8 Most Common Refrigerator Problems and Solutions

Like other home appliances, even refrigerators develop some technical issues.

In most of the cases, these problems can be fixed without any professional help. And some problems may require professional help.

In this article, we will guide you on how to troubleshoot the common problems in your fridge. We will also tell you how to fix them yourself.

Table of Contents

1. Your Refrigerator Is Not Cooling Enough 

2. Defrost Problem

3. Water Leakage

4. Strange Noises from the Refrigerator

5. Refrigerator Light is Not Working

6. Food Freezing on the Bottom Shelf

7. Ice Build Up in the Fridge

8. Ice Maker Not Working


1. Your Refrigerator Is Not Cooling Enough 

This is a common problem that most of us face with our refrigerators. It may seem that your fridge does not cool enough as required, and this eventually spoils your food stored inside. Before we fix this problem, it is necessary to know what are the reasons that lead to refrigerator cooling problem. Let us see the possible causes here:

Lack of Power Supply: One of the main causes contributing to your fridge not cooling enough is the inadequate power supply. Find out whether there is a sufficient power supply to the refrigerator or not. You can check out the light in the fridge. Open the door, and if you find it switched on, then there is adequate supply. If the light does not turn on, it means there is no or less power supply.

Now see whether the power cord is intact with the power supply unit. If yes, then there is a problem with the power outlet itself. To confirm the same, try plugging in another electric device. If you notice the same with the other device also, then there is a problem with the electric socket. Call an electrician immediately to fix the power outlet.

Temperature Settings: Changed temperature settings could be another reason for your fridge not cooling properly. The settings might get changed inside the refrigerator accidentally by you when you were trying to reach something. Check whether the thermostat is set to the required temperature. If not, change the settings to standard.

Dirty Condenser Coils: Dirty condenser coils can affect the cooling of the refrigerator. Check for the coils that are present behind the refrigerator. If you notice any dust or dirt, try fixing it by cleaning the coils thoroughly.

Clogged Condenser Fan: A blocked condenser fan can hinder the cooling in the fridge, thereby, increasing the temperature inside. You can fix this problem easily by removing the fan and replacing it with a new one.

Capacitor Issue: A defective capacitor will hamper the cooling process in the refrigerator. Check whether there is something wrong with this device and replace it with a new one. You will need professional help to sort this out.

2. Defrost Problem

A refrigerator defrosts problem is yet another common and difficult-to-fix problem seen. When the defrosting system in your cooling device fails, it will lead to the accumulation or build-up of ice in both fridge and freezer compartments. This will eventually obstruct the functioning of your refrigerators.

Let us learn about the possible reasons behind the defrost problem.

Malfunctioning of Defrost Control Board: The main job of the Defrost Control Board is to monitor the defrost sensor and the time/temperature for your ice system and activate the defrosting mode. Upon activation, it melts the ice formed on the outdoor refrigerant coil of your heat pump.

Any failure in the board will not initiate the defrost cycle. Get it fixed by seeking professional help.

Defrost Timer: We all know that a defrost timer works by oscillating between the cooling mode and the defrost mode. Any defect in this timer, the defrost cycle will not complete.

When the cycle is incomplete, it does not send a signal to the defrost heater, and ultimately, your refrigerator fails to defrost automatically. To fix this, you need to replace the timer at the earliest.

Defrost Heater: When the defrost heater fails, it builds up frost in the freezer, making your refrigerator less effective. Replace the heater in the evaporator assembly for effective cooling.

When replacing/installing the defrost heater, make sure you insert it properly in the assembly. When it does not sit in its position, it stops working. This will ultimately heap-up the frost on the evaporative coils.

Defrost Thermostat: A defrost thermostat works by controlling the temperature increase

during the defrost cycle. Once the temperature reaches a certain warm point, the defrost thermostat activates the defrost heater.

Any issue with the defrost thermostat will prevent the defrost heater from turning on. This results in excessive heating of the freezer compartment. You will require professional help to fix this issue.

Defrost Sensor: The defrost sensor is responsible for sensing the temperature and sends the reading to the control board to initiate the defrost process.

When there is a malfunctioning of the sensor, restarting it may sometimes do the trick. Even after that, if the sensor is not working, then it is time for a replacement. And yes, you will

need professional help for this.

3. Water Leakage

Although water leakage from your refrigerator is a common problem, it is never a good sign. There can be two possible reasons for this, and they are:

Blocked Defrost Drain: A clogged defrost drain is an ordinary problem that mostly occurs when debris, dust, scrap, or other food particles congest the drain hose. This leads to the ice build-up in both the refrigerator and fridge compartment eventually, water dripping from them.

To fix this issue, flush the drain with warm water using a small funnel. Keep repeating this in intervals until you are sure there is no clog in the pipe.

You can also use a pipe cleaner or a straightened hanger to remove the debris.

If this trick does not seem like work, try removing the clog manually from the rubber check valve at the end of the drain hose. Remove the valve out and clean it with warm water and soap. After cleaning, reinstall it.

Clogged Water Supply Line: A clogged water supply line may cause the water to leak below the refrigerator. Make sure the valve of the water line is shut-off, and there are no clogs or leaks in the supply line.

Replace the water supply line if there is any break or tear in it.

4. Strange Noises from the Refrigerator

Is your refrigerator making strange noises? If yes, check where the noise is coming from. If it is coming from the back of the fridge, then it is the condenser fan or the compressor making that sound.

If you notice that it is the noise caused by the condenser fan, then probably there must be some blockage or accumulation of dirt on the propeller blades of the fan. This is making the fan make a sound when rotating. Try cleaning the blades using a soft brush to remove any dust or debris between the fan blades.

We recommend you unplug the refrigerator even before you start with this cleaning process.

Is the sound coming from the inside of the refrigerator? Then it must be the circulation fan. If this is the culprit, then the only way to fix it is by replacing the fan.

You can locate this circulation fan behind an access panel on the back of your refrigerator.

If you hear the sound like a bird chirping in your fridge then it is the evaporator fan. Check for the smooth operation of the blade. If it does not move freely or if you notice any signs of damage, replace them.

If you hear a buzzing or humming sound in your refrigerator, then it is probably the light. It must be almost on the verge of going out. Replace the light by doing it yourself or calling a technician.

If you hear a clicking sound coming from the ice maker in your freezer compartment, then it is the water line valve. Whenever there is a loose connection or no connection of the line valve to the water supply, you hear these kinds of sounds

5. Refrigerator Light is Not Working

If the light in your refrigerator is not working, it may be that the bulb has broken or lose filament, reached the end of its life span, or burned out.

Check whether there is any dark area on the bulb. If you notice any, it means that the bulb has burnt out.

If you hear any rattling sound when shaking the bulb, it is a clear sign that the bulb has a broken filament.

In either of the cases, as mentioned above, replace the bulb. Make sure you purchase one with 25 or 40 watts.

Before changing the bulb, make sure you unplug your refrigerator.

If you observe that the LED light or bulb is not working even after replacement, then there is an issue with the socket or light board. Consult a professional to fix this issue.

6. Food Freezing on the Bottom Shelf

Is your food freezing on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator compartment? Frankly speaking, your food should not freeze or have frost bites at the bottom. If it is still happening, then this

is something abnormal. Let us consider the possible reasons behind this concern:

The primary reason for this could be not having enough items inside the bottom shelf. This will make the food absorb cold air directly from the air vents, making them freeze.

The other reason is the temperature settings in the refrigerator compartment. If you set the temperature to too low, it can lead to frozen food.

To fix this issue, follow the below hacks:

Rearrange your food on the bottom shelf such that food is not touching the air vents.

Reset the temperature inside your refrigerator accordingly – not too high or too low, but


7. Ice Build Up in the Fridge

Are you noticing frost or ice build-up in your refrigerator or freezer? Then you need to pay quick attention to this. While there are several reasons attributing to the problem, the most common ones include inaccurate sealing of fridge doors, refrigerator coils covered in frost, and the refrigerator leaking water. Let us discuss each reason in detail below:

Doors not Closed Properly: A faulty or bad door seal will allow the outside air to pass into the

fridge, causing the ice to build-up. This is how you can troubleshoot the doors.

  • Make sure the freezer door closes properly.
  • Check whether the door hinges are loose or not properly attached.
  • Make sure the door seals or gaskets are tight and not torn or broken.

Frost on Evaporator Coils: A layer of frost on the evaporator coils indicates that the defrost thermostat is not working properly. When the thermostat cannot sense the temperature, it will not activate the defrost heater. When a heater does not activate, it results in frost formation.

Check the continuity of the defrost heater and the thermostat with a multi-meter. In case of any repair, call a technician.

Water Leaking from Refrigerator: In the above points, we already discussed why your fridge is leaking and how to fix it.

8. Ice Maker Not Working

Your ice maker is something that you cannot ignore. However, there may be instances wherein you notice that your ice maker is not producing ice at all. The common cause could be a frozen water line and a clogged water filter. Let us see how to fix them:

Frozen Water Line: In case of a frozen water line, locate the shut-off valve of the line, which is behind the refrigerator. Before you start repairing, unplug the refrigerator.

  • After locating the shut-off valve, turn it to the closed position.
  • Pour some hot water into the line using a funnel.
  • You can also defrost by letting the refrigerator stay unplugged for a couple of hours.
  • Restore the power to the fridge and allow the water supply to the ice mould.

If you still cannot remove the clog, seek the help of a professional.

Clogged Water Filter: The water filter for your ice machine may get clogged with mineral deposits or other contaminants. Locate and replace them.


Wrapping up, your refrigerator may encounter these problems any time after the purchase. However, if you experience them under the warranty period, you can get them covered by the company. If it is beyond the notice period, you may have to spend on the repair and replacements.

As discussed earlier, not all these problems require technical assistance. For those issues that you can resolve by yourself, the quick fixes mentioned in this article should help you.

Apart from the concerns caused by careless usage, significant ones like insufficient frosting or cooling and defrosting can lead to severe damage when left unattended.

Make sure you take proper measures whenever you observe any of these problems.

If you want to talk about other problems in your fridge other than those mentioned in the article, write to us in the comments section below. We will help you in fixing them at the earliest.



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