10 Refrigerator Parts That Commonly Require Repair

Posted on: 13 March 2015

Refrigerators are built with complex parts. When your refrigerator is not working properly, any of these parts may need repair or replacement. The following is a list of 10 refrigerator parts that most commonly require repair or replacement from a appliance repair technician or service:

1. The Temperature Control Knob

This knob monitors and adjusts refrigerator and freezer temperature to keep food fresh and at a proper setting. The control is built with wires attached. If the wires become detached or frayed, the control switch may not work properly. Your service technician will check the wires for signs of damage, and replace or repair them as needed.

If the wires are in good shape, the repairman will see if the control housing is broken or cracked, another aspect that warrants replacement. When replacing broken or defective control knobs, it must be a compatible model to work with your refrigerator.

2. Condenser Coils

Your refrigerator may overheat, become very noisy or not run at all if the condenser coils become blocked by dust or dirt. The coils are located on the back of the unit. When your refrigerator does not cool or operate correctly, a technician may clean the coils to note if this solves the problem.

To do so, the coil grill must be removed from the unit. The piece will either be lifted off by hand or screws may be removed first. The service technician will use a special brush to remove debris, or a vacuum if dirt is more embedded.

3. Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan circulates air inside the freezer. When it becomes faulty or clogged with debris, the unit may not operate correctly. To check the evaporator fan, a technician will remove the freezer wall, located in the rear of the compartment. He or she may check for disconnected wires to the fan, or replace the fan if it has become old and worn out.

4. Electrical Cord

A damaged electrical cord may prevent a refrigerator from running. In addition, a damaged cord may pose a safety hazard, therefore it should be repaired or replaced at once. The technician will check the wire shielding for signs of damage. The wire shielding may have been shredded or broken away from the cord. Scorching on the wire housing is a sign of damage as well. Also, when the electrical cord has been trapped beneath the weight of the refrigerator, the shielding may bend or fray. The cord will need to be replaced in such a case.

5. Defrost Timer

The failure of a defrost timer may cause the refrigerator to stop running. The technician may remove the timer and check it for accuracy. A device known as a multitester may be used. When the defrost timer is shown to be defective or not working properly, your technician may replace it with a new model.

6. Thermal Overload Protector

This part is necessary to prevent the compressor motor from overheating. If the protector becomes faulty, it will need to be replaced. These parts are inexpensive and won't take much time to replace.

7. Compressor Motor

The compressor motor will keep your refrigerator operating. If it becomes damaged, your refrigerator may not cool properly or it may become extremely noisy. Motor windings may have shorted, requiring a total replacement of the motor.

8. Door or Light Switch

If the door or light switch is damaged, the refrigerator door may not close flush against the unit. This may result in the unit not cooling properly. The door switch is typically inexpensive to replace, although inexperienced individuals should leave the installation to a professional.

9. Door Seal

A refrigerator that does not cool properly may be due to a cracked and leaking door seal. The repair technician may look for condensation, which may be indicative of a faulty seal. A replacement seal may need to be installed.

10. Defrost Heater

If your automatic-defrost refrigerator does not defrost, the defrost heater may be damaged. A multitester may be used to detect if the device is working properly. A new heater assembly may be installed if necessary.

As a side note, always unplug the refrigerator from the electrical outlet before attempting any repairs or installation. If you're inexperienced, hire a professional to do repairs or installations for you.