Easy DIY Tips For Avoiding An Unexpected Refrigerator Breakdown

Posted on: 20 June 2018

No one spends much thought on a refrigerator. After all, a fridge is something you can leave in a corner of the kitchen and expect it to do its job, right? As long as your food stays cold, it's easy to forget about. But refrigerators are just like any machine. They need maintenance and they need it regularly or you'll run into an unexpected breakdown, pints of melted ice cream, and cartons of warm milk. Fortunately, there are several things you can do on your own, even if you're not super handy, to keep it running much longer. Here are three tips for keeping your fridge in tiptop shape.  

Clean the Condenser Coils

Most people ignore this relatively easy cleaning chore because most refrigerator coils are behind the fridge. Of course, that means pulling the fridge out from the wall, where it's likely been comfortably resting for many months (or years, let's be honest); this is often the most annoying part of the job. But once you've done it, the rest is pretty easy. Unplug it first, of course. Some fridge's coils are simply exposed on the back and easy to access, while most newer fridge's coils are located at the bottom behind a grill. Snap off the grill cover. (Locate your fridge's owner's manual for instructions if it proves difficult. Most are online.) As time passes, the coils become coated with dust and hair. You can avoid most repair calls and even improve your fridge's efficiency just by cleaning them. Use a vacuum to get rid of the excess dust first. You'll need a special tool for the next part. Pick up a coil cleaning brush from an appliance parts store. With this flexible tool you can reach into the tight corners to safely and easily remove buildup.  

Clean the Condenser Fan

While you've got the fridge pulled out and the back exposed, go one step further. If your coils are at the bottom of the fridge and not on the back, you'll have a condenser fan too. Check your fridge's owner's manual for specific directions. Typically there will be a back cover that needs to be removed by unscrewing it. The condenser fan is inside. It should be easy to spot. Clean the fan's blades with a vacuum and brush.  

Clean the Drip Pan

Another easy task to complete while you've got the fridge out is to clean the drip pan. It's a receptacle located at the bottom of the fridge near the ground. Some are accessed at the front, others at the back. Check your owner's manual. The pan is designed to catch the condensation from the defrost drain. Empty it out, wipe it down with cleaner, and then replace it.

To learn more, contact a refrigerator repair company like Jensen Appliance & Refrigeration Service.