Maybe . . .
Some problems are easy, fast and inexpensive to fix, while others cost more to fix than is reasonable.
Here are a few tips to help decide which is which.
- You can see frost on the back wall of the freezer.
- You hear a grinding noise in the back of the freezer.
Problem: It’s not defrosting. The defrost system is fixable for much less than the cost of replacing the refrigerator.
What to do: Fix It!
- It smells “hot”
- It runs a lot
- Food spoils in the refrigerator faster than it should
- It clicks on and off
- This is usually caused by accumulated dust in the condenser, and it needs to be cleaned.
- It can also be caused by a bad condenser fan motor, which can be easily replaced.
What to do:
- Fix it!If you setup an appointment, I’ll come out and take care of it for you!
- There is water on the floor
- There is a puddle of ice in the bottom of the freezer
- There is a puddle of water in the bottom of the refrigerator
- A clogged defrost drain system
- A leaky water supply line
What to do:
- Fix it!
- The freezer and refrigerator sections are both warm, and
- You can hear the fan running in the freezer compartment, and
- Can hear the compressor running underneath, and
- There is cool air blowing out underneath the bottom and
- It doesn’t smell “hot” underneath.
- This usually indicates a sealed system problem.
What to do:
- Replace it.In the past, many refrigerators had a 5 or 10 year warranty on the sealed system; however many recent models only have a 1 year warranty.If your refrigerator has a sealed system problem and the sealed system warranty has expired, I’d suggest replacing it. A repair is going to cost most of the price of new refrigerator.
A note about built-in refrigerators like Sub-Zero. . .
These should nearly always be fixed, since even an expensive repair would be less than $2,000 and a replacement would require ordering new panels, probably getting a finish carpenter to work the new one into your kitchen, and getting movers and a service technician to safely get the old one out without damaging anything.
In short, if you have a Sub-Zero or anything similar, replacement can easily cost more than $10,000, so even an expensive repair is still a comparatively great deal.
The payback period for electricity savings for replacing a top freezer refrigerator built around the year 2000 is 5 -10 years, depending on exactly which model you choose. This also happens to be about how long you can expect the new refrigerator to last, so it’s essentially a coin toss.
If you’re going to replace a pre-1980 side-by-side with a new one, the payback period is about 3 years, which makes the decision a lot easier.
These are just some general guidelines. If you want a free opinion on what you should do, give me a call and I’ll give you a hand with your decision.