March 9, 2015

How to troubleshoot moisture build-up inside a refrigerator

By Sears PartsDirect staff
How to troubleshoot moisture build-up inside a refrigerator.
How to troubleshoot moisture build-up inside a refrigerator.

The inside of your refrigerator should be desert dry. Humid air entering a refrigerator makes moisture condense on the interior. Not only does it make for a drippy refrigerator, but this warmer, humid air can also make the compressor work harder than it should.

Here are a few things to do if you notice condensation inside your refrigerator.

  • Minimize how long the door remains open when you're searching for items inside the refrigerator, especially if the weather is humid.

  • If the refrigerator is in a garage or other are that's not climate controlled, it's harder to reduce interior sweating; the best location for a refrigerator is indoors.

  • Check the gaskets around the door for cracks or damage and make sure the gasket has not pulled away from the door. Replace the door gaskets if the gasket is damaged or worn.

  • Make sure the door closes completely. Look for gaps between the door and cabinet when it’s closed. Sometimes a buildup of grime on the door gasket or cabinet will cause a problem with the door sealing, so keep these areas clean. Move any item inside the refrigerator that could prevent the door from closing completely.

  • Check whether the door is level. Adjust the hinge or door closer cam if needed, following the instructions in your owner's manual.

Symptoms common to all refrigerators

Choose a symptom to see related refrigerator repairs.

Main causes: water valve leaking, frozen or broken defrost drain tube, overflowing drain pan, cracked water system tubing, leaking door seal
Main causes: damaged door seal, faulty defrost sensor or bi-metal thermostat, broken defrost heater, bad defrost timer or control board
Main causes: blocked vents, defrost system problems, evaporator fan failure, dirty condenser coils, bad sensors, condenser fan not working
Main causes: jammed ice cubes, broken ice maker assembly, dirty water filter, kinked water line, bad water valve, freezer not cold enough
Main causes: leaky door gasket, defrost system failure, evaporator fan not running, dirty condenser coils, condenser fan not running
Things to do: clean condenser coils, replace the water filter, clean the interior, adjust doors to prevent air leaks, clean the drain pan
Main causes: control board or cold control failure, broken compressor start relay, compressor motor failure, defrost timer problems
Main causes: blocked air vents, compressor problems, condenser or evaporator fan not working, control system failure, sensor problems

Repair guides common to all refrigerators

These step-by-step repair guides will help you safely fix what’s broken on your refrigerator.

July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to clean refrigerator condenser coils

Help your refrigerator run more efficiently by cleaning the condenser coils. It's easy and takes just a few minutes.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
July 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a refrigerator water valve

Replace the water valve that feeds water to the ice maker and water dispenser if it no longer controls the flow of water.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a refrigerator temperature control board

If the temperature in your refrigerator doesn't match the temperature you set, the problem could be the temperature control board—a service technician can give you a definite diagnosis. If the board is at fault, follow these steps to replace it yourself.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

Articles and videos common to all refrigerators

Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your refrigerator.

August 2, 2016

Troubleshooting a refrigerator not cooling video

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Learn what to check if the inside of your fridge is wayyyy too warm.

January 8, 2015

New refrigerator noises

By Sears PartsDirect staff

Find out about the new refrigerator sounds you might not be aware of.

January 6, 2015

How a refrigerator works

By Sears PartsDirect staff

See how the different components in your refrigerator work together to cool your food.