Imagine you have a party at home, and you have prepared the deserts and drinks beforehand to avoid any last-minute chaos -and bump -your refrigerator betrays you. Sounds daunting, isn’t it?
Refrigerators are a household essential. Its importance can be emphasized by BBC’s claim that three-fourth of the world’s homes have a fridge. According to the energy guide, over 8 million refrigerators are sold in the U.S. each year.
So knowing that it’s an asset and necessity in every family, nothing fills a homeowner with dread, quite like a refrigerator that cannot seem to behave.
Buying a new refrigerator is expensive, so the only viable option is to get it repaired. If you think repairs are cheap, think again, because sometimes repairs are more costly than the appliance itself.
According to a U.S. News and World report, the average homeowner spends between 1 and 4% of their home value on maintenance. As for appliances, according to Home Advisor, homeowners spend an average of $200 on repair costs per year.
So, what do you do? Here’s an idea: DIY refrigerator repair.
Yes, repairing a refrigerator may seem like a daunting task, but it actually is not. Here is a guide on how you can fix common refrigerator issues yourself.
Silence a loud refrigerator
Let us be honest here: a noisy fridge is annoying. You are trying to put your kids to sleep when suddenly the grr… grr… grr… sound is interrupting the pin-drop silence atmosphere you just created.
The noise problem could stem from one of three reasons: the condenser fan motor, evaporator fan motor, or the evaporator fan motor grommet.
Condenser fan motor
Most refrigerators nowadays come with a fan-cooled condenser coil. A condenser fan motor is often the culprit in the case of a noisy fridge because it runs at the same time as the fridge’s compressor and evaporator motor. When the fan motor is the issue, you will notice that your refrigerator will not be cooling the same way and might even regularly turn on and off.
Check your condenser fan motor by first disconnecting the fridge from the power source and removing the rear access panel.
The fan motor is typically found near the compressor at the bottom rear part of the fridge.
Inspect the motor for any visible signs of damage or wear, especially debris that might be preventing the fan from moving smoothly. An occasional vacuuming to remove debris is a good maintenance tip.
If the fan motor is damaged, you need to get your condenser fan motor replaced.
Evaporator fan motor
If you notice your refrigerator’s noise coming from the freezer, the evaporator fan motor could be the perpetrator. The evaporator fan motor pulls the air over the evaporator coils as the compressor runs. When the evaporator fan motor is problematic, you might notice your refrigerator not staying as cool, as well as the ice, will take longer to freeze.
Inspect your fridge by first unplugging the refrigerator and then removing the evaporator fan’s cover situated inside the freezer section.
Look for any visible signs of damage. If you observe a lot of ice accumulated on your motor, try defrosting your freezer and see if it helps solve the problem.
Try to turn the motor shaft manually. If it turns freely with no resistance, your problem is solved. If not, you will likely require a new evaporator fan motor.
Evaporator fan motor grommet
The evaporator fan motor grommet creates noise if it wears or if it becomes detached from its position.
Unplug your fridge and remove the evaporator fan cover. If you notice that the grommet has fallen off, try attaching it. If it does not work, understand that there is significant damage, and you need a replacement. You can go for Kenmore refrigerator parts and other similar equipment to make the necessary fixes.
Get rid of that uninvited flood
Imagine you just cleaned up, and suddenly you notice an unwanted spill of water in your kitchen only to know that the fridge is your culprit. And boom, there is a leakage problem!
For this, you must look into your door seal or your water inlet valve. Your refrigerator’s door seal is a flexible vinyl strip that helps the door stay shut airtight. If you notice moisture on your fridge door’s edge or a small stream emerging from underneath your refrigerator, then your door seal might be the issue. Even a small amount of air leakage from a defective seal can cause defrost issues or water leaks.
If you notice any discoloration, wearing, mold, tearing, or anything that is disrupting the seal or gasket, get it replaced. To ensure that your new gasket is pliable, place it in your cloth drier for a few minutes. This will make it much more flexible and, thus, easier to install.
To check the water inlet valve, first and foremost, unplug your fridge. Locate the valve and remove the rear panel to gain access. Check if there are any leaks. If yes, try to tighten the connectors. Additionally, look for any cracks or abrasions because they might also lead to leaks.
If these are not the issue, you should remove the valve from the unit. Employ the use of a multi-meter and test the valve for continuity. If you get a reading between 200 and 500, you need a new water inlet valve.
Fix those temperature problems
Your fridge is spacious, handy, striking, but not cold. So what’s the point if it’s not fulfilling its true purpose in life!
This calls to show that a warm fridge should alert you. The problem could lie with your diffuser, air damper, or your baffle.
These three parts of the fridge are responsible for balancing the airflow from the evaporator fan housing and controlling the amount of cold air entering the fresh food compartment.
The baffle is commonly found enclosed in plastic with a Styrofoam lining to prevent air leakage. If the baffle is damaged, the result could be higher than normal temperatures. It is also possible there is an obstruction in airflow.
Refrigerators also come with a temperature adjusting bulb or sensor. If your fridge is experiencing issues with interior temperature, check to see if the bulb has been repositioned or is damaged. Adjust its setting in the case of the former. Get it replaced if it is the latter.
Find the way out of starting issues with the fridge
If everything else is working fine at your home, but the fridge is not, I am sure you’re having a bad day. That working of everything else won’t do you any good.
If your refrigerator is not starting, do not panic. Calm down and think of all the problems that might be causing it.
A possible problem could be your overload relay. The overload relay is used to start the compressor until it is running at maximum speed.
If you hear a distinctive clicking sound from your fridge or hear your fans running but your compressor not starting, inspect your overload relay because it might be overheating. Use a multi-meter to check your overload relay.
Check the start capacitor to detect the initial voltage being supplied to the compressor. If the capacitor is defective, your compressor will not start. If it works, the compressor might be the one at fault.
We suggest only checking this one yourself. Consult an experienced professional to further proceed with the repairs and replacement.
The next time your refrigerator acts inappropriately, you know what to check first. At times, some common issues can be easily diagnosed and fixed at home. Other advanced problems, however, can be more challenging to deal with. Homeowners, often instead of fixing things, can make matters worse.
For this reason, we recommend doing your homework beforehand. Educate yourself before getting your hands dirty. We also recommend consulting a professional before stepping into unknown waters.
You can easily stop the little issues from evolving into big problems. So fret no more, your refrigerator issues are no more a big deal!
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. Writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her on twitter: @ashrosa2.
Featured Image by Wolfgang Eckert from Pixabay