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Fridge Troubleshooting Tips: 6 Things That Can Go Wrong And How To Fix Them

Modern refrigerators are equipped with a slew of tools and sensors that assist in monitoring the internal temperature.

From alarms to cooling fans, fridges can adapt and react to maintain the perfect temperature.

But while today’s modern fridges possess many advancements, they still fail to account for the occasional glitch or malfunction.

When your refrigerator fails to operate properly, the first thing you should do is check the internal components that could be causing the problem.

So before you go out and buy a new fridge, here are six common refrigerator glitches and how you can fix them:


The Fridge or Freezer Won’t Cool

The first thing to do is check the thermostat. If it’s set too low, it won’t cool.

If you’ve set it to high, this could also cause problems.

The next thing to check is your freezer thermometer. Make sure it’s reading the temperature in the meat compartment and not in the vegetable bin or on top of the freezer wall.

A faulty thermometer can lead to a frozen food compartment that looks like it’s working but isn’t.

Check your freezer door seal for gaps and cracks. These can allow warm air into your unit causing it to freeze slowly or not at all.

Seal any gaps with silicone caulk or weather-stripping if necessary.

If you have an older model, check for broken springs in the door hinge so that when you open or close it, there’s no resistance from broken parts.

This can also cause warm air to get into your refrigerator and freezer compartments, which will make them less efficient at temperature control and more likely to freeze food than defrost it when necessary.

Water Drips From the Ceiling of the Fridge

If you notice water dripping from your refrigerator, it’s likely caused by a condensation issue.

Condensation occurs when warm air hits cold surfaces, such as when you open the door or when the temperature inside the refrigerator is too warm compared to that outside of it.

To fix this, turn off the power to your refrigerator and let it sit for at least an hour before attempting to fix anything else.

After an hour, check if there are any leaks or drips coming from anywhere in your appliance.

If there aren’t any leaks, clean out any dust or dirt that may have accumulated on the coils at the back of your unit

You can use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean these coils out or use a soft cloth dampened with soapy water if they’re too dirty for a vacuum cleaner attachment to reach.

If there is still no sign of leakage after cleaning out these coils, check for any foreign objects lodged in them — particularly anything metal like paper clips or coins — which may be causing excess friction against your coils and making them overheat.

If there are any foreign objects lodged in them then carefully remove them using tweezers or needle-nosed pliers.


The Freezer is Frosting Up

If your freezer is frosting up, check if your fan is working. You can do this by listening for a humming sound.

If you can’t hear it, then check that the fan isn’t blocked by dust or ice. If the fan is blocked, clean it with a vacuum cleaner or blow compressed air through it until it’s clear again.

If your fridge has an automatic defrost system, then make sure that it isn’t malfunctioning and causing the frost buildup.

To test this, turn off your fridge and freezer for 24 hours and see if there’s any frost on the condenser coils inside the back panel of your refrigerator when you turn it back on again. If there is, then call an appliance repair service to repair or replace the defrost system so that it can operate properly again.

Smells are Coming from the Fridge

The first thing you should check is whether or not the door of your refrigerator is fully closed. If it isn’t, then this could be causing the smell to come out of your fridge.

If that isn’t the case, then you may just need to clean up a little bit.

You can also try cleaning out all of your food items and removing any spoiled items. This will help get rid of any odors that may be lingering inside of your refrigerator.

You may also want to consider cleaning out any filters and coils as well if they haven’t been cleaned in awhile.

If these steps don’t work then it might be time for some more drastic measures like calling an appliance repair technician or replacing your refrigerator altogether!

The Lights Won’t Turn On

You may be able to fix this one yourself. First, check the lights inside the fridge.

The first fix, is to check if the bulb needs replacing.

If the bulb is not the problem, it may be an electrical problem with your circuit breaker or fuse box.

You can try resetting the circuit breaker or fuse by flipping off the breakers and then flipping them back on. If that doesn’t work, call a licensed electrician for help.


Water is Leaking From the Bottom of the Refrigerator

If you have a leak at the bottom of your fridge, it’s likely that you have a door seal issue.

The seal provides a barrier between the cold air inside and the warm air outside.

If there is a gap in this seal, moisture can get in and cause damage to your appliance and its contents; however, this problem can be easily fixed by replacing the door gasket or ordering a new door.


Disposing of an old, faulty fridge is likely not a cost you want to take on. At least not if you could get it fixed instead. Plus, if your fridge still works just fine, there’s no reason to replace it at the moment either. Often times, the problems that arise with fridges are simple fixes—which makes those repairs much more manageable and inexpensive. So don’t rush out and buy a new one just because your current one isn’t ticking like it used to. Your fridge might not be broken after all; it might just need a tune up.

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