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REFRIGERATORS

Refrigerator Broken?

Lane's Appliance Repair has partnered with brand manufacturers to answer some of the common questions that get asked and provide possible solutions to try before requesting service. If you are still experiencing problems, contact our Service Department and we will be happy to assist you.

If your doors have been opened frequently, doors have been opened for long periods of time, or your refrigerator was recently installed, wait 24-48 hours for the refrigerator to completely cool.

Your refrigerator should not be placed where temperatures will exceed 110°°F or drop below 55°F.

Adding a large amount of food warms the refrigerator. It could take several hours for the refrigerator to return to the normal temperature.

If the refrigerator is in Defrost mode, the freezer compartment temperature will be less cold than usual. Wait approximately 20 minutes, and you should be able to feel cold air blowing in the bottom of the compartment.

For your convenience, your temperature controls are preset at the factory to "mid-settings," which should be correct for normal household use. However, the controls may need to be adjusted. If so, adjust the temperature one setting colder and wait 24 hours for the temperature of the refrigerator or freezer and contents to cool. Repeat this procedure until the desired temperature is reached.

Make sure the air vents between the freezer and refrigerator compartments are not blocked. Cold air enters and exits the refrigerator compartment from the freezer compartment through vents near the top shelf and crisper drawer. If the vents are blocked by food items, airflow will decrease, which will cause temperature and moisture problems. Move any item that could be blocking one of the vents.

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Side-by-Side Models

If foods, such as fruits and vegetables, in the refrigerator are freezing, it can be caused by several things. First, check the controls. They should be set at "C" and "5" or "5" and "5". The proper fresh food temperature is between 38 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer should be between 0 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

If food in the bottom of the refrigerator is freezing, this could be caused by a refrigerator not having enough food to absorb the cold air.

If food in the door is freezing, move the door bins up or down so they are one notch away from freezer vents (side by side models only).

The fresh food control should be at the normal setting of 5.

Freezer on Top Models

First, check the controls. They should be set at "C" and "5" or "5" and "5". The proper fresh food temperature is between 38 and 42 degrees Fahrenheit. The freezer should be between 0 and 8 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since the cold air coming into the fresh food section originates in the freezer above, the rear of the top shelf will be the coldest spot in the fresh food area. Avoid placing delicate items that freeze easily on the back half of this shelf.

If food is freezing in the produce (fruits and vegetables) or meat pan, it may be that the temperature controls are not set high enough. Since cold air naturally falls, the pans can get too cold if the refrigerator is not running long enough to maintain good air circulation. Adjust both controls up one notch.

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New installation

Make sure the cradle has been held down 2-3 minutes to allow the reservoir to fill completely. (The reservoir is in refrigerator) This does not apply to top mount models with a water dispenser, because there is no reservoir. Note: It take approximately 7 seconds to fill an 8 ounce glass.

No water

Make sure the water line to refrigerator is turned on. The saddle valve is used to connect the water supply line to the house plumbing and must be fully open for the refrigerator to receive water.

No water from door

Check the water tank behind the vegetable bins to if it is frozen or cracked. This is hard to do visually, usually a frozen tank will be split and will leak on the fresh food floor. Low food load in the fresh food section can cause the tank to freeze.

The meat pan lever may also be turned to the coldest position and on units that have a low water usage, this will also cause the tank to freeze. You will want to lower the meat drawer setting or use more water from the door. This does not apply to Top Mount water dispenser models, because they do not have a reservoir. Problem requiring service, glass fill time.

Dispenser drips water

If the dispenser drip water constantly, there most likely is a water valve problem, and you should have it checked by a service technician.

Dribble

A dribble as defined as a small amount of water (few drops) that may miss the glass ONLY AFTER USAGE. This is due to a delay in the overall system.

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NOTE:

Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaners such as window sprays, scouring cleansers, flammable fluids, cleaning waxes, concentrated detergents, bleaches or cleansers containing petroleum products on plastic parts, interior and door liners, or gaskets. Do not use paper towels, scouring pads, or other harsh cleaning tools.

Unplug refrigerator or disconnect power.

Hand wash, rinse, and dry removable parts and interior surfaces thoroughly. Use a clean sponge or soft cloth and a mild detergent in warm water.

For painted metal surfaces wash with a clean sponge or soft cloth and a mild detergent in warm water. Do not use abrasive or harsh cleaners, or cleaners designed for stainless steel. Dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

To keep your painted appliance surfaces looking like new use appliance polish and cleaner regularly. This wax-based cleaner and polish goes on easy to remove unwanted grime and dirt and leaves behind a sparkling shine.

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To minimize the possibility of electric shock, unplug this appliance from the power supply before attempting any maintenance or cleaning.

Causes of frost accumulation:

  • High humidity.
  • Heavy door openings.
  • Warm food load.
  • Packages resting against the rear wall.
  • Packages keeping the door open.
  • After correcting these causes, the frost accumulation will go away in a few days. You may need service if the door gaskets are not sealing properly or are torn or split or if the fan in the freezer is not running.
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For a freezer to maintain a desired temperature of 0 degrees F or a combination refrigerator-freezer to maintain a 5 degrees F freezer and 35 - 40 degrees fresh food temperature, the compressor will usually run more than 50% of the time. Refrigerators have smaller, more powerful, high-speed compressors that generally cost less to operate than those in older refrigerators. These compressors are designed to run 80 % to 90% of the time. This makes them more energy efficient because the greatest amount of energy used when the compressor cycles on.

Factors that contributes to run time:

  • In extremely hot, humid areas, run time may approach 100%.
  • Loading the refrigerator or freezer with a large amount of food, especially warm or hot foods, will also add to the run time. Hot foods should be allowed to cool before being placed in the cabinet.
  • Another significant factor that contributes to run time is an empty or lightly loaded freezer. Because no insulation material is perfect, air alone does not retain cold. An empty refrigerator or freezer must run more to maintain temperatures low enough to satisfy the temperature control and turn the compressor off. A freezer should be at least 3/4 full to maintain proper temperatures and reduce time.
  • Door openings contribute significantly to the run time of any refrigerator. When the door is opened, some of the heavy cold air slides out of the cabinet, pulling warm air in at the top.
  • Make sure that ALL bins and shelves, in freezer and fresh-food section, are properly seated in the refrigerator. Ensure that large trays, platters, and food items (like pizza boxes) are arranged so that they do not interfere with the door closing. (If freezer door, make sure no ice is behind the ice bin, and if present ensure bottom freezer basket is on its rollers)
  • Check door gaskets — are they sealing properly?
  • Check for blocked air vents in freezer section (any grill work on back wall).
  • Be sure the refrigerator is installed with proper air clearance.
  • Make sure interior lights are off when door is closed.
  • Heavy frost build up (1/2" or more) on non-defrost models will cause long run times.
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Factors that contributes to run time:

Check that the dispenser is not locked. Some models have a lock feature that deactivates the dispenser levers and control buttons. The lock button is on the dispenser front cover. This feature prevents unintentional dispensing during cleaning, etc. Press the "Unlock" or "Locked" button to reactivate the dispenser levers and allow dispenser function.

If there has been a recent power outage or the power supply has been off for more than 1 hour, the power outage indicator (on some models) will disable the dispenser function. To use the dispenser, press and hold the Reset button (if applicable) for 3 seconds until you hear the beeps.

Check that ice is not stuck in the ice chute. The ice chute can build up ice flakes over time due to the use of crushed ice. The ice chute is located on the inside of the freezer door and is accessible by removing the ice storage bin. Use only a plastic utensil to remove ice from the ice chute. Do not use anything sharp to remove ice as this may damage the ice chute.

Once large clumps or cubes are removed, use a warm, wet cloth to wipe the inside of the ice chute. After removing the ice build-up, dry the ice chute by wiping it with a clean, dry cloth to prevent additional ice formation.

Check that ice is not clumping or sticking together in the ice bin. If it is, shake the ice bin to separate the cubes. If the cubes do not separate, empty the ice bin and clean it. Allow 24 hours for the ice bin to refill.

Check that ice is not melted around the auger. The auger is the metal spiral object in the ice bin. If it is, dispose of the ice cubes and clean the ice bin. Do not try to remove the melted ice with a sharp object as this may damage the ice bin. Allow 24 hours for the ice bin to refill.

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The normal operation of your refrigerator will cause some sound. The following list contains sounds that are normal.

  • In extremely hot, humid areas, run time may approach 100%.
  • Loading the refrigerator or freezer with a large amount of food, especially warm or hot foods, will also add to the run time. Hot foods should be allowed to cool before being placed in the cabinet.
  • Another significant factor that contributes to run time is an empty or lightly loaded freezer. Because no insulation material is perfect, air alone does not retain cold. An empty refrigerator or freezer must run more to maintain temperatures low enough to satisfy the temperature control and turn the compressor off. A freezer should be at least 3/4 full to maintain proper temperatures and reduce time.
  • Door openings contribute significantly to the run time of any refrigerator. When the door is opened, some of the heavy cold air slides out of the cabinet, pulling warm air in at the top.
  • Make sure that ALL bins and shelves, in freezer and fresh-food section, are properly seated in the refrigerator. Ensure that large trays, platters, and food items (like pizza boxes) are arranged so that they do not interfere with the door closing. (If freezer door, make sure no ice is behind the ice bin, and if present ensure bottom freezer basket is on its rollers).
  • A change in fan speed as the refrigerator responds to changes in temperature due to door opening.
  • A clicking/tic-toc noise can be heard when the defrost timer switches on and off.
  • A click can be heard when the temperature control unit turns the unit on and off.
  • A boiling, gurgling, or knocking sound can be heard when the unit is running. This is caused by the circulation of refrigerant.
  • Gurgling sound in the door. This sound can be heard just after the door is closed because of the water in drain tube trap area. It can last several seconds.
  • A drip may be heard when defrost water is dripping into the pan beneath the refrigerator.
  • A hum or click can be heard when the icemaker fills with water. This sound may be heard once or multiple times.
  • The icemaker will make a loud noise when cubes are dropped into the bucket.
  • Buzzing noises can be heard after getting water from the door dispenser. The noise should not last longer than 7 seconds.
  • A snapping sound will be heard about 4 seconds after removing a glass from a dispenser. This is the sound of the dispenser chute closing.
  • A clicking noise may be heard after a power shortage. This stems from the compressor trying to re-start itself. The noise could last for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • A hissing, sizzling, buzzing, or arching noise may be heard on self-defrost models. This is produced when water drips on defrost heaters.
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