Appliances in the home often work for many years, and this is true of your refrigerator, which should last for around 13 years after you purchase it. However, during these 13 years you may notice some small issues with the appliance that need to be repaired. An appliance repair specialist can make these fixes. You can also troubleshoot issues first, and this may be something you want to do if you notice that there is an unusual buildup of frost in the freezer compartment of the appliance.
Make Sure Doors Close
Most refrigerators go through an automatic defrost cycle to remove the frost that builds in the freezer. A timer controls the defrost cycle, and most timers are set for 6, 12, or 24 hour intervals. Most of the accumulated frost in the freezer should melt once the timer activates. However, this may not occur if an excessive amount of frost builds in your freezer compartment, and it may take multiple cycles for all the frost to melt. Excess frost can build if you or your children leave the freezer door open for an extended period of time. This allows moisture from the air to condense on the walls of the freezer. The moisture then freezes and frost builds.
The easiest way to make sure that moisture cannot condense inside the freezer compartment is to make sure the freezer door closes quickly and automatically so it cannot be left open. Tipping your refrigerator back slightly will help with this, so locate the adjustable feet on the bottom of the refrigerator and adjust the front feet a bit higher than the back ones. Make adjustments until the freezer and refrigerator doors shut automatically once they are opened all the way. If your appliance does not have adjustable feet for some reason, then purchase furniture risers to slip underneath the feet to raise them a small amount.
Investigate The Defrost System
If a great deal of frost still builds in your freezer after adjusting the feet, then you will need to investigate whether or not the defrost system is working correctly. The issue may be a simple one where melted ice cannot drain out of the freezer. This occurs when the drain line inside the freezer is blocked or clogged with debris or bits of food. You can locate the drain line in your freezer by removing the panel at the back of your freezer that covers the cooling coils. Look for a small tube that sits underneath the coils. This will be the drain line and you can see whether or not this line is clogged by pouring some water through the line. The line will empty into a drip pan that sits along the bottom of the refrigerator. Find the pan by removing the front kick plate of the appliance. Use a flashlight to locate the flat pan and use a paper towel to soak up any water inside.
Afterwards, place a small funnel in the end of the drain line in the freezer and pour about one cup of water into it. Look to see if water runs into the drip pan. If it does not, then place about one cup of white vinegar in the funnel. The vinegar should dissolve the debris in the line. Close your freezer door and check back periodically to see if the vinegar drains into the drip pan.
If water does make it into the pan from the funnel during your test, then you may have a problem with the defrost timer. The timer may not be activating the defrost cycle as quickly as it should. You can replace the timer fairly easily, because the three-pronged device plugs into place. Locate the timer inside the control panel of the refrigerator. This panel is typically found behind the back kick plate of the appliance. The timer will be either a white or black box with a small screw on top. Release the screw and pull out of the timer. Consult with your appliance repair specialist, such as those at Macomb Appliance Repair, for a new timer for the make and model of your appliance. If possible, ask for a timer that is set to defrost the freezer every 6 hours. This is best to make sure that frost does not have the opportunity to accumulate.