Yearly Refrigerator Maintenance

On this page, I will discuss refrigerator maintenance that should be done at least once a year. There are a few things you can do that take very little effort and can extend the life of your refrigerator. For as much as refrigerators cost, you might as well take care of it while you have it. With a little effort you can save some headaches in the long run.


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Clean Condenser

Refrigerator condenser cleaning brush

Cleaning the condenser is the most important refrigerator maintenance because a dirty condenser can cause a refrigerator to stop cooling. This will cause all your food to spoil so it is wise to clean it at least once a year.

The condenser is the refrigeration coil on the outside of the refrigerator. To clean the condenser, first you must locate it. There are two places that the condenser may be located on your refrigerator. One is on the back of the refrigerator. If it’s located on the back of the refrigerator simply brush it off with a broom. The other place the condenser can be located is underneath the refrigerator. On some refrigerators you can clean the condenser from the front. Remove the front kick plate and look under the refrigerator. If you can see the coils use a vacuum cleaner with a long hose to clean the condenser. Also a long skinny brush may help loosen up the lint. If you can’t see the condenser coils from the front, you must remove the back cover to locate the condenser. Then clean it the same way as I described above.

Replace Water Filter

Replacing the water filter is an important refrigerator maintenance that should be done at least once a year and if your water isn’t very clean, I recommend changing it twice a year. Failure to replace the water filter will result in a clogged line. First locate the filter (your owners manual should help you find it) on most refrigerators it’s located either inside the fresh food section at the top right hand side or under the refrigerator on the left hand side. You should be able to access the filter with out pulling the refrigerator out. Once you locate the filter it should be easy to replace, just make sure you have the right filter before you pull the old one out. To remove most filters you just twist it counter clockwise a ¼ to a ½ of a turn then it should pull right out. Buy refrigerator water filters here.

Clean Drain

Often the drain on refrigerators gets clogged up and causes it to leak. If you have a side-by-side refrigerator you can prevent this by cleaning out the drain once a year. But if you have a top-freezer refrigerator or a bottom freezer refrigerator, the drain is too hard to access be worth doing. But preventing this is easy on side-by-side refrigerators, just open the freezer door and remove the bottom bin and the bottom shelf. Once they are removed, you should be able to access the drain. There should be a ½ inch hole in a trough at the back of the freezer that is the drain. To clean the drain, force water down it. I use a turkey baser but you can use any squirt bottle, I have even used a garden hose. Then mix some baking soda with water and pour it down the drain. This should prevent it from ever stopping up and causing your refrigerator to leak.

Door gasket

Over time door gaskets will get hard and rip causing warm air to leak into your refrigerator. This will cause the refrigerator to sweat and it won’t be as efficient. If the gasket is too bad, it can also cause your food to spoil. This can be prevented with a little refrigerator maintenance once a year. Simply rub a thin film of Vaseline around the entire door gasket. This will keep it soft and prevent it from tearing.

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I hope these simple refrigerator maintenance tips will help you extend the life of your refrigerator.

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