Refrigerator FAQ

Q: What is that funny sound coming from my refrigerator?

Dripping sound.

During the defrost cycle, water draining from the freezer section will drip into the condensate pan near your compressor in the back of your refrigerator.

Air rushing or blowing.

Some refrigerators have multiple fans in the refrigeration compartment as well as the freezer compartment and near the compressor and/or condenser. All of these fans make noise and some are louder than others.

Louder when starting or coming on.

Typically the compressor operates at a higher pressure when first starting and most noises should tone down as the refrigerator continues to run and the sealed system balances pressures.

Popping, crackling, or sizzling about once a day.

If your model is self-defrosting, the defrost system utilizes a heater to remove the ice and frost from the freezer evaporator coil. During this period, you will hear some expansion noises as heat is applied to the coil and you may experience some sizzling sounds as the melting water drips on the heater.

Running water.

If you have an ice maker equipped model, the ice maker will call for water as the batch of cubes is ejected and the ice maker starts to make more cubes. This will last for about 10-20 seconds and is normal.

Vibrating or rattling noises.

The following can be sources of these noises:

– Dish vibrating on shelf – move dish slightly.

– Floor is uneven or cannot adequately support refrigerator. Use shims or extra support.

– Items on top of refrigerator are rocking. Place a pad under the item or remove.

– Refrigerator is not level. Adjust leveling legs or rollers as needed. Add shims in the back if floor is not level from front to back.

– Refrigerator is touching wall or cabinets. See your owner's manual for space requirements.

Snapping or clicking sound.

If your refrigerator is equipped with an ice maker the water valve will snap on when the ice maker is calling for water. This is normal. In some cases you may not have the water connected to your ice maker and the sound will be greater. In these cases, pull the wire signal arm (bail arm) on the ice maker into the up position to turn off your ice maker (or, if so equipped, turn off the ice maker through the on/off switch, or control board) and leave off until the water supply line is installed.

Q: Why does my food taste bad? And what is that odor coming from my refrigerator?

Ice or food has a bad taste or odor.

Ice and uncovered foods can pick up odors or taste from strong smelling foods in the refrigerator or freezer. Cover foods tightly and discard old ice.

Ice tastes like plastic.

Plastic water lines will give off a taste when first used. It takes one or two containers of ice for the plastic water line to stop emitting odors and/or plastic taste. Discard initial container of ice after installation.

Q: What's going on with my ice maker?

Not making any ice.

– Freezer may not be cold enough. Temperature must be 5 F. or colder to work properly.

– Water supply valve may be blocked or restricted. Supply valve must have a 1/4″ opening for water to fully supply ice maker. Many self-piercing valves do not have this big of an opening. Replace water supply valve with one that has a 1/4″ opening.

– Water supply valve may not be open. Find the supply valve and open.

– Wire signal arm on ice maker is in the up position. This position shuts off the ice maker. Place the wire arm (bail arm) in the down position to start ice production.

Not making enough ice.

The following should be checked before calling for service:

– Freezer may not be cold enough. Temperature must be 5 F. or colder to work properly.

– The ice maker will produce between 2.5 to 4.0 pounds of ice a day depending on your model. Side-by-side models come with a large ice bucket and it may take up to three days to fill this container.

– Water supply valve may not be completely open. Open valve completely.

– Water supply valve may be blocked by foreign material or may not be large enough. Supply valve must have a 1/4″ opening for water to fully supply ice maker. Many self-piercing valves do not have this big of an opening. Replace water supply valve with one that has a 1/4″ opening.

– Water filter may need changing. If equipped with a water filter, replace filter canister or cartridge.

Ice maker will not shut off.

Make sure ice container is in correct position under ice maker and that no cubes are stuck on the wire signal arm. Remove cube holding arm and reposition container.

Cubes are stuck together.

Long periods of non-use will cause cubes to melt into each other during the defrost cycles. Shake ice container frequently or discard ice.

Q: How do I control the temperature in my refrigerator?

Warm or too cold in freezer or fresh food section.

Control in freezer or fresh food section may be set too warm or too cold. Adjust one mark or increment at a time and wait 24 hours for temperatures to stabilize. Either door may be open slightly allowing warm air to enter. Close door and check for seal. Large amount of warm or hot food may have been stored recently. Allow 24 hours for temperatures to stabilize.

Q: How do I take care of my crisper bins, and shelves?

Difficult to move.

Food may be touching sides or top.

Tracks on door slides (runners) are dirty.

Clean spilled foods that may be on the slides.

Water collects in bottom of crispers.

Recently washed vegetables or produce placed in crisper without being wrapped or covered. Vegetable and produce crisper is designed to stay humid. To reduce moisture collection, wrap or cover vegetables and produce before storing. Some moisture collection is normal in this crisper.

Q: How do I take care of my refrigerator door?

Door will not close.

On some models the door is not designed to close automatically and will require a gentle push. Check to see if any packages are blocking the door from closing.

Refrigerator rocks on floor when opening door.

Ensure that refrigerator is level and that the floor is strong enough to support the refrigerator.

Moisture or frost collects on inside or outside of cabinet.

Door could be ajar slightly or gasket not making contact with cabinet. Check for a proper seal. Doors remaining open for long periods of time will cause moisture and frost to accumulate. The moisture will disappear after a period of time. Humid weather will cause moisture and frost to accumulate faster and this is normal. If moisture is between doors, turn off your energy saver switch located near the control box on some models (which can also be called humidity control.)

Q: What do I do when my refrigerator runs too much, too long, or not at all?

House fuse or circuit breaker blown or tripped.

Check and replace or reset your breaker and/or GFCI. Make sure if the unit is plugged into a GFCI that it has the proper rating (some manufacturers advise against having their refrigerators plugged into a GFCI.) Check with your local electrician and/or building code to verify whether or not you need to have a GFCI installed within the circuit supplying your refrigerator.

Plug at outlet is disconnected.

Ensure that plug is tightly pushed into outlet.

Refrigerator or freezer control is in "off" position.

Refrigerator or freezer control is in off position. Ensure that controls are set to mid-position at the minimum.

Refrigerator is in self-defrosting cycle.

Wait a minimum of 30 minutes for refrigerator to complete defrost cycle.

Automatic ice maker is operating.

Automatic ice maker models will run slightly longer.

Doors open frequently and/or for long periods.

Warm air entering the refrigerator will cause it to run more.

Fresh food or freezer control set too cold.

Depending on your model, the compressor is controlled through either the fresh food or freezer control and if this control is set too cold or too high, it will cause refrigerator to run accordingly.

New start up or large amounts of warm food have been placed in refrigerator.

Allow 24 hours for cool down and stabilization of temperatures.

New refrigerator.

If your refrigerator was produced before 1990, they were made with larger compressor motors and would run less frequently. To gain energy efficiency, compressor motors were decreased in size and run time increased. Frequent starts and stops contribute to less efficiency, therefore many new refrigerators may run for hours at a time, operating at a lower capacity. (Think of this as the difference between city miles and highway miles, as we are all aware, highway miles are efficient.)

Fresh food or freezer door may be slightly open.

Check door gaskets to make sure they are sealing and are not worn, cracked, or poorly fitted.

Warm or humid weather.

As outside temperatures and humidity increases, the refrigerator must work harder to cool and will result in slightly longer run times.

Dirty condenser on some models.

Models equipped with a fan in the compressor area will need to have the condenser cleaned on a periodic basis. If the condenser collects dirt and dust, the refrigerator will run longer as it is harder for the condenser to release heat.

Here at TeeVax, we repair many different types of refrigerators and refrigeration products, including ice machines, built in refrigerators, wine coolers and beverage centers (including sealed system repairs.) If you are in need of a new refrigerator, stop in and check out our expansive inventory, with many models in stock and ready to go immediately.

If the content of this page does not answer your question(s) or concern(s), give us a call! We offer in home service in the Sonoma county area, and your questions are always welcomed.