Caution! Always unplug the refrigerator before you make any repairs.

Icemaker busted?
When an icemaker stops working or produces only tiny cubes, it's usually because the water supply is blocked. To find and fix the problem, check out the three common trouble spots.



•    The tube that supplies water to your icemaker can get plugged with ice when the water pressure is low. The trickling water freezes and plugs the tube before it reaches the icemaker.
•    Remove the screws that hold the icemaker in place.
•    Unplug the wiring harness and remove the icemaker to expose the water inlet tube.
•    Melt the ice in the water inlet tube with a hair dryer. Don't stop until water stops dripping from the tube.
•    Reverse these steps to put the icemaker back in position.

Water leakage?

Every fridge produces water in the form of condensation and melting ice. When the system that deals with this water fails, you can end up with puddles inside and outside of the fridge.



•    Water drains into a pan under the fridge where it evaporates. If your fridge is badly tilted, water can spill out of the pan. Leveling the fridge solves this problem.
•    Adjust the fridge so it's level from side to side and tilted backward. Stack 20 cent coins near the back and set a spirit level on them. When the bubble shows level, the tilt is correct.
•    Adjust the legs under the fridge. You may need to pull off the front cover grille to level or tilt the fridge.
•    Clean out the drain hole inside and at the back of the fridge.
•    Remove the screws that hold the back cover panel in place. On some models, you have to pry out plastic screw covers with a putty knife to expose the screws.
•    Insert a tube in the drain hole and blow out any debris.
•    Pour a cup of water into the tube to make sure it drains before you replace the cover panel.

Fridge or freezer stopped cooling?
Before you assume anything, first check the obvious:

A) Is the fridge plugged into a power supply – and properly?
B) Is there electricity?

If the fridge runs, but doesn't get as cold as you’re used to, then chances are  that one of the following needs to be done:



•    The temperature control dial inside the fridge is sometimes tempting to curious kids. Make sure it hasn’t been turned down.
•    Make sure the vents in the fridge and freezer compartment aren't blocked by food containers—these vents supply the flow of frigid air. Adjust the temperature control dial. Also make sure the vents inside the fridge or freezer compartment aren’t blocked by containers.
•    In order for your fridge to create a chill, air has to flow freely through the condenser coils. On most older refrigerators, these coils are on the backside. Cereal boxes on top of the fridge or grocery bags stuffed behind it can reduce the needed airflow. Clean the coils so air can flow through them. Pull dust and fur balls from beneath and between coils with a long brush.
•    Pull out the fridge and unscrew the cover panel. Vacuum the fan. Then start the refrigerator to make sure the fan turns freely.
 
Loud and noisy?
Constant refrigerator noise can drive you up the wall! Refrigerator noise comes from either the compressor under the fridge, the condenser fan motor underneath the fridge, or the evaporator fan motor inside the freezer.



•    Open the freezer door while the fridge is running. If the noise doesn't get louder when you open the freezer, pull out the fridge.
•    Most refrigerators have a condenser fan motor (see above). Unscrew the back cover and listen - you'll be able to tell whether the noise is coming from the fan or the compressor. The best cure for a loud compressor is usually a new fridge. To replace the fan motor, remove its mounting screws, unplug it and install the new one.

Here's how:
Unplug the fridge and then unscrew the fan from the rear wall of the freezer and unplug the wires. With some models, you'll need a socket set or nut driver to remove the fan.

Remove the fan motor from its mounting bracket. Fasten the new fan to the mounting bracket, reconnect the wires and screw the new fan into place.

Helpful hints
Nine times out of ten, you can pull out a fridge without any damage to the floor. But a sideways skid or a grain of sand caught under a wheel can scar any floor - I even managed to scratch the ceramic tile in my kitchen. At the very least, lay down a cardboard runway before dragging out your fridge.

To get the right part for your refrigerator, you'll need the model number, which is usually stamped on a tag inside the fridge. If you can't find it anywhere on or inside the fridge, check your owner's manual. To locate a parts dealer in your area, look under “Appliances, Major, Parts” in the Yellow Pages or online.

Janice Anderssen is Women24's DIY and Decor expert. Ask her a question here or visit www.home-dzine.co.za