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Electrical Or Appliance: Refrigerator Troubleshooting

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If your refrigerator has started making unusual sounds, it's important that you address it right away. Depending on the problem, you could have a fan or compressor that's failing. In a case like that, you'll risk potential refrigerator failure if you don't address it. Save yourself the cost and aggravation of losing everything in the unit by knowing when to spot trouble. Here are a few things to listen for and tips to deal with them.

Intermittent Refrigerator Failure

If you're experiencing intermittent power failures with your refrigerator, it could be due to electrical problems in the house or with the power outlet where the refrigerator is. Have an electrician test the circuits and evaluate the power receptacles for any signs of trouble. You may even want to have a surge protector installed for added safety.

Rattling Or Whining Behind The Refrigerator

If you're hearing noises coming from behind your refrigerator, it could be coming from the condenser fan. You can pull the refrigerator out from the wall and look at it, as it's mounted on the back wall where it's clearly visible. Look at the fins for any signs of dust or dirt accumulation. If you don't see any buildup of dust on the fan, there's a good chance that the motor in the fan is failing. If so, you'll need to have it replaced.

Rattling At The Refrigerator Base

If the bottom of the refrigerator is rattling, the noise can be pretty overwhelming. If that's what you're experiencing, it's probably just the drain pan rattling. Tighten the mounting screws on the drain pan using a screwdriver to help keep it from shaking and making noise.

Squeaking Or Grinding From The Back

Any grinding sounds and some squeaking sounds coming from the back of the refrigerator could be due to the compressor itself failing. It's usually a large black unit that's somewhat helmet-shaped. If you can trace the sound to that case, that means your compressor is failing. While you might be able to replace the compressor, you can usually replace the refrigerator for not much more. Talk with your local electrician before buying a new refrigerator to be sure that the circuit in your house will support it. Otherwise, you may need a new outlet installed.

Understanding these common problems and their causes will help you understand when to call an electrician like and when you need an appliance repair tech.