Common Refrigerator Issues You Can Fix on Your Own


Your refrigerator is one of the most useful appliances in your home and few can do without them for longer than a day or two. Because they are so important, they’re also used almost constantly, leading to wear and tear and breakdowns. While some fridge problems need to be taken care of by a trained appliance repairman like those at ASAP, others can be handled without calling in an expert. Here are the most common.

1. The Freezer Isn’t Freezing

If you open your freezer to find soggy frozen pizzas and slushy ice, you’ve got a problem. Fortunately, it’s one that’s usually pretty easy to fix. Checking the temp you have the freezer set on is first and foremost, though even the lowest setting should still keep food from thawing. The next step is checking to see if the back wall of the freezer is cold. If it is, see if you can feel air coming out of the freezer vents or hear the evaporate fan running. If these are both yesses, check the refrigerator compressor and clean out anything that could be preventing airflow. If none of this solves the problem, it’s time to call in a pro.

2. There’s Water Leaking on the Floor

Water on the floor is no joke. Not only is it an indication that there’s something wrong with the fridge, but it can also be a slipping hazard and can damage your floors if not cleaned up in a timely manner. There are a few different culprits when it comes to water leakage. The first is a blocked defrost drain, which is usually found on the back wall of the freezer above the slope from the floor to the back of the appliance. If you find that drain hose is clogged with ice or debris, drain the hole from the inside with warm water and remove the clog with a turkey baster or piper cleaner.

If you don’t find a clog or if draining the hose doesn’t solve the problem, you may have a frozen or clogged water supply. This usually prevents the water dispenser and icemaker from functioning properly and leads to puddles on the floor. To fix this issue, you need to unplug the fridge and find the shut-off valve that’s usually located behind or below the fridge or under the sink. Make sure the valve is closed and see if you can spot problems with the supply line. A damaged supply line needs to be replaced for you to be able to use your ice or water dispenser.

3. The Fresh Food Compartment Isn’t Cold Enough

Most refrigerators generate cold air in the freezer, which then flows into the fresh food sections of your fridge. If this area of your appliance isn’t cool enough, the problem is likely due to airflow issues. Moving cold air from the freezer into other parts of the fridge is the job of the evaporator fan and a diffuser that is in the back of the fresh food section. If the fan is running and you can feel air blowing in from the freezer vents, it’s likely your diffuser duct is clogged. The main reason for ice clogs is leaving the door open for long periods of time. Once you defrost the duct, you should be good to go. If not, you may need a new motor and should call a pro to confirm your suspicions.

4. The Refrigerator is Freezing Food

The only thing more annoying than your freezer not freezing food is your refrigerator freezing it instead. If this is happening, you probably have a temperature control thermostat problem. This controls the voltage to the evaporator fan motor and compressor and if it isn’t working right, it can make your fridge too cold. To figure out what’s going on, rotate the thermostat from the lowest to the highest setting and determine if you hear a click. If you don’t, it’s probably defective. The next step is to test it with a multi-meter. If there’s no continuity at any setting, it’s time for a new thermostat.

5. Ice Dispenser has Frost Build-Up

If your ice isn’t coming out of your ice dispenser, it could be due to a build-up of frost blocking the exit. A special material that lines your dispenser’s door is meant to prevent frost build-up, so if it isn’t working, it’s probably dirty or malformed. Check to see if there’s something going on with your damper door that’s causing it not to seal properly. If it’s just dirty, cleaning it will usually do the job. If the material has been damaged, you’ll likely have to buy a replacement part.

Problems with your refrigerator don’t always mean a costly repair or replacement. Many times, a simple DIY fix is all you need to get your appliance up and running again. Have a problem with an appliance you can’t solve on your own? Let the professionals at ASAP help!