What Are Your Options If Your Refrigerator Or Freezer Stops Working Over A Long Weekend?

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If you've recently purchased your first home, you may have already noticed that minor repairs and emergencies seem to pick the worst possible time to show up -- and few things can cause more disruption in your daily life (and spoilage of expensive food) than a malfunctioning refrigerator or freezer. What are your options if your refrigerator or freezer stops working during a holiday or other time of year where quick professional repair may not be an option? Read on to learn more about some common refrigerator and freezer problems and what you can do to help preserve your refrigerated and frozen food until you've made a permanent repair.

What are some common issues that could cause your refrigerator to stop working?

Although a warm refrigerator (or one making ominous noises) can cause you to fear the worst, in many cases this problem is related to air circulation or ice buildup and can be quickly repaired using tools you already have at home. By periodically inspecting and cleaning your refrigerator, you'll often be able to stave off future such problems to help avoid the inconvenience of an emergency repair.

Your first step when diagnosing your fridge or freezer problems should be to check the power source. If your refrigerator is hooked up to a fuse that doesn't have many lights or other appliances connected, you may not notice when this breaker shuts off after being overloaded. In other cases, the power cord itself could be frayed or bare, causing the refrigerator to short out.

Once you've ensured your refrigerator has adequate power, you'll need to check the temperature gauge. If this gauge is inadvertently bumped or moved, it can prevent your fridge's compressor from running even when the inside of your fridge reaches higher than normal temperatures. Often, cooling your fridge down to the recommended 40 degrees Fahrenheit (or 0 degrees for your freezer) is as simple a task as turning a dial.

If neither the power source nor the temperature regulator seems to be to blame for your fridge or freezer's problems, you may be facing an issue with air flow. If the air intake that provides circulation to the compressor is blocked with dust or debris, it can overheat and cause your compressor motor to fail. If your freezer's compressor is completely covered in ice, you'll also find yourself dealing with temperature control issues and a sluggish compressor.  

What should you do if you can't have your refrigerator repaired within a few hours?

If your refrigerator stops working during business hours or a weekday evening, it's often a fairly simple process to contact an emergency repair company to help get your fridge or freezer running before your food even has a chance to thaw. However, if you don't immediately notice the problem, or if it takes place over a long holiday weekend when repair services are unavailable, you'll need to act quickly to avoid a soggy mess.

First, you'll want to remove any frozen or perishable items from your refrigerator or freezer and pack them into an insulated cooler with a bag of ice. If you don't already own a camping cooler, you should be able to purchase a styrofoam cooler at any gas station or convenience store. You'll then want to unplug the appliance and begin examining the parts that could be causing your issues -- the compressor, air filter or intake, or the power cord itself. If your problem isn't clearly evident, it may be time to purchase a small dorm refrigerator or chest freezer to help keep from having to throw away hundreds of dollars of food while you seek professional repair from experts like Jensen Appliance & Refrigeration once the holiday has passed.


9 December 2015

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