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Common Problems With Refrigirators

Build-up of water or ice in the fridge is never a good sign. Have you ever wondered why ice builds up in your fridge or why the water leaks from it? This is by no means part of normal operation and will require you to pay attention or even call a repair technician. Let's see what you can do about it first.

Make Sure the Refrigerator Door is Completely Closed

If the door is not closed properly, the refrigerator heats up and condensation forms. Thus, the water begins to collect, and the dripping can easily turn into a water leak. Therefore, make sure that the door is properly closed and that nothing prevents it from being closed. The first thing you should check is that the door is securely fastened. If it is loose, there is probably a problem with the rubber door molding. Keep in mind that according to most manufacturers' instructions, rubber door moldings should be cleaned regularly, at least once every six months.

Another thing to check for is to see if air is being pulled into the refrigerator. Heres how to easily check if the skirting board is still doing its job. Unplug the appliance for about two minutes and open the door. Plug it back in and close the door. Then run your fingers over the rubber moldings. If you feel air being drawn in, this means that the rubber moldings are no longer holding well and need to be replaced. If this holds true for your refrigerator, its time to call in a repair technician.

Make Sure that Rest Mode is Turned On

If you have enabled the vacation mode function when you are away from home for a long time, this means that the refrigerator will operate at lower temperatures which can lead to condensation and the formation of water droplets. Check if sleep mode or any other power saving features are on and turn them off.

Separate Food for Better Air Flow

The fridge needs to breathe. This means that you need to create enough space inside the refrigerator for good air flow. Stack groceries and food so that there is enough space between them. Food should not touch the back wall of the refrigerator, as this has a negative effect on the downward airflow and can lead to the accumulation of ice at the bottom. Also, check that the vents are not blocked. 

Theres a Hole in My Fridge!

Yes, there is a hole, and for good reason. It's the defrost drain. Food particles and other foreign objects can get stuck in the drain. If these particles build up, they can clog the drain leading to water leaks. If you think the drain is blocked, turn off the appliance and wait for it to melt.

It's also a good idea to clean the defrost drain periodically. While hot water cleaning can work for bathroom drains, it's a big mistake to clean your fridge with hot water. Never pour hot water directly into the defrost drain or inside the refrigerator as this can cause internal problems with the appliance. Use a thin stick instead, which comes packaged with many refrigerators (check the original packaging). 

Do Not Put Hot Food in the Refrigerator

This sounds logical. Every instruction manual clearly states that hot food should not be placed directly in the refrigerator, as this can increase the humidity of the air and lead to the formation of ice. Instead, just wait for the food to cool before putting it in the fridge.

Is Your Refrigerator on a Flat Surface?

One of the reasons for an off-balanced refrigerator may be the uneven surface on which the fridge is located.  In this case, the door does not create a vacuum when closing. You probably already know the rest of the story: warm air enters the refrigerator, the appliance tries to compensate for the temperature and works too hard to freeze the food. In this case, when water accumulates, leakage occurs.

What if the Refrigerator Makes Noise?

Whenever a device makes a strange noise, something might be wrong. It might upset you, but don't panic and call support just yet, especially with the refrigerator. Most manufacturers explain in the user manual that some noises are perfectly normal and caused by the difference in temperature between the cooler indoor environment and the warm or even hot outdoor environment. Cooling in refrigerators and freezers produces a cooling system with a compressor (some appliances also have a fan) that produces a certain sound. The noise level depends on the installation method, proper use and age of the appliance. After turning on the refrigerator, the operating sound (or coolant flow) may be louder for several hours. This is not a sign of failure and does not affect the service life of the device.

The noise of the refrigerator may be temporarily louder due to the increased load on the cooling system when the door is opened frequently or is open for a long time, when there is a large amount of food in it, and/or when the intensive cooling or freezing function is activated.

Buzzing is Normal 

Remember, all refrigerators make some noise. It's usually a low-frequency hum. Humming is their signature sound. Another type of sound that can be heard is the gurgle caused by the boiling of the refrigerant gas in the evaporator, which is the process that makes cooling possible. Other strange noises can indicate a problem, especially if they are accompanied by other problems. If you notice that the food is not properly cooled or that the ice machine is not working, this requires a closer look at the device. You can do basic diagnostics yourself and maybe solve the problem yourself before calling for assistance.

What Sounds Should You Pay Attention To?

Chirping is most often a false alarm, as is crackling. The sizzling noise coming from the fridge may sound scary, but it is easily explained.  In most cases, its the water itself that drips onto the defrost heater. Popping and cracking sounds can also soundscary, but these sounds are also quite common in warm environments. This is caused by the expansion and contraction of internal parts due to temperature changes, so they don't require you to do anything.

Mechanical Sounds Do Not Necessarily Mean a Malfunction

Many people seem to connect loud mechanical noises with parts failure. The loud noise from the back of the fridge is terrible. Since this is where the refrigerator "engine" is located, its probably connected to the compressor fan. These two parts require occasional cleaning, which can be clearly seen if you look at the dust-covered back of the refrigerator. A simple cleaning and dusting that has accumulated between the fan blades with a soft brush can do the job. Make sure the refrigerator is unplugged first before doing any cleaning or repairs.

What's that Clanking Sound?

Occasionally, unusual or loud noises can be heard during the operation of the refrigerator, which are uncharacteristic for that appliance, and are the result of improper installation. Each refrigerator should stand flat and stable on a solid surface, without touching the wall or other elements. In case you hear a rattling sound, check if everything is in place inside the refrigerator: it could be that cans, bottles and other containers are touching each other and thus making a rattling sound.

There's a Bird in My Fridge!

If your refrigerator makes a whining or chirping sound, the evaporator fan may be faulty. Since the fan is usually located on the back of the refrigerator, it may be a good idea to call a repair technician if you are not used to fixing electrical appliances yourself. If so, you can unplug the device, check the fan, wires, and all surrounding components for signs of wear or corrosion. Parts may need to be replaced.

Buzzing Lights

Occasionally you will hear an electrical hum if the light in your fridge is running low. Consult the manual if you can replace the bulb yourself.

Whats that Clicking Noise?

If you've just moved the refrigerator and you hear a clicking sound coming from it, it could be a sign of a broken connection that prevents the ice maker from working normally. A clicking sound coming from the ice maker could also mean that the water supply valve is leaking or not properly connected to the pipe. 

Knock Knock

One of the sounds you never want to hear from your refrigerator is knocking, as it is likely related to a failing condenser or motor fan. It requires a repair service which can be expensive.

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