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How to Fix a Refrigerator

Man Examining Refrigerator with FlashlightThere’s no ideal time for a malfunctioning refrigerator. You open your fully-stocked fridge and realize it's lukewarm inside, or maybe you notice a puddle of water pooling up on the floor right next to it. Maybe your refrigerator's water system isn't working, or the ice dispenser is completely backed up. We know it's frustrating, but before you call in reinforcements, you should be aware that many refrigerator problems can be easily fixed with either preventative maintenance, or with quick repairs you can do on your own. We've got a list of some common refrigerator snags and solutions, including the point where it's best to call a professional!


Why is My Refrigerator Not Cooling?


It's exasperating when your refrigerator isn't able to do the one job it was built to do. The temperature of a refrigerator should be between 35 and 38° F (1 and 3° C), and your food enters the danger zone once the temperature starts to climb above 40° F (4° C). If your refrigerator is not getting cold, first check to make sure the door is properly sealed. The door might not be closing all the way due to an object being stuck between the door's seals, or the refrigerator is sitting unevenly.


Refrigerator Interior with ThermometerIf there's no issue with the door, check the refrigerator's condenser coils. These are the parts of the refrigerator that dissipate heat as the refrigerant runs its course through the machinery. The heat won't radiate if the coils are covered in dust, and this causes the refrigerator's cooling to drop in effectiveness. Vacuuming off the coils twice a year can help prevent this problem before it starts. If your refrigerator still isn't cooling down, calling a refrigerator repair expert is probably a good idea.


Why is My Refrigerator Leaking Water?


If you've got water pooling up on the inside of your refrigerator, a clogged drain tube may be the culprit. The drain tube collects condensation from inside the refrigerator and empties it into a drain pan, and it can't do its job if it's clogged. Try unclogging it by sprinkling the drain hole with baking soda, then using a turkey baster to slowly pour two cups of warm water into it. If there's water under your refrigerator's exterior, it could be related to the drain tube or possibly a crack in the drip tray, but it could also mean there's a leak in the water line to your icemaker or water dispenser. If this is the case, you'll need to take a look along the line for leakage or dripping and tighten the connections or replace parts as needed. If none of these approaches work, consider calling a specialist.


Why Isn't My Refrigerator's Water Dispenser Working?


Several issues can lead to an out-of-commission water dispenser, but the first thing to check for is a frozen water supply tube. This could be due to the refrigerator's temperature being set too low, and it's easily fixable by changing the temperature setting and allowing the line to defrost (after you unplug the refrigerator and relocate its contents to a cooler, of course). If this doesn't work, check the water filter to see if it's clogged. If everything else checks out, insufficient water pressure may be your problem, and calling a refrigerator technician is your best bet.


Why is My Refrigerator's Ice Dispenser Overflowing?


First, check to see if ice is jamming the dispenser. If this is the case, just use some warm water to melt the offending chunks. Another possibility involves the shelf that some freezers use to elevate the ice bin. If it’s is not sitting correctly, the ice level in the bin cannot be accurately judged, resulting in too much ice being created. Other possible causes may be the auger motor burning out, or the motor on the dispenser door needing replacement. If parts need to be replaced, you're probably going to want to call a pro to tackle the problem.


Service Team Member Arriving at HouseNeed Refrigerator Repair?


If you purchased your refrigerator from P.C. Richard & Son, we can help! Our fully trained and authorized service team repairs nearly every major appliance brand. We’ll diagnose your issue and take care of it in your home or in one of our repair centers.


If you decide your refrigerator isn’t worth saving and it's time to upgrade, we can help there, too! We have a fantastic selection of refrigerators in an amazing variety of styles, sizes, and colors from today's hottest brands at the guaranteed lowest prices. Shop P.C. Richard & Son and find the perfect refrigerator for your home today.


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