Troubleshooting Your Refrigerator

Pocket Guide: Troubleshooting a Faulty Refrigerator

You Break 'Em, We Fix 'Em Appliance repair Tips, Guides & How-To's, Refrigerators

Your refrigerator is the most important appliance in your home. When it malfunctions, it can create a big headache, and be a drain on your wallet. We want you to call us for all your repair needs. But before you call, we want you to know how to identify the problem and provide you with the tools to make those easy fixes yourself!

Getting to Know Your Refrigerator

Before we get into the problems and how to solve them, it’s important that you learn a few basics. There are key components of your fridge where problems can occur.

Study this diagram so you know where they are, read below to learn what they do.

Diagram of a Refrigerator

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Condenser Coils

The condenser coils are found on ether the back or bottom (as pictured above) of the fridge. They cool and condense the refrigerant so that the fridge’s internal temperature can be maintained.

Door Switch

The switch, though it may seem insignificant, is an important part of how your fridge operates. When triggered upon closing the door it activates the thermostat which brings the temperature of the fridge down to the desired level. In models with a Water and Ice Dispenser, the door must be closed before the dispenser will work.

Defrost Heater

This component is different in frost-free fridge unlike the one pictured above. The defrost heater runs on a 24-hour cycle in order to keep frost from building up on the evaporator coils affect the internal temperature.

Evaporator Fan

Most modern units have two of these. One is found inside the coils and is used to cool the compressor and force air in. The other is inside the fridge to circulate the air.

Evaporator Coils

The coils play a key role in cooling the fridge. They turn the pressurized coolant into vapour that is circulated through the fridge and freezer.


The compressor is key to circulating coolant in both liquid and vapour form. It acts as a pump that circulates the coolant to the coils and draws the vapour away.

Diagnosing the Problem


Though it may sound like the cliche tech support line, ‘did you try turning it off and on?’ The question of power may be the answer to your issue. If you open your fridge and feel its warm, there’s no light or you do not hear the fan running, power supply may be the culprit.

A simple test to determine where there is no power is to first unplug your fridge. Next, plug a lamp into the outlet to determine if that is the issue. If the outlet turns out to be fine, we recommend you call us as the problem is most likely a fuse inside the fridge.

Fixing the Problem

While we encourage you to call in the professionals for your repair needs, there are some simple fixes you can do yourself.

Don’t forget: we are your appliance repair experts! If you need help, we’d love if if you called us!


You can purchase a replacement door switch online or from a local parts dealer. To replace it you must first unplug the fridge. Next, locate and remove the faulty switch. On most models, the switch is held in with a few small screws. Rome the screws and the switch from the door frame.

The switch will be connected to the fridge by way of a couple of terminals. If the switch controls only the light there will be two wires, if it controls the light and fan there will be four. Label the wires so you remember which is which. Next remove them from the faulty unit and reconnect the wires to the new unit. Finally reconnect the power.