Do It Yourself Refrigerator Repair

Close-up Of A Steel Refrigerator With Adhesive Notes Showing Broken Text

Your refrigerator works hard for you, keeping all your perishables cold day and night, 24/7. It can be stressful when this essential appliance goes on the fritz. Refrigerator repair usually requires the services of a professional technician, but there are a few fixes you can take care on your own. Read on for 2 common refrigerator problems and some DIY refrigerator repair and troubleshooting.

The Refrigerator is Too Warm

You pull out the jug of milk and notice it feels closer to room temp than cold, or the items in the door of the freezer seem to be gathering condensation. Plenty of things can cause your refrigerator/freezer to warm up. First, and perhaps most obvious, check the thermostat. This is the numbered dial inside your refrigerator. 

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If the thermostat is set to the correct temperature check to make sure the refrigerator has electricity. Make sure the power cord is securely plugged into the outlet and check the breaker box. Make sure the vents inside the refrigerator are not blocked. The condenser coils, on the back or underneath the refrigerator (depending on the age of your model), need to be cleaned regularly. This should be done at least yearly, unless you have pets, then every 6 months is recommended. 

To clean the coils, pull the refrigerator out from the wall, or remove the grill on the front of the appliance. Brush or vacuum the coils to remove dust and hair. Remember to go gently so you don’t accidentally break one of the delicate coils. A long narrow brush can be purchased at an appliance store. 

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The Refrigerator Leaks

You find a cold puddle with your sock feet when reaching for your coffee creamer in the morning. Or lift a dripping bag of produce from the bottom of the fridge. You have a leak! Now what? The good news is, it’s most likely a relatively easy fix. 

First, check the drain pan under the refrigerator. If it’s full of water empty it, then wash it with warm soapy water before replacing it. Check the defrost drain leading out of the freezer and see if it is clogged. If there is ice buildup around the drain you can use a hairdryer to defrost it. Remove the resulting water with a sponge and clean around the drain hole. 

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Use a tire pump, or a tube you can blow through, to remove any debris that might be in the hole. Pour a bit of water into the drain to see if it’s clear before replacing everything and plugging the unit back in. 

If the damage is too complex for you to handle or you don’t have the necessary tools, you may need to hire a commercial refrigeration repair technician or commercial refrigeration services near you.

Philip Okoye
the authorPhilip Okoye
Your favorite recipe author, faithful to every course. Mail me at

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