Common Refrigerator Problems & Troubleshooting

Common Refrigerator Problems & Solutions

  1. Refrigerator doesn’t run and light doesn’t work
  2. Refrigerator doesn’t run but light works
  3. Refrigerator starts and stops rapidly
  4. Refrigerator runs constantly
  5. Refrigerator not cold enough
  6. Refrigerator too cold
  7. Refrigerator doesn’t defrost automatically
  8. Moisture around refrigerator door or frame
  9. Ice in drain pan or water on bottom of refrigerator
  10. Water on floor around refrigerator
  11. Interior light doesn’t work
  12. Refrigerator smells bad
  13. Refrigerator noisy

Refrigerator doesn’t run and light doesn’t work

Possible causeProcedure
No power to refrigeratorCheck that refrigerator is plugged in
Check for blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker
Power cord loose or faultyTest power cord
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Refrigerator doesn’t run but light works

Possible causeProcedure
Temperature control turned offCheck temperature control
Temperature control faultyTest temperature control
Compressor overheatedClean condenser coils
Defrost timer faultyTest defrost timer
Condenser fan faultyCall for service
Overload protector faultyCall for service
Compressor or relay faultyCall for service
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Refrigerator starts and stops rapidly

Possible causeProcedure
Condenser coils dirtyClean condenser coils
Condenser fan faultyCall for service
Compressor faultyCall for service
Overload protector tripping repeatedlyHave an electrician check voltage at outlet
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Refrigerator runs constantly

Possible causeProcedure
Frost buildupDefrost refrigerator
Door seal inadequateCheck door seal
Door gasket damagedReplace door gasket
Condenser coils dirtyClean condenser coils
Evaporator plate or coils dirtyClean evaporator plate or coils with warm soapy water
Condenser fan faultyCall for service
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Refrigerator not cold enough

Possible causeProcedure
Temperature control set too highSet temperature control to lower setting
Temperature control faultyTest control
Condenser coils dirtyClean condenser coils
Door doesn’t close automaticallyDoor should swing shut when left open halfway. If not, raise front leveling legs or rollers to tilt refrigerator backward slightly
Door seal inadequateCheck door seal
Door gasket damagedReplace gasket
Door switch faulty (some models)Test door switch
Evaporator fan faultyService evaporator fan
Evaporator clogged by iceDefrost refrigerator, test defrost heater, test defrost limit switch, test defrost timer
Refrigerant leaking or contaminatedCall for service
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Refrigerator too cold

Possible causeProcedure
Temperature control set too lowSet temperature control to higher setting
Temperature control faultyTest control
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Refrigerator doesn’t defrost automatically

Possible causeProcedure
Defrost heater faultyTest defrost heater
Defrost limit switch faultyTest defrost limit switch
Defrost timer faultyTest defrost timer
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Moisture around refrigerator door or frame

Possible causeProcedure
Breaker strips faultyInspect breaker strips
Energy saver switch on or faultyReset or test energy saver switch
Internal heater defectiveCall for service
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Ice in drain pan or water on bottom of refrigerator

Possible causeProcedure
Drain tube cloggedClean drain tube
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Water on floor around refrigerator

Possible causeProcedure
Drain pan damaged or misalignedCheck drain pan
Drain tube cloggedClean drain tube
Icemaker water valve leakingCall for service
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Interior light doesn’t work

Possible causeProcedure
Bulb loose or burned outCheck bulb
Door switch faultyTest door switch
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Refrigerator smells bad

Possible causeProcedure
Contents spoiledRemove spoiled content, wash interior of refrigerator with baking soda and warm water
Drain pan dirtyWash drain pan
Insulation absorbs moisture through damaged breaker stripsRemove breaker strips and allow insulation to dry. Replace strips if damaged
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Refrigerator noisy

Possible causeProcedure
Refrigerator not leveledAdjust leveling feet or rollers
Drain pan rattlingReposition drain pan
Evaporator fan damagedInspect evaporator fan
Compressor mountings loose or hardenedCall for service
Condenser fan damagedCall for service
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