Top 10: common refrigerator breakdowns and their causes


A broken refrigerator is a real disaster for the whole family. It is necessary to know the most common refrigerator breakdowns and their causes in order not to violate the rules of operation, and in case of anything – to know when you can handle it with your own hands, and when to call a master.

Modern household appliances have so firmly entered our lives that we have stopped noticing it and appreciating the benefits it gives us. But as soon as some device breaks down, we immediately realize how much it makes our lives easier. One of the most striking examples is the refrigerator. It stores at least a few days’ worth of food, and the freezer holds a stockpile of meat, berries, ice cream and convenience foods. In a matter of hours, food starts to melt and spoil, so a broken refrigerator is a real disaster for the whole family. It is necessary to know the most common refrigerator breakdowns and their causes in order not to violate the rules of operation, and in case of what – to know when you can manage with your own hands, and when to call a master.

№1. The refrigerator lost its interior light

This problem is not even a problem. Many people prefer not to do anything about it, because the lack of light does not affect the functionality, but still noticeably obstructs the view, so it is better to fix the problem in time.

Causes of breakdown:

breakage of the light button;
burned out bulb;
there is no electricity, or the plug does not fit properly into the socket.
As a rule, the problem is solved without calling a master, but if the cause is in the button, you may need help.

№2. The refrigerator does not turn on

№2. The refrigerator does not turn on

It is worse if the light bulb is on but the refrigerator does not work, i.e. it does not freeze. Reasons:

The compressor has failed, clicks may be heard. The problem may be caused by winding breakage or short circuit;
sensor or thermoregulator malfunction, i.e. the refrigerator cannot detect that the temperature inside has increased. If the cause is in the thermoregulator, you should find two wires that lead to it, remove them from the terminals and connect them to each other. If the thermoregulator is the cause, the refrigerator will work;
if the light bulb is not lit, and the problems with connection to electricity are excluded, the reason may be in the relay. You can check it with an ohmmeter, if you disconnect and dial the relay;
failure in the control module. From the sensors, signals are received about the need to turn on the motor, but the board does not perceive them or does not transmit the signal to the motor.
To determine the cause of the malfunction, a master diagnostics is required. The malfunctioning element must be replaced.

№3. The refrigerator does not turn off

This is also a problem, as the refrigerator works hard and wastes a lot of electricity. The reason can be trivial – the refrigerator door is slightly ajar, or the outside temperature is too high. The door should be closed and the temperature mode should be readjusted. Also, the problem may lie in the emergency freezing mode. Among the more serious causes:

A damaged or worn out seal on the refrigerator door, meaning the door is not fitting tightly against the refrigerator, letting warm air in;
malfunction of the temperature sensor or thermoregulator, i.e. there is either no signal about reaching a certain temperature inside the refrigerator or it does not pass normally;
control module malfunction. All systems work normally, but the module does not send commands to the motor;
refrigerant leakage;
depressurization occurred in the capillary tube of the evaporator and an ice clot was formed, resulting in a clog;
the compressor has failed.

№4. Strong noise during operation

There are times when a refrigerator starts growling and humming much more than is typical for normal operation. Causes:

The refrigerator is installed incorrectly, it comes in contact with walls or pieces of furniture, vibration occurs. It is worth moving the refrigerator a little, and you can get rid of the noise;
the compressor suspension is broken, you can try to adjust the suspension bolts;
faulty fan;
faulty or worn out motor, the operation of which also causes noise;
unstable position of the relay in the magnetic field of the cushion.

№5. The refrigerator compartment does not freeze

There are often situations when the freezer works, but the refrigerator does not. The reason for this can be simple. For example, the refrigerator door is not tightly closed or the fan with so large a layer of ice that it cannot rotate freely. If these problems are ruled out, then the causes should be looked for in the following:

the fan’s electric motor has failed;
Freon leakage, in which case, as a rule, ice builds up unevenly and the walls swell. In case of freon leakage through the steel body of the freezer, rust traces appear on the refrigerator body. Freon circuit can be damaged when the refrigerator is aggressively cleaned of ice;
compressor malfunction in the refrigerating chamber. This is not always the case, but may be indicated by the appearance of an oil stain under the refrigerator.

№6. Freezer does not freeze

If the door of the freezer compartment fits the chamber normally, the correct temperature mode is set, but the freezer is still too warm inside, the following troubles can be suspected:

the freezer compartment compressor has failed (in refrigerators with two compressors);
malfunction of the switching valve, which distributes cold in the chambers (for refrigerators with one compressor);
malfunction of the thermostat of the freezer compartment, which does not signal in time that the temperature inside has risen;
temperature sensor malfunction;
Freon leakage.

№7. The refrigerator freezes too much or too little

Immediately it is necessary to exclude a trivial cause – incorrect setting of the thermal mode. If there is nothing wrong with it, and vegetables are freezing even on the lower shelves, there may be several reasons:

weak fastening of the siphon tube, as a result of which the contact with the evaporator wall is weakened, or the tube comes out from under the surface of the pressure bar. It is simply necessary to fix the tube correctly;
Thermostat failure. Try putting it in a position close to the minimum. If this does not help, you will have to replace the thermostat.
Another problem is when the refrigerator seems to be working, but it is still too warm inside. The reasons for this trouble are:

damage to the gasket;
there are heating appliances near the refrigerator;
the refrigerator is too close to the wall;
refrigerant leakage;
the refrigerator is constantly exposed to direct sunlight.

№8. The refrigerator turns on and then immediately turns off

The sooner this problem is addressed, the better for the refrigerator. If you procrastinate, you may need more expensive repairs or replacement of the refrigerator.


Compressor malfunction;
failure of the starter relay.

№9. Formation of a snow coat

Among the reasons for the appearance of a thick layer of ice in the refrigerator and freezer compartment are both trivial and specific:

if you constantly put hot food in the refrigerator, often open the doors and put liquids in open dishes, then there will be a fairly high level of humidity inside, and moisture at low temperatures freezes, settling on the walls and shelves in the form of ice;
deterioration of the gasket;
poor air circulation, i.e. the space is literally clogged with food, with no air between them.

№10. Unpleasant odor in the refrigerator

First, it is worth checking if something in the far corner of the refrigerator compartment has spoiled. Also exclude another triviality – the presence of a product with a strong specific odor. As a rule, any odor is eliminated during a thorough cleaning of the refrigerator. The reasons for its appearance are clear:

improper use of the refrigerator and storing food in the open, as well as storing spoiled food;
leaving the refrigerator turned off and closed for a long period of time;
wetting of the thermal insulation. The liquid can get behind the lining panel, accumulate there and become a perfect environment for bacteria development.

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