How to repair a refrigerator with your own hands


A refrigerator breakdown is a big problem. But if you have experience and understand the principle of operation of the unit, you can eliminate the malfunction by your own efforts.

Most of this equipment is part of the equipment of a specialized workshop and will not always be available at home. Therefore, in case of a serious malfunction, especially related to the need to replace the compressor, it is better to contact a service center. Such works require depressurization of the refrigerator cooling circuit, which is difficult at home.

Diagnostics of units and elements of the refrigerator
The order and composition of future works depend on the nature of malfunction of the failed unit. Further – more detailed information about repair of separate elements and systems.

Preliminary diagnostics will be required to determine the cause of the breakdown. When the “diagnosis” is made, you can proceed to eliminate the defect.

Malfunction of the thermoregulator

The failure of the thermoregulator is indicated by a violation of the temperature mode. If the refrigerator does not cool the chamber to the required degree, one of the main reasons is a malfunction associated with the regulator. Also, the failure of this unit is indicated by excessive cooling of the unit.

The location of the thermoregulator may differ depending on the model and its design features. If this node is installed inside the refrigerating chamber, the access to it is open – it is necessary to remove the handle, by which the temperature is set and dismantle the regulator case.

For refrigerators Samsung, LG and other imported models the location of the thermoregulator under the temperature control panel is also characteristic, but the node is placed outside the chamber.

Checking with diagnostics of the device is performed in the following sequence:

disconnect the unit from the mains;
defrost completely;
set the regulator to the most intensive level of freezing, placing a thermometer inside the refrigerating chamber to measure the actual temperature.
If the device shows no more than 7 degrees with a “plus” sign, the thermoregulator will have to be replaced. To do this, you will need to buy a similar part, installing it to replace the one that has fallen into disrepair.

Refrigerant leakage

On the leakage of refrigerant is indicated by intensive operation of the appliance without a long shutdown. A red light may illuminate, signaling the need for inspection.

Diagnosis of such a breakdown is accomplished by the following methods:

1. Apply soap solution to all pipes in the system – access to different parts of the circuit is required:

effective if the leakage is insignificant and the pressure in the system is maintained;
it will be necessary to remove the protective cover of the housing beforehand, defrosting the evaporator;
the solution will foam at the leakage point.
2. By means of a dye – if the pressure has dropped so low that the soap solution will not indicate damage. The dye component is added to the Freon composition – the place of leakage will show the corresponding color of the dyed refrigerant.

To eliminate the malfunction, the refrigerator is completely switched off and defrosted. The rest of the refrigerant is pumped out with a vacuum pump, clogs are removed. At the end a new liquid is pumped in.

Failure of thermal protection relay

Failure of the thermal protection device leads to premature shutdown of the unit. This threatens to overheat the compressor. The failed relay is dismantled by first opening the housing.

If the matter is in the jammed rod, the unit is easy to restore independently, but the damaged winding will need to be replaced.

Compressor malfunction

When diagnosing a compressor malfunction, the absence of cold in the chambers indicates a lack of cold in the chambers. Also the unit may not turn on. Repair of the motor at home is impossible, but also specialists of the service center are unlikely to restore the compressor in case of breakdown.

To replace the compressor it is necessary to:

disconnect the power supply;
tilt the motor, letting the current flow for two minutes;
attach a piercing valve to the filter-drier, fix the cylinder and open it for a few tens of seconds;
replace the refueling tube with a copper one by soldering it in the appropriate place;
cut the capillary tube;
dismantle the defective compressor, plug the discharge and suction outlets;
install a new motor, carefully solder the connections, making sure they are tight.
Sometimes the compressor makes a rattling noise when the refrigerator is operating. This may be due to loosened fastening of metal parts or adhesion of the motor to other structural elements.

To eliminate the problem, position the compressor correctly and tighten the loosened connections of parts. The fasteners should be sealed with washers.

Light bulbs

If there is no light in the refrigerating chamber – the problem is most often in the failure of the lamp. To replace the consumable element of the refrigerator, buy an analog of the lighting device and install it instead of the one that has fallen into disrepair.

The power of the lamp should not exceed 30 W. The new element is selected by analogy with the original. Before installation, measure the voltage in the lampholder to check and diagnose the connecting fittings, excluding its defects.

Temperature sensors

Malfunctions of these elements are characteristic of Nord refrigerators. In these models, sometimes several devices fail at the same time. This breakdown causes the compressor to malfunction.

The refrigerator temperature sensor cannot be disassembled and repaired by yourself, so you will need to replace the faulty unit.


If the drain pipes are clogged, moisture starts to accumulate inside the refrigerator and ice starts to freeze actively. These elements of the liquid removal system are located on the outer side of the case or inside.

In case of external location of the element, the tube can be easily removed and washed with hot water. Otherwise, the channel is cleaned with a blunted wire, flushing some places.

Control board failure

If the control board fails, the refrigerator does not work when plugged in. This is a complex and expensive part, so repair in a service center is a costly procedure.

In most refrigerator models, the board is located inside the plastic housing at the back at the bottom, near the compressor. What is needed:

disconnect the unit from the mains by turning the back side outward;
open the case of the board by unscrewing the self-tapping screws and pushing away the lock;
disconnect the part by pulling the contacts out of the connectors and install a new one.
The failure of the board is caused by the failure of capacitors. This is caused by voltage surges in the network. To prevent the capacitors from burning prematurely, the refrigerator is connected through a stabilizer. An alternative option is to install a device that stabilizes the voltage at the apartment inlet.

Diagnostics of No-Frost refrigerator units and elements
Refrigerators with the No-Frost system are characterized by certain nuances and differences of the constructive device. It is necessary to take them into account when diagnosing and checking the unit serviceability, searching for the reasons of malfunction.

Distinctive features of No-Frost design

The No-Frost design provides for the operation of a ventilation system, by means of which cold air circulates inside the individual refrigerating chambers. In this way, a stable temperature is maintained and no ice forms.


The fan is a crucial part of the unit’s operation. To diagnose and check a malfunction, it is enough to listen to the operation of the device. The air flow is determined by putting the palm of your hand to the ventilation holes.

Excessive noise, rattling of the fan, poor air circulation indicate wear and the need for replacement.

For visual inspection, remove the freezer compartment cover on the rear wall. It is important to make sure that the impeller blades are intact. If the unit is defective, a new one should be installed instead.

Defrosting system

This refrigerator system consists of the following elements:

a timer that controls the cycles;
two thermal relays for upper and lower temperature thresholds;
a heating component.
The timer sets the defrosting time at which the heater (with the compressor switched off) and the heating evaporator start. The ice melts as moisture is removed through the drainage system. Once the upper temperature threshold is reached, the compressor is turned on.

To diagnose the operability of this refrigerator system it is necessary to:

dismantle the evaporator cover (on the rear wall), fan;
disable the timer by turning the handle or pressing the button.
As a result, the compressor is switched off, heating elements are heated. If the heating element did not start, check its integrity, the operation of the relay, measuring the characteristics. A new part is installed instead of the part that has fallen into disrepair.

Repair of refrigerators at home is a difficult occupation. If the owner is not confident in his own abilities, it is recommended to contact the service. But if you have knowledge and experience, you can repair the refrigerator yourself, which will save time and money.

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