Home Survival Handbook - Survival-proof your home

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Troubleshooting Home Refrigerator Problems

ProblemPossible Source
Noisy when running; strained sound
  • Appliance may not be sitting level
  • Loose motor mounts from vibration
  • Loose parts: shelves, evaporator pan
  • Dust/dirt on motor
Runs too long; starts too often
  • Door left open too long or opened too often
  • Extended exposure to heat (i.e., appliance is outside or in garage)
  • Bad door gasket (clean with soap & water, if problem persists, replace gasket)
  • Bad door latch
  • Thermostat may be set too low
  • Dirty or dusty grill/coils
Frozen items covered with too much frost
  • Freezer door left open
  • Freezer door open/closed too often
  • Freezer in area that is too humid (i.e., non-air conditioned room, garage)
  • Problem with auto-defrost (call for professional service)
  • For appliances that are not auto-defrost, freezer may need more frequent defrosting
Freezer temperature too high
  • Door left open too long
  • Freezer door open/closed too often
  • Auto-defrost system not working
  • Dirty or dusty grill/coils
  • Thermostat set too high
Failure to cool/freeze, light onThermostat turned off or not working . . . check thermostat
Failure to cool/freeze, light offCheck to make sure appliance is plugged in, check circuit breaker for tripping, check fuse.
Crisper temperature too high
  • Appliance door stays open too long or too many times
  • Crisper drawers/compartment poorly sealed or cracked
  • Thermostat not set correctly (too high)
  • Dirty or dusty grill/coils
Crisper temperature too lowThermostat set incorrectly
Overheating Inadequate circulation in too small an area
Moisture in the storage area
  • Door left open or ajar
  • Door open/closed too often
  • Thermostat set incorrectly (too cold)
  • Appliance in area that is too humid (i.e., non-air conditioned room, garage)
Odor in the storage area
  • Spoiled food
  • Food stored uncovered, crisper items not wrapped
  • Interior dirty (i.e., spills, mold, etc.)
  • Evaporator pan dirty

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