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Refrigerator Maintenance: 5 Ways to Avoid Fridge Repair Costs

Keeping your refrigerator in good working order prevents many issues from developing. It also maintains your family’s health by properly cooling your food. If you’re worried that you can’t possibly perform maintenance on your refrigerator, that’s understandable. After all, it’s a major appliance with different mechanical parts, including refrigerant fluid that can be toxic. However, there are simple tasks you can do with confidence. Here are 5 ways to avoid fridge repair costs:

1. Keep the Drain Clear

Every refrigerator has a small drain hole to allow water that condenses on the inside of the fridge to drain out into a drain pan underneath it. That drain hole can easily become clogged if any food particles get stuck in it. Clearing the drain hole may be as simple as removing obvious food particles. Or you may need to use a thin snake followed by baking soda and hot water. If that’s necessary, you should unplug the refrigerator and take the vegetable drawer out for easier access. Then use the snake, and finally, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of baking soda down the hole, followed by 2 cups of hot water. You might need to use a turkey baster to direct the hot water properly. Always finish by emptying the drain pan.

2. Check the Temperature

The interior of your refrigerator should be about 40ºF and the temperature gauge should be set at medium or 5 to achieve that temperature. That gauge can easily get knocked out of position, so periodic checks are a good idea. It’s also wise to have an independent internal refrigerator thermometer in your fridge. That way, you can monitor that the temperature gauge is working properly. Just put it on the bottom shelf (not in the crisper) toward the back where it won’t get in the way.

3. Inspect the Door Seals

Check the rubber door seals on your fridge to make sure you’re getting a proper seal. Look for any cracks or pitting. The door seals should be flexible. If you find a problem, wash the seals with warm water and soap and apply a thin film of petroleum jelly. When your fridge doesn’t seal properly, it runs constantly causing excessive condensation on the coils, and water overflows the drain pan. Remember the freezer door seals too.

4. Check the Drain Pan

The drain pan is underneath your refrigerator and allows the water that condenses inside the fridge and drain out to evaporate. If your drain pain becomes cracked or damaged, then instead of evaporating, that water will simply pool under your fridge, and eventually leak out. Remove the drain pain and look at it carefully to see if there are any obvious problems. You might even run water into it and watch whether any escapes. If the drain pan is damaged, just call Dave’s Appliance, and we can get you a new one quickly.

5. Clean the 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. This task is a little more complicated because you need to turn off your refrigerator and remove a panel to expose the condenser coils; but the good news is that you shouldn’t need to clean the coils more than twice a year. Once the coils are exposed, simply use a soft-bristled brush to get as much dirt off as possible, then vacuum it up. With a narrow nozzle attached to your vacuum, you can do a pretty thorough job of it.

Simple refrigerator maintenance is key to prolonging the life of your fridge and ensuring that the food your family eats is properly cooled. Maintenance also prevents problems and potentially costly repairs.

At Dave’s Appliance, we want to partner with our customers to keep the appliances in your home running smoothly.

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scottmac

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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