Apex Appliance Inc. Appliance Service Repair

Is My Refrigerator Broken?

Appliance Parts, Repair & Service

The obvious way to tell when your fridge is broken is if it’s not keeping food cold, or if none of the lights work while plugged in. If the lights don’t work on your fridge, but you think it’s still keeping food cold, try adding a thermostat to it and the freezer to double-check that the fridge is doing its primary function normally. To learn more about how to tell if your refrigerator is broken, and when to schedule a refrigerator repair near you, keep reading.

Is My Refrigerator Broken How to Check Your Refrigerator’s Power?

If you think your refrigerator is broken, first check its power supply and power use. Start by opening your fridge and checking for lights and listening for the sound of fans. If anything turns on, at least you know your fridge has power.

If nothing turns on, try unplugging the fridge and plugging something else into the outlet. If something else receives power from the outlet just fine, you know your fridge is broken. If nothing else can get power out of the outlet either, it may be an electrical issue.

Sometimes an easy fix to this is to check your circuit breaker and see if the power to your refrigerator was tripped. If it has been, resetting the circuit could save you from a fridge repair or replacement.

How to Check Your Refrigerator’s Compressor?

If power is coming through to your refrigerator, but the internal temperature is still warm, it may be a fridge compressor issue.

To check this, safely pull your fridge away from the wall and locate the compressor. It’s usually on the bottom in the back and typically looks like a rice cooker.

Listen closely to the compressor to see if you hear any humming or the sounds of a little motor running. Try adjusting the temperature of your fridge to trigger the compressor’s activation.

If the compressor never turns on, and you don’t hear the motor or a small hum, this may be your issue. An experienced refrigerator mechanic near you should be able to figure out if the compressor is the issue, or if it’s the thermostat, defrost timer, or system relay. All of these refrigerator mechanics work together, and when one of them goes out it usually means the others shut down.

How to Check Your Refrigerator’s Condenser?

At the bottom of your fridge, on the front side, is a little panel often known as a “kick-panel”.

Unplug your fridge and remove this panel to expose a set of cooling coils and often a fan.

These refrigerator components are often referred to as the fridge’s condenser, and they can get gunked up with dust and dirt. Try vacuuming them clean and seeing if that helps your fridge get back to its running status.

While doing this, we also recommend cleaning your refrigerator’s compressor.

Over time, dust build-up is natural. A quick cleaning could save you from needing fridge maintenance or a replacement.

How to Check for Frost Buildup in Your Refrigerator?

Your fridge is supposed to keep things cold, but when the fridge’s systems themselves get too cold, they can malfunction.

Like an A/C system, there are special coils that intentionally get cold, but when they start to accumulate ice, that ice can build up and cause the system to shut down. Your fridge may turn back on automatically when the coils defrost, but they will most likely freeze up again. This is what often causes irregular cooling with fridges.

To check for ice buildup, start by looking for puddles of water at the base of your fridge, ice along your walls, or even ice on the ceiling.

If your coils have gone bad, they’ll need to be replaced.

Freezer Tip

If you notice that your fridge is working fine, but your freezer isn’t keeping things frozen, it may be a small issue with your coils as well, or it could because of how full your freezer is.

One thing that’s often a quick fix for people is to move clutter in their freezer away from the freezer’s back vents. Sometimes, people stuff their freezer and it becomes too full, suffocating those vents. If you have food storage bags or frozen boxes shoved up against the back vents of your freezer, then cold air may not be able to fully permeate your freezer.

If this doesn’t work, there may be a greater problem that needs professional service.

Need a Refrigerator Repair Near You?

As a family-owned company, we have proudly operated as a Grand Rapids appliance repair service for over 100 years. If you’re in need of appliance repair, feel free to give Apex Appliances a call at (616) 363-9894 or contact us online. We’ll be happy to start working on your appliances within 24 hours.

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