Refrigerator Troubleshooting: Not Cooling, Broken Ice Maker and Leaks

Refrigerator Troubleshooting

Refrigerator Troubleshooting: Try these fixes for common problems before you call the repairman.

A broken refrigerator is one of the worst things to come home to. It usually starts with a broken ice dispenser or maybe a puddle in or under your refrigerator. Maybe your refrigerator isn’t cooling at all. Refrigerators are big and expensive and, unfortunately, break down from time to time. Nobody wants to have to spend money on a repairman when there is a problem. But, there are refrigerator troubleshooting steps you can take on your own that may be able to help you fix the problem entirely, or save you money before calling the repairman.

Refrigerator Troubleshooting: Fridge isn’t cooling properly, or at all

It is so frustrating to find out that your refrigerator isn’t keeping the refrigerator or freezer at the proper temperature. There are several things to check; any one of these might be causing the problem.

Is it plugged in properly? Is the power source working? If the interior light doesn’t come on, that could be a sign the power source isn’t working. Plug in a different appliance into the outlet. If it is working, then you’ve narrowed the problem down to the refrigerator, not the power source.

You also should check that the thermostat hasn’t been turned down and that there are not items that are covering the vents. Other things to check include the compressor, the overload/relay, the wiring, and the condenser fan (the condenser fan needs to be able to spin freely). Also, check that the coils are clean (if it has a condenser fan it won’t have coils). Vacuuming under and behind the refrigerator can help clean them.

Refrigerator Troubleshooting: Ice maker is not dispensing ice

This is a frustrating problem and one I personally have experienced. The refrigerator and freezer seem to be working fine, but the ice maker is doing nothing. What can you do?

Good news: This is typically easy to fix. Many times the ice is clumped in the ice bin and needs to be shaken up and/or thrown out. Sometimes when you don’t use ice very often the ice can stick together from the weight of the other cubes on top of it. If that is not the issue, you should check to see if the ice maker got turned off. When the wire next to the ice maker is raised it is off, and if you lower it then it should turn back on.

Refrigerator Troubleshooting: Puddles in or around your refrigerator

The first things to check if you have a puddle in your refrigerator or freezer, or on the floor, are the water dispenser and ice maker. Those areas are prone to leaks when lines wear down over time.

Also check your defrost tray under the fridge. If your puddle is inside the refrigerator your drain tube may be blocked. To fix that you need to unplug the refrigerator and locate the drain plug in the back or bottom of the main compartment. Put a solution of half and half of water and bleach into it (a couple times if need be) to clean it out. Then plug the refrigerator back in. It should make a huge difference.

The nice thing with these common refrigerator problems is that there is a good chance that you can fix things on your own, and you won’t need a repairman. But, if there is something you are not sure about, or if you are still under warranty, it may be better just to give a repairman a call.

And remember, if none of these steps work and it’s time to buy a new refrigerator, check Viewpoints Refrigerator Reviews first. You want it to be a long time before you have these problems again.

Jackie Conn Jackie Conn (28 Posts)

Jackie Conn is a penny pinching, stay-at-home mom who has researched and written reviews for 7 years.