Buying a refrigerator is a difficult and often expensive process. Fortunately, refrigerators are built to last, and on average, you can get anywhere from 10 to 20 years out of your refrigerator. Even if you stay on top of maintaining your refrigerator, there is the chance something goes wrong.
Because your refrigerator plays such an important role in the kitchen, you do not want to take any chances. Making repairs on your own when you do not know what you are doing may result in irreversible damage to your refrigerator. Listed below are some of the most common refrigerator issues.
A common issue with refrigerators is the motor overheating. When the motor overheats, the interior of the refrigerator may be cool, but the back of the fridge starts giving off heat. It is normal for there to be a little heat coming from the motor, but if you cannot have your hand on the back of the refrigerator for more than a few seconds, it is an indicator the motor is overheating.
Overheating is such a common issue because it can be caused by many other problems. In order to properly diagnose why the motor is overheating, you must hire a technician. He or she can tell you the exact nature of the problem, and how much it will cost to fix. In some cases, the fix is inexpensive, such as replacing one of the coils. However, the motor overheating may be a symptom of a much larger problem, which may require a more expensive repair, or even outright replacing your refrigerator.
If your refrigerator has a freezer unit, you are more likely to run into cooling issues. Many new refrigerator models have a method of tracking and altering the temperature. Before you hire a technician, make sure the settings are correct, as you may have accidentally bumped one of the controls which set the refrigerator to a much colder temperature. You can also try unplugging the refrigerator for a minute and plug it back in. Monitor the temperature for a few hours and see if it continues to get colder.
When your refrigerator gets too cold, the issue is typically with the defrost mechanism. In newer models, the defrost mechanism is not only more reliable, but it is also easier to service. If you have an older model, you may be charged an additional fee depending on the model.
One of the most severe issues is when a refrigerator starts to leak. This is easy to identify as a puddle will eventually appear around the fridge. There are a couple of reasons your refrigerator may start leaking. One of the easiest and least expensive issues is if the door is not closing completely. This can naturally happen with wear-and-tear, so if you have had your refrigerator for many years, this is the most likely culprit.
Another issue is if the hoses from the drip plan are damaged or knocked out of place. While this is more likely to occur with an older refrigerator, a particularly bad bump when you are setting up the refrigerator can displace the hoses. A more expensive issue is if the drip pan is broken. Combination refrigerator and freezer units also sometimes leak if there is too big of a temperature difference between the refrigerator and the freezer.
Average Costs of Refrigerator Repairs
Budgeting for a refrigerator repair can be tricky, as the expense greatly varies depending on the model of refrigerator and the severity of the issue. The longer an issue goes untreated, the more you end up paying. Smaller issues, such as repairing or replacing a broken coil can cost anywhere from $50 to $250, depending on your refrigerator.
The most expensive repairs often involve replacing interior parts. For example, fixing a compressor, fan motor or defroster typically costs between $200 to $300 for each part. These repairs also require a specialized technician, so you may be charged more for labor.
Finding a Refrigerator Repair Technician
There are several reliable methods for finding a refrigerator repair technician in your area. The first is to check with any major home appliance store in your area, such as Lowes or Home Depot. Even if these companies do not provide repair services in your area, they should be able to give you a recommendation. If you bought your fridge from a home appliance store, you may also have a warranty to cover the costs.
When you are looking for a refrigerator repair technician, it is important to provide as much information as possible. Even if you are not familiar with how a refrigerator works, you can give the technician a great deal of information just by providing the refrigerator brand.
Some of the most common refrigerator brands in the United States include Kenmore, Frigidaire, LG, Whirlpool and Samsung. Knowing the brand is so important because it lets the technician know what kind of parts are used in your refrigerator. This is important not only for locating problems but also for estimating how much it will cost to make the repairs.