The 4 Most Common Refrigerator Issues to Watch For

Our refrigerators are one of those appliances we simply expect to work without question—until the day something goes wrong. Then, we’re left wondering if we’ve got a costly repair on our hands, or if it’s time for a new fridge.

As appliance experts, we wanted to share the 4 most common refrigerator issues to be aware of, plus troubleshooting tips that might help you avoid expensive repairs and extend the life of your fridge.

1. The fridge is too warm: Your fridge should be between 37 and 41 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. If your fridge temperature consistently reads above 41 degrees, then that could indicate a larger issue.

What to check first:

  • Make sure the fridge has power. Is it plugged in? Is the circuit breaker that connects to the fridge switched on?
  • Check the fridge’s thermostat and make adjustments if needed.
  • Make sure the vents that blow cold air into the unit are not blocked. Rearrange items in the refrigerator if need be to allow for proper airflow.
  • Vacuum the condenser coils located under or behind the refrigerator. Dust and dirt build up on the coils over time and can significantly diminish your refrigerator’s performance.

When to call a professional:

  • If you’ve gone through the checklist above and still haven’t found the problem, then call your repair technician who can check if the compressor or any fans aren’t working.

2. Everything is freezing: Sometimes your fridge can get too cold and everything starts to ice over.

What to check first:

  • Make sure your thermostat isn’t set too low. Turn it up a bit and see if that resolves the issue.
  • Make sure the thermostat isn’t defective. Turn it to its highest setting. You should hear a “click” within a minute of turning it up. If you don’t, then you’ll need a new thermostat.

When to call a professional:

  • A repair technician can help you determine if your fridge has a defective thermistor, the part that sends the fridge temperature reading to the control board.
  • Your technician can also help you determine if the temperature control board, which powers the compressor and fan motors inside the fridge, is malfunctioning.

3. There’s frost in the freezer: Old freezers are especially prone to frost buildup.

What to check first:

  • Look for cracks in the door seal that allows warm, moist air to seep into the freezer compartment.
  • Make sure the freezer door can shut completely.

When to call a professional:

  • There could be something wrong with the refrigerator defrost sensor. You’ll need a professional to help with the repair.

4. Broken Ice Maker: Modern refrigerators often have built-in ice makers for convenience, but they may also be one of the first things to malfunction on your refrigerator because of multiple delicate parts.

What to check first:

  • Shut off the valve to the household water supply.
  • Pull the fridge away from the wall and check for any kinks or tears in the water supply line.
  • Make sure the water inlet valve is open.
  • Check the water filter for debris and replace it if necessary.

When to call a professional:

  • If you can’t find the issue, then one of the internal ice-making mechanisms could be malfunctioning. Let a professional handle this more in-depth repair.

If you’ve got an old fridge that’s beyond repair, then head over to Reno’s Appliance to view our extensive selection of refrigerators. We’ve got top brands including Sub-Zero, Bosch, and Frigidaire in a range of popular styles such as French door, bottom freezer, and top freezer. We also carry compact refrigerators, which are perfect for small apartment, dorm rooms, or the office. You’ll even find a nice selection of sleek and stylish wine refrigerators, which are becoming increasingly popular. Find out why in this this recent blog post.

Reno’s Appliance was founded in 1951 as Reno’s Radio & TV. Since then, the shop has grown to become the one-stop home appliance source trusted by thousands. Reno’s sons continue to carry on the tradition set forth by their father and exhibit exceptional customer service. We have every home appliance you will possibly need. Stop by our showroom in Paterson, NJ to view our selection.