The Reason Refrigerators Break So Often



When your refrigerator breaks down, it’s the start of a war. You need to call up neighbors and friends to ask for spare coolers or some space in their refrigerator to store perishables and start cooking or consuming things that are about to expire. If you need to get your refrigerator fixed by a professional, you can search for “refrigerator repair near me”. Let’s check out the reasons refrigerators break so often.

The Reasons

  • Not run for a consistent period at the beginning – When you get a new refrigerator, the manual always has a familiar set of instructions. It says that you need to r the refrigerator constantly for several hours after plugging it in. After it has run for the designated time, the refrigerator is ready to be loaded up with all sorts of items. However, most people treat that instruction the same as charging your new phone to full capacity.

While phone batteries have evolved and don’t require to be charged to maximum capacity anymore, the core technology of refrigerators has remained unchanged for decades. If you don’t run the refrigerator for the designated amount of time and directly start loading it with items, it won’t be able to calibrate its components for full load capacity. People who skip this step often have their refrigerators fail within the early stage of usage.

While a new refrigerator needs to constantly run for a few hours, the same isn’t true for old refrigerators. If your old refrigerator is running constantly, there may be something wrong with it. Refrigerators are designed to keep things cool by being as efficient as possible. So, apart from the initial calibration, they shouldn’t run constantly. So, if your old refrigerator is running constantly, get it checked by a technician to avoid high repair costs later on.

  • Overstuffing – All appliances including your refrigerator, washing machine, and dryer are designed with a certain capacity in mind. The user manual of your refrigerator must mention that load capacity. It will contain details about the amount of food you can store in the refrigerator. You need to make sure that you don’t exceed that load capacity. When you overstuff the refrigerator, the components have to work extra hard to keep things cool.

When those components work extra hard, they get heated up and tend to last for a shorter time than they were supposed to. If those components break within the warranty period of the refrigerator, you may get away with free repairs. However, if the warranty period is over and the components need to be replaced, you’ll pay a lot of money. The cost is going to be astronomical if the compressor motor breaks down. 

  • Compressor motor – The compressor motor is the heart of your refrigerator and is designed to outlast your refrigerator if used the right way. That’s why refrigerators come with a separate and longer warranty period for the compressor. There are two major reasons for compressor motors to break down. The first reason is obviously age. The motor may have run its course and may have been damaged by the effects of time.

Another reason for the compressor motor to break down is heat build-up. That happens when the compressor motor is stressed due to your choices and activities. For instance, it happens when you overstuff the refrigerator, make it go through heavy usage, and more such reasons. When the compressor motor gets too hot, it may fry out the coil inside it. In that case, you have no option but to replace the motor.

  • Age – Age will have its effects on everyone and everything. The same holds for your refrigerator. When your refrigerator gets too old, the chances of failure increase drastically. Old refrigerators have old components that have been used for a long time and have gone through years of wear and tear. Those components may be beyond their useful life or may have been overused.

That’s why old refrigerators slack in performance, use a lot more power than they used to and break down more often. At that point, it costs you more money to keep the refrigerator, and buying a new energy-efficient model would be the better option. If your refrigerator is over a decade old, consider buying a new one.

  • Refrigerant leak – If compressors are the heart of the refrigerator, refrigerants are the blood that circulates and keeps things cool. Refrigerants are specially created chemicals that can expand and contract very easily to exchange and transfer heat. If the refrigerant starts to leak, your refrigerator will stop working. Signs of a refrigerant leakage include a nasty chemical smell, constantly running motors, and oily liquid on the floor.

Refrigerants are also very toxic and harmful to humans, and you shouldn’t come in direct contact with them. If you notice refrigerant leakage, call professionals to fix it immediately. If a refrigerator with refrigerant leakage is unnoticed for a long time, it can do severe damage to the fridge.

  • Damaged cables – There are usually one or two lines that come out of the refrigerator. One of them is usually a water supply line for a refrigerator with water and ice dispensers and the other one is the power cable. If the power cable has been frayed or damaged, it may lead to refrigerator damage as well. Usually, it happens due to rodents chewing on those cables. Frayed cables aren’t able to transmit power properly from the wall to the refrigerator and that can even cause an electrical fire. Make sure to get it fixed as soon as you notice it.


As you can see, there are multiple reasons for your refrigerator to break down. While some are out of your control, you can always manage to not overstuff your fridge and use it with more care. If your refrigerator is too old, you may also consider swapping it out with a new one. However, if your refrigerator does break down, you can search for “refrigerator repair near me” and hire professionals to fix it.