Before you begin tinkering or taking things apart, consult your owner’s manual. Most manuals will have troubleshooting steps right in them so you can get model-specific instructions. Many refrigerator issues will have simple fixes or at least a simple way to diagnose the problem.
Some problems will require professional help, but we recommend trying a few of our solutions first, so run through these DIY fixes before scheduling a service call.
Common refrigerator problems and solutions:
Poor Ice Production Or Quality
If your icemaker isn’t making as much ice as you expect or the ice is too small or hollow, the solution may be simple. Before trying our recommended solutions, keep the following things in mind: If you’ve just installed your refrigerator it will take 24 hours for ice production to begin and 72 hours for full ice production, If you’ve recently removed a large amount of ice it can take around 24 hours to fully replenish, and always check to make sure the maker wasn’t accidentally turned off.
- Check the water line. Your icemaker could not be getting enough water. Make sure it’s connected to a water supply by checking the water line connection in the back of the fridge. If it’s securely connected, run down the line to check for kinks.
- Open the water valve fully. Locate the water shutoff valve - it’s usually in the wall behind the fridge (sometimes hidden in a panel), under the sink, or in the cabinet next to the refrigerator. Make sure the valve is fully open by turning it counterclockwise.
- Remove the water filter. Remove the water filter and wait a few hours or up to a full day. If ice volume improves, then that means the filter may be clogged or incorrectly installed. Replace the filter or reinstall it correctly. Learn more about how to check the water filter.
The Refrigerator Is Not Cooling
Before taking any action, consider if the power has recently gone out or if a large amount of food has been added. If so, it can take several hours for the temperature to return to normal. Similarly, if the refrigerator has just been installed, it can take 24 hours to completely cool properly.
- Ensure the settings are right. Some refrigerators have a cooling setting that needs to be turned on for the refrigerator to get cold. Check if it’s been turned off accidentally. If you’ve just installed the refrigerator, check if it’s still in Showroom or Demo mode; consult the Use and Care Guide to learn how these settings turn on and off. If none of those things are true, turn the temperature setting colder and wait 24 hours for the temperature to adjust.
- Check for blocked air vents. In order to ensure proper temperature, you need to allow room for adequate airflow between the freezer and refrigerator compartments. Cold air enters and exits the refrigerator compartment from the freezer through vents located in both the refrigerator and freezer. Make sure there are no food items blocking these vents. See where your vents might be located.
- Clean the condenser coils. There is typically no need for routine condenser cleaning in a normal home environment. However, if the environment is particularly greasy or dusty, or there is significant pet traffic in the home, the condenser should be cleaned every 2 to 3 months to ensure proper cooling. Watch a video on how to clean the condenser coils.
The Refrigerator Motor Seems To Run Too Much
If your refrigerator is new, it may have a high-efficiency compressor that optimizes energy and better regulates temperatures to match cooling demand. You may notice that it operates differently than your previously owned refrigerator. It is normal for the high-efficiency compressor to run for extended periods at varying speeds to consume only the necessary energy for optimum efficiency.
- Check the refrigerator’s installation. Most refrigerators are designed to be used in a location where the temperature ranges from a minimum of 55°F (13°C) to a maximum of 110°F (43°C). They should not be installed near a heat source like an oven or radiator. A location that is too hot or too cold could cause the refrigerator motor to work too hard. Also, make sure there’s enough room around the refrigerator for proper ventilation, according to your owner’s manual.
- Keep the doors closed as much as possible. Opening doors too much or leaving them open for long periods of time will cause the temperatures inside to rise, making the motor work overtime to drop the temperature down again. Pay attention to how often the doors are open. Also, check the door seal to ensure it makes full contact with the refrigerator. If not, try wiping it down to remove any debris or obstructions.
- Set the controls correctly. Temperature controls are typically preset at the factory to the "mid setting," which should be correct for regular household use. The controls are set correctly when beverages are as cold as you would like. Setting the controls too low can cause the refrigerator to run longer than it needs to. Learn more about how to get the correct temperature settings.
The Water Dispenser Is Not Working Properly
Whether your water dispenser is leaking, dispensing too slowly or dispensing cloudy water, the solutions will most likely be similar. Follow these troubleshooting steps to get to the bottom of most water dispenser problems.
- Check the water filter. A clogged or incorrectly installed water filter will reduce the water flow to the dispenser and slow down dispensing. Check for a problem with the filter by dispensing water and noting the amount of water flow.
To do this follow these two steps: Remove the filter located either in the base grille below the refrigerator compartment door or inside the refrigerator compartment. Then dispense water with the filter removed. If the water flow noticeably increases, the filter is either clogged or incorrectly installed. A clogged filter will need to be replaced in order to correct the low flow. Learn how to replace the filter.
- Flush the water system. Flushing the system is needed every time the filter is changed or once the refrigerator is installed to the water supply line for the first time. The air in the water system may cause dripping at the dispenser, that is considered a leak or for the water to dispense slowly. Get step-by-step instructions on how to flush the water system.
- Check the water pressure. Your water pressure should be between 30 and 120 psi. If it’s lower than that, a problem with the water supply connection or a clogged filter could be the culprit. A reverse osmosis system can contribute to low water pressure as well. Learn more about low water pressure and how to correct it.
The Refrigerator Seems Loud and Noisy
Refrigerators and freezers make a variety of normal operating sounds, but you may not have heard them all before. These sounds may come from behind the refrigerator, inside the fridge or freezer compartment, or from the ice maker. It’s important to know which noises are normal and which indicate a problem. Get a full run-down of refrigerator noises, what they mean, and how to fix them with this refrigerator noises guide.