Find out how to repair a leaking fridge and different frequent fridge issues

How to fix a leaking fridge and other common refrigerator problems

Your fridge is the center of the kitchen, and your own home. It is an actual drag when it isn’t operating nicely.

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Does your fridge leak water everywhere in the flooring or run on a regular basis whereas making plenty of noise? Perhaps frost has began to construct up on the freezer partitions. Maybe the ice maker is not working. No matter your specific concern, do not freak out. 

These are frequent fridge issues that may usually be mounted with out calling a repairman, even when you do not know how a fridge works. And chances are high you will not even have to interrupt out any fancy instruments. This is what you should know to attempt to treatment the scenario your self. This text is up to date periodically.

Learn extra: LG’s killer fridge characteristic: Clear ice for cocktails

1. Drawback: It is at all times operating

An environment friendly fridge should not run on a regular basis. A fridge that does will not be solely noisy, it might probably additionally take a giant chew out of your pockets. Fridges are already some of the power-intensive dwelling home equipment. Permitting your fridge to run nonstop can ship your vitality invoice by the roof.

Trigger 1: Probably the most frequent causes of a fridge operating too usually (or worse, continually) is a buildup of particles and mud across the condenser coils. It is particularly frequent when you stay in a dusty atmosphere or have a number of pets.

Repair: First, unplug the fridge from AC energy. For many fridges, the condenser coils are positioned on the very backside and so they’re usually accessed within the entrance or again. (Some newer fashions, nevertheless, have inner coils.) To entry the coils, search for the grille and take away it by coming out the snaps that maintain it in place, or unscrewing it if it is screwed in. Use a vacuum cleaner to take away the vast majority of the buildup. If there’s plenty of leftover particles, use a brush or a wipe material to softly take away the remaining particles. Exchange the grille and restore energy to the fridge.

Trigger 2: Setting the fridge temperature too low will trigger your fridge to work time beyond regulation, and also can freeze and spoil a few of your meals.

Repair: You usually need your fridge set to between 37 and 40 levels Fahrenheit (2.8 and 4.4 levels Celsius). Place a thermometer inside a glass of water, place the glass on the center shelf of the fridge and let it sit for no less than 8 hours. Periodically alter the temperature setting in your fridge to slowly deliver it to the specified temperature. If this does not clear up the problem, seek the advice of with knowledgeable, as you will have a faulty half, reminiscent of a condenser, thermostat sensor or fan motor.

2. Drawback: It is leaking water

Water puddling up beneath your fridge is rarely a very good signal, however it is usually a reasonably frequent incidence and may normally be resolved comparatively simply. Water leakage usually comes from one among two issues.

Trigger 1: A blocked defrost drain is among the commonest causes. This occurs when meals particles or different particles clog up the drain hose, which may result in ice buildup and, ultimately, water leaking out of the freezer and fridge.

Repair: First, strive flushing the drain from contained in the freezer with heat water, utilizing a turkey baster or a small funnel. You too can strive utilizing a pipe cleaner or a straightened coat hanger to forcibly take away the clog. If this does not repair the issue chances are you’ll must manually take away the particles that is clogging the examine valve on the finish of the drain hose.

Pull your fridge out from the wall and find the defrost drain hose within the backside again service panel. This hose ought to have a rubber examine valve, which helps regulate humidity and is understood for catching particles and clogging. Clear the valve out with scorching water and cleaning soap, and reinstall the valve.

Trigger 2: Infrequently, a clogged or frozen water provide line will trigger water to puddle beneath the fridge. It’ll additionally have an effect on ice manufacturing from the ice maker and sluggish or cease water movement from the dispenser.

Repair: First, unplug the fridge and find the shut-off valve, usually beneath the sink, behind the fridge or under the fridge within the basement. Make certain this valve is closed, and search for any leaks, kinks or clogs within the plastic provide line.

If there is a break or tear within the line, change the water provide line. Sometimes this line is a nylon tube with threaded compression fittings at each ends. You will discover DIY water line kits on the market at your native ironmongery store ($10). They’re straightforward to hook up, although you would possibly must have a wrench available. You should not overtighten their fittings, so you will not want that a lot energy. 

If the water line is unbroken, however you see a translucent blockage, then ice is the perpetrator. Merely go away the fridge unplugged for about 2 hours to take away the clog. If the clog is something however clear, seek the advice of with knowledgeable earlier than making an attempt to take away it. As soon as the road has defrosted, plug the fridge again in and push it again to the wall.

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3. Problem: Lots of freezer ice buildup

If the inside of your freezer looks like the arctic tundra, something is seriously wrong. There are a few possible causes of frost growth inside your freezer, and some quick fixes.

Cause 1: Leaving the freezer door open too long can raise the humidity level inside the freezer, resulting in frost and ice buildup.

Fix: Obviously, try not to leave the freezer door open longer than necessary. Try opening the freezer or fridge door and see if it closes on its own; if not, this could be the cause of the frost. To resolve this, pull the refrigerator out from the wall and have someone lean the refrigerator back far enough for you to reach the two front pedestal feet. (Don’t try this alone!)

Screw both feet out a few turns. This will ensure that the doors close on their own and that water is properly draining from the freezer and refrigerator. If this doesn’t solve the issue, you may have a malfunctioning defrost timer, for which you’ll want a professional. But first, check for the following two other things.

Cause 2: A faulty seal can also result in unwanted frost.

Fix: First, try cleaning the seal around the inside of the freezer door using warm water, soap and a washcloth. Use a towel to dry the seal and the surrounding areas, and close the freezer. If this doesn’t work, try installing a new gasket. Major appliance makers, like GE and Whirlpool, for example, sell replacement parts directly, including fridge gaskets. Just remember to have your model number handy. That’ll help you track down the specific gasket for your particular refrigerator. 

To swap in a new gasket, begin by unplugging the refrigerator. Then remove all frozen perishables, and place them in a cooler. Lift the edge of the old gasket and use a screwdriver to remove all the screws. With the old gasket removed, align the new gasket and screw it into place. Return all food to the freezer and plug the fridge back in.

Cause 3: Too many items resting against the rear freezer wall can block airflow, resulting in frost buildup.

Fix: Clear away food packages that are too close to the rear freezer wall or are blocking any freezer vents.

Refrigerator ice makers are useful but can experience problems.

Colin West McDonald/CNET

4. Problem: The ice maker isn’t working

So you’ve been waiting and waiting, but your refrigerator’s ice maker isn’t delivering the goods. It could be that you’re not seeing any ice cubes at all, or the ice is too small or maybe it’s even hollow. No matter the scenario, here are a few solutions to try. 

Cause 1: A clog in the water line is restricting water flow. A blockage is likely caused by ice in the water connection. A kinked water line can also cause the same problem.

Fix: For a frozen water line rather than a physical kink, first turn off the water supply with the shut-off valve. It’s usually located behind the fridge or under the kitchen sink. One way to remove the blockage is by thawing out the water line manually. Do that by unplugging the fridge’s power supply. After a few hours the ice causing the clog should melt away. A faster method is to use heat from a blow-dryer, or squirt it with a turkey baster filled with hot water.

Cause 2: A shut-off arm is in the wrong position. Many fridge ice makers have a shut-off arm that’s designed to stop ice production when the storage bin is full. Sometimes they get stuck in the off position. 

Fix: Make sure the shut-off arm isn’t engaged. If the arm is frozen in place, first remove the ice storage bin. Next melt any ice buildup with a little hot water. Quickly wipe away excess moisture with a clean kitchen towel.

Cause 3: Some fridges also have sensors that detect the presence of the ice bin. Over time, ice buildup between the bin and the freezer wall can push the bin out of alignment, tripping this sensor. When that happens, the fridge thinks you’ve removed the bucket and will stop making ice.

Fix: Remove the storage bin, and let it defrost for a few hours. In the meantime, melt away any ice around the bin sensor with a small amount of hot water. Use a clean towel to remove any remaining water. Return the bin to its place and you should be good to go.


Don’t cart your fridge away just yet. You might be able to get it to run right again.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Cool down, your fridge might be OK

Hopefully, these simple steps remedied your refrigerator woes and you’ve solved your appliance problems without fancy tools or much hassle. You also didn’t have to shell out big bucks for a brand-new icebox — score! But if you’re still experiencing hiccups, it could be time to call in the repair pros. Ultimately, you might even consider buying a new fridge.

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