Fridges don’t break down very often. Even old ones. In fact, older ones are built tough to last. Being able to identify a problem with your fridge early will enable you to call for help quickly and save on expensive repairs. This blog post is the first in a series that will help you look after your fridge better.
So, what are some of the common signs that all’s not well with the most hard-working appliance in the house?
1. Water’s leaking from underneath the fridge
There a few reasons why that could happen:
- If it has an ice and water dispenser – there could be a leak in the water connection to the fridge. In this case, the problem is really outside the fridge and any licenced plumber should be able to sort that out for you.
- The pipes of the ice and water dispenser could dry out and get cracked over time. If your fridge is no longer under warranty, you’d need to call a fridge repairer to replace them.
- Most new refrigerator models are frost-free. There is a defrost tray under the fridge (in your mum’s fridge this used to be inside, under the freezer compartment). A pipe discharges defrosted ice water from the freezer into this tray and in a well-functioning fridge – this water just evaporates. Two possibilities here:
- The tray has sprung leak. In most cases it would have to be replaced. For common brands and models your fridge repairman will have spares. If not he can order them in for you
- If the fridge is tilted, water may pour out of the tray. Simply leveling the fridge will sort it out.
2. Water is leaking inside the fridge
Now this seems more alarming than water leaking outside the fridge, but apart from having soggy food inside the fridge, is not insurmountable. The most likely cause is a plugged drain pipe. Either food or packaging can create an obstruction. This may sound unlikely, but frozen peas are the most common cause of blocked drains. So, don’t let them escape - seal them with a rubber band, clip or buy ones in resealable packaging.
Coming back to the solution. You could try and clear the drain using a pipe-cleaner, but to prevent damage to your fridge, we recommend you call a fridge repair service, who will not only clear it safely, they will make sure there is no other problem.
3. The fridge is not cooling anymore
That’s serious. Before you jump online to find a repairman, run through this checklist.
- If the light is on, the power point is working fine at that point in time. Sometimes it is as simple as a loose plug. Check a few times to ensure there is uninterrupted supply. If the light does not come on, check the power point by plugging another device into it.
- Sometimes, we unknowingly turndown the temperature while moving things inside the fridge. Check that the thermostat is set between 1-4°C. Ideal temperature is 3°
- All fridges have a vent to circulate cold air in the fridge. Make sure it is not blocked by food containers.
- Be sure to keep ample air circulation around the refrigerator, especially in the warmer months. It’s a good idea to pull the refrigerator out from the wall and clean all the visible dust from the back of the fridge, being very careful not to damage pipework. This should be done at least once a year, more often if you have pets in the house.
Before you call someone to repair your fridge, make sure they are licensed professionals who are experienced in repairing most leading brands and models, offer a full warranty and carry a range of spare parts. Getting someone like Melbourne Fridgeworks who can fix it onsite will save you transportation costs and get your fridge working in the quickest time possible. Breakdowns come without a warning, so call someone who offers an after-hours and weekend service.