Common Refrigerator Problems and What to Do About Them


We all love our appliances when they’re working properly and don’t often think much about them in our day to day lives. However, as soon as a machine doesn’t do its job, or worse yet, breaks down or causes damage to our home, it’s very much top of mind.

Our refrigerators, in particular, are an essential appliance, especially during the summer months. To avoid getting into a situation where your fridge suddenly goes kaput, it helps to know common issues to look out for, and what to do if they occur.

Cycling Continually

Our fridge works all day to keep foods and drinks chilled, but we don’t want the machine to cycle continually. If a refrigerator is running too much, it drains excess power and works harder than it needs to, which could reduce its lifespan. One reason why a fridge runs too often is if there’s too much debris and dust around the condenser coils. People who have pets often notice this issue, as do those in homes where a lot of dust gets in. 

To address this issue yourself, unplug the appliance from AC power and use a vacuum cleaner to remove as much dust, hair, and other buildup as possible, then wipe the coils over with a cloth or soft brush to get rid of leftover debris. (Most coils are on the bottom of the machine and accessed from the front or back.)

If this cleaning doesn’t rectify things, the problem may be that your fridge’s temperature is set too low. When this happens, the machine will have to work overtime to maintain low heat. Adjust the setting periodically to see if you can find an ideal temperature. If the cycling continues unabated, call in a specialist refrigerator repair person, as the fridge may have a defective part. Check out sites such as for professional contact details.


A clear sign your refrigerator needs attention is if you spot leakage below or around the machine. Thankfully, this is often a simple fix. For example, your appliance may have a blocked defrost drain. The drain, or hose leading to it, can get blocked by food particles and other bits and pieces. This, in turn, leads to ice buildup, and after time water will leak out. 

The drain is generally accessed from inside the freezer part of your fridge or in the bottom back service panel. Try flushing it with warm water and a small funnel, or use something long and skinny, like a straightened coat hanger, to remove the clog. 

Another reason why you might see water leaking from your refrigerator is if there’s a clogged or frozen water supply line. In this case, the machine probably isn’t making ice or letting water flow adequately from the dispenser. 

If so, unplug the machine for a couple of hours to let the ice melt. Also, examine the water supply line for potential breaks or tears, and kinks. If you spot any of these problems, the line may need to be replaced by a repair person, or you can DIY the job. Note, though, that if you spot any blockages that aren’t translucent, and thereby not ice, have a professional examine the line. 

Strange Noises

Refrigerators always generate some level of noise, particularly at times when they’re cycling. Still, if you start hearing strange and/or loud noise coming from your machine, there’s probably something wrong with it. Often, appliances start getting much noisier when there’s an issue with one or more of their fans.

Most fridges have both an evaporator fan and a condenser fan. The former draws air over the freezer’s evaporator coils while the compressor runs, and the latter cools the machine’s condenser coil. The fans run simultaneously, and an issue with one or both of their motors will significantly increase the noise emitted. As such, call in a technician to check the machine and replace one or both fans as needed. 

Also, fridges often get noisy if they’re vibrating too much due to loose parts. For instance, condenser coils, compressor tubing, or rollers can come loose. If you notice any accessible parts seem loose, tighten them up with a wrench or screwdriver, and check the feet on the unit to ensure it’s sitting evenly on the floor. If it’s not, this can cause the appliance to move about too much and create noise. 

If your time spent troubleshooting fridge problems doesn’t fix the issue(s), call a repair person to examine the machine. Keep in mind, too, that if your appliance is still under warranty, it’s best to have a professional work on it, so you don’t risk voiding the warranty if you do something wrong. Plus, in this case, you can avoid having to pay for repairs, too. 

About Author

LaDonna Dennis

LaDonna Dennis is the founder and creator of Mom Blog Society. She wears many hats. She is a Homemaker*Blogger*Crafter*Reader*Pinner*Friend*Animal Lover* Former writer of Frost Illustrated and, Cancer...SURVIVOR! LaDonna is happily married to the love of her life, the mother of 3 grown children and "Grams" to 3 grandchildren. She adores animals and has four furbabies: Makia ( a German Shepherd, whose mission in life is to be her attached to her hip) and Hachie, (an OCD Alaskan Malamute, and Akia (An Alaskan Malamute) who is just sweet as can be. And Sassy, a four-month-old German Shepherd who has quickly stolen her heart and become the most precious fur baby of all times. Aside from the humans in her life, LaDonna's fur babies are her world.

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