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Table of Contents

Refrigerator Not Cooling Well

Won’t Power Up

Excessive Frost in the Freezer

Ice Maker Not Working

Refrigerator Displays an Error Code

When to Replace Your Fridge Instead of Repairing It

  1. Resource Center
  2. Repair

Common Refrigerator Problems in 2024

7 min readUpdated Mar. 08, 2024Lyle WeischwillRefrigerator
Common Refrigerator and Freezer Problems

In every household, the refrigerator stands as a silent sentinel, tirelessly preserving food day in and day out. Yet, when it malfunctions, it disrupts the rhythm of daily life. In this guide, we'll explore common refrigerator problems our techs have encountered, offering practical DIY solutions to keep your appliance running smoothly and your kitchen humming along.


  • Common issues include inadequate cooling, power failures, excessive frost in the freezer, and malfunctioning ice makers, which can disrupt daily routines and require immediate attention.
  • DIY troubleshooting steps for common problems involve checking airflow at vents, inspecting power sources, fixing loose or damaged door gaskets, and troubleshooting ice maker issues before considering professional repair services.
  • When facing extensive repairs, particularly for older refrigerators, it may be more cost-effective to replace the appliance rather than invest in repairs, with Sears offering convenient options for selecting and financing new appliances through their Upgrade page.

Here’s our guide on what to do when faced with common fridge problems in 2024.

Refrigerator Not Cooling Well

When your refrigerator isn't cold enough, check whether containers are blocking airflow at the vents; the owner's manual usually shows where the vents are. Unblocking air vents may fix the cooling problem in your fridge.

High fridge temperatures are also a sign of control system problems, a failure in the air control damper, low refrigerant charge and other malfunctions. Follow the DIY troubleshooting tips in these videos to restore proper cooling in your refrigerator:

These expert tips may help you fix the refrigerator cooling problem. If not, schedule refrigerator repair service and we’ll send a Sears Technician to your home to fix the fridge.

Won’t Power Up

When you find the fridge completely dead, check the control to make sure the fridge is turned on. If that doesn’t fix the problem, check the house circuit breaker for your fridge. Reset the circuit breaker in case it has tripped.

If the fridge won’t power up after resetting the house circuit breaker, check the electrical outlet. Make sure the refrigerator outlet cord is securely plugged in.

If the outlet cord is plugged in, test the electrical outlet by plugging in a lamp or other small appliance to verify that the outlet is working.

If the outlet has no power, have an electrician fix the outlet.

If the outlet works, check the refrigerator power cord for damage. Replace the power cord if you find damage.

If the outlet cord is good, then a failed electronic control board or bad control panel could be causing the problem. These parts are expensive. You’ll likely need to have a service technician diagnose and repair the fridge if basic troubleshooting doesn’t help you find the cause of the failure.

Excessive Frost in the Freezer

When snowy frost coats items in the freezer, check for loose spots or damage in the door gaskets that could be letting in warm, moist air. That moist air will cause the excessive frost in the freezer compartment.

You may be able to fix the problem by pushing a loose door gasket back into its channel. If you find a torn or damaged door gasket, you’ll need to replace it. View this DIY YouTube video for tips on replacing a common French door refrigerator door gasket:

If you have a different type of refrigerator, check out these DIY repair guides with videos:

In a side-by-side fridge, a stuck ice cube or bad seal in the ice dispenser flap door can allow warm, moist air to leak into the freezer and cause excessive frost. Check to see if the ice dispenser door closes properly. Remove a stuck ice cube if that’s what you find keeping the door from closing. Replace the ice dispenser door flap if it’s damaged or broken.

Ice Maker Not Working

Several problems can prevent ice production in the freezer or ice compartment. The ice maker could be jammed or broken, a dirty water filter or kinked water line could be blocking water flow or the water inlet valve could be clogged or faulty. A control board problem can also kill ice production.

Because many ice makers are controlled by electronic circuit boards, you can sometimes fix the problem by shutting off the ice maker then turning it back on. If that doesn’t fix the ice maker, disconnect power to the entire fridge for several minutes to reset all circuit boards in the refrigerator. Power the refrigerator back up and see if the ice maker works. If it does, then you’ve likely fixed the problem.

If this initial repair tip didn’t fix the ice maker, try these additional troubleshooting steps:

  • Check the ice maker for jammed cubes and clear any ice buildup that you find.
  • See if the refrigerator water dispenser works. If not, replace the water filter. If that doesn’t help restore water flow, then you’ll likely need to replace the water valve if it's clogged or won't fill the ice maker when activated.
  • No ice in the ice maker also could mean that your refrigerator isn't cooling-the ice maker won't cycle if the freezer is warmer than 5 degrees F. Check freezer temperature and fix the cooling problem if the freezer isn’t cooling properly.

If these troubleshooting steps don’t help you fix the ice maker, you’ll likely need to have a service technician diagnose and repair the failure.

Image of woman viewing refrigerator error code

Refrigerator Displays an Error Code

Many refrigerators have an electronic control board that detect failures for you and display and error code on the control panel. You can quickly figure out what’s wrong with this type of fridge—as long as you can crack the code.

When you see a code displayed on the control panel of your refrigerator, use our Refrigerator Error Code Charts to determine the cause of the code and get DIY troubleshooting tips to fix your fridge.

At some point, you may find that you’re unable to complete the error code troubleshooting, or you’re unable to determine the cause of the failure after following the repair steps listed for an error code. In that situation, you’ll likely need to have a service technician diagnose and repair your fridge.

When to Replace Your Fridge Instead of Repairing It

When your refrigerator is over 10 years old and a repair is going to cost you half as much as buying a new fridge, then it’s typically time to replace the refrigerator instead of repairing it.

Upgrade You Appliances Image

When the time comes to replace your fridge, or all of your kitchen appliances, visit our Upgrade page to easily select the products you need and get help with financing.

We’ve consolidated all help, financing offers and savings into one location on our Upgrade page to make it easy for you to replace your appliances now. No hassles and no waiting. Get your new home appliances today.

Efficient and durable appliances help make a house a home. Whether you just need a new fridge or you’re buying a whole new kitchen suite, Sears carries a wide selection of home appliances from top brands like Kenmore, Frigidaire, GE, Samsung and LG.

No matter what you need, we have all the products and resources to make managing your home easier.

Schedule your refrigerator repair now!

Backed by years of experience, our technicians possess the skills necessary to fix your refrigerator. And because our techs our local, they can fix it for you fast.

Call (213) 596-2538 or schedule online now.

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