Refrigerator Troubleshooting Guide

Use this chart to find out what is causing a problem with your refrigerator. Look up the symptom and then review some of the possible causes. Follow links from the possible causes to videos on how to verify the cause and how to repair the problem.

warning-img.pngElectric Shock can cause injury or death

Never assume the electricity is off. Before servicing an electrical device, disconnect it from its electrical source either by unplugging the appliance or turning off the power at the breaker or fuse box. Mark the service panel with a note so that no one will restore power while you are working. After turning off the power to the circuit, test the circuit to be certain that there is no power. Some devices can store a hazardous electrical charge even when disconnected from an electrical source, always discharge these devices before attempting service. If you are unfamiliar with a device or its components, consult with a professional before attempting service.

Symptom

 Click on underlined items for further course information

Refrigerator does not run, and the light does not work     

Electric Shock can cause injury or death

Unplugging the appliance, or turning off the power at the breaker fuse box. 

Refrigerator does not run but the light works

General tips: 

Check the temperature setting-controls should be set in the middle range and left alone. Ensure that there is enough room for air flow in the refrigerator or freezer. Check for air flow restrictions in vents, such as frost build up on the evaporator. Advance training needed to remove. Test the temperature control-advance training needed. See simple test on Cold-control. Clean the condensor coils-Do every 3'rd month, this saves the compressor run time, and lots of money. Check the door seals. Simple test: Close the door against a dollor bill, try to pull out, if a slight tug is necessary, the door seal is ok. Test the level-although not that important.

  SEE: Tutorials

  • Check the temperature setting, controls should be set in the middle range and left alone.

  • Make certain there is a three inch space outside of the refrigerator between the walls and the back and sides, and at least a one inch gap above, to allow for air flow. If the condensor coils are on the bottom, it's not that important.

  • Clean the condensor coils. Before cleaning the condensor coils, unplug the refrigerator to avoid a shock hazard.

  • Unplug the refrigerator, wait two hours and plug it in. If you hear it running, a problem is causing the compressor to overheat. Failed compressor-advance training

  • Test the cold control(see temp setting). A Simple test is to rap on the on and off temp control, if the refrigerator goes off with a wap, relpace the cold control-advance training needed

  • Test the evaporator fan blade(fan inside of freezer). If stopped on it's own, flip the blade, and if the blade starts turning, if so replace-advance training needed.

  • Test the defrost timer-advance training needed.

  • Test the compressor relay-advance training needed

  • Test the overload protector-advance training needed.

  • Test the compressor motor-advance training needed 

Water dripping inside the refrigerator under crisper or on to the kitchen floor

General Information:

To clean the drain tube use a turkey baster and force a solution of 1/2 gallon hot water mixed with 1/2 cup bleach through the opening. The water will go into the drain pan which is located under the refrigerator behind the front grille. Empty the drain pan after cleaning the drain tube.

  • Self-defrosting refrigerators dispose of the water generated during the defrost cycle, usually via a tube or channel that directs the water to a pan at the bottom of the refrigerator. From the pan, the water normally evaporates.

    If the tube or channel is clogged or obstructed, the water backs up and leaks into the inside of the refrigerator compartment. Then the water builds up at the bottom, inside of the refrigerator. When the water has built up for a time it may spill out of the front of the door opening. To fix this problem, clear the drain tube or channel and allow the defrost water to flow down to the drain pan.

Refrigerator light   won't  work

Refrigerator or freezer is not                  cold enough

 General tips: 

The ideal freezer temperature is about 0 to 5 degrees (F), and is about 38 degrees (F) for the fridge.

SIMPLE TEST: Check orange juice, if warm, turn Cold control up one notch. If OJ remains warm, call a serviceman. 

Check Ice cream. if soft, call a serviceman

SEE: Tutorials

  • Check the temperature setting-controls should be set in the middle range and left alone.

  • Ensure that there is enough room for air flow in the refrigerator or freezer.

  • Check for air flow restrictions in vents, such as frost build up on the evaporator. Advance training needed to remove frost-advance training needed.

  • Test the temperature control-advance training needed.  See simple test on Cold-control(thermostat).

  • Clean the condensor coils-Do every 3'rd month, this saves the compressor run time, and lots of money.

  • Check the door seals. Simple test: Close the door against a dollar bill, try to pull out, if a slight tug is necessary, the door seal is ok.

  • Test the level-although not that important.