Is Your Fridge Not Cooling? 5 Common Refrigerator Issues and Potential Solutions (HWA Home Warranty Featured Blog)

Dated: 09/14/2020

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, or the EPA, more than 5.2 million refrigerators were shipped to consumers during the calendar year of 2017. Given that this is the shipment figure for one year, it only accounts for new sales and that it only records official shipments, it’s safe to say that of people depend on refrigerators in their homes and businesses. Many of us take it for granted when we open our refrigerator that it’s simply going to work as we need it. What happens if your fridge is not cooling? What would cause a refrigerator to stop getting cold?

If your fridge is not working, you need a solution fast. Your food is not going to stay cold otherwise., If you’re tired of running to the store to buy bags of ice for your portable cooler to keep your food from spoiling, you’ve come to the right place. Home Warranty of America works with customers who want protection in case their fridge stops working. We’re going to lay out five common scenarios of what would cause a refrigerator to not work and how to fix them. You can also check out our page on freezer and refrigerator maintenance.

1. My Fridge is Not Cooling

Some people experience the problem where their refrigerator is running, but it’s not keeping the food cold. This can be particularly dangerous because it can take some time before people realize that there’s a problem. At that point, you won’t have much time to get your food into properly temperature-controlled locations before it all goes bad. If your fridge is not cooling, it could be for any number of reasons, including:

  • Someone accidentally adjusted the thermostat.
  • The thermostat has stopped working.
  • Something is blocking the vents in the back of the unit.
  • The coils are clogged with debris.
  • Something is stuck in the condenser fan.

Fortunately, the steps needed to possibly repair these problems are relatively simple. You can adjust the thermostat or order one that you can install yourself. You can check inside the freezer to see if something is blocking the vents, and if so, move that material to a different location. If the coils are clogged with debris, vacuum that area and clean the coils with a cloth. If something is causing the fan to not turn, remove it. Beyond that, you may want to call a professional to have it looked at.

2. My Fridge is Making Strange Noises

Many of us have been sitting in the kitchen, only to hear a bizarre and extremely troubling noise coming from our refrigerator. What was that? Whatever it is, it can’t be good. Even if your fridge stopped working completely as a result of whatever happened, you may be able to deal with it quickly. Some possibilities of what went wrong include:

  • Something is blocking the condenser fan.
  • Something is interfering with the evaporator fan.
  • The circulation fan is no longer working.

Generally, a squawking or squeaking noise, which is often the noise consumers report with their , involves one of the fans. Regardless of which fan is malfunctioning, you’ll likely need to access it to see if the fan blade is spinning properly. If not, you may only need to clear the debris. If that doesn’t help, you may want to call a professional.

3. My Fridge is Leaking Water

It’s a daunting feeling when you walk towards the refrigerator and you step on a puddle of water on the floor. This could be a major problem, or it could be something that you can handle even if your fridge is not working for a while. Common reasons that refrigerators will leak water include:

  • The refrigerator may not be level.
  • The drain hose is clogged.
  • The water supply line is frozen.
  • The water supply line is defective.
  • The shut-off valve is clogged.

With the exception of a defective water supply line, all of the other problems can be handled without having to call a professional. Check to see if the refrigerator is level, then locate the drain hose, the water supply line and the shut-off valve. You will want to consult your owner’s manual to help with this. If you don’t have that handy, you should be able to search your refrigerator model online to find an online copy of your manual. Clear any debris or thaw the water supply line if necessary, and that may take care of your problem.

4. My Fridge Has Ice In It – And Not In the Freezer

If you open your refrigerator and you notice an icy buildup along the back or sides, it may not be long before your fridge is not cooling your food. You need to act on this problem immediately, as it may indicate one of a few different problems, including:

  • Your door pivots could be loose.
  • Someone has been leaving the door open for too long.
  • The door seals are defective.

One suggestion that you may want to consider is to unplug your fridge and let the ice melt away. Ice inside of a refrigerator can lead to clogs and other problems that you want to avoid. While your fridge is thawing, tighten the door hinges to see if that makes a difference. Check the door seals to see if there are any holes, punctures or rips in them that could be allowing warm air to get inside your unit. If your door has a closer on it, make sure it still works so that the door doesn’t remain open for long periods of time. If none of these steps work when you plug the refrigerator back in, contact a professional.

5. My Refrigerator is Suddenly Freezing Food

It’s frustrating when your fridge is not cooling your food, but it’s a problem if your fridge suddenly starts freezing your food as well. Below are a few possibilities:

  • Your thermostat is set at too cold a temperature.
  • Some of your food is too close to the coils.
  • Your thermostat stopped working.
  • Your thermostat is defective.
  • Your damper is damaged.
  • Your main control panel has malfunctioned.

If you set your thermostat too low, all you need to do is turn it up and the problem should be resolved. The same goes for moving your food away from the coils. However, if your thermostat or your main control panel are not working, you should call a technician to examine the situation, as those may be difficult repairs.

Home Warranty of America Can Help

No one looks forward to the possibility of paying for refrigerator repair, as it’s a hassle and it can be expensive. If you want to protect yourself, take a look at what a home warranty covers when you purchase one from Home Warranty of America. If your fridge is not cooling and you’re covered, all you’d need to do is contact us and we can initiate a claim for you. All you’ll have to pay is a small trade call fee

(This article originally appeared at HWAHomeWarranty.com)

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