How to Fix a Broken Refrigerator

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Opening the door of your freezer or refrigerator to find melting ice cubes, warm beverages and spoiled meat guarantees a moment of panic. A refrigerator or freezer that has suddenly stopped working is often simple to troubleshoot and repair with just a few quick steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Long brush or vacuum
  • Screwdriver
  • Check the power by opening the refrigerator door and looking to see if the light is on. Listen for the hum of the motor as well. If there is no sign of life, make sure the power cord plug is in the power socket and finally check the circuit breaker.

  • Verify that the temperature controls are set at the correct temperature. Many freezers and refrigerators have controls that change easily from an accidental nudge. Make adjustments as needed and use a permanent marker to tag the desired setting for later reference. Repair controls that turn too easily by using tape to secure them in place.

  • Clean the coils with a long brush or vacuum to remove dust and pet hair build up. In order for the refrigerator or freezer to cool properly a great deal of air must flow through the coils constantly. Find the coils either behind the unit or at the bottom front in which case you must remove the kick plate below the door. Ensure that nothing has fallen behind the unit that could block the coils.

  • Evaluate whether the fan is running if your freezer or refrigerator has the coils in the bottom. Access the panel on the back of the unit and look for small pieces of paper, dust or other objects that may be keeping the fan from turning properly. Use a vacuum hose to clean out built up dust and dirt annually.

Tips & Warnings

  • Always keep your freezer and refrigerator in the upright position to avoid damage to the cooling unit.

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