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Most Common Refrigerator Problems

Your refrigerator is one of the most important appliances in your home. You use it multiple times every day, and a malfunction could mean losing all the food in it. If your refrigerator isn’t working right, it could also mean health problems for your family. In this post, we’ll explore some of the most common problems refrigerators have, and what you can do about them.

Refrigerator Leaking Water

One of the most common problems with refrigerators is the appearance of water on the floor near the fridge. Most people assume that the fridge is leaking water. Sometimes that’s the case, but sometimes it’s not. Refrigerators are designed so that condensation accumulated in the interior of the fridge drains through a drain hole and then into a drain pan underneath where it evaporates. So the water is a symptom, but you need to find the cause. There are several possibilities:

Refrigerator’s Position

If the refrigerator is completely level or tipped slightly forward, the water may not be able to flow into the drain. All you have to do is adjust the front legs so that the refrigerator tips back slightly. That tilt also makes the door swing closed after you turn away from the refrigerator. Be careful when adjusting your refrigerator, though. It is designed to be nearly level, and tipping it too much can create significant problems with other systems.

Refrigerator’s Seal

When your refrigerator doesn’t seal properly, it runs constantly causing excessive condensation on the coils, and water overflows the drain pan. Check the rubber door seals on your fridge and freezer to make sure you’re getting a proper seal. If you find a problem, wash the seals with warm water and soap and apply a thin film of petroleum jelly.

Damaged Drain Pan

The problem could be as simple as a cracked or damaged drain pan. Remove the drain pan from underneath your refrigerator where it is located. If it has a crack or is otherwise damaged, contact Dave’s Appliance about getting a replacement as soon as possible.

Refrigerator Freezing Instead of Chilling

Another common problem is when food is freezing instead of cooling. Most often, you can determine the reason for this problem and perform the refrigerator repair yourself.

Temperature Gauge

If the milk is suddenly frozen, then the most likely cause is that the temperature gauge has been accidentally bumped and is set too low, or too cold. That’s easily rectified. Just set the temperature to medium or 5. If you can designate an actual temperature, set it to 40ºF.

Freezer Seals

If the freezer is part of the refrigerator unit (either above or below) rather than a side-by-side design, it may be that the freezer seals are not functioning properly. The same techniques outlined above for dealing with the seals of the refrigerator doors will fix this problem, too; warm soapy water and some petroleum jelly.

Dirty Coils

If the coils on your fridge are dirty or dusty, then the compressor needs to work harder and longer to keep the freezer temperature constant. When this happens, the refrigerator can overcool and freeze food and drinks.

These are the most common issues with refrigerators, and you can deal with many of them yourself. If the trouble persists or your particular problem isn’t described here, it’s best to call Dave’s Appliance. Importantly, if you think your fridge might be leaking refrigerant rather than water, call Dave’s Appliance immediately. Refrigerant is a toxic material and you need to address this issue as quickly as possible in order to avoid subsequent health risks to you and your family.

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Helpful Hints

Things to check before you call:

  • CHECK for a blown fuse
  • CHECK that the appliance is plugged in
  • CHECK that the dryer vent is clean
  • CHECK that refrigerator controls are at the proper setting