Refrigerator Repair

Refrigerator Tips from Sloan Appliance Service:  Listed below are a few refrigerator repair and troubleshooting suggestions to help you get more life from the refrigerator and keep it functioning like new.


As with any appliance, refrigerator maintenance is crucial to keeping it functioning economically. Several appliance maintenance chores are also important for basic safety and durability. This information applies to most makes and models of refrigerators.

Alert! Appliance repair and troubleshooting may be risky for the typical homeowner. Decrease chance of casualty or personal injury by disconnecting the appliance prior to making repairs. Appliances could have sharp edges so take care when doing work on the inside of any appliance. When you are doubtful, contact a trained appliance service expert for support.

Almost all home refrigerators function the same. All have a compressor, condenser, evaporator, capillary tube and a thermostat. Refrigerators take warmer air and make it colder by transforming the heat utilizing evaporation concepts.

The compressor is actually the hardest working component of the refrigerator and is managed by the thermostat. It compresses refrigerant gas, causing it to heat and pressurize as it flows through the condenser coils to consume hot air and condense it into a liquid.

The condenser coil is a system of lines going through thin pieces of steel looking like fins. The pressurized gas from the compressor passes into the condenser coils and converts to liquid while the tubes transmit heat from the coils by the fins attached to the tubes. The capillary tube controls the compression of the refrigerant as it enters into the coils.

As the refrigerant passes through the capillary tube the liquid heats to boiling then vaporizes to become a very cold, low-pressure gas. The cold gas progresses through the evaporator coils to permit the gas to soak up hot air; thus, cooling the air rushing past the coils. The fan inside the freezer area circulates the air to help keep the temperature constant. The system carries on to repeat itself, guided by the thermostat, to keep frozen foods at a consistent temperature to maintain freshness.

Modern refrigerators have an auto defrost technology which includes three main components; the defrost timer, defrost thermostat and defrost heater. Every 6-12 hours, the defrost timer cuts off the power to the compressor and activates the defrost heater. As the ice thaws, it trickles through a line into a pan where it evaporates with the aid of a fan which blows warm air across it.


Refrigerator and Freezer Troubleshooting Tips:


Refrigerator not functioning at all: Look at the power source. Confirm the electrical outlet is functioning properly by plugging something else into it. Check fuses or circuit breakers. If this isn't the issue, perhaps its a variety of factors like the compressor, overload/relay, regulator or circuitry.

If the fuse or breaker is ok, read the troubleshooting page of the reference book. Do not throw this aside; go over it to understand efficient ways to maintain your refrigerator before anything bad happens. Appliance guidebooks have preventative maintenance techniques and operating directions that need to be observed to ensure functionality. Consult a competent appliance service specialist to diagnose and fix refrigerator issues if the manual fails to give you the answers.

Food not frozen reliably: This is not an unique problem. Initially, look at the temperature which must be somewhere between -10 F and +10 F. Refrigerator temperatures must be 36F to 45F. Readjust the temperature as necessary.

Consider reorganizing the food as temps can fluctuate in different compartments. Check for a damaged gasket by placing a piece of paper in between the gasket and framework and then shut the door. If it pulls out easily, you are in need of a new door gasket.

Refrigerator Runs too Much: The thermostat directs the compressor, turning it on and off as required. The compressor will continue to run until the temperature level is less than the thermostat setting.

A new refrigerator will run for a long time, almost continuously, until it cools down sufficiently to retain the chosen temperature, about 24 hours. Keep the refrigerator one half to two-thirds full to help maintain a stable temperature. If you have a small family and can not keep it full, fill the area with jugs of water. The cold things within will help maintain the temperature as the door gets opened and closed.



Make sure the refrigerator has air margin all around it. Refrigerators with a condenser coil on the back need allowance to radiate heat away from the coils. Be sure the light is going out when the door is closed because it can warm up the interior of the refrigerator. Push the button with the door open and if the light stays on, fix or change out the switch.



The refrigerator will certainly run longer if the area is hot and humid or if you have recently put a lot of warm food into it. If the compressor does not go off when the temperature is cool enough, it might have to be replaced. A refrigerator thermometer can help you determine an ideal setting to keep food cold and protect the compressor from running too much.



If the complication is a shortage of refrigerant, you will need to consult with an appliance service specialist who is EPA certified to handle a sealed system. Venturing to fix this concern yourself may void the service warranty.



If you experience performance problems that are not addressed above then contact Sloan Appliance (803-796-6130) and we will send a local refrigerator repair specialist to diagnose and repair the problem.