Refrigerator repair basics

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REFRIGERATOR REPAIR BASICS When your refrigerator starts having problems, you are low on money and want to fix it yourself, there are few things you should have in mind before you start. It would be good if you could find a good appliance parts dealer and ask whether they offer free advice. Keep in mind not to ask too many questions, so get to know some basic things before you start asking for advice. It is good to know the make, model and serial number from the nameplate of your refrigerator. Tools There are some tools you will most definitely need if you are going to try to repair your fridge – screwdrivers, nutdrivers, blow dryer (for melting frost and ice), cheater wires, electrical pliers or strippers, flashlight, VOM (volt-ohm meter), and a condenser brush. Some other optional tools might be needed, depending on the problem. Basic repair and safety precautions Before you start any repairs, you should pull the plug. If you turn the power back on, confirm that the wires or terminals are taped and insulated. The fridge should be energized just enough to complete the necessary test, then the power should be disconnected again. You should not in any case chip ice from around the evaporator with a sharp instrument, because you could puncture a hole in the evaporator. A blow dryer or hot water should be used to melt the ice build-up. Of course, if there is time and patience, the best solution is to leave the door open and let the ice melt naturally. Don’t forget to put back anything you removed in order to access something, because it is there for a reason. If you need to empty your fridge or freezer because of the repairs, an ice-chest or a cardboard box wrapped with towels can keep your food for a short time. But remember – never re-freeze your meat! When stopping the compressor using the defrost timer, or by disconnecting the power, you shouldn’t restart it in a matter of minutes. Some buzzing and clicking noises could be heard, and it may not start. The reason for this is the pressure in the system, and its inability to adjust in such a short period of time. It is not an alarming problem, and could be solved by simply cutting off the power again for a few more minutes. If your refrigerator doesn’t have power, check whether the power cord is correctly connected, check the fuses, and also check if the refrigerator is not in the defrost cycle. You should leave the defrost cycle to finish. If the problem still persists, open the refrigerator housing and examine its components. It is also important for the refrigerator to be leveled properly, because it might produce strange noises if it isn’t, or could cause the door to open. However, if the noise comes from the back, it would suggest a problem with the compressor or the fan. Naturally, we are not talking about major repairs, which require a repair service, but minor problems, which could save your time and money. Source: