Six common refrigerator parts that break
- Compressor: The compressor literally compresses refrigerant to increase the pressure of the vapor. The pressure pushes the refrigerant into the coils outside that are exposed to the air, and warm air is replaced by cooler air. If your refrigerator is powered on but not cooling, you might listen for the compressor to kick on. If you do not hear your fridge making noise, then there is possibly a problem with the compressor or relay.
- Condenser coil: The condenser coil is on the back of your refrigerator. If your compressor is kicking on and you hear a noise but your fridge is not cooling, then pull the refrigerator out and check for dust on the condenser coil. Clean the coil if it’s dirty. If there is no dust, you may have low coolant, which could signal a leak. You may need a new coil.
- Start relay: The relay is basically a switch and fuse in one. It takes the current from the plug in the wall and kicks the compressor on, much like starting a car. If the compressor is not coming on, then you might have a bad relay. Check the relay first.
- Dispenser module: The dispenser module sits in the door of the refrigerator and dispenses water and ice. The dispenser can go bad because of electrical issues or calcium buildup. Check for a clog in the chute. If there isn’t a clog and the dispenser is still not working, there may be an electrical problem with the dispenser itself.
- Electronic control board: Many refrigerators are now becoming more and more innovative. Some refrigerators have small, simple computer modules in them that operate the electronic components inside the embedded interface. If you notice that the buttons or user interface is not functioning but the fridge is still working, you might have to replace the control board.
- Evaporator: The evaporator works in unison with the coils. The evaporator functions as its name implies by cooling the air inside the refrigerator as refrigerant inside the evaporator evaporates into liquid coolant. The liquid coolant leaves the evaporator, gets compressed back into refrigerant vapor by the compressor and returns to the condenser coils where the coils cool down the refrigerant vapor for its next trip through the evaporator. If the evaporator leaks refrigerant, you’ll need to replace the evaporator.
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