How To Repair a Refrigerator


Simple fixes for the four most common refrigerator problems: an ice-maker breakdown, water leaking onto the floor, a cooling failure and too much noise. Chances are, you can solve the problem yourself, save some money and avoid the expense and inconvenience of a service appointment. The following article will walk you through the simplest solutions to the most common fridge malfunctions.

Problem: Icemaker on strike

When an icemaker stops working or produces only tiny cubes, it's usually because the water supply is partially or completely blocked. To find and fix the blockage, check out the three common trouble spots.

Easy fixes for an icemaker

FIRST, check the water inlet tube for ice. The tube that supplies water to your icemaker can get plugged with ice when the water pressure is low. The trickling water freezes and plugs the tube before it reaches the icemaker.

SECOND, unblock the saddle valve. Most icemakers are connected to the household water supply by a “saddle” valve. One problem with saddle valves is that the needle hole in the pipe can clog. Fortunately, that blockage is easy to clear once you locate the saddle valve. If you have an unfinished basement, you'll probably find a tube beneath the fridge that leads to the valve. Otherwise, look under your kitchen sink.

THIRD, replace the water inlet valve. At the back of your fridge, there's a small electric “inlet valve” that turns the water supply to the icemaker on and off. Before you replace the valve, make sure water is flowing to it: Turn off the water at the saddle valve  and disconnect the supply tube from the inlet valve . Hold the tube over a bucket and have a helper turn on the saddle valve. If water flows out of the tube, the water supply is fine and chances are the inlet valve is bad. See “Finding Fridge Parts” for help finding a new valve. When the job is done, turn the water back on and check for leaks before you push the fridge back into place.