How to properly maintain your refrigerator to extend its lifespan

As appliance repair professionals, we have seen firsthand the importance of regular refrigerator maintenance. Not only does it keep your food fresh, but it also plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall health and safety of your household. In this blog post, I will be discussing the proper techniques for maintaining your refrigerator to extend its lifespan. From cleaning and organizing to maintaining the temperature, level, and door seal, I will provide expert advice on how to keep your refrigerator running at its best and avoid the top 5 common refrigerator problems. By following these tips, you’ll not only extend the lifespan of your refrigerator, but also save money on energy bills and keep your food fresher for longer.

Issue 1: Dirty Condenser Coils

Dirty Refrigerator Condenser Coils

Condenser coils are an important part of a refrigerator’s cooling system. They are located on the back or bottom of the refrigerator and are responsible for releasing the heat that the compressor generates. When these coils are dirty or clogged, it can cause the refrigerator to work harder and less efficiently, leading to higher energy bills and potential breakdowns.

Signs of dirty condenser coils include the refrigerator running too frequently, not cooling properly, or having a buildup of dust and debris around the coils.

To clean the condenser coils, first, unplug the refrigerator and use a brush or vacuum with a long hose attachment to remove any dust and debris. For stubborn dirt and grime, use a solution of warm water and mild detergent. Be sure to wipe the coils dry after cleaning to prevent rust or damage.

Regular cleaning of the condenser coils is important to ensure that the refrigerator is running at its best. It’s recommended to clean the coils at least once a year, or more often if you have pets or live in a dusty area. It’s also important to keep the area around the coils clean and clear of debris to ensure proper air flow.

Issue 2: Faulty Door Seal

The door seal, also known as the gasket, is an important part of the refrigerator that helps to keep the cold air inside and the warm air outside. A properly functioning door seal will ensure that the refrigerator is working efficiently, saving energy and keeping food fresh.

Signs of a faulty door seal include a door that is difficult to close, a door that does not seal properly, or a door that leaks water. Other signs can be an increase in energy consumption, or uneven cooling in the refrigerator.

To test for a faulty door seal, close the door on a piece of paper or a dollar bill. If the door seal is tight, the paper or bill should be difficult to remove. If the door seal is loose, it may need to be replaced.

Replacing a door seal is a task that can be done by a professional appliance repair technician. The process involves removing the old seal, measuring and cutting the new seal to size, and installing it. It’s also important to ensure that the door is properly aligned before installing the new seal. If you’re not comfortable with this task, it’s best to contact a professional to ensure that the job is done properly.

Refrigerator Seal Damage

Issue 3: Clogged Drain

The drain in a refrigerator is an important part of the defrost system that helps to remove excess water from the unit. The drain is typically located on the back or bottom of the refrigerator, and it’s responsible for removing water from the defrost tray and disposing it into a drain pan. When the drain is clogged, it can cause water to accumulate in the bottom of the refrigerator, leading to leaks, bad odors, and potential damage to the unit.

Signs of a clogged drain include water or ice accumulation in the bottom of the refrigerator, bad odors, or leaks. Another sign of a clogged drain is when the defrost system is not functioning properly, and water is not draining from the defrost tray.

To clean the drain, first, unplug the refrigerator and locate the drain. Use a long, thin tool such as a pipe cleaner or a straightened coat hanger to remove any debris or blockage in the drain. You can also use a mixture of water and white vinegar to clean the drain and dissolve any buildup.

Regular cleaning of the drain is important to ensure that the defrost system is functioning properly and to prevent water accumulation in the bottom of the refrigerator. It’s recommended to clean the drain at least once a year, or more often if you notice signs of a clogged drain. By keeping the drain clean, you can prevent leaks, odors and potential damage to the unit.

Issue 4: Faulty Thermostat

Refrigerator Thermostat

The thermostat is an important part of the refrigerator that controls the temperature inside the unit. It’s responsible for turning the cooling system on and off to maintain the desired temperature. When the thermostat is faulty, it can cause the refrigerator to not cool properly or to cycle on and off frequently, leading to higher energy bills and potential damage to the unit.

Signs of a faulty thermostat include the refrigerator not cooling properly, the cooling system cycling on and off frequently, or the temperature inside the unit fluctuating.

To test for a faulty thermostat, you can check the temperature inside the refrigerator with a thermometer and compare it to the temperature set on the thermostat. If the temperatures do not match, it’s likely that the thermostat is faulty. Additionally, you can check for continuity with a multimeter, by measuring the resistance of the thermostat. If the resistance is infinite, the thermostat is defective.

Checklist for checking a faulty thermostat

  1. Unplug the refrigerator power cord from the wall socket.
  2. Take off the back panel of your refrigerator to access your thermostat.
  3. Use a multimeter to check the thermostat’s resistance by connecting one multimeter lead to each terminal of the thermostat and then observing the reading on the digital display of the multimeter.
  4. The resistance should be within a certain range depending on what temperature setting you have set it to, if not, then your thermostat needs replacing.
  5. You can also carefully observe any visible signs of damage or corrosion such as burnt out wires or melted insulation, which would indicate that you need to replace your faulty thermostat with a new one as soon as possible.

Replacing a thermostat is a task that can be done by a professional appliance repair technician. The process involves removing the old thermostat and installing the new one. It’s important to ensure that the new thermostat is the correct one for your specific refrigerator model. If you’re not comfortable with this task, it’s best to contact a professional to ensure that the job is done properly.

Checklist for Fixing a Faulty Thermostat on a Refrigerator

  1. Unplug the refrigerator power cord from the wall socket.
  2. Take off the back panel of your refrigerator to access your thermostat.
  3. Test the thermostat with a multimeter to confirm if it needs replacing or not.
  4. If necessary, carefully unscrew and remove the faulty thermostat from the wall of your refrigerator and replace it with a new one.
  5. Securely attach the new thermostat in place by re-screwing it onto the wall and make sure there are no loose connections or wires sticking out from either side after installation is complete.
  6. Reinstall the back panel and plug in refrigerator power cord back into wall socket before testing out your newly installed thermostat and you’re all set!

Issue 5: Leaking Water

Water leaks in a refrigerator can be caused by a variety of factors, including a clogged drain, a faulty door seal, or a malfunctioning water dispenser. It’s important to identify the source of the leak to properly fix the problem.

Locating the source of a water leak can be a bit tricky, but it’s important to determine the origin of the leak in order to properly fix the problem. Here’s a checklist to help you locate the source of the leak:

  1. Check the door seals for any cracks or damage
  2. Inspect the water dispenser for any leaks or cracks
  3. Check the water supply line for any kinks or damage
  4. Check the drain and drain pan for any blockages or damage
  5. Look for any water accumulation in the bottom of the refrigerator

Once you’ve located the source of the leak, it’s important to fix the problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage and potential mold growth. Here’s a checklist to help you fix a water leak:

  1. Repair or replace any damaged door seals
  2. Replace any cracked or leaking water dispenser parts
  3. Replace any kinked or damaged water supply line
  4. Clear any blockages in the drain and drain pan
  5. Clean up any water accumulation in the bottom of the refrigerator
  6. Contact a professional if you are not comfortable with this task.

It is also important to take note that if the source of the leak is a malfunctioning water dispenser, it may be caused by a clogged water filter. In this case, it is advisable to change the water filter and see if the leak stops.

regular maintenance of your refrigerator is crucial to ensure that it’s running at its best and to extend its lifespan. As appliance repair professionals, we have seen firsthand the importance of regular refrigerator maintenance and the top 5 common refrigerator problems. In this blog post, we have discussed the proper techniques for maintaining your refrigerator to extend its lifespan. We have provided expert advice on how to keep your refrigerator running at its best, including how to clean and organize, maintain the temperature, level, and door seal, and avoid common problems such as dirty condenser coils, faulty door seals, clogged drains, faulty thermostats, and leaking water. By following these tips, you’ll not only extend the lifespan of your refrigerator, but also save money on energy bills and keep your food fresher for longer. Remember, if you ever experience a problem or need professional assistance, contact an appliance repair company for help. With proper maintenance, your refrigerator will be a reliable and efficient part of your household for many years to come.

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