Fridge Repair How To Tips & DIY
It may seem to an inexperienced user that all refrigeration units are arranged approximately the same. However, this is not the case. According to the principle of action, three types of household refrigerators are distinguished. Before you start repairing your equipment, you need to know exactly how the refrigerator works. Therefore, consider in detail your type and read the instruction manual before getting to work. Also, you can choose the best on refrigeratorfaq.com
Self-repair: what is possible and what is not?
In order to repair your refrigerator and not completely break it, you need to know exactly which parts of the system can be repaired independently and which ones are best left untouched. In any refrigeration unit, four circuits can be distinguished:
The cooling circuit itself, including coils, refers to it. This is the least suitable part of the unit for self-repair. Masters persistently do not recommend trying to conduct independent repair work in the absence of knowledge and experience in this area. Amateur performances can end up very expensive for you. Unskilled repairs most often result in the need to purchase a new unit.
It is here that breakdowns most often occur. Repair is most often possible, but experience in carrying out such work is desirable. You need to understand that self-repair will require the availability of spare parts, which are not always freely available. Most likely they will have to be ordered in a specialized online store or you’d have to go buy them. For this reason, perhaps a better solution would be to call a refrigeration repair technician.
The mechanical system.
Includes seals, fastenings of shelves, covers, suspension of doors and compressor, etc. The repair itself is usually simple and can be done even by the most inexperienced person. Usually, it consists of adjusting the door, replacing the seal, securing the shelves. Special knowledge is not required here.
It is an electrical circuit that ensures the normal operation of the refrigeration unit. Includes wiring, start relay, motor compressor, etc. It is quite maintainable. To work, you will need a tester, a soldering iron and some knowledge in the field of electricity. In this system, you can fix almost any damage yourself.
Common refrigerator problems
Before diagnosing a malfunction, you should determine the type of refrigeration equipment.
Thermoelectric units break extremely rarely. The most common failure is the end of the life of a battery of thermocouples. Most likely, it makes no sense to replace it, since its cost is quite the same as the price of the unit itself.
In addition, sometimes the contacts are burned in such refrigerators, which even an inexperienced craftsman can fix.
There are many more problems with compression models. If such a refrigerator does not work, there can be many reasons. Let's talk about the most common ones.
If it does not work when the device is turned on, the power supply circuit may be the one to blame. It includes a socket, plug, power cord, detachable contacts in the compressor compartment. The problem may be with a safety relay or thermostat. The latter should be checked by the tester to find out the problem. If there is a breakdown, there will be no signal.
If the power supply network is fully operational, and the compressor does not turn on or starts at startup, but stalls immediately, the problem is most likely with a start-up relay.
In an almost similar situation with a working network, it takes three to five seconds to start the compressor, but if it does not start the work on the first attempt to turn it on, you should look for a problem in the start relay.
The unit freezes badly, but it regularly responds to the signals of the temperature regulator. In this case, the compressor heats up, trembles, protection against overheating is activated. Thermal protection and start relays are fully operational.
It is necessary to diagnose the working winding of the motor-compressor for the detection of an inter-turn short circuit. If a short circuit occurs in the starting winding, then the compressor will not start at all. In this case, the thermal protection and start relays will be operational. In both cases, a replacement is required.
Another malfunction. The unit freezes too much, while the compressor works without interruption or its operation is interrupted by the operation of thermal protection. The equipment practically does not respond to the thermostat, only turning the knob to the “0” position stops the compressor.
The latter makes a lot more noise than usual. At the same time, the counter shows that the consumption of electricity far exceeds the usual volume. All this indicates a start relay sealing. This condition is quite dangerous for the compressor since it leads to overheating and burnout.
If the unit freezes badly, the temperature regulator of the refrigerator is set correctly. By the time the compressor is turned off, the condenser has warmed up normally, so much you have to pull your hand back.
Most often, the problem lies in the faulty thermostat. It will need to be replaced. In some cases, it is possible to repair it. The temperature regulator is also broken if the unit turns on, but freezes too weakly or too much.
It does not respond to the position of the temperature control knob. In this case, the heating of the condenser and the hum of the compressor are normal.
The unit operates on a short cycle, which is characterized by frequent compressor shutdowns. In this case, it freezes badly, and the condenser does not have time to warm up properly when the compressor is turned off. The cause of such a malfunction is a breakdown of the thermal protection relay or thermostat.
The equipment operates on a long cycle, sometimes even continuously. Ice appears in the area of the refrigerant supply pipe in the freezer. Moreover, there is no ice on the opposite side. The situation is stable and does not change.
The cause of the failure, in this case, is a refrigerant leak. Most likely, there is a microcrack somewhere. The circuit should be diagnosed in order to detect it and the system must be refilled.
In some cases, adding more freon is possible. All this is highly discouraged to be done yourself. If the refrigerator does not freeze at all, the cause may be a lack of refrigerant in the circuit. In this case, when it is turned on, it will be possible to feel a strong vibration, the compressor will begin to knock and ring when operating.
It is not amenable to self-repair. In some cases, consider that repairs may cost more than a new unit.
The equipment works only on a short cycle and at the same time, it freezes too much. The sound of a running compressor is alarming. It is too loud as if champing or sobbing.
The reason most often lies in the unskilled maintenance of the unit. When filling the refrigerant, it was probably too much, which led to the supply to the compressor not of vapor, but of a more concentrated “fog” from freon.
This is extremely dangerous for the integrity of the tubes and compressors. Therefore, it is urgent to call the specialist. The unit freezes too much. So much so that you have to set the thermostat flag to a position not higher than 4.
At the same time, the compressor heats up quickly and makes a lot of noise, there may be a smell of melting insulation. This is how a weakened bimetal plate located in a heat-protective relay manifests itself.
Strong vibration, excessive compressor noise, but other than that, everything is okay. Check compressor suspension and adjust if necessary. If this does not help, then the reason is its wear.
Think about replacing the compressor. A freezer that is too freezing indicates problems with the tightness of the door or poor insulation. In the latter case, the repair is extremely difficult or even impossible.
Diagnostics Basics and Easy Repair
Let’s analyze the simplest operations that need to be done to test the refrigerator. It’s worth starting with determining the quality of the mains voltage. It must strictly correspond to 220 V. Smaller values may cause a failure in the operation of the unit.
You should also inspect the power plug and the cord. There shouldn’t be any bends, creases or damage. If the elements are warming or sparking, this is a clear sign of trouble.
The compressor terminals must be checked for being in working condition. After that, you need to use a tester to check whether the device receives sufficient voltage from the network.
After making sure that it is of proper quality, the device must be disconnected from the power supply. Now you need to carefully inspect the compressor located at the bottom of the unit. There should be no visible damage.
To check the winding, the tester switches to ohmmeter mode. One end of the wire is attached to the tester, after which the leads are checked one by one. Pair diagnostics are also carried out. A short circuit or damage to the winding will be indicated by the lack of movement of the arrow of the tester.
Next, check the control circuit. To do this, disconnect the wires from the relay and close them, and then check for contact between them and the power plug. The presence of such a contact indicates that the relay, cord and temperature sensor are working.
If you find a problem, you will have to individually check each block. To test the temperature sensor, it is removed and the wires are disconnected.
Next, each of the wires must be checked, and if there is a circuit, a conclusion is the malfunction of the detector. It should be replaced. If the control circuit works normally and there are no breaks, then the protection and start relays must be checked.
To get access to the start relays, you have to remove the cover. In older models, it is mounted on latches, in new ones - on rivets. They must be carefully drilled out, and after inspection, fasten the cover with the screws.
The most frequent breakdowns of the refrigerator are jamming of the spring or core in the coil, burning of contacts or breakage of the rod. All this can be fixed. To begin with, the coil is removed from the latches, a core and a rod with contacts are removed from it.
Next, thorough cleaning of all these elements is carried out. In the simplest cases, a soft cloth with alcohol will work. In a more complex case, you will have to work with sandpaper or even a file to ensure free running with the core. All contacts are also cleared.
If it turns out that the rod is broken, which happens quite often, and it is made of plastic, you can replace it with a piece of a regular nail. After repair, put everything back in place and connect it.
Repairing your refrigerator yourself is not easy. This is a complex unit the work with which requires special knowledge. An inexperienced master is unlikely to be able to perform all the necessary repairs correctly and without making any mistakes.
Unfortunately, even small inaccuracies, not to mention major miscalculations, can completely disable the device. And then it will be necessary to seek funds for the purchase of a new refrigeration unit.