How to fix common refrigerator problems

refrigerator problems

Although refrigerators, especially standard and cycle-defrost types, can function smoothly for years, good maintenance can prolong their life and increase their efficiency. But even the best-kept refrigerator can have problems from time to time. Here are some ways to address problems should they arise:

Adjusting a Sagging Door-

If you have children in your home, you probably already have noticed how they open the freezer door and like to hang on it while deciding what it is they opened the door for in the first place. Using a nut driver, loosen the two hex-headed bolts in the single hinge at the top of the freezer door.

Reposition the door over the opening of the freezer compartment by pulling upward on the handle. Then, holding the door firmly in place, tighten the hinge bolts. Check the door by opening and closing it several times. It should now close and be aligned with the freezer compartment.

Unclogging the Drain Hole inside the Refrigerator-

Everyone at some time and point in their lives has had that drippy item in the refrigerator that leaked into the bottom under the vegetable storage bins. This can cause the drain plug to clog. Remove the storage bins, pry out the stopper plug and insert a pipe cleaner in the hole while pushing it through the drainage canal. Flush the drain with hot soapy water and ammonia. Empty and wash the drain pan. Replace the stopper plug.

New Door Seal-

Ever open a refrigerator and see mold on the gasket? This is proof that your door gasket does not have a tight seal. At the left hand corner of the refrigerator, peel back the gasket to expose the metal retaining strip underneath. Using a nut driver, loosen the screws two turns each. Only remove the gasket to one third down the door. Now place the new gasket over the old gasket, sort of like a guide, and replace the new gasket.

When the new gasket is already installed one third of the way down the door, start removing the screws to the old gasket and then install the new gasket and tighten the screws. When completed, check the door by closing it and reopen it. You will notice some resistance, which tells you the gasket has a tight seal and was properly installed. When cleaning the refrigerator gasket, always use warm soap and water and never harsh detergents. Harsh detergents will leave a smell and dry out the gasket over time.

Changing the Light Bulb-

To change a light bulb in the refrigerator, remove the plastic cover that covers the light bulb. This cover should just pop off by simply squeezing the cover gently. Look at the bulb to see how many watts it is and the type of bulb, you can buy a new bulb at any home improvement center. Insert the new light bulb and replace the cover.

If the light on the refrigerator is not working after changing the bulb, unplug the refrigerator. Using a screwdriver, gently pop out the push-button collar on the inside side wall of the refrigerator. There will be two wires connected to the push button switch. Remove the two wires and replace the switch. You can purchase this part at any appliance repair center that carries parts. Make sure you write down the model and make of your refrigerator and take the information with you before attempting to purchase parts.

Replacing a Fan Motor-

With the power off to the refrigerator, remove the retaining screws to the mounting bracket and lift out the evaporator fan. Disconnect the wires and test the motor with a multi-tester set at RX1. The meter should read between 50 and 200 Ohms. A higher reading or no reading means the motor needs replacing. Save the fan blades and the mounting bracket if they are still in re-usable condition and purchase the motor from an appliance repair center that carries parts. Again, write down the model and make of your refrigerator and take the information with you.

Always clean the compressor coils underneath your refrigerator once a month from dust that accumulates. Unplug the refrigerator; slide it out of the area in which it is in. With the hose on your vacuum, insert the running vacuum in the back underneath of the refrigerator, being careful not to harm any parts and vacuum the coil and spaces where dust is hiding. This will keep your refrigerator cooling for many months to come.

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