DIY Refrigerator Repairs for Common Refrigerator and Freezer Malfunctions

A broken refrigerator is inconvenient and frustrating. Not only are you not able to store your food at a safe, consistently cool temperature, you're actually at risk of losing food to spoilage and wasting money buying food you can not eat before it goes bad. When you're dealing with a fridge issue, from not cooling…

A broken refrigerator is inconvenient and frustrating. Not only are you not able to store your food at a safe, consistently cool temperature, you're actually at risk of losing food to spoilage and wasting money buying food you can not eat before it goes bad. When you're dealing with a fridge issue, from not cooling enough to overcooling, from leaking to making unpleaseless noises, you want it fixed fast.

Before you pick up the phone to call a repair technician, know that there are some fridge malfunctions that have easy, DIY fixes. If you have one of these problems, you can take steps to resolve it yourself before spending money on a repair expert. Be aware, however, that tackling more complex repairs on your own is not usually a good idea. You might make the problem worse. You might even void the warranty on your unit. Leave complicated, intricate repairs to someone with the training and experience to solve the problem properly the first time.

Refrigerator malfunctions you may be able to fix on your own include:

  • It's too cold in the freezer / too warm in the fridge: If the items in your freezer are getting frostbite while the food in your fridge is not cool enough, refrigerator repair might be as easy as closing the fridge door. Your fridge is designed to regulate its internal temperature. If the door is left open even a crack warm air can get inside. That warm air will convince the fridge and freezer to work harder, which can cause the freezer to frost over. That frost buildup can then keep the refrigerator compartment from cooling properly. Unplug the fridge, open the doors, and let it thaw. When it's clean and at room temperature, plug it back in and, going forward, always check that the doors are completely closed before walking away.
  • Refrigerator light is out: If the fridge light does not turn on when you open the door, it's time for a new bulb, right? Probably. But first, check the button that turns the light off when the door is closed. Press it a few times to ensure that it is not stuck in the off position. If it clicks correctly, but the light does not flip on, visit your local home improvement store to buy a new bulb. Most likely, you can replace it yourself without calling in a refrigeration repair professional.
  • Fridge is not operating at all: If your refrigerator is dark, silent, and warming up, your first step is to check the power source. Unplug the fridge, wait a minute, and then plug it back in. If it does not turn back on, unplug it again and check your circuit breakers to ensure that the switch has not flipped. A tripped circuit will shut off power to certain outlets, and you can restore power by flipping the switch back to on. You can also test the power in the outlet by plugging in another appliance and seeing if it works. For power problems, call your electrician. If the power is on and the other appliance works properly, it's time for refrigerator repairs.

Checking these small details yourself can save you time and money even if you are unable to fix the problem, because you can tell the appliance repair technician what strategies you've already tried. By crossing certain possibilities off the list, the technician can more quickly pinpoint exactly what's going wrong with your fridge. The sooner he can solve the problem, the faster you'll have your kitchen back to normal.