There are few things more frightening than a broken refrigerator. Once a luxury item, now a necessary kitchen piece, they can be costly to repair or replace and when they break—remedy must come quickly.
Deciding whether to repair or replace involves a number of factors. Repair jobs, especially if done your self, can be much cheaper. But trying to beat a dead horse gets you nowhere, the same goes for repairing appliances which have simply run their lifespan.
That lifespan is the first topic to consider. Most refrigerators last 10 to 20 years if properly maintained. Routine maintenance will help preserve the general condition of the unit, which should also be considered. No matter what the condition, the risk of failure rises with the age of the appliance.
Typically speaking, if the price of repair is more than half the price to replace, go with the replacement. That percentage should be skewed on scale which factors in the age of the appliance and the risk of further problems.
Another detail to account involves the level of technical skill required for the repair and the availability of corresponding parts which you may need. The older the model, the more difficult and costly it may be to find the part. Luckily, most refrigerator parts can be researched an found online. Keep in mind that even if a part can be found, energy-efficiency should also be considered when deciding whether to buy or fix.
If the repair route seems more beneficial, check your owner’s manual for symptoms of common problems which may be repaired simply and cheaply.
No lights could mean a disruption in the power source or simply a dead bulb. But if the lights are off and the fridge is warm, this could indicate a larger electrical problem.
The problem of a constantly-running unity with high energy-use may be corrected by a bit of cleaning. The intake vents and condenser coils can become clogged, particularly in dusty homes or those with pets, causing the unit to require more energy and run more often. They can be cleared using a broom or vacuum.
Cleaning can also remedy a leaky unit. Often refrigerators contain drain-pans which may become filled and can overflow. This typically occurs when the drain tube becomes clogged. Removing larger clogs can be done by hand or by running a diluted bleach-mixture through the tubes themselves.
A sweaty refrigerator is symptomatic of one in which the temperature is not being regulated correctly. This could be due to deteriorated door seals or faulty insulation. Be aware the refrigerators use coolant fluids that are incredibly toxic. Oily residues, hissing noises, or excessive sweating could indicate a leak which would require professional attention.
The decision whether to repurchase or repair can be daunting in the face of an appliance break-down. But using a bit of research can help turn tragedy to triumph, not matter the outcome.