When your appliances break, it’s always frustrating. However, if you don’t want to replace or repair your fridge (if it’s not too broken), then there are some useful tips that might help you reduce the inconvenience of having a broken appliance.
Clear The Inside Vent
If the fridge isn’t working properly, you will notice the temperature doesn’t match the set point, or the refrigerator is not cooling at all. You might also see that the compressor turns on and off frequently when the refrigerator still isn’t cooling.
This is the sign that the condenser fan running on the evaporator is obstructed in some way, which prevents the air from being cooled off in the fridge or freezer section. You need to clear the obstruction and the problem should be fixed.
There are two types of vents inside the fridge compartment. One is the air inlet vent, the other the air outlet vent. They are usually located at the back or the bottom of the fridge. The air inlet vents are located on the outside of the refrigerator.
Make sure the refrigerant lines are not blocked by any objects either, such as wall decorations or large boxes of food, the evaporator fan turns on the backside of the refrigerator.
If the obstruction is located inside the fridge compartment, you need to remove the lower rear panel by unscrewing the screw or hook and loop fasteners holding it in place. Then search for the vent’s outer spokes that obstruct the exit.
Check The Evaporator Fan Motor
If the fridge is not cooling, the evaporator fan motor may be the culprit. To test it, unplug the fridge and remove the back panel. If the fan is spinning, it’s probably working properly. If the fan isn’t spinning, it needs to be replaced.
To replace the motor, the evaporator fan needs to be removed. The process is the same for the freezer-on-top or the fridge-in-the-door style of fridge.
Ensure the evaporator fan motor has 3 wires (or 2 if the neutral wire is missing). Unplug the refrigerator and remove the back panel. Remove the evaporator cover by removing the 3 screws at the top of the evaporator fan motor. Remove the fan blade.
Check If The Compressor Is Working Well
When the refrigerator is not working properly, the first thing you have to do is check the compressor. If the compressor does not work well, the refrigerator will fail to function. This makes the temperature inside the fridge rise and puts your food at risk of spoiling or even getting moldy.
To determine if the compressor is working well put the palm of your hand against the top of the fridge. If you can feel the heat coming off the compressor, it means that the compressor is working and the fridge is cooling properly. If the compressor feels cold to the touch, it means that the compressor is not working and the fridge needs to be repaired.
Check If The Condenser Coils Are Not Dirty
If the coils are dirty, it will cause the refrigerator not to cool properly. Make sure to clean the coils at least every six months.
If the temperature in your fridge is too high, the easiest solution is to turn the fridge off and wait for it to cool down. Once it’s cooled down, you can turn it back on.
If the fridge is not getting cold, the first thing you should do is check the temperature settings. Make sure the temperature is set to the correct temperature.
Another possible solution is to change the location of the fridge. If the fridge is in a sunny or warm spot of your home, it will not cool properly.
Check If The Capacitor Is Faulty
The capacitor of the refrigerator is the heart of the motor. If the refrigerator isn’t cooling, but you are sure the compressor is running, the capacitor is the best place to start looking for the problem.
If you have a spare capacitor, just remove the old one and replace it with the new one. But be careful not to touch the terminals the wrong way to prevent the capacitor from exploding. If the capacitor cannot be replaced, you should have the refrigerator serviced by a professional.
Check If Current is Sufficient
Modern refrigerators almost always have a reset switch. If the cooling system does not work, the first thing to check the switch is the current available. Turn off the refrigerator and remove the freezer drawer from the compartment. Disconnect the plug from the outlet and check it with a voltage tester. Compare the results with those that are specified in the manual of the refrigerator.
If the current is insufficient, the problem can be solved by installing a circuit breaker with the appropriate capacity or by increasing the number of outlets in the room.
Check The Temperature
If the switch is on and the current is sufficient, the next step is to check the temperature. The optimum range for most refrigerators is 2-5 degrees Celsius. If the temperature is below or above the required range, the cooling system needs to be adjusted.
If the temperature is too low, the freezer may need to be turned off. If the temperature is too high, the fridge may need to be turned off.
If the cooling system cannot be adjusted to the correct temperature, the refrigerator needs to be serviced.
Check The Seal
The seal on the door should fit snugly so that the cold air doesn’t escape. If the seal is not fitted properly, the refrigerator will not be able to keep the cold air in and will not be as effective in cooling the food. You can test the seal by closing the door on a piece of paper. If the paper stays in place, the seal is good. If the paper falls out, the seal is not good, and you will need to fix it.
Inspect The Door Gaskets
It happens over time, the door gaskets on the refrigerator start to wear out. If your refrigerator is not cooling the way it used to, the door gasket might be the reason for that. Inspect the door gasket and look for signs of wear or cracks. You can also try the dollar bill test, put the dollar bill over the door, the air should be able to pull the dollar bill in. If it does not happen, the gasket might need replacement.
If you are thinking about doing the work yourself, the refrigerator manual has instructions on how to replace the gaskets. It’s not the most difficult repair if you are the patient type.
The life expectancy of a fridge is around 15 years, so if your fridge has lived longer than the average, the time has probably come to replace your fridge.