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Archive for the ‘refrigerator’ Category

Should I Repair or Replace My Broken Refrigerator?

April 8th, 2021

When considering whether to repair or replace a malfunctioning or broken refrigerator, it’s best to have a little guidance. If the refrigerator has a history of breakage or poor performance, or if it’s quite old and inefficient, or if you’re just plain tired of what you have for any number of reasons not having necessarily to do with performance, such as capacity or layout or features, that may make your decision easier. You might also decide to replace your refrigerator because you are moving or remodelling, and it doesn’t fit a particular space or decor. That said, this article is for those who want to have some clarity as to whether it’s better to repair a refrigerator that you’d rather not replace if you don’t have to.

Replacing a refrigerator is a somewhat expensive proposition, if quality and features are factors, and most buyers will invest considerable time and effort into scoping out the alternatives. Luckily, refrigerators are pretty low-maintenance as major appliances go, and those manufactured by quality brands are liable to have reasonably long warranty coverage, which can be extended, usually by an insurance company associated with the sellers for added peace of mind. Generally speaking, you should expect for a new refrigerator to last from 10 to 20 years.

That said, the consequences of a broken or malfunctioning refrigerator can be significant, particularly if you use the freezer to store expensive cuts of meat. If that’s the case, it’s not a bad idea to keep a high-quality cooler on hand, just in case your refrigerator breaks or the power goes out for an extended period of time, or just for when you wish to defrost or deep clean the unit.

As with any other appliance, the more features and conveniences there are, the more there is to break. It’s nice to have an ice and water dispenser on the outside of the fridge, but it’s one of the most breakage-prone parts of an expensive fridge. I know I’m one of the people who just limped along without the water dispenser for awhile every time it stopped functioning the last time I had a refrigerator with one. Some people prefer to have dedicated ice makers and tap-attached water filtration at the sink for just this reason. If something goes wrong, it’s just that smaller appliance that’s affected.

All that said, here are the situations in which you might consider replacing rather than fixing your refrigerator.

Overheating

Your refrigerator compresses and expands gas to absorb and move heat. That’s why you’ll feel heat emitted out of the bottom of your fridge if you place your toes down there. The compressing is done by a motor, and the motor itself may overheat. Relatedly, some compressor motors are louder than others. You can hear them kick in when you leave one of the doors open long enough to trigger the thermostat. That sound may also be accompanied with a beeping to alert you that you should close the door as soon as possible to preserve the temperature.

While it’s normal to feel some heat when you touch the back of your fridge (and there should be sufficient space behind and above to permit the heat to radiate away without building up too much), if your fridge becomes positively hot to the touch such that you have to pull away for fear of burning yourself, there’s either something wrong with the thermostat or the other mechanical elements of the unit. The coils in the back that radiate the heat that’s transferred from inside to outside your refrigerator are insulated, but if it gets hot back there try first to remove any dust or grime that has accumulated on the coils. A paint brush and vacuum attachment work well for this operation. If that doesn’t help, call a repairman to come look. It may be that your refrigerator has leaked some coolant, which can be replaced, but it might be something more significant.

Overfreezing

On the other hand, your freezer unit may be positively freezing over. Obviously, you want your frozen food frozen, but on the other hand you shouldn’t have to see the foods inside turning into a glacier. If it’s starting to look like a new ice age in there, check that the temperature isn’t set to max cooling. Move anything you want to keep into alternate cold storage (such as a large cooler, or, if you live where it gets cold in winter, you can use those temperatures), throw down some old towels to absorb the meltage, and unplug the unit to let it defrost thoroughly before plugging it back in. This would be the ideal time to try cranking the freezer setting back a little to see whether that suffices. Most modern refrigerators have auto-defrost, so this recommendation largely applies to older models.

If the problem persists or gets worse, it’s best to have a pro get a look at your refrigerator to see what the issue may be. The friendly repairmen at Dave’s appliance will probably be able to sort it out pretty quickly.

Leakage or Extreme Condensation

This may be a simple matter of the seal around your refrigerator or freezer door. If heat is escaping, ice may be melting in the freezer and causing leakage. Alternately, moist air from outside might be entering the refrigerator and condensing, then leaking out of a bad seal. Check the stripping all the way around the door. You may be able to reaffix it yourself, or buy new stripping if you’re handy. But leakage near the refrigerator can pose a health hazard, either by slipping or through accidental electrocution, so BE CAREFUL.

Alternately, the drip pan may be broken or out of place, or hoses may be broken or kinked, or a malfunctioning latch or other problem may be preventing a door from closing properly. Often these are the culprits if you find the inside of your refrigerator is wet to the touch and drips.

Your Refrigerator Runs Loud

Some of us are just more sensitive to this kind of noise than others, but if it seems to have gotten louder than you remember, you can pull the plug and then replug it in, and this may take care of any buzzing. If not, give your repairman a call. Your refrigerator could be on its last legs.

Food Spoilage

Obviously, this gets expensive quickly, and it can pose a health hazard. Check to make sure that door latches and stripping are good, and that your setting hasn’t been dialed way back. Check the back of the unit for overheating, as mentioned above.

In Conclusion

If your refrigerator is older, say 12+ years, and/or if it’s needed significant repair one or more times before, or if it’s not efficient, or you’re ready to move on, a new refrigerator may be your best option.

If you’d rather not replace it, and if you’re handy, you can look for online resources to help you take a stab at fixing such problems yourself, but when in doubt, call on the experts at Dave’s Appliance. They’ll fix your refrigerator if that’s the best course of action, or recommend a new one if that’s your better bet given your situation. And Dave’s carries all the best value, top quality brands. Give them a shout if your refrigerator is having troubles. They’ve seen it all. They’ll get it straightened out for you.

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Does Room Temperature Affect My Refrigerator?

August 4th, 2020

You may be considering putting a second refrigerator out in your unheated garage. Or you might worry about your refrigerator’s efficiency in the hot, humid Wisconsin summers. Whatever your situation, it’s important to know whether room temperature affects your refrigerator.

Extreme Temperatures Can Damage Fridge

The temperature of the room that a refrigerator is in should be between 60ºF and 95ºF. That’s a really wide range, and you might think there’s no way your refrigerator could be in a situation where the ambient temperature is either that high or that low. But you live in Wisconsin. Extreme temperatures can damage the compressor or sealed system. Below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the oil could become thick and not circulate properly. Above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, the oil could overheat and break down.

Refrigerator Function in Cold Temperatures

Having a refrigerator in a partially heated space might seem like a good compromise. While the unit may not actually break down, you might reconsider that choice. Refrigeration systems rely on the boiling of refrigerant under pressure and heat. When the ambient temperature is below 60ºF, it takes more energy to make the refrigerant boil and change into a vapor. And the energy consumption increases with the decreasing temperature until at 32ºF, there’s no cooling capacity at all.

Refrigerator Function in Hot Temperatures

If the refrigerator is located in a room where the temperature is over 90ºF and it is opened frequently, then the efficiency will decrease significantly. When the outside temperature is so warm, it can cause other problems, too. The consistency of the cooled temperature inside the unit may vary widely and your food may spoil more quickly.

Other Considerations

Remember that the room temperature can be quite different from the outside temperature. Your well insulated garage can be 10 – 20 degrees colder or hotter than outdoors. If you do decide to have your refrigerator in a place that isn’t ideal, take steps to mitigate the loss of efficiency. Your refrigerator placement can help with that. Your fridge shouldn’t be pushed against the wall. It needs a little space behind it so that air can circulate freely and the heat from the condenser can dissipate. Keeping the grill clean and the door seals tight ensures that it’s working at peak efficiency too.

If you’re wondering whether room temperature affects your refrigerator, the answer is yes. You probably don’t have it in a space where the extreme temperatures will cause a breakdown, but you should be aware that its efficiency will be affected by the ambient temperature. If you have any continuing concerns, call the experts at Dave’s Appliance; we’ll be glad to help.

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Refrigerator Maintenance: 5 Ways to Avoid Fridge Repair Costs

July 9th, 2020

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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Be Aware of the Signs Your Refrigerator Might Need a Repair

June 17th, 2019

fridge repairModern refrigerators are engineered to last for more than a decade. However, even the best units will require servicing at some point. Here are five signs you need fridge repair:

1. Water on the Floor

When dealing with a leaky refrigerator, don’t be surprised to discover puddles on the floor. This is a problem that needs to be fixed as soon as possible. You definitely don’t want any water damage to occur. The cause of the leaking can stem from a few different issues, including a worn door seal and a clogged drain tube. (more…)

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Add Your Home Appliances to Your Spring Cleaning Checklist

April 23rd, 2019

Spring cleaning woman on porch

Not just the porch! Appliances need spring cleaning too.

Springtime is an excellent time to clean your whole home. With fresh air blowing through your windows, you have an excellent opportunity to get rid of odors, dust and dirt that may have built up on your rugs, upholstery, hardwood floors and furniture. In addition, be sure to take your cleaning to the next level by including your home appliances on your spring cleaning checklist.

Cleaning Your Dishwasher

Your dishwasher is probably filled with bits of food as well as hard water deposits from frequent use. Thoroughly clean the screens and filters on the bottom of the dishwasher and also wipe down the sprayer arms. You may even want to use a shop vac to get rid of food debris. For very difficult-to-remove lime or calcium deposits, consider cleaning with a commercial cleanser, such as CLR or Lime-Away. (more…)

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Signs Your Refrigerator Might Need a Repair

January 25th, 2018

old toy car and refrigeratorIf you are like many people, you don’t give your refrigerator a second thought and take for granted that it will always do its job. That mistake, though, can cause a range of problems that you will want to avoid. Allowing your refrigerator to fall into disrepair can put you at risk for food poisoning, but it can also affect your energy bill. A refrigerator repair is what you need.

Knowing the red flags for which you can look will allow you to catch issues in the early stages, and you won’t need to worry about unexpected complications catching you off guard. When you notice that something is wrong and don’t want to take chances, calling a refrigerator repair service will help. (more…)

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5 Tips on Keeping Your Refrigerator in a Garage

October 2nd, 2017

upright freezerA refrigerator is one appliance that you’re likely to find in every home. While most people prefer to keep it in the kitchen, a refrigerator or a freezer can be placed in a garage especially if you’re using the space as an extension of your living area. However, special consideration must be made during winter to ensure it’s working efficiently. Here are five tips on how to keep a refrigerator or freezer in a garage: (more…)

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Why Your Refrigerator Keeps Running

April 12th, 2017

milwaukee refrigerator repairKeeping your appliances in good working order is essential to ensure that you can manage your responsibilities effectively. Your family depends on your washer and dryer, dishwasher, stove and refrigerator to deal with everyday activities. Your refrigerator is especially important for your family as a way to store perishable food safely. If your refrigerator is running continuously, it may be time to seek help from a professional Milwaukee refrigerator repair specialist.

Why Your Refrigerator May Be Running Overtime

A few issues can cause your refrigerator to run almost all the time: (more…)

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Natural Cleaning Products to Clean Your Appliances

January 10th, 2017

baking soda can keep your appliances cleanWould you like to reduce the number of harsh chemicals you use in your home? Doing so is inexpensive and simple. Consider these appliance cleaning tips that use safe, natural ingredients you probably already have in your pantry.

Clean Just About Anything

For a safe and effective all-purpose household cleaner, combine the following ingredients in a spray bottle:
(more…)

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Simple Tricks to Keep Your Appliances in Good Shape During the Winter

December 15th, 2016

A modern kitchen needs maintenance from a Milwaukee microwave repair professional Looking outside at a cold winter day might encourage you to cuddle up on the couch, but there are household chores calling to you. However, completing any outdoor chore might be impossible right now. As an alternative, concentrate on your indoor appliances. These mechanical workhorses seem to go for months without any maintenance, but it’s critical to pay close attention to your washer, dryer, refrigerator and other appliances during the cold, winter months. Use some of these simple ideas to maintain your appliances and preserve their normal lifespans. Calling a Milwaukee microwave repair professional can go a long way in maintaining all of your appliances. (more…)

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