Quick Fixes – Refrigerator and Freezer

Problem: The refrigerator has no power.

  • Check to be sure the unit is plugged in. If unsure if the outlet is working, plug a small device into the outlet.
  • Check the circuit breaker and reset if necessary.
  • Replace the power cord if it is damaged.

Problem: The refrigerator is on, but not cooling properly.

  • Vacuum the condenser coils.
  • Check the condenser fan. Replace if necessary.
  • Check the thermostat and adjust if needed. Dry the gasket with a hairdryer to straighten it. If this fails to fix the problem, replace the gasket.
  • Inspect the door gasket. If cold air is escaping, replace the gasket. A properly closed door should hold a dollar bill in place.
  • Consider cooling the entire room. The refrigerator may be cooling, but the room is too hot.
  • Defrost the refrigerator to clear accumulation of frost.
  • Check the freezer. Food may be blocking the evaporator fan. Move any items that might be preventing the fan from moving properly.

Problem: The refrigerator is making excessive noise.

  • Check to make sure the unit is level. Adjust if necessary.
  • Check the drain pan. Adjust if it’s touching the sides of the compressor.
  • Make sure the fan blades are rotating properly and not hitting anything.
  • Vacuum the back of the refrigerator to clear any debris that may be causing noises.

Problem: The refrigerator ices up and won’t defrost.

  • Clear the drains if they’re clogged.
  • Be sure all food is covered in sealed containers.
  • Replace the door gasket if it leaks.
  • Replace the drain hose if it’s damaged or cracked.
  • Avoid holding the door open too long.
  • Straighten the door if it sags.

Problem: The unit is leaking water.

  • Clear the drain line if it’s clogged.
  • Empty the drain pan if it’s full.
  • If the drain pan is missing or broken, replace it.

Problem: The unit has a foul odor.

  • Check the drain pan. Clean and sanitize if needed.
  • Check for spoiled food. Dispose of the food and keep an open box of baking soda or a slice of lemon or lime in the refrigerator until the smell clears up.
  • Remove storage drawers to access drains inside the refrigerator. Clean with hot, soapy water to clear any clogs. Clean the storage compartments; put them back and close the fridge.

Problem: The unit cycles on and off constantly.

  • Follow the steps below and contact a service contractor if the problem continues.
  • Inspect the compressor. If it’s defective, contact a service contractor.
  • Vacuum the condenser coils.