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Step-By-Step Refrigerator Diagnosis For Homeowners

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A refrigerator is one of the electrical appliances that are best handled by professional electricians whenever they break down. However, even if you don't have the foggiest idea on refrigerator operations, there are a few things you can check before calling the electrician. Here are three examples of common refrigerator issues and the checks a typical person can perform before calling an electrician:

Refrigerator Doesn't Power On At All

If the refrigerator doesn't even turn on, then you need to confirm whether power is reaching the refrigerator. Do this by performing the following checks:

  • Testing the power outlet by plugging in another appliance that you know to be working.
  • Plugging the power cord into an outlet you know to be working.
  • Confirming that the power cord is plugged all the way in into the outlet.
  • Confirming that the power cord isn't frayed or damaged in any way.

Your checks may eliminate the electrical connections as potential sources of the problem and focus on the refrigerator. If the refrigerator is really dead and the problem doesn't lie with the cord or the outlet, then its time to call an electrician.

Refrigerator Is Lighting Up But Not Cooling Enough

There are also cases where the refrigerator powers on but isn't getting cold enough. Here again, it's essential to start with the most obvious suspect and get it out of the way, and this is the temperature gauge. Confirm that it isn't turned all the way up, making it difficult for the refrigerator to work. Here are a couple of checks to perform if the problem doesn't lie with the dial:

  • Check if the door seals are cracked or damaged in any way; such things let air escape from the fridge even when it is closed, leading to high temperatures inside the fridge.
  • Confirm that the fan (usually located at the back of the freezer panel) is running normally; it needs to run normally to direct cold air into the fridge. Apart from an electrical malfunction, the fan's rotation may be impeded by ice stuck on the blades.

As usual, consult an electrician if you can't diagnose the malfunction if you have diagnosed it, but it is something you can't fix on your own.

Refrigerator Is Constantly Running

The third common problem is that of a fridge that is running and cooling as usual but keeps on running continuously. This is an anomaly because the fridge is supposed to shut itself off when it gets cold and power on again automatically when the temperature starts to drop. A fridge that is continuously running uses much more energy than it should.

Check these three areas to see if they are the cause of the problem:

  • Set the dial to the warmest level possible; the thermostat is probably malfunctioning if the fridge continues to run.
  • Check if the refrigerator vents are clogged with dirt or other things; improper air circulation may prevent proper cooling and lead to the continuous operation of the fridge.  
  • Check the integrity of the door seals; as explained in the preceding section, damaged seals let out cold air, which raises the temperature inside the fridge and may make it run without ceasing.

For more information, contact E.J. Gray Electric or a similar company.