Refrigerator and Ice Maker Preventative Maintenance

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The Fridge

When I visit a home for a refrigerator problem many of my customers will comment, “the fridge used to last 20 years no problem.”  Personally, the only refrigerator maintenance I remember doing growing up was spring cleaning. Wiping up all those juice spills in the cabinet and the smudgy fingerprints on the front of the door. Today’s modern refrigerator requires regular maintenance to maintain performance. The average refrigerator can last between 12 and 14 years, but regular maintenance is absolutely required for pretty much all modern refrigerators to even come close to lasting that long. Most refrigerators are equipped with an owner’s manual which provides use and care tips, and some have an outline of a scheduled maintenance routine.

Airflow is very important for a refrigerator.  Like water for a fish, a refrigerator needs free flowing air channels to cool properly. Many refrigerator problems are traced back to a fault in the air flow of the refrigeration system. First tip, clean your refrigerator regularly. A colleague of mine named Jim once found a refrigerator wasn’t cooling properly because a half-eaten, left-over block of cheese had fallen off the back of a shelf and lodged itself inside the cold air return duct.  The customer hadn’t done anything wrong, Jim was removing items from the fridge and taking down the shelves to continue his troubleshooting when he happened to notice something weird in the duct, shinned his flashlight at the area and found the lodged block of cheese. This tech story is a good example of the importance of regular cleanings as a preventative maintenance measure. I also tell my customers to wipe the door seals on occasion to clear obstructions and remove corrosive debris and keep the seals nimble and fresh.

Tip two, service the condenser coils at least once a year. This procedure should be done twice a year if you have a lot of fury pets. Pet hair tends to be very thick and when it collects on the condenser coils of your refrigerator they act as a net helping dust collect with greater frequency and density. A clogged condenser coil restricts the heat transfer process of the refrigeration system making efficient cooling more difficult. Allowed to persist, a refrigerator operating under these conditions will apply greater heat stress and pressure to heat sensitive mechanical and electronic components.

Vacuuming the condenser coil.

Many poorly cooling refrigerator complaints stem from clogged and dirty condenser coils.  The first step in diagnosing a sealed system problem in a poorly cooling refrigerator is to clean the condenser coil if it is clogged. Should you have trouble identifying your refrigerators condenser coil or need an effective method to clean the condenser coil thoroughly visit TinLizzee.com to chat with experienced in-home appliance technicians who have unique solutions for all appliance related problems!

The Ice Machine

Standalone ice machines require regular maintenance as well. Ice makers are very similar to refrigeration systems so the regular maintenance needs are the same. Regular cleaning of the interior, door seal and condenser coil go a long way in preserving the longevity of the machine. Continuous ice production lends itself to lime scale buildup throughout these units. The circulation pump in an ice machine should be treated for scale buildup removal about once a year to maintain the ice machine’s production efficiency and quality of ice cubes. Most customers prefer to pay a technician for routine maintenance service on their ice machines because the procedures can be detailed and tedious. 

Visit Tin Lizzee.com for guidance in troubleshooting your refrigerator and ice maker cooling problems and online assistance in conducting your own preventative maintenance procedures. Check back often for more articles on The Importance of General Maintenance and Preventative Maintenance Tips which can be found on the TinLizzee.com blog page.  There you can find not only this article but also interesting information about most aspects of appliances, from how to keep them looking their best to which ones NOT to buy.  Thanks for reading, and give us feedback, we love hearing from you!

 

 

 

 

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