A failing refrigerator can cost you more than replacing it, and it also results in food waste. A refrigerator typically goes on and off as it maintains the temperature that is set inside. It is easy to assume that the cycle is off when it is failing if you do not pay attention to the temperature inside the refrigerator. You can install a thermometer inside the freezer and refrigerator compartments to know the changes in the temperature. There are also other ways of telling that your refrigerator is not functioning as well as before.
Here are three signs that your refrigerator is failing:
A defrosting freezer or warm food is an obvious sign that your refrigerator is malfunctioning. Check for power lights on the ice dispenser or water dispenser if your refrigerator is equipped with it. You can open the doors and check for lights inside. Listen to the sounds of the fan running. You can adjust the thermostat inside if there is power, and check if the coldness is enough. If it isn’t, you can unplug the refrigerator and plug a light or a lamp into the outlet to ensure it has power. Look at the circuit breaker or the fuse that powers the electrical outlet of the refrigerator, so you will know if it is plugged correctly.
Also, you can locate the compressor by pulling the refrigerator away from the wall. Compressors are found at the back bottom. Listen to the compressor closely for the sound of a motor running or humming noise. If the motor is running, but the temperature inside is not as cold as it should be, and adjusting the thermostat does not correct it, then there are a lot of things that are failing. The compressor may be malfunctioning, defrost timer, replay, and thermostat might need replacement or repair.
Underneath your refrigerator is a set of cooling coils that when not maintained and left dirty, can cause problems with refrigerator operation. Besides the cooling coils is the cooling fan that also needs maintenance. To access the fan and the coils, remove the kickplate at the bottom of your refrigerator. Unplug your fridge before you vacuum the fan coil and the compressor. You can check the compressor from the back of the fridge so you can clean it further. If these still don’t do the trick, chances are your fridge is already broken.
The thing is, feeling a warmer temperature change when you put your hand to the back of your refrigerator is uncommon. But feeling excessive amounts of heat is a sign that your refrigerator is failing and it needs to be checked immediately. The coils in the back of the refrigerator are insulated, which should keep you from feeling too much heat.
If it is hotter than usual, it is best to call your service provider to inspect your coils. Depending on the problem, replacing the coils can be done to prevent your refrigerator from completely failing. But if you have an old fridge, especially if it is showing more than one sign of failing, it may be best to invest in a new one that to continue repairing an old one.
Frost buildup on the coil can cause temperature fluctuations in your refrigerator. The coils inside the fridge are not accessible without removing the back panels. You can check a problem with the evaporator coils by looking for frost buildup of ice on the floor, walls, or ceiling of the freezer. The frost-free refrigerators have a self-defrosting system that operates about four times in 24 hours. If your coils are failing, it can result in a broken refrigerator.
After troubleshooting and diagnosis, you can contact a repair person or your service provider to estimate the fix of your refrigerator. If the cost of repair is less than buying a new one, you can have your refrigerator repaired so you can save money. But if you have to replace your refrigerator, then check with your local department store or appliance center for newer models and discounts.