers up
    There. I realize it’s probably just condensation from home getting in. I hope. I just wasn’t sure if I should pull the freezers bottom panel to check if it has frozen over or give it a chance. It’s only been a1.5 hours since I got home and figured out didn’t want to go to sleep with it if it was struggling or kill trying to fix a nonexistent problem.

    Reply
  37. My Danby fridge freezer works but the fridge is warm the fan is not working.

    Reply
  38. Hi, I have a Westinghouse side by side and it turns off when you open the door. Most times it restarts again and keeps going no problems. But if you open and close too often it seems to have trouble restarting. Is this fixable or time to buy a new one? Cheers Kristie

    Reply
  39. I have a sears Fridge we bought in 2002. It is at our cabin. we recently came up to the cabin and the Fridge had stopped for awhile and everything in the freezer thawed out and the fridge must have started again as everything was frozen together. I assumed that is was a relay, but i do not see a relay on the parts list. Any ideas?

    Reply
    • A power failure ?? Just a thought

      Reply
  40. My refrigerator makes a loud noise up towards the top every now and again. It also stops cooling (both freezer and refrig) and re-starts after it warms up a little. It’s almost like either the thermostat of off or something freezes up and after it unfreezes it works again. Any idea?

    Reply
  41. I have a Biko cf64s and the fridge compartment freezes everything. The door seal is good and not blocked. I have changed the thermostat and its still doing the same. What do I do next?

    Reply
  42. I have a Kenmore fridge with freezer on top. The freezer fan does not run. I replaced the fan motor and it still doesn’t run. any suggestions as where to look next?

    Reply
  43. I’m having a similar issue!

    Reply
  44. We have just bought a new Westinghouse 420 fridge/freezer….. it runs for 80% of the time….. had the service agent out today – he says alls ok and thats normal???? doesn’t sound right but I can’t find any info online about this…. help!!!

    Reply
    • If it’s new, maybe you haven’t loaded it with food yet? If it isn’t full, it needs to run more. Otherwise, it sounds like the door isn’t closing completely or something is blocking the flow of cold air inside the fridge. Or the cold control could be set too cold.

      Reply
  45. we have a side by side refrigerator that we noticed the last couple of days when opening and shutting the door it has become heavy to open and shut, and it won’t shut on its own and create a tighr seal. yiu have to shut the door and e even then it won’t create a seal. we have checked the seal around the door and it is fine is guess the gaskets are ok but it doesn’t swing with ease and you can’t hear when shuts you don’t get that seal when you even shut it but we haven’t done anything different and it’s just my husband and myself can anyone give some ideas what could be the problem

    Reply
    • This generally comes from worn out hinges (cams) at the bottom of the door. We’ve added a video to the article “Door Does Not Close or Seal Properly” above, to show how to fix this.

      Reply
  46. I have just bought a Bush BLT55143W Tall Larder Fridge – had it delivered today and waiting around 4 hours to turn it on. The instruction booklet has said that I should set the temperature control to middle (3) and leave it like that for now – I have put food in it but I have noticed that it has started to freeze at the back of the fridge, exactly the same as my old one that I just got rid of – anyone got any ideas as to why this is happening to a brand new fridge???? Thanks

    Reply
    • Turn down the temperature.

      Reply
  47. Hi I have a frigidaire with the fridge and freezer side by side. Recently the freezer defrosts whenever I set the lever down for the ice maker to make ice. Is there a problem with the ice maker? Or the freezer itself

    Reply
  48. My fridge was hot and i fixed the fan in the back. However can i leave the cover off or do i need to put it back on. Worried if i put it back on it will get hot again. Does the fan turn on and off when it needs to cool the coils?

    Reply
  49. I have a GE refrigerator and from the day it was installed condensation/ice forms on the inside of both doors. While it was under warranty the technician was here several times to address this problem. He replaced the gaskets, adjusted the doors and has the refrigerator on a slight (noticeable) tilt. It is not level. He said this condensation and ice formation ( this is a frost-free refrigerator) were caused because I don’t keep the freezer full. I am a widow and I don’t keep it full as I am not home for long periods of time. Is there any solution to stopping this ice formation?

    Reply
    • Its the stupid fridge not full or not full issue return the fridge it’s a defective model.

      Reply
  50. hi, i have a single door refrigerator, whirpool ice magic. i have used it for 7 yrs. it never created a problem. but then i bought a new refrigerator with double door and i completely stopped using the single door refrigerator. But now after 3 yrs when i tried to switch it on, it doesn’t get switched on. what could be the possible issue?

    Reply
  51. I have a brand new hotpoint American quad fridge. My son being helpful tidied my kitchen and put my iron on top of fridge freezer it has leaked into the top where the temperature controls are. The lights flashed and clicked but now it seems the whole fridge has died. Is it repairable as I think the manufacturers warranty will have been voided as its not a fridge fault. Can anyone help I’m tearing my hair out only had it a week!!

    Reply
  52. What if my condenser leaks? How could I fix that?

    Reply
  53. I have a GE French door bottom Freezer refrigerator and the refrigerator section is not cooling

    Reply
  54. I have a 2014 Whirlpool refrigerator. The pad on the door is flashing ” cooling off.”
    the other controls don’t work. What should I try to fix this?

    Reply
  55. I have a Kenmore fridge and I laid on side to move and the next day tried to plug in but it keeps tripping breaker

    Reply
  56. Condenser is likely frozen I between uses, pic board should be replace or prepare for constant thawing cycle.

    Reply
  57. I have a Whirlpool that has 2 things going on at the same time. First the fridge is not cooling properly. It also has a lot of condensation along the walls and runs down the sides causing water build up on the bottom of fridge. Second, Ice is forming around the little black tube in the front of the freezer and frost covers the top shelf items the most. No frost on the back some on the sides. Made in 2004 Is this worth fixing and what could it be. Thanks!!! Penny

    Reply
  58. I have an older GE No Frost refrigerator that seems to run just fine. Both freezer and refrigerator are cold and set at the warmest temperature, the ice machine produces cubes. I cleaned the coils and replaced the drain hose about a year ago as water began showing up on the floor. All fine since.. Yesterday I noticed the sound of a motor starting and stopping. It happens about every 2 minutes or so, clearly the motor does not start up and then another 2 minutes same thing. Suggestions?

    Reply
  59. When i plug the fridge on my safety switch jumped. I have tried to find out in so many ways of the caused finally when I unplug the defrost censor the fridge keep running and safety switch does not tripped. I thought the defrost censor faulty..then i bought a new censor plug in a few hours later the safety switch tripped again. Anyone could give me some advice ?

    Reply
    • Some older models trip GFCI plugs.

      Reply
  60. Hi, just replaced relay switch on lg, after dissassembling panels, etc. on the advice of Lg. Its now squeaking intermittently? Help?

    Reply
  61. I think there’s a heating element under the surface there that should come on for a few minutes every time every defrost cycle goes. Shouldn’t stay warm all the time.

    Reply
  62. My fridge seems like it will not cycle back on after defrost. If I turn the temperature knob a little it will turn on. Would this be a temperature control problem?

    Reply
  63. Fridge will not cycle unless I turn temperature knob a little bit

    Reply
  64. Hi,my whirlpool fridge doesn’t auto cutoff compressor.

    Reply
  65. My GE Profile Arctica Refrigerator
    suddenly stops cooling after activating its quick ice feature. Evaporator and Condenser fans are all working but the compressor seems to stop vibrating or it got stuck up for some reason.

    I went to search for Youtube videos regarding this matter but most of them are saying it could be a defrost heater, timer , thermistor etc. And others say its probably mainboard or inverter board problem. After I did all the necessary testing its ohms and votage readings all seems to be working fine except that the compressor just wont start.

    The initial diagnosis is that the compresor got stuck up and wont start so what I did first is to heat up the top of the compressor and condenser with a simple solution HEAT IT UP WITH A HAIR DRYER then I turn on the refrigeraror to normal settings – 0° Freezer and 37° Fridge compartment. ALL OF A SUDDEN THE COMPRESSOR STARTS TO KICK IN and make its vibbration AND MY GE REFRIGERATOR IS NOW RUNNING FINE AGAIN.

    Reply
  66. My Frigidaire refrigerator has suddenly stopped cooling and it is leaking. Please suggest some DIY tips.

    Reply
  67. my refs compressor starts then after a few seconds the compressor turns off and will not start again. please suggest some DIY tips, thanks…

    Reply
  68. Bought a used Frigidare side by side and it will work great for a few days but then it stops working for a few days and everything goes bad. There is no lights on the front which wasn’t important at first but could that be the reason? Or maybe the defrost timer is out of control?

    Reply
  69. Argos value fridgefreezer,!freezer works but fridge doesnt,butter cheese milk yogurts are all getting thrown out as they are not even cool to the touch.Don’t hear any sounds as such off it starting or stopping just a constant high pitched noise?

    Reply
  70. My 1997 Kenmore Coldspot fridge/freezer is intermittent. When it works, it works fine. But every now and then, I find everything has thawed out in the freezer & the fridge temperature has risen into the 60s… Power is definitely constant. Could it be a sticky pump? Bad contacts on the potentiometer used to set the thermostat? Anyone had a similar experience and figured out what was wrong or have suggestions on diagnosing the behavior? Thanks!

    Reply

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