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  • Writer's pictureGateway Property Hub

Fridge not working? The clock is ticking!

Updated: Feb 22

And the food is slowly but surely getting warmer, and you see money and food going in the bin.

Your family can't eat all the food fast enough or worse even is that turkey that you bought for a bargain for Christmas will not be eaten at all.

If your fridge freezer is leaking water, running constantly or trying to start all the time or making a noise, you may think is time to get a new one. Or if it's building up ice, you may want to call the appliance repairman. But don't do it until you have tried a few things first .

Loads of food in the fridge
Loads of food in the fridge

WHAT TO DO .? Step 1. Make space around

Remove all obstacles and plastic bags from the top and side and from behind the fridge. The thermostat needs to be able to get air . Sometimes that all that is needed but it could be that the damage has already been done and the fridge has overheated due to lack of ventilation and has died. Then you can buy a new Fridge Freezer but make sure it will fit through your front door or up the stairs. (we once had this brilliant idea of getting a nice big fridge for a large townhouse with the kitchen on the 1st floor but it wouldn't go past the stairs so we had to order a smaller one)

Step 2. Check electricity supply

  • Electrics: Is the fridge light coming on when you open the door?

  • Is it switched on at the wall? Perhaps the light bulb has just blown but the fridge is still ok or did your son need a plug to charge his phone and he has unplugged it? Many fridge engineers have been called out just for them to put the plug back on.

  • Check the plug and socket and the trip switch on the mains. Are the other plugs working or is it perhaps only the fridge socket not working. Get an extension cord and plug the fridge via that into another socket. Can you hear the fridge working?

Step 3. Weird noises or smoke

Does it make a weird noise or smoke? SWITCH IT OFF! Its a fire hazard. Start packing your food into a cooler boxes (cool box or icebox) or ask the neighbours or your friends for space or cool boxes for all your food. Wrapping food in newspaper also helps things stay cool. You might still be able to rescue the fridge if there is some blockage around the fridge (plastic bags) or ice build-up, but weird noises and smoke are never a good sign.

Step 4. Fridge part not getting cold

Is the fridge part not getting cold anymore or running constantly?

Check if you freezer compartment is frozen shut after someone left the door ajar or were you too lazy to defrost it?

Now is the time to defrost it!!

Put your food in a cooler box or wrap in newspaper.

No self respecting fridge engineer will touch it if its frozen solid.

Switch the freezer off, open the door, remove loose ice and put buckets and trays and towels to catch melting water. Use pots of boiled water and place it on the shelves or use a fan heater and point it to the open freezer. Use a plastic spatula/scrapers to try scrape the ice gently without damaging the elements. A fan heater/ blow dryer will help but be careful of shocks and melting the plastic sides/shelves of fridge. Dry it when all ice is gone and switch it on.

- Spray on fridge de-icer helps as well. Check if the door closes properly after its defrosted as it might work fine now that the door can shut again.

Hopefully it will start working again. Call the engineer if it doesn't.

Step 5. Water puddles

Water puddles in fridge or do you have frozen lettuce or wine?.

-Check if drain hole in the fridge part is blocked and open it with a wooden skewer or pipe cleaner so the water can drain. -Is the seal around the doors still in one peace or clean? Make sure the fridge doors seal properly and don't let it frost up.

-Or is it an integrated fridge and the door doesn't shut properly? -The door must shut properly otherwise the fridge will run all the time and make certain bits too cold.

-Check if its clean behind the fridge. Vacuuming there to remove dust from the back helps. -Check if the fridge works overtime because the temperature was set too low. Don't let items lean against the back wall of the fridge as it will cause ice build-up.

-Clean the seals around the doors,

Step 6. Is the other half still ok?.

Check if the fridge part of the Fridge Freezer still works ok if you switch off the freezer part. Sometimes you can salvage half the fridge freezer until you can get a new one.

Hopefully this helps.

PS. I can only dream of a fridge like the one below. It wont even fit though my kitchen door or front door. I will need to win the lottery to afford a new house and that fancy fridge .

We may earn when you buy something from clicking on any affiliate links but Amazon is so handy we just can't help it.


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