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Refrigeration Repair
Refrigerator Troubleshooting Guide

5050 Quorum Drive, Suite #700-196
Dallas, TX 75254
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Refrigeration Repair DFW - Proud Army Dad

Refrigerator Troubleshooting Guide

Use this chart to find out what is causing a problem with your refrigerator. Look up the symptom and then review some of the possible causes.

Refrigerator Symptom

Check Refrigerator

Refrigerator does not run and the light does not work

  • Make sure the refrigerator is plugged in securely

  • Check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker

  • Test the power outlet for current

  • Inspect the electrical cord for damage

  • Eliminate use of an extension cord, if any is being used

  • Check the outlet voltage

Refrigerator does not run but the light works

  • Check the temperature setting
  • Make certain there is a three inch space outside of the refrigerator between the walls and the back and sides and at least a one inch gap above, to allow for air flow
  • Clean the condensor coils
  • Unplug the refrigerator, wait two hours and plug it in. If you hear it running, a problem is causing the compressor to overheat
  • Test the temperature control
  • Test the evaporator fan
  • Test the defrost timer
  • Test the compressor relay
  • Test the overload protector
  • Test the compressor motor

Refrigerator light does not work

  • Replace the bulb

  • Test the door switch

Refrigerator or freezer is not cold enough

  • Check the temperature setting
  • Assure that there is enough room for air flow in the refrigerator or freezer
  • Check for air flow restrictions in vents
  • Test the temperature control
  • Clean the condenser coils
  • Check the door seals
  • Test the door switch
  • Test the defrost heater
  • Test the defrost timer
  • Test the evaporator fan
  • Check for a clogged drain tube
  • Check for refrigerant leak

Refrigerator or freezer is too cold

  • Check the temperature setting
  • Test the temperature control

Refrigerator is noisy or makes strange sounds

  • Hissing and popping is normal on frost free refrigerators, it is the defrost heater
  • Check that the refrigerator is level
  • Check the drain pan
  • Check the condenser fan
  • Check the evaporator fan
  • Inspect the compressor mounts

Refrigerator runs continuously

  • Defrost the freezer
  • Clean the condenser coils
  • Check the door seals
  • Test the door switch
  • If you recently adjusted the temperature control, loaded the refrigerator or are in a humid location, it is not uncommon for a refrigerator to run for 24 hours or more before getting cool.

Refrigerator starts and stops frequently

  • Clean the condenser coils
  • Check the outlet voltage
  • Test the condenser fan
  • Test the compressor relay
  • Test the overload protector
  • Test the compressor motor

Freezer does not defrost automatically

  • Test the defrost timer
  • Test the defrost heater
  • Test the defrost thermostat

Refrigerator has an unpleasant odor

  • Remove spoiled food
  • Clean refrigerator interior with a solution of hot water and baking soda
  • Clean the door seals
  • Remove breaker strips and check for wet insulation
  • Test the defrost timer
  • Test the defrost heater
  • Test the defrost thermostat

Water on floor outside of refrigerator

  • Check the drain pan
  • If you have an ice-maker, check the water supply hose going into and coming out of the water inlet valve

Water inside the refrigerator

  • Clean the drain tube
  • If you have an ice-maker, check refrigerator and ice-maker for level