Why is my fridge freezer not working?
A broken fridge freezer is more than just a mild inconvenience, it can lead to your food spoiling, cause your kitchen to smell, require a repeat trip to the supermarket and a solution to where you can store your perishable foods like meat and dairy.
How,ever if your fridge freezer seems to have a problem, don’t fret. Before you start stressing about everything melting, here are five tips for getting things fixed quick.
While most of our tips are easy for anyone to do, some require some skill or experience with DIY. If you attempt any of these, make sure your appliance is unplugged before you begin. If you are not confident, use Local Heroes to find a trusted local appliance engineer.
Check the power
Let’s start simple. Make sure it’s plugged in properly and there’s nothing hampering the power cord. Turn the socket off and on again and listen for the motor or check the light. Still nothing? Check the circuit breaker box and fuses too.
Remember that if the fridge light isn’t working it might not be because the fridge is out of action. It could just be that the bulb needs replacing. Is the fridge making a noise? Then that could mean it’s working fine – it’s just the bulb that’s out.
Check the thermostat
If your fridge is not cold at all, check the thermostat. It should be set to around 2 – 3°C. If your thermostat is an analogue dial it can be really easy to change the temperature without realising. Always worth bearing in mind when you’re reaching deep into the fridge!
Check the door seals and gaskets
If the light stays on when you close the door, that’s a tell-tale sign there could be tears or rips in the door seal. And that means cold air is likely to escape so your fridge is not cooling things properly.
Even if you can’t see any obvious damage, try sticking a piece of paper between the seal and the door frame, a bank note works best. If it goes through, it’s time for a replacement. Don’t worry – door seals are easy to find and pretty affordable. And this is a job you should be able to do yourself.
Freezer not working but the fridge is?
If your fridge is working fine but your freezer isn’t, it could be a Freon issue. Freon is the name of the liquid refrigerant you’ll find in air conditioners and heat pumps as well as fridges. If there’s a block or a leak in the system it won’t work properly.
If you're confident with both moving the appliance and with some intermediate DIY, remove the back panel inside your freezer and check the coils. There should be an evenly spread layer of frost over them. If there isn’t, then there may well be a block in the system or a Freon leak somewhere. If that’s the case, get it seen by a professional quickly.
If you think it may be a Freon issue but you don't feel confident moving or dismantling your fridge freezer, find a local appliance engineer to help.
Fridge fan not working?
If the evaporator fan isn’t working, take off the cover and check if any ice has built up around the fan blades. Just letting the ice melt away should fix the problem – as long as the motor windings haven’t been damaged.
If the blades rotate freely but the fan doesn’t run you’ll probably need to replace the fan motor assembly. But before you do that, it might be worth getting a professional to check if there’s any loose wiring between the fan motor and the thermostatic control. They should also be able to test if there is voltage present at the fan’s motor terminals.
If you can easily slip a £5 note between your fridge door's seal and the frame, the seal will most likely need replacing.
Need any help?
You can take a lot of these steps yourself and with any luck you’ll be able to get things sorted quickly. For the more technical stuff – particularly around wiring, Freon issues and replacing fans, we would always recommend you get things looked at by a professional. And that’s what Local Heroes is here for.
We make it really easy to give you an estimate and connect you with a Local Heroes Appliance Engineer in your area. They’ll be able to help with any repairs and their work comes with a 12-month guarantee backed by British Gas.
Feel free to do what you can at your end – but don’t forget we’re always here if you need us!