5 Signs It’s Time to Repair Your Refrigerator
Have you experienced issues with your refrigerator lately, or are you worried your fridge may need to be replaced or repaired? The average refrigerator lasts between 14 and 17 years, but the lifespan varies based on model and environment.
When you notice something is wrong, it can be difficult to tell whether a repair or a replacement is your best option. If your refrigerator is more than 10 years old, it’s a good idea to consider a newer model instead of a repair. However, repairing is typically a more cost-effective option if your fridge hasn’t quite reached retirement.
To make your decision, keep an eye out for these common symptoms to determine if repair is needed.
If your fridge is experiencing issues, one of the first things you’ll notice is food going bad. When your refrigerator doesn’t properly preserve food, a quick fix might be to manually turn down the temperature.
However, when food spoils before its expiration date, it’s a sign your appliance isn’t staying as cold as it should. To easily monitor your fridge’s temperature, we suggest placing a thermometer inside the unit to ensure it stays around 40 degrees.
Spoiled food could be a result of a multitude of reasons: faulty thermostat, an overworked motor, or dirty condenser coils.
If the condenser coils are the issue, they can be cleaned with a refrigerator coil brush, or vacuumed off with your vacuum’s brush adaptor. To clean the units, the condenser coils are typically located either near the top or bottom of the fridge, on the back of the appliance. Check your owner’s manual for specifics of where they are located as not all models have easily accessible coils, and some newer models do not require the condenser to be cleaned.
If freshness doesn’t improve after cleaning the dirty condenser coils, it might be time to schedule a repair.
Motor Running Hot
It’s normal for your refrigerator to be warm, but not hot, to the touch.
One possibility is the condenser coils are dirty. However, a more serious reason could be the fan on the motor stopped working.
If this is the case, replacing the fan is an option. Before making that choice, take the age of your appliance into account. Buying a new fridge may be a better long-term investment if you have an older model.
In general, heat is a sign your motor is working harder than it should be.
Have you noticed water accumulating underneath your fridge? Not only can water damage hardwood floors, it’s a sign something is wrong.
Leaking water can be a result of a variety of issues. Your appliance may be experiencing a simple problem like a loose hose.
Excess water can also be caused by more complex issues like a broken seal, a clogged defrost drain, or a damaged water supply valve. Inspecting seals for any cracks, holes, or loose areas can help determine if a replacement is needed.
To check a clogged drain, open the fridge door and look for the drain hole, which is typically found at the bottom. Use a drain cleaning tool like a plumbing snake to loosen the clog, then locate the drip pan and clean off any residue.
If you’re worried the water valve could be the issue, locate the valve on the back wall of your appliance and examine its condition. Make sure the water valve is attached tightly and isn’t clogged. If that isn’t the source of the leak, then your valve is damaged and will need to be replaced.
Ice Buildup in Freezer
When checking to see if your refrigerator needs repair, take a look inside the freezer.
The freezer should be cold but not full of frost or ice. If the walls are coated with a thick layer of frost, this is a sign something isn’t working properly.
Ice buildup in the freezer area is most likely a result of a clogged freezer drain. The drain can be unclogged by pouring hot water through the hole until water falls through into the drain pan. If the clog is not the source of the problem, there could be issues with the defrost timer, temperature sensor, or defrost thermostat.
Defrosting the freezer shouldn’t be necessary for newer models, and if you find yourself defrosting your freezer every six months, or more often, there’s cause for concern. Defrosting once a year, or less, is not as serious, but is still an indicator repair or replacement could be required soon.
High Energy Costs
If your refrigerator is broken and working harder than it should, you’ll feel the effect in an increased energy bill.
As your machine gets near the end of its lifespan (14-17 years old), the need for repair or replacement increases. Your appliance works harder to accomplish the same job as it ages.
If energy bills have risen substantially without a noticeable change to household habits, scheduling a repair may be your next step.
We Can Help
If you’re concerned about the performance of your appliance and are considering repair, Abbey Appliance is here to help. We help you keep your refrigerator running as long as possible, plus we offer same day service, so you can save time and money.
Contact us today to request a visit from one of our certified technicians.