Common Fridge Problems and Solutions

#8 Common Fridge Problems in Kenya and Solutions Leave a comment

A functional fridge is a vital appliance in any household, ensuring the freshness and preservation of food items.

However, like any complex machinery, refrigerators can encounter problems that affect their performance.

In this article, we will explore common fridge problems and provide effective solutions to help you troubleshoot and resolve them.

Refrigerator Not Cooling Properly

One of the most frustrating issues homeowners face is a fridge that fails to cool properly. Several factors can contribute to this problem, including dirty condenser coils, a malfunctioning evaporator fan, or a faulty thermostat.

Potential causes

  1. Dirty condenser coils: Over time, dust and debris can accumulate on the condenser coils, hindering proper heat dissipation.
  2. Malfunctioning evaporator fan: If the evaporator fan is not working correctly, it may not circulate cool air throughout the refrigerator.
  3. Faulty thermostat: A malfunctioning thermostat can lead to incorrect temperature regulation, resulting in inadequate cooling.


  1. Cleaning the condenser coils: Regularly cleaning the condenser coils using a soft brush or vacuum cleaner can enhance cooling efficiency.
  2. Checking and replacing the evaporator fan: If the evaporator fan is not functioning or making unusual noises, it should be inspected and replaced if necessary.
  3. Adjusting or replacing the thermostat: Consult the refrigerator’s manual to adjust the thermostat settings correctly. If the thermostat is faulty, it should be replaced with a new one.

Excessive Frost Build-Up in the Freezer

Excessive frost accumulation in the freezer is a common issue that can lead to reduced cooling efficiency and limited storage space.

Damaged door gaskets, defective defrost systems, or improper airflow can contribute to this problem.

Potential causes

  1. Damaged door gasket: A damaged door gasket can result in warm air entering the freezer, leading to excessive frost formation.
  2. Defective defrost system: If the defrost system is not working properly, ice may accumulate and cause frost build-up.
  3. Improper airflow: Poorly organized food items can obstruct proper airflow, leading to frost accumulation.


  1. Replacing the damaged door gasket: Carefully remove the old door gasket and replace it with a new one to ensure a proper seal.
  2. Repairing or replacing the defrost system: If the defrost system components, such as the defrost timer, heater, or thermostat, are defective, they should be repaired or replaced accordingly.
  3. Ensuring proper airflow by organizing food items: Arrange food items in a way that allows for adequate air circulation inside the freezer to prevent frost formation.

Leaking Water Inside or Outside the Fridge

Another common problem faced by fridge owners is water leakage.

This can occur inside the fridge or outside, leading to potential water damage.

Clogged defrost drains, faulty water inlet valves, or cracked water supply lines are often the culprits.

Potential causes

  1. Clogged defrost drain: A clogged defrost drain can cause water to accumulate and eventually leak inside or outside the fridge.
  2. Faulty water inlet valve: If the water inlet valve is defective, it can lead to water leakage.
  3. Cracked water supply line: A cracked or damaged water supply line can result in water leakage.


  1. Clearing the clogged defrost drain: Use a pipe cleaner or a turkey baster to clear any debris or ice blocking the defrost drain.
  2. Inspecting and replacing the water inlet valve: If the water inlet valve is faulty, it should be inspected and replaced by a qualified technician.
  3. Repairing or replacing the water supply line: If the water supply line is cracked or damaged, it should be repaired or replaced to prevent further leakage.

Unusual Noises Coming from the Fridge

Unusual noises emanating from the fridge can be bothersome and indicate underlying issues.

Malfunctioning condenser fans, worn-out evaporator fan motors, or loose and damaged parts can cause these noises.

Potential causes

  1. Malfunctioning condenser fan: A faulty condenser fan can produce unusual noises when operating.
  2. Worn-out evaporator fan motor: A worn-out fan motor can create loud or squealing sounds.
  3. Loose or damaged parts: Loose or damaged components within the fridge, such as fan blades or motor mounts, can generate unusual noises.


  1. Checking and repairing the condenser fan: Inspect the condenser fan for any obstructions or damage. If necessary, repair or replace the fan to eliminate the noise.
  2. Replacing the evaporator fan motor: If the evaporator fan motor is worn-out or making excessive noise, it should be replaced with a new one.
  3. Tightening or replacing loose or damaged parts: Identify any loose or damaged parts and either tighten them or replace them to restore normal operation and eliminate noise.

Fridge Not Dispensing Water or Ice

When a fridge fails to dispense water or ice, it can disrupt daily routines.

Defective water inlet valves, clogged water filters, or faulty dispenser switches can cause this problem.

Potential causes

  1. Defective water inlet valve: A malfunctioning water inlet valve can prevent water from being dispensed.
  2. Clogged water filter: A clogged water filter can restrict water flow, leading to problems with water and ice dispensing.
  3. Faulty dispenser switch: A faulty dispenser switch may not activate the water or ice dispenser when needed.


  1. Replacing the water inlet valve: If the water inlet valve is defective, it should be replaced to restore proper water flow for dispensing.
  2. Changing the water filter: Regularly replacing the water filter, as recommended by the manufacturer, ensures unrestricted water flow.
  3. Repairing or replacing the dispenser switch: If the dispenser switch is faulty or not functioning, it should be repaired or replaced to enable proper dispensing.

Fridge Overcooling or Freezing Food

An overcooling fridge that freezes food can lead to spoilage and waste.

Faulty temperature control thermostats, stuck open or malfunctioning damper controls, or incorrect temperature settings can cause this problem.

Potential causes

  1. Faulty temperature control thermostat: A malfunctioning thermostat may incorrectly regulate the temperature, causing overcooling and food freezing.
  2. Stuck open or malfunctioning damper control: A damper control that is stuck open or not functioning properly can allow excess cold air into the fridge compartment.
  3. Incorrect temperature settings: Inaccurate temperature settings can result in the fridge being colder than desired, leading to food freezing.


  1. Replacing the temperature control thermostat: If the thermostat is faulty and not accurately sensing the temperature, it should be replaced to restore proper temperature regulation.
  2. Inspecting and repairing the damper control: Check the damper control mechanism for any obstructions or defects. Repair or replace it if necessary to control the airflow and prevent overcooling.
  3. Adjusting the temperature settings accordingly: Refer to the fridge’s manual for recommended temperature settings and adjust them to maintain the desired cooling conditions.

Fridge Not Defrosting Properly

A fridge that fails to defrost properly can result in excessive ice formation and compromised cooling efficiency.

Defective defrost timers, malfunctioning defrost heaters, or faulty defrost thermostats are common culprits.

Potential causes

  1. Defective defrost timer: A malfunctioning defrost timer can disrupt the automatic defrosting cycle.
  2. Malfunctioning defrost heater: If the defrost heater is not working correctly, it may not melt the accumulated ice effectively.
  3. Faulty defrost thermostat: A defective defrost thermostat may not initiate the defrost cycle as required.


  1. Checking and replacing the defrost timer: Inspect the defrost timer and replace it if it is not functioning properly to ensure regular defrosting.
  2. Repairing or replacing the defrost heater: If the defrost heater is malfunctioning, it should be repaired or replaced to ensure effective ice melting during the defrost cycle.
  3. Inspecting and replacing the defrost thermostat: If the defrost thermostat is not accurately sensing the temperature and initiating the defrost cycle, it should be inspected and replaced.

Fridge Lights Not Working

Non-functional lights inside the fridge can make it difficult to locate items, especially in low-light conditions.

Burnt-out light bulbs, faulty light sockets, or defective door switches are often the causes.

Potential causes

  1. Burnt-out light bulb: A burnt-out light bulb can result in non-functional lights inside the fridge.
  2. Faulty light socket: A defective light socket may not provide a reliable connection for the light bulb.
  3. Defective door switch: If the door switch is not functioning correctly, it may not activate the lights when the fridge door is opened.


  1. Replacing the light bulb: Replace any burnt-out light bulbs with new ones of the same type and wattage to restore proper lighting inside the fridge.
  2. Repairing or replacing the light socket: If the light socket is faulty, it should be repaired or replaced to ensure a reliable connection for the light bulb.
  3. Inspecting and replacing the door switch: Check the door switch for proper functionality. If it fails to activate the lights when the door is opened, it should be inspected and replaced.

What To Do Next

Regular maintenance and timely repairs are crucial for ensuring the optimal performance of your refrigerator.

Addressing common fridge problems promptly, you can extend the lifespan of your appliance, prevent food spoilage, and enjoy a consistently reliable cooling solution.

Remember, if you encounter complex or technical issues, it is advisable to seek professional assistance to avoid any potential damage.

Seeking professional assistance when needed

While many common fridge problems can be resolved through DIY troubleshooting and repairs, certain complex or technical issues may require the expertise of a professional technician.

If you are unsure or uncomfortable with handling intricate repairs, it is best to seek professional assistance.

An experienced technician can diagnose the problem accurately and provide the necessary solutions to get your fridge back in optimal working condition.


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