Kitchen Catastrophes 101: Broken Refrigerators

Whenever a tried and trusty home item like a refrigerator breaks it can wreak havoc on the rest of the home. Luckily a few options exist these days for those who come home to a broken apliance besides calling a repair person.

Those who have tackled DIY projects before are familiar with the expanse of advice on the internet. Although a refridgerator works hard, they aren’t always hard to work on. In some instances even, that which could cost several hundred dollars worth of repair issues could be solved for less than $30 and a few hours.

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1) Figure out the problem.

I know a broken appliance seems like a problem but you need to identify the exact cause and narrow the problem down. Get to know your appliance, down to the model number and maker. For me, I went to my refrigerator and turned the dials and knobs, trying to see if I heard any clicking noise. The biggest thing was no matter where I turned the cold control to, nothing came on.

2) Take to the internet.

The internet is a great resource for learning to do hundreds of things. Type in the exact problem and see what comes up. I typed in GE refrigerator not cooling. Most of the results in my search were about replacing the defrost thermostat. I found a video and it showed a step-by-step tutorial. I could do this.

3) Gather your materials.

Get a pen and paper, watch the video, write down what you need. You can then either go to your local supply store or find necessary parts online. If you don’t know what something is (i.e.wire manette?) find out. A quick search will bring up the exact part you want. If it looks like the picture or video tutorial, you are one step closer.

4) Begin the repair.

Internet tutorials are grea. If it’s a step by step guide you can print off the page. A video can easily be watched and paused as you follow each step; they’re especially effective for visual learners, too. Try to find a step-by-step tutorial on Youtube of your specific refrigerator model, if at all possible.

5) See if it worked.

Turn the appliance on and see if it works. If it doesn’t work, check and make sure you followed every step correctly. Thankfully mine did and I could put all my recently bought food back in, without having to spend more of my budget. If after two tries it doesn’t work, look for another solution or call a repair man.

In the end you don’t necessarily have to spend a fortune on repairs. Often times the repairs we spend the most on, are things we can do cheaply ourselves.

Malia Anderson is an avid baker and fan of DIY projects. When she’s not writing about home improvement & finance, she likes to play ukelele and experiment with cake pops.

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