If the last adjective you'd use to describe yourself is "handy," you might react with dread when you realize that your refrigerator is on the fritz. The good news is that many times, the fridge can act up without there being a huge problem. Although you might not be ready to take on complicated appliance repair projects, there are some tasks that you can do on your own, saving yourself the expense of an appliance services expert. Of course, if these simple solutions don't work, don't delay in getting an appliance service to do the job for you; you don't want your ice cream to melt!
The Refrigerator Door Is Not Shutting Properly
You know that satisfying feeling when the refrigerator or freezer door shuts all the way, and the frustration when something stops it from doing so? It's common to feel your annoyance boil when you look and find that there's nothing physically stopping your fridge from shutting but it won't seal. After you try it a few times, you might be ready to get out the duct tape!
Before you do something crazy involving a bungee cord, first look at the seal around the edge of the refrigerator door. Does it look nice and clean? If you don't wipe it down regularly, the answer is probably no. Grab a damp cloth and pour some white vinegar on it. Use the cloth to clean all around the seal, being sure to get in between all of the little folds. Voila, this just might solve your problem. Sticky or slimy grime can stop the door from sealing properly, so cleaning it off can restore your sense of peace when you shut the door.
The Milk Is Frozen
If you store your milk in the back of the refrigerator, you might deal with it freezing now and then. If it's only one or two things that freeze, try just moving them forward a bit. This alone might solve the issue. If not, you can try turning up the temperature of the fridge, but just a little bit. You don't want it to get too warm for safe food storage; make sure that it's not set higher than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
While you're at it, set your freezer's setting. Your freezer should be set at about 0 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Although water freezes at 32 degrees, bacterial growth is slowed at 0 degrees, so don't go by whether your ice is frozen when you're trying to determine whether the freezer is cold enough. Use a thermometer or check the consistency of your ice cream: It should be hard to scoop.
The Refrigerator Is Leaking
Waking up to a puddle of water around the fridge can give any un-handy person heart palpitations. Try not to worry; it's likely something you can control on your own.
The first culprit might be your ice-maker. If the hose has come loose, it might be leaking. Check to see if it's still connected. If it isn't and you can see the water running out of it, reconnect it. If you aren't sure how, go under your sink and turn off the valve that leads to the ice-maker. This will stop the leakage and give you time to call your appliance repair company.
Another common reason for water to build up around the refrigerator is a full drip pan. You can easily empty it on your own to solve the problem. This sounds like a bigger project than it is. All you need to do is pull out the kick-panel from the front of the refrigerator. In some models, the panel will be in the back of the fridge. Slide out the pan carefully (it will likely be filled with water) and empty it before sliding it back in.
Being able to solve your own refrigerator woes can give you a big boost of confidence. If these simple troubleshooting tips are not what you need to fix your fridge, then it's time to call in someone who can repair kitchen appliances. By checking the easiest things first, you can minimize the amount of time your repair-person will need to spend finding the problem.