Refrigerator parts break down and need replacement just like any other appliance in the home, but knowing which part may be failing can help you determine the cause of the problems you're having with your refrigerator. You can then know what to expect by way of repair bills. You may also find that how you're using your refrigerator can be the cause of the issues you're having. Note a few tips for troubleshooting refrigerator repair problems in your home.
1. It runs without stopping
Your refrigerator motor should cycle on and off as the internal temperature reaches a certain level. If it runs without stopping, it may be low on refrigerant; it doesn't get cool enough so that the motor is signaled to stop. If there is enough refrigerant, the thermostat could be faulty or need calibration. If the thermostat doesn't read the inside temperature properly, it won't communicate with the motor and tell it to cycle off. Note if you can see frost or condensation on the top of the refrigerator, if so, it probably has refrigerant and the thermostat needs repair or replacement.
Another common problem with a refrigerator running without stopping is that you may have it too full so that the blower in the back of the unit cannot circulate cold air; in turn, the inside of the unit never cools as it should. Check the vents where the fans are located and which push cold air into the unit and if you have food stacked in front of these, or if the refrigerator is overly full, you might remove some items and note if this allows the refrigerator to cycle off.
2. It vibrates or rattles
You may hear a slight humming sound when the refrigerator motor switches on, but if the unit rattles or vibrates, chances are the condenser coils have come loose. These are usually in the back of the refrigerator and their connections may need a slight tightening. If you don't notice these connections being loose, the fan or motor may have a loose connection and these are best checked by a professional repair person.
In some cases, vibrations and rattling are from a clogged drain tube. This is what allows water that collects at the bottom of the refrigerator to drain away and if it gets clogged, it can rattle and vibrate as it allows more water to collect. This too is often best left to a professional, as the tube may need to be replaced if it's kinked or otherwise broken and allowing for clogs.