How to Troubleshoot a Small Refrigerator

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Small refrigerators are useful additions to dens, dorm rooms, cabins and holiday homes for storing and cooling small amounts of food or drink. If you experience problems with your compact refrigerator, you can run through a number of universal troubleshooting steps to try to identify or resolve the problem. Troubleshooting your small fridge can save you from calling for professional repairs over minor issues. This task will take about 10 minutes.

  • Check the power supply. If the power cable has been knocked loose from the outlet it can cause the fridge to stop working or work intermittently. Make sure the outlet is working by plugging in another electrical item, like a lamp. The fridge's power cable should be firmly connected to the outlet.

  • Check to ensure your refrigerator's fuse or breaker has not been tripped. A blown fuse can render certain electric circuits and outlets in the house inoperable. Contact an electrician if you or your family are unsure how fuses or breakers work.

  • Make sure the fridge is set to the right temperature. Most refrigerators use a small dial located on the inside wall to control the temperature. If the fridge is too warm, increase the dial to a higher number. If it is too cold, turn the dial to a lower setting. Make sure the dial is not set to "OFF."

  • Check to ensure the refrigerator door closes properly. Bottles or food can stop the door from completely closing if the fridge is overloaded. Make sure the door can close completely so the cold air does not leak into the room.

  • Check to ensure the rubber door seals are free from damage. Corded, worn or broken door seals can allow cool air to escape from the refrigerator, resulting in warm food and noisy operation. Door seals should sit flush with the body of the fridge and create an airtight seal when working properly.

  • Contact the manufacturer for repair. If these steps do not solve or give an indication of the problem, you should arrange for a service. You may be entitled to free repairs if your fridge is within its warranty period.

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