When your home's refrigerator is acting up, you don't necessarily need to get a new one. Very often it's just one or two parts that have worn out or that need some repair work, and if you address these, your fridge may run like new again. Note a few things to check when your refrigerator is acting up. These can help you to either repair the appliance on your own, or know what to expect by way of repair bills from a contractor.
1. The refrigerator is not cooling
If the refrigerator motor hums and the light comes on, so you know the problem is not electrical, you want to check the condenser coils. These are usually under the refrigerator, and they expel heat as it runs. If the coils are dirty, and they often get very dirty because of dust and debris being trapped under the appliance, this can allow heat to back up toward the refrigerator itself.
Another common problem is that the evaporator fan motor is not working properly; this is what disperses cold air through the unit. Usually this fan is in the back of the refrigerator and has a vented opening in front of it. Note if you can feel cool air coming out of that vent and if not, the fan may need to be replaced.
2. The refrigerator runs constantly
Your refrigerator should run only occasionally, or as much is needed to maintain the inside temperature. If it runs constantly, the defrost heater may not be working well or your freezer may need manual defrosting. If the evaporator coils, or those in the back of the freezer, are covered in frost, they need to work harder to remove heat from the unit. Also, the refrigerator cannot properly read the internal temperature; both may cause it to run constantly. It may seem odd that having too much frost will mean that the refrigerator will work harder, but keeping the coils clear of frost will allow your unit to cycle on and off as it should.
3. Refrigerator leaks water
There is a drain on the bottom of the refrigerator, on the inside, that catches condensation and moisture and drains it away, allowing it to evaporate outside the unit. If this drain is clogged, it might overflow and you might get a water leak under the refrigerator. Be sure you clean this drain and keep it free of debris so that it can direct water away from the inside of the unit and also allow it to evaporate.