7 Common Refrigerator Repair Problems [2024]

Common Refrigerator Repair Problems

Imagine spending a day with a faulty refrigerator not functioning correctly. Spoiled food, warm drinks, stale fruits, wilted vegetables, and other related nuisances will quickly emerge. However necessary to our daily life, refrigerators are still electronic appliances. So, it’s likely that you may encounter refrigerator repair problems sometime. Some refrigerator problems are more common than others, and you can diagnose them correctly, even fix them on your own. Others will require expert assistance from electronics repair professionals. In this article, we’ll cover the most common refrigerator repair issues and how to solve them.

1. Frost accumulation

Frost buildup is a common issue you will encounter with refrigerators. Thankfully, you do need to seek external help to solve the problem. The first accumulation happens in your refrigerator’s ice dispenser (also called the freezer).

The freezer door is called a damper door, lined with material making it airtight. It seals the freezer door, ensuring no humid air enters the freezer through gaps. If there’s any dent or dirt on the lining of the damper door, damp air will enter the freezer. With the freezer operating for a long time, this air will turn into ice, covering the entire unit.

A similar situation may also arise if the freezer door is left ajar for a long time. The best solution to this refrigerator problem is to check the lining of the damper door. Always ensure the refrigerator doors shut properly. If there’s any dust on the lining, clean it with a cotton cloth. Call a technician to fix the material if you see cracks or dents.

2. Continuous refrigeration cycle

Your refrigerator continues running cooling cycles to keep the food cool. Nonetheless, sometimes it may start running cooling cycles too frequently. This issue creates noise and consumes substantial electricity, thus, adding to your monthly bills.

This refrigerator problem is a dust or debris buildup around the condenser coil. To check if that’s where the issue lies, first plug off the refrigerator. Next, access the condenser coil unit, commonly at the bottom or back of the machine.

A grill often shields the coil unit. Carefully remove the grill by loosening it to access the coil. Use a clean cotton cloth or a low-power vacuum cleaner to clear dust and debris thoroughly. After cleaning, check if the refrigeration cycle has gone back to normal.

If the problem persists, check the temperature of your refrigerator. If set too low, it may cause frequent cycles. If none of the DIY solutions works, it’s time to call a technician.

3. Water leakage

Water leakage is a common and dangerous refrigerator repair issue in domestic places. With excess water spilt around the unit, anyone can slip and sustain injuries. There are several reasons behind a water leakage, and most of them have DIY fixes.

The most common reason is a blockage in the defrosting drain passage of the refrigerator. The defrost drain system is inside the freezer, and food particles may drop into the drain, clogging them. This blockage can lead to ice buildup, resulting in water leakage.

Try accessing the drains from the inside to unclog them by hosing hot water. Alternatively, you can also use a pipe cleaner to clear any hard particles. After cleaning the drain, wash the refrigerator hose properly before re-installing.

Another reason for water leakage is an ice-clogged water supply line. You will need to close the shut-off valve behind the refrigerator at the bottom to check for any clogs in the supply line. You can also seek external assistance from a repairman if you cannot find it.

4. Refrigerator not cooling

Your refrigerator may cool adequately at times, despite setting the right temperature. In such cases, your food and other items will go rancid quickly, and the fridge will have a more challenging time making ice. Touch its interior walls to check if your refrigerator has a cooling problem. If they are cold enough, pay attention to the motor sound. If you don’t hear the motor sound, or it is very feeble, the problem may lie with the compressor.

The compressor coils of your refrigerator may be covered with dust or debris, preventing it from cooling the unit. To clean out the coils, first, plug off the refrigerator. Use a cotton cloth or vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt.

Now, turn on your refrigerator again and wait for some time if the cooling is back to normal; congratulations! However, if the problem remains, you should quickly call a maintenance specialist to help you sort out the issue.

5. Loud noises

A refrigerator has components that produce some sound while functioning. But if you are experiencing odd noises from the fridge, it’s time for a problem-check.

There are several reasons behind the noises coming from a refrigerator. To accurately detect the cause, check from where the sound emits. It may be a loose drain pan if it’s coming from the inside. You can easily fasten it back to its place with some bolts.

In another case, a scraping sound may suggest issues with the freezer. Check if there’s excess frost accumulation in the freezer. If there’s some, the chances are that you may need to replace the freeze timer.

If the sound is coming from behind the refrigerator, the problem may be with the compressor fans. Turn off the refrigerator before accessing the fans behind the fridge. You can clean them with a cloth to remove any dust particles. If the noise persists, call a technician to get professional help.

6. Water dispenser malfunctioning

Only high-end modern refrigerators provide the feature of a built-in water dispenser. It makes cold drinking water from your refrigerator accessible. But sometimes, the water dispenser may not work correctly by restricting water flow.

A common reason for the water dispenser malfunction is a clogged water tube. Access the water tube from the refrigerator door and blow air into it. If the air doesn’t pass through, the pipe is clogged. You can remove the frost blockage by running some hot water through it.

Make sure that the freezer temperature is optimum. If the temperature is set too low, the water tube may freeze frequently. Another reason for this refrigerator problem may be a faulty water valve in the inlet pipe.

A dent in the valve may restrict the water supply. If you can’t figure out the solution, don’t try to do it your way. Call a technician who will detect the exact cause of the problem.

7. Refrigerator freezing instead of cooling

Now, this can cause quite a tricky problem. Sometimes, you may open the refrigerator and find your food wholly frozen. But the temperature settings seem just fine. Don’t worry. It’s a prevalent refrigerator repair issue.
The main reason behind excessive freezing is a faulty thermostat. It is a device that controls the compressor and evaporator coils to maintain the desired temperature in the unit. If the thermostat doesn’t work properly, the refrigerator won’t be able to maintain optimum temperatures.

To check if the thermostat is working correctly, rotate the thermostat knob to the lowest temperature. Now turn it back to the highest temperature. Both times, you should hear a click sound. If you don’t, it means the thermostat isn’t working.

Changing or fixing the thermostat may not be easy to do independently. You may also end up causing more issues. So, it’s best to call a technician for help who can tackle the problem well.


That’s a wrap on common refrigerator problems, causing unnecessary hassles. Always check for the source of the problem. Usually, issues occurring inside the unit are easier to fix. On the other hand, you must be careful while dealing with the technical parts of the appliance. Make sure you clean your appliances regularly to avoid malfunctioning any component. It would be best to opt for regular refrigerator servicing to prevent any serious issues in the longer run.

About MyGate

MyGate is India’s largest apartment management software, benefiting thousands of housing societies, developers, society facility managers, and millions of homeowners in every Indian city.

Home Services

What do you think?