Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Refrigerator Diagnosis - You Can Do It

Most folks think of the refrigerator as just an unobtrusive part of the background, humming and chillin' out, if you'll forgive the pun. Until it fails, and all of a sudden they've got a couple hundred dollars worth of food hanging in the balance.

The first thought that comes to mind is, "Call the serviceman! Stat!" Well, that's the appropriate response if the thing is still under warranty, but if not, why not take a crack at refrigerator troubleshooting and repair yourself?

It's really pretty simple to fix many fridge issues on your own. Of course, if it involves refrigerant, you will have to call a kitchen appliance serviceman.

You can't even buy that stuff without an HVAC license. Right or wrong, that's the way the game is rigged.

But, (you knew that was coming didn't you? ;-) there are times when you might as well cut your losses and move on with the great roller coaster of life. Let me tell you a little story to illustrate...

A couple of years ago it was time for a new fridge, and since I happened to be flush with cash, I sprung for a brand spankin' new Maytag. My wife and I always bought Maytag gadgets in the past because of the quality.

Heck, I had to replace a clothes dryer heating element a few years ago on a Maytag unit and that thing is about twenty years old. Not too shabby.

Wrong! Maytag has sold itself and now boasts the name tag but sells junk. No, I didn't just buy a lemon; a Google revealed that folks all over were having the same ice maker and water dispenser problems for a couple of years and the company has made no moves to install upgraded circuit boards.

They just keep changing them until the warranty runs out. What a joke. Mine went out twice in the first year, which happened to be the extent of the contract.

Sure, I could have lived with that, but I also went through two compressors in that year. Customer service? They just blow customers off.

Too sad, but hopefully my experience will save you some grief when you go shopping? Let me know. If I get enough input, I'll post an article. Reach me at

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