Refrigerator Repair

Common faults of a Fridge Freezer, Freezer Or Fridge


Every single home in the US will have some sort of refrigeration, be it a small fridge with an icemaker or a grand American style side by side fridge freezer and, very often, they give problems. When they do fail they are also, probably, one of the more specialized areas of our industry as they employ a gas system, which is under pressure, to act as a heat exchanger.

The gas system, including the compressor and the changeover valves which will be mentioned below are specialist areas only and you will require a professional technician to assist you.

In essence there are two types of refrigeration system used on domestic fridges, freezers and fridge freezers; falling air and forced air and it is important that you know what you are looking at.

Falling Air Fridges

Refrigerator RepairFalling air means that the effect of refrigeration relies upon cold air "falling" off of an evaporator which will normally be a metal plate at the back of the fridge, the actual icemaker in a small fridge or often now, that plate will be mounted behind the rear wall out of site.

This really isn't that efficient but it is very reliable as it minimizes the use of moving parts and is very old technology, but also very robust. One of the big problems is that you get temperature differentials between the bottom, where the cold air falls to first, and the top where the heat rises to. It also means that when you open the door, either fridge or freezer, that the cold air at the bottom rushes out making the unit work hard again to re-establish the correct temperature.

Manual defrosting is a must in any unit using this system that has any freezing capability.

These units are normally controlled by a single simple thermostat although electronics are increasingly being employed to improve the efficiency somewhat.

Forced Air Refrigerators And Freezers

refrigeratorForced air is where the air is "forced" by being blown over an evaporator into the fridge and/or freezer. The effect of this is similar to that of a blast freezer where the freezing cold air is driven into the unit and this produces the result, to cut the story short, of the appliance being frost free. Of course it isn't really frost free as the frost builds up on the evaporator just as it does in a falling air unit and has to be removed to prevent a blockage.

This is where the problems mainly lie with frost free units, the defrost.

Periodically the refrigerator has to run what we refer to as a "defrost cycle" and this will be determined by the thermostats or thermistors in conjunction with the defrost timer or the electronic controls. These defrost cycles will generally run in multiples of four hours depending on the fridge, so 4, 8, 12, 24 hour defrost cycles and commonplace.

Safety First When Repairing Fridges And Freezers

refrigerator repairTo get the best refrigerator repair technician call Mr Rogers Appliances, which serve All Tampa Bay Area. It is your guarantee that the service that you receive will be a quality repair that is fairly priced and guaranteed.

When it comes to refrigeration there is another danger, one that you may well not have considered at all.

Food "goes off" by the cellular structure breaking down and then bacteria forming, hence the blue mould on the cheese if it is not used in time. In order to prolong the life of the food you keep it chilled or frozen which slows that degradation of the food and this has to be done in a fixed temperature range to maximize the food's lifespan. If you don’t do a repair and that temperature is not maintained then you could have early degradation of the food, it may even seem okay but not really be fit to eat.

Refrigerated food should be kept between +1?C and +5?C, any more or less and it's dangerous. Frozen food should be kept between -18?C (optimal) and -20?C. Whilst the temperature may swing either way a degree or so the mean should lie within those ranges, if not then it is dangerous.

If you're freezer has defrosted or the food appears to be "soft", you've lost it already DO NOT  re-freeze this sort of food as it will have degraded and there is a disease risk with some foods, such as poultry and other meats (including fish) especially.

Common Fridge & Fridge Freezer Problems

Fridge or freezer over-freezing

This can be caused by air ingress to the fridge or freezer but it is a common symptom of a failure in the control system, be that electronic or good old electro-mechanical.

frozen refrigeratorOn a simple thermostat controlled machine you can check this easily with a multi-meter as electro-mechanical thermostats are simple, pretty dumb actually, on/off devices. They simply switch off the power to the compressor when the machine achieves the desired temperature. For the most part these are easily changed but there are a huge number of peculiar thermostats although many of the standard ones will cover a vast amount of machines but if you are not sure then call Mr Rogers and ask help from a technician, as it is very easy to get the incorrect one, especially for fridge freezers. You will require the make, model and serial number as they do get changed during production quite often and from version to version.

It is absolutely vital when replacing a thermostat that you do not kink, cut or break the "phial" which is the long pliable wire that goes to the back wall or plate as it is filled with gas. The expansion and contraction of that gas is what makes the thermostat actually work. Check the following

$1·         Door seal/s faulty or not sealing allowing air ingress

$1·         Thermostat faulty

$1·         Evaporator door (icemaker fridges) not sealing correctly

$1·         Insulation failure

$1·         Blockage in gas system (can cause an ice-ball)

If you need professional assistance you can Call Mr Rogers Appliance Repair and a technician will help you fix your appliance. 

Fridge not cooling

This can be caused by a thermostat failure (refer to the above section) but that is rare to be honest. More likely the compressor is not running or not running properly for some reason.

$1·         Compressor failurefridge not cooling

$1·         Compressor PTC

$1·         Compressor relay

$1·         Thermostat

$1·         Electronic failure

$1·         Thermistor failure

If the refrigerator cools a little on a fridge freezer and the freezer section seems okay then it can also be a sign that there is either a blockage or a shortage of gas. Please note that a gas shortage will not manifest itself magically after a few years unless there has been physical damage to the pipework.

Basically this is pretty much an experts area, but the causes are as follows in the main:

$1·         Shortage of gas on appliances under a year old

$1·         Blockage or choke in pipework

$1·         Changeover valve faulty

$1·         Compressor pumping weak (highly likely on older machines 8 years or more old) 

Freezer not cooling


freezer not coolingSee above as it's pretty much the same as for a fridge.

Mr Rogers technicians can also help you repair your freezer. 

Bad smell coming from the fridge

There are many reasons why a refrigerator can have bad smelling. To be sure what’s going on with your fridge call Mr Rogers Appliance Repair to have a technician assist you in Tampa Bay Area, Brandon and nearby.bad smell refrigerator 

 Fridge leaking water

leaking refrigerator"How a "self defrosting" system works using this principal is that every now and then the appliance cycles and the ice formed by condensation on the plate, or back wall, liquefies and runs down to a defrost channel. It is with this part that problems happen.

Tiny bits of foodstuff or dust slowly clogs that defrost channel for the water to run away and you see water in the fridge. There is, basically a hole in the center of the defrost pan it is this small tube that gets blocked and water can no longer drain away as it should and then you get water in the fridge. Easy to cure, just poke a bit of flexible wire down the drain hole and you've fixed it!"

What happens is that the water runs forward and produces a "leak from the fridge" and this is the most common reason for it by far.

Of course there are other possible reasons as well including:

$1·         Insulation failure

$1·         Defrost tray on compressor overfilled or damaged

$1·         Spillage inside the unit

If you get a leak from a chest freezer it will almost certainly be an insulation failure which is, pretty much as far as practicality goes, unrepairable. 

 I punctured a small hole while defrosting and now the fridge freezer won't cool, what's wrong?

Oops, you've just killed your fridge, freezer or fridge freezer. 

broken refrigeratorWe see this a lot I'm afraid and it's this simple, don't ever go near the inside of a fridge with anything sharp and metal to defrost with as there is an extremely high probability that you will pierce a pipe in the fridge. This lets all the gas out, so no cooling, then because most people run them thinking it might be okay, oil gets dragged up from the compressor and chokes the pipework. Invariably the machine is a total write off.

If this is your problem, sorry but there's not much that anyone can do to help you I'm afraid.

Having said that some of the American style fridge freezers, such as GE  and Maytag, can be saved and can be worth saving due to the cost of a replacement, but on cheap refrigeration it's simply not worth the trouble as you are facing a $150+ repair bill with no guarantee of a successful repair in most cases. 

 I get condensation around the door, why?

This is very common on a host of fridge freezers especially. What this is, is what is known as the "anti-condensate" line, a pipe of hot gas that runs just behind the door opening to stop condensation forming at the door seal. Sadly in a cold environment the result is that you will get condensation forming as a result.

It is perfectly normal but may signify that the room temperature is too low, below the accepted operating temperatures as given in your use manual.

Fridge freezer is noisy

This can of course be caused by a few things, in a normal fridge you are pretty much limited to the compressor or excessive gas noise as that's all that moves, but in frost free things get a whole lot more complex. On this type of refrigeration you introduce, at least, a fan and fan motor, both of which can become noisy through blockages, ice build ups and bearing failure in the motor.

Many American style fridge freezers also have a cooling fan to cool the compressor, another possible source of noise. We've also seen air stats jamming the flap between the sections causing an ice build up and, consequently, noise.

The most common is an ice buildup and the fan will strike the ice formation giving a screeching noise, the reason is normally a thermostat failure of some kind leading to the buildup of ice. However a defrost element failure can produce the same result, as can an electronic controller.

Don't forget to also to check the cabinet for air ingress as that too, as explained previously, can cause an ice buildup. It is also worth noting that, on fridge freezers with an ice and/or water dispenser that a leak from either of those can also cause excessive ice and, if it reaches the evaporator in the freezer, it may well be the culprit.

In some machines there is a fan to drive air in the fridge as well as one if the freezer connected by an air channel, if this blocks or the second motor fails then abnormal noise is almost certain to occur.

$1·         Fan motor failure

$1·         Ice build up, fan clipping the ice

$1·         Thermostat failure leading to ice build up

$1·         Air channels blocked or obstructed

$1·         Compressor failure – noisy

If you have this fridge problem call an appliance certified technician to get professional appliance repair service. 

There's lots of ice in my freezer, what is wrong?

See previous section.

Main culprits will be as follows;

$1·         Fan motor failure

$1·         Ice build up, fan clipping the ice

$1·         Thermostat failure leading to ice build up

$1·         Air channels blocked or obstructed 

 Fridge not cooling but freezer cold

This will happen more on American type fridge freezers but can happen where there are two fan motors as well. Basically the cold air used in the fridge to cool is drawn off from the freezer section and something is stopping that from happening.

$1·         Fan motor failure

$1·         Ice build up, fan clipping the ice

$1·         Thermostat failure

$1·         Electronics failure

$1·         Compressor weak

Need to repair your refrigerator? Call Mr. Rogers now 

Fridge freezer not working at all

This is pretty simple usually for the technician, but often not for DIY.

First things, check the electrical supply, plug and fuse are okay. Assuming that they are then the following are the most likely causes;

$1·         Compressor failure

$1·         Electronics failure

$1·         Compressor PTC

$1·         Compressor relay

$1·         Terminal block

If you need a certified technician to help you with the refrigerator repair call Mr Rogers Now. 

Fridge Freezer Icemaker not working

Nightmare stuff, usually we just get told to replace everything!

Obviously that's not really practical in the real world so we have to think about it a bit.

If there's no water in the ice tray then chances are that the water valve  is faulty or that the inlet in blocked in some way, this can happen especially if the filters get clogged up.

Usually the icemakers are really pretty simple things internally but recently, as with the likes of the Samsung and Whirlpool machines, we've seen the increasing use of electronics. For example, the Whirlpool ones use an infra-red beam to cut off the ice making, the boards fail and are very expensive to replace.

Of course the ice-making unit itself can go faulty, but it's rare and they do appear to be very reliable on the whole, so long as they are not electronic.

If your Icemaker is not working and you want to fix it you can call Mr Rogers anytime to get an appliance expert assist you. 

Where do I get a water filter for my fridge freezer?

Call Mr Rogers and we will gladly help you get a new water filter. 

Bottle holder broken in fridge

Call Mr Rogers and we will gladly help you fix you bottle holder. 

Glass shelf in fridge broken

Call Mr Rogers and we will gladly help you get a glass shelf. 



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