Troubleshooter's Guide to Appliances Refrigerator or Freezer

A short troubleshooting guide to help you diagnose and fix problems with your freezer or refrigerator.

HANDY CHECKLIST FOR INDIVIDUAL APPLIANCES

REFRIGERATOR OR FREEZER

Problem: Failure to operate.

1. Cause: Temperature control set at OFF or DEFROST.

Remedy: If model defrosts manually, adjust temperature control to correct setting. Check manufacturer's instructions on timing of automatic defrost cycle.

2. Cause: Use of long extension cord, smaller than No. 14 wire.

Remedy: Extension cords of any kind should not be used. If there is no alternative, the cord should be 3-wire, No. 14 or heavier.

3. Cause: Fuse blown or circuit breaker open.

Remedy: Test outlet with lamp. Check fuse box for blown fuse or close circuit breaker.

Problem: Motor seems to run too often or too long.

1. Cause: Door opened frequently or allowed to remain open too long.

Remedy: Plan meal preparation to avoid constant opening of refrigerator door; close promptly after use.

2. Cause: Dust on condenser.

Remedy: Turn off or disconnect appliance. Clean condenser according to manufacturer's instructions.

3. Cause: Door leaking air.

Remedy: Clean door gasket with mild soap and water. If gasket is torn or worn, call serviceman. He will replace it and, if necessary, adjust so it closes tightly.

4. Cause: Unit too near heat source--range, radiator, warm-air register--or too close to wall or cabinets.

Remedy: Move unit to a location in the kitchen away from trouble spots.

Problem: Inside light fails to operate.

1. Cause: Bulb burned out.

Remedy: Replace bulb with one of the same type and size.

2. Cause: Bulb loose in socket.

Remedy: Tighten bulb.

3. Cause: Door-switch button sticking.

Remedy: Press button in and out several times. If this measure fails, call serviceman.

Problem: Unit noisy when motor is running.

1. Cause: Unit not level on floor.

Remedy: Check with a level and adjust leveling screws at base. If there are no leveling screws, insert thin strips of wood under base to bring unit level.

2. Cause: Objects placed on top of unit rattling from slight vibration when motor is running.

Remedy: Remove or cushion objects.

3. Cause: Items inside the refrigerator vibrate.

Remedy: Reposition contents of refrigerator so items are solidly placed.

Problem: Food slow to freeze.

1. Cause: Freezing too much food at one time.

Remedy: Freeze no more than 2 to 3 lb. of food per cubic foot of freezer space in a 24-hour period.

2. Cause: Excessive frost built up inside cabinet or on cooling coils.

Remedy: Defrost before ice becomes 1/4 in. thick.

Problem: Freezer collects too much frost.

1. Cause: Door leaking air.

Remedy: Clean door gasket with mild soap and water. If gasket is torn or worn, call serviceman.

2. Cause: Temperature too low.

Remedy: Follow manufacturer's instructions for proper temperature setting.

3. Cause: Incomplete defrosting.

Remedy: Defrost completely and wipe inside of freezer unit dry with soft cloth or sponge.

4. Cause: Door opened too frequently or allowed to remain open too long.

Remedy: Plan meal preparation to avoid constant opening of freezer door; close promptly after use.

5. Cause: Uncovered foods.

Remedy: Cover or seal all foods.

Problem: Excessive condensation in fresh foods section.

1. Cause: Opening door too often, leaving it open too long.

Remedy: Avoid frequent and prolonged opening of door, particularly in hot, humid weather. Remember that some condensation is normal.

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