How to Know When Your Refrigerator Is Broken

Home ownership can be stressful. There’s a lot to take care of, and while preventative maintenance can help you avoid costly repairs, it’s difficult to know when you should call a professional for help.

Appliances can be particularly stressful because you rely on them so much. Your stove breaking may be obvious; you try to cook, and it won’t turn on. However, may be harder to check if your refrigerator is still running (besides just checking if it’s cold). Here are five signs your refrigerator is broken.

You can hear your refrigerator running

An ice maker or water dispenser may make noise while it’s operating, but the refrigerator itself should not make noise. If you notice a frequent or constant buzzing or humming coming from your refrigerator, it’s usually a sign that something is wrong.

Depending on the severity of the problem, it may be very easy to fix — sometimes it’s just a loose panel or it’s improperly balanced on the floor. However, if you let it go assuming your fridge wants to be heard, it’s possible the fridge could be close to breaking down.

Your freezer is growing icebergs

A lot of people assume it’s normal for there to be a buildup of ice in the freezer. However, that is a myth. If you are losing freezer space because you have to scrape ice off everything that comes out of the freezer, you need to call a professional.

This may have been relatively common for older freezers, but newer models have automatic defrosting features that prevent ice buildup. It’s possible the automatic defrost function broke, or there is a more significant problem causing it to freeze faster than the defrost can work.

Your food is going bad faster than it should

Perishable food doesn’t have an extremely long life. However, if the refrigerator is constantly running at the proper temperature, you shouldn’t be losing food too quickly either. If you start noticing your food is only last a couple of days, that means it is not maintaining the proper temperature.

This can be dangerous because it may mean you are eating food that’s already spoiling (particularly regarding meat and dairy products). Keep an eye on how long your food is lasting.

The motor is running hot 

A hot motor is one of those things that you won’t simply notice, because it involves moving the fridge or being able to feel the back of the fridge. However, if you already suspect there is a problem, you may want to feel the back of the fridge where the coils are to see if it seems overly warm.

The motor running hot is a sign that it’s overworking itself for some reason and will burn out. An appliance repair person can determine why the motor is working so hard and if it is a fixable problem or time to buy a new refrigerator.

There’s constant condensation

This is probably one of the most common problems people notice when their refrigerator is not working correctly. You start to find moisture or condensation on your food and the shelves or walls of your fridge.

When it gets really bad, you may even find puddles of water on the floor in front of your fridge. This is not a good sign, and you should call a professional to come to look at your fridge right away.

Depending on where you live and how long you’ve owned your home, you may not be familiar with any appliance repair companies in your area. It’s always best to look for local companies with good reputations. If you live out in Oregon, for example, then searching appliance repair in Bend OR will provide you with a list of local options that you can investigate further.

There are plenty of DIY ways to fix minor problems with your fridge. But if something more serious is happening, it’s always best to call a professional.

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