Fridge Not Cooling? DIY Refrigerator Repair Guide (Pro Tips)

It may seem that repairing a refrigerator is daunting, but this article will help make refrigerator repair relatively easy!

A refrigerator tends to be one of the workhorses of a home and keeps food frozen or cool day and night. It is therefore not surprising that problems may appear periodically. You may be happy to hear that refrigerator repair can’t only be done by professional technicians.

Homeowners can easily troubleshoot common problems with their refrigerator while only needing simple tools. Such as a cordless drill and a manual screwdriver, and by using parts that are inexpensive and easy to get.

DIY Refrigerator Repair

Select the symptom you’re experiencing from the list below and get started on making those repairs.

The Fridge Is Dead

  • If the fridge is totally dead, first check that the GFI circuit breaker is on. Second, if that didn’t work, plug the fridge into a different electrical outlet.
  • Reboot The Computer

Fridges that have a computer can sometimes be fixed by rebooting them. Do this by unplugging the refrigerator for five minutes and then switching it on again.

  • Amana DIY Refrigerator Repair

If the refrigerator that is dead has a bottom freezer drawer, the problem may simply be that the freezer is too full. When this happens and the bottom freezer drawer is pulled open, the contents of the drawer may turn the temperature dial to the off position.

Woman holding refrigerator door open. Not even the light bulb turns on. Does she need a refrigerator repair service?
Not even the light bulb turns on. Does she need a refrigerator repair service? Need Help? Click Here

Leaking Refrigerator Repair Tips

If you discover water on your kitchen floor around the refrigerator, or water pools develop on the inside refrigerator floor, these problems are normally easy to fix. The possible causes of this type of issue are plastic water supply lines to the fridge, the drain pan, the defrost drain. Or the door gaskets may be leaking.

  • Plastic water supply lines to the fridge

These supply lines can be damaged easily and the resultant leak could spill water everywhere, ultimately leading to water damage. Check these lines and fix any leaks or replace the pipe.

  • Drain Pan

If the drain pan located at the bottom of the fridge gets full of water, the water will start to spill over. Empty the drain pan and while it is removed, clean it with soapy warm water.

  • Defrost Drain

Check that the defrost drain leading out of the freezer is not blocked, and unclog it when required.

  • Door Gaskets

Door gaskets could leak water at the bottom if they don’t seal properly. Use soapy warm water to clean the seal and the part of the fridge where the seal touches. If that doesn’t work, the door gaskets should be replaced.

Noisy Refrigerator Repair

Refrigerators normally make various types of noises, such as refrigerant hissing through lines, and ice clattering into the storage bin. Humming, buzzing, vibrating, and whirring noises are however not normal. To solve these problems, try the following:

  • Put the Fridge on a Soundproofing Pad

Specially made dense foam pads which are placed under a refrigerator can be bought online . These mats reduce the vibration that goes through the legs and into the floor. This is especially handy in apartments where people living below you may complain about your refrigerator making noises.

Mother and child looking inside a loud refrigerator.
  • Level the Fridge

Refrigerators have leveling legs and these are often only set in place when the refrigerator is first bought. As a building gets older, the kitchen floor might sag a bit. So, the refrigerator may have to be leveled again. Just adjust the fridge legs by using a wrench.

Refrigerator doors should close on their own when they are opened halfway. Open the door halfway and adjust the fridge legs until the door closes on its own.

  • Evaporator Fan Grommet Replacement

The fridge’s evaporator fan distributes air from the coils to maintain an even temperature and it can be accessed from inside the freezer compartment. The fan may rattle when its rubber grommets are worn or broken.

First, unplug the fridge and remove all items and freezer shelves. Open and remove the access door at the back of the freezer with a screwdriver. Replacement grommets can be purchased online. 

  • Adjusting the Icemaker

If a refrigerator makes a buzzing sound every 10 to 15 minutes, and the buzzing lasts for around 5 seconds, this may be caused by the icemaker trying to make ice with the water turned off. The buzzing can be stopped by raising the ice sensor arm or by turning the icemaker off.

Check that the water supply valve, normally located under the sink, is open. Also, check that the water line is still attached to the refrigerator and isn’t leaking.

  • Finally, check the refrigerator’s fan motor . It may need to be replaced if it makes excessive noise. If the fridge is not as cold as it should be, this could also be caused by a faulty fan motor.

Freezer or Fridge Not Cooling

If the milk in the fridge spoils faster than normal, or the wire racks or shelves don’t feel as cold as they should, there are a few things to check.

  • Check the Temperature Settings

When a new refrigerator has been installed, make sure that the displays read the correct temperatures. It is surprising to see how often this is not done properly.

Always ensure that the temperature is set correctly, starting at a medium temperature. You want to be between 33° F and 40° F.

Although this may be obvious, the temperature may have been adjusted to higher than what it should be accidentally. Thermostats are normally located inside the refrigerator.

Woman standing in front of an open refrigerator, calling for refrigerator repair after DIY repairs failed.
Fridge Not Cooling? Click Here
  • Make sure the doors close properly

All fridge doors, including the ice chute door, should close properly on their own.

  • Check for Air Flow Blockages

When tall items are placed in a freezer or refrigerator, these may prevent the cold air from flowing properly. Move tall items away from the back of the fridge to allow for proper airflow.

  • Inspect Refrigerator Door Gaskets

To keep the cold air inside the refrigerator, door gaskets need to seal perfectly. Clean the gaskets with warm water and apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly to form a proper seal. If this doesn’t work, the seals need to be replaced – click here .

  • Clean The Refrigerator Condenser Coils

Your unit’s cooling abilities will be reduced by dirty condenser coils. The condenser coils should be cleaned at least once per year. Although blowing them out is best, that can throw the dust into the air. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum to suck the dust out.

It is recommended that the coils be cleaned every 2 to 3 months if you have a significant amount of traffic or pets.

Unplug the refrigerator and move it away from the wall. The grille at the bottom should be removed, normally by pulling it back to unsnap it. Use a vacuum cleaner with a long attachment that can reach under the fridge. Vacuum around the coils carefully, and use a flashlight to watch your progress. You may snap a coil if you push too hard. Fixing this will be expensive and  it will require a refrigerator repairman.

  • Put More Items In The Fridge

Refrigerators and freezers that are relatively empty don’t stay cold as well as those that are filled with more items. The fridge needs solid things to cool off. Solid items are able to retain the cold better than empty air is capable of. However, a refrigerator that is stuffed full, will prevent proper air flow. Which will not permit proper cooling.

Refrigerator Freezes Over or Is Too Cold

Although a freezer or refrigerator should be cold, it getting too cold is not good. First, check the thermostat setting and if that is correct, check the following.

Checking the Damper

A refrigerator damper is situated between the freezing and cooling compartments, and the thermostat controls its operation. If a damper is stuck open, cold air will continually be rushing into the compartment.

Young man covered with a blanket looking into a refrigerator that is too cold.
Refrigerator too cold? Need Help? Click Here

Replacing the Thermostat

  • Remove the cover situated inside the box at the top of the cooling compartment by using a Phillips head screwdriver. There are normally only a few screws to undo.
  • Next, remove the plastic control assembly cover.
  • As this cover is attached to wires, it should be lifted gently. The thermostat is a metal device, normally bronze-colored, attached to a plastic capillary tube and copper wires.
  • You may want to take a photo of the wires at this stage to help you install the new thermostat. Remove the tube and pull out the wires by hand.
  • Fit the new thermostat by attaching the wires in the same places as what they were connected to in the old one.
  • Connect the capillary tube.
  • Replace both covers.

Universal Refrigerator Freezer Thermostat- get it here .

Big Parties Require Ice Chest Coolers

If you are planning a big party, it’s best to use an (ice chest)  cooler for soft drinks and beer rather than the fridge. When the fridge door is opened and closed often, the refrigerator will run nonstop trying to keep stuff cool. This results in the compressor not turning off for hours and it could burn itself out.

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler

YETI Tundra 45 Cooler - Click Here 

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