Michigan Appliance Repair / Monday, September 28, 2020 / Categories: Featured, Refrigerator

8 Signs Your Refrigerator is Dying

8 Signs Your Refrigerator is Dying

Sometimes refrigerators and freezers break down without warning, but they usually display symptoms before they stop cooling entirely. Since the average refrigerator is opened 38 times per day, there’s no shortage of opportunities to check its pulse. Here are 8 warning signs to watch for:

  • 1. Ice or Frost BuildupFrost buildup on the back wall of your freezer compartment usually indicates that your refrigerator’s self-defrost system has stopped working properly. This frost buildup will restrict airflow and cause the refrigerator to stop cooling within a few days. A frozen puddle of ice in the bottom of your freezer is also caused by a malfunction of your refrigerator's defrost system, but usually takes a week or more to affect the temperature of your refrigerator.
  • 2. Running Quieter Than Usual If you’ve noticed that your refrigerator has suddenly become quieter than usual, it’s often because a fan motor or compressor has stopped working. If this is the case, you probably have only a few hours before food begins to spoil.
  • 3. The Exterior is Getting Hot A portion of your refrigerator’s condenser is usually run around the door openings to prevent condensation. It’s normal for this area to be a little warmer than room temperature, but if these areas are hot to the touch, your refrigerator is struggling to release the heat that it’s absorbing from your food. It would be wise to have your refrigerator serviced soon.
  • 4. It’s Always Running Most refrigerators are designed to run about 40-50% of the time. If it seems like your refrigerator is almost always running, it could be an early warning sign of a refrigerant leak or inadequate airflow. You will probably notice increased temperatures soon.
  • 5. Temperature Fluctuations If your refrigerator struggles to maintain a consistent temperature, especially on a hot day or after loading it with groceries, it may be the first sign of a bigger problem. An intermittent change in temperature is often the first sign of complete cooling loss.
  • 6. Clicking Noise A persistent “click” coming from the back of your refrigerator that occurs about once per minute is a tell-tale sign that your refrigerator’s compressor is no longer running. This is often caused by a failed PTC (positive temperature coefficient) relay. If you notice this symptom, you’ll want to have your refrigerator serviced immediately or get your food on ice!
  • 7. No Ice Cubes Your icemaker requires a freezer temperature below 10 degrees Fahrenheit to reliably produce ice cubes. While your food may still be frozen above this temperature, a lack of ice cubes is often the first sign of a dying freezer.
  • 8. You Can’t Remember the Last Time Your Condenser was Cleaned Most refrigerator manufacturers recommend that your refrigerator’s condenser be cleaned at least annually, and even more often if you have shedding pets. While it’s unlikely you’ll have any problems if you skip a cleaning here or there, a condenser that hasn’t been cleaned in years is a recipe for spoiled food.
  • It’s always better to detect these issues early than to open the refrigerator to an unpleasant surprise one day! Fortunately, most refrigerator repairs are fast and affordable. If you’re experiencing refrigerator trouble, contact a reputable appliance service company such as Michigan Appliance Repair.


    13 comments on article "8 Signs Your Refrigerator is Dying"

    Avatar image

    Levi Armstrong

    It's good to know that if my refrigerator makes clicking noises, its positive temperature coefficient (PTC) is most likely failing. That means you have to call a maintenance specialist immediately. Our refrigerator has been making this noise since last night. I thought it would go away, but it has been producing this noise until today. I'll contact a repair service soon to see if it needs any new parts for replacement. Thanks!

    Avatar image

    Taylor Hansen

    I appreciate the signs of a refrigerator dying. My fridge has been making strange sounds lately. I might have to call a repairman to fix it before it dies.

    Avatar image

    Andrea S.

    Thanks for the tips! I'll be sure to watch out for these things. Most appliance repair services offers consultation and advices in preventive maintenance. It is important to listen to articles like this in order to increase the longevity of our appliances. Great work. Keep it up!

    Avatar image

    Shammy P

    It caught my attention when you said that if your refrigerator is operating quieter than usual, it is possible that its fan motor or compressor has stopped working. This could be the reason why the food and frozen goods that we are storing in the commercial refrigerator give to us by a friend easily get spoiled. There was even a time that we had to dispose of the entire meal since it easily got spoiled.

    Avatar image

    Trevor C

    Good tips thank you.

    Avatar image

    Ava Murphy

    You got my attention when you said that it is wise to have your refrigerator serviced if it is struggling to release the heat that it’s absorbing from your food. This is something that I will consider because the exterior of our refrigerator is always too hot to touch, and my son frequently hears rumbling noises from it. We could not afford to not have a working refrigerator, so we will do your tips.

    Avatar image

    Luke Smith

    It was very informative to know that the clicking sound a refrigerator makes is an indication of a failing compressor. My brother and I noticed this exact clicking noise behind our refrigerator a week ago. Since then, the ref isn't able to produce ice cubes. We'll make sure to find a reputable company who is offering a refrigeration repair service.

    Avatar image

    Ava M

    It caught my attention when you said that you must have your refrigerator serviced immediately if you notice clicking noises. This is something that I will consider because our refrigerator has suddenly powered off last night. Before our refrigerator stopped working, it was making banging sounds. For sure, I will hire a reliable home appliance repair company.

    Avatar image

    Jessie Holloway

    Talking about how the icebox should and shouldn't be functioning is super helpful. My brother has been complaining about how his ice is always stuck together and the box overflows sometimes. We're looking into what that could mean and if we need to call some professionals to come to fix it.

    Avatar image


    Thank you for explaining that temperature fluctuation is a big sign that your refrigerator is having problems. We've been struggling with this for a few weeks with ours. I'll have to call someone up soon to see if they can help us get this fixed.

    Avatar image

    Eve Mitchell

    I didn't know that a clicking sound coming from the back of your fridge means that the compressor isn't working. I've been wondering why my fridge is clicking for the past hour! I'll definitely call a technician asap to see if I can get it figured out.

    Avatar image

    Charlotte Fleet

    My two roommates and I noticed that there has been a clicking sound coming from our fridge for the past three or so days. It's good to know that a clicking sound from the back of your fridge is a sign that the compressor is broken. We'll have to find a reputable appliance repair expert this week to fix the compressor and any other issues they find.

    Avatar image

    Elle Jones

    The exterior of our refrigerator is constantly too hot to touch, and my kid regularly hears rumbling noises coming from it, so I will give this some thought. We will follow your advice because we cannot afford to not have a functioning refrigerator.

    Leave a comment

    This form collects your name, email, IP address and content so that we can keep track of the comments placed on the website. For more info check our Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use where you will get more info on where, how and why we store your data.
    Add comment

Theme picker

Previous Next


  • All
  • Freezer
  • Dishwasher
  • Other Tips
  • Refrigerator

    No content

    A problem occurred while loading content.

    We Repair

    Washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, dishwashers, cooktops, ovens, ranges, microwaves, compactors, disposals, wine coolers, keg coolers, beverage centers, and water softeners.

    We Service

    Amana, Bosch, Dacor, Electrolux, Estate, Fisher-Paykel, Frigidaire, GE, Gibson, Hotpoint, Jenn-Air, Kenmore, Kitchen-Aid, Magic-Chef, Marvel, Miele, Maytag, Northland, Speedqueen, Sub-Zero, Tappan, Thermador, U-Line, Viking, Whirlpool, Wolf, and more.