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Top 6 Causes of Refrigerator Damage

Mature Male Serviceman Repairing Refrigerator With Toolbox In Kitchen

A refrigerator is the most hardworking home appliance, yet people take it for granted. It is the most important appliance that runs constantly.

You may not think about what can cause its damage until it happens. A damaged refrigerator can be a headache because it requires complex research to know whether it is repairable.

Besides, you have to find another option of ensuring your food does not spoil for the time the refrigerator will be at the technician for repair before you buy a new one, or get the total amount to cater the entire cost that comes with its damage.


A refrigerator is the most hardworking appliance in all homes. Can you imagine living without one? You will face various challenges, such as a lack of cool water to drink, food spoiling, and no freezer to keep meat fresh for a long time.

A refrigerator is a vital piece of equipment, and you should have a functioning one to avoid the food from spoiling.

Sudden failure of your refrigerator can be a headache; that is when you know how essential it is.

Never take any of your appliances for granted because you may find yourself researching the causes of your damaged refrigerator, how much it costs to repair it, or even worse, you must buy a brand new fridge.

This article provides you with the top six causes of refrigerator damage which are:

  • Lack of maintenance
  • High voltage surge
  • Overstuffing inside the refrigerator
  • Refrigerant leakage
  • Old models of refrigerator
  • Constant running

Read through this article to understand how each causes damage to your refrigerator, how you can assess them, and how you can prevent them so that your refrigerator can remain in good condition for a long time.

Nearly every home has a refrigerator making it the most owned appliance in almost all countries in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Around 23% of homes in the United States have at least two refrigerators. Every year, refrigerator claims are always the highest among all home appliances.

Having improved knowledge of the causes of refrigerators helps people to handle them and reduces the overall damage claims.

The average lifespan of a refrigerator is about 17 years. Lack of good maintenance can decrease its lifespan. Therefore, ensure you often check your refrigerator to ensure it serves you longer.

You may have a lot of questions regarding your refrigerator. Do not worry because this article has provided frequently asked questions and provided answers for them but first, get to know the most common causes of refrigerator damage.

The following are the major cause of refrigerator damage:

1. Lack of Maintenance

Back Of The Refrigerator

Always investigate your refrigerator often to ensure it serves you for 17 years or even more. Its lifespan will shorten if you do not do regular maintenance.

Wear and tear can make your refrigerator fail, and the major reasons are:

  • Dirty condenser coils: A common cause of wear and tear on a refrigerator. If you do not clean them regularly, the coils clog with dust and dirt, hindering the efficient heat transfer from the refrigerator to the air, making the compressor strain, and fail prematurely. Ensure you regularly clean coils to prevent this problem from damaging your refrigerator.
  • Fan motor failure: It is a very special machine prone to failure. Over time, fan motor bearings gum up with dirt, preventing the motor from running. You can replace the fan motor from a damaged refrigerator. However, you must find the exact parts that fit in the refrigerator.
  • Mechanically locked compressor: It is the center of the cooling system of a refrigerator. Your refrigerator cannot function without a proper working compressor. Just like any other machine, its functionality decreases over time. At some point, it may not turn and end up locking mechanically. When this happens, it makes a humming noise whenever it starts up and becomes extremely hot to touch. Also, the compressor can fail prematurely if the coils are dirty or the refrigerator fills. Replacing a failed compressor can be prohibitive, but it is cost-effective for high-end refrigerators.

2. High Voltage Surge

Yellow Multimeter Close Up

High voltage surge is the leading cause of peril to refrigerators. An increase in voltage from the electric surge causes an inrush current within the refrigerator, causing excessive heat generation that leads to the damage of various parts of the refrigerator, such as:

  • The ice maker: A high voltage surge damages the ice maker of the refrigerator. Excessive heat generated due to powerful voltage surges makes the ice maker’s electrical connections short. It is cheap to replace the ice maker assembly if all the parts are readily available. Most refrigerators damaged due to this reason are often repairable.
  • The compressor: Powerful voltage surges can damage your refrigerator’s compressor but not as often as the control board. Extreme voltage surges can destroy windings that start and run the compressor resulting in premature failure of the compressor. It is a bit expensive to repair or replace a damaged compressor. Therefore, most people prefer to replace the refrigerator whenever the compressor gets damaged.
  • Control board: It is the most delicate part of a refrigerator and the easiest part to get damaged if a surge in electric currents occurs due to excessive heat generation. It is cheap to repair a damaged control board; you can do it yourself because it is very easy.

3. Overstuffing Inside the Fridge

Open Refrigerator Or Fridge Door With Food Inside

Your refrigerator has a specific capacity of load it can handle at all times and run properly. Ensure you familiarize yourself with the user manual to know the amount of food you should store in your refrigerator at any time.

Overstuffing it can make it overheat and end up malfunctioning. When you store overstuffs in the refrigerator, you put extra pressure on its compressor motors which can lead to a breakdown.

If compressor motors get damaged, and your fridge is within its warranty timelines, you can contact the manufacturer to repair or replace the damaged unit.

However, it is extremely expensive to repair the compressor motor if your unit is not within the warranty period.

Ensure you always follow the specifications and guidelines in the user manual to keep your refrigerator in good condition all the time, and it will serve your home for a long duration.

4. Refrigerant Leakage

Close-Up Photo Of Flooded Floor In Kitchen From Water Leak

Refrigerators contain chemicals known as refrigerants that create a cooling effect and keep the food fresh for a long time. If these chemicals start leaking from the refrigerant lines, your refrigerator’s cooling stops.

There are several signs of leaking refrigerants, such as a chemical smell in your fridge, continuous running of motors, or oil on the floor.

If you notice any of these signs, look for a professional to know the exact source of the leakage and get it refilled based on your refrigerator’s standard requirements.

Ignoring refrigerant leakage for a long time can lead to severe refrigerator damage.

5. Old Models of a Fridge

Front View Of Beige Color Vintage Fridge In Loft Style Kitchen

If your refrigerator is an old model, its chances of failing are very high. When you use it for a long time, it gets to a point it starts slacking on its performance.

The major reason for this behavior is due to wear and tear of various components within the refrigerator, the expiry of its lifespan, over usage of the appliance over time, among others. All these can damage your refrigerator.

Always check its useful lifespan, and if you are still using it past its life, consider getting a new one to avoid damaging it because it will be a headache when it happens unexpectedly. You may end up with huge and unplanned costs.

6. Constant Running

Interior Of Modern Kitchen With Refrigerator

The moment you buy a new refrigerator, it should constantly run for a few hours, and it is indicated in the user manual after you plug it in.

This essential step prepares the refrigerator to handle the full capacity load you will always store inside it.

Skipping the free running on a new fridge can lead to premature malfunctioning.

However, if your old fridge runs constantly, that is an issue you need to handle with immediate effect because it can damage the components of your refrigerator.

The Importance of Investigating Refrigerator Damage

For the longest time, there have been countless claims about refrigerator damage. People should be advised on the importance of investigating their refrigerators often to settle the claims raised in various parts of the world.

The cost of repairing a damaged refrigerator is lower than replacing it by around $1,000. Therefore, you should understand how to establish a proper repair scope and its importance.

Advance in technology has led to the development of new refrigerator features, and new refrigerators have a lot of difference from the old versions.

Having an expert who assesses your refrigerator and determines the cause of damage, suggests proper repair scope, and recommends a settlement amount adjuster can prevent you from raising small or extra claims when paying for your damaged refrigerator.


A refrigerator is an essential appliance that every home has. It helps you to keep your food fresh for a long time. If you take your precious time to imagine a life without one, you will understand its importance, and no single day will you ever take it for granted.

Several reasons can cause your refrigerator to get damaged but the mentioned above; lack of maintenance, high voltage surge, overstuffing inside the fridge, refrigerant leakage, old models, and constant running are the most common reasons for a damaged refrigerator.

If you do not take care of these issues, they can seriously damage your health, home, and refrigerator.

Proper maintenance measures are a must. If you observe abnormal functionalities in your refrigerator, act on them immediately to keep it in good condition so that it can continue running smoothly and will serve you for a long time.

Before you take your refrigerator for repair, always seek professional help in assessing it to avoid being overcharged for the raised claims.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Refrigerators Make Noise?

Yes, all refrigerators make noise when functioning normally.

There are various noises your refrigerator can make while operating normally, such as sizzling/ boiling/gurgling, popping, hissing/rattling, buzzing, creaking/thumping/cracking, or air rushing/whirring/pulsating.

If these noises are not loud, it is very normal, and you have no reason to worry. However, if your refrigerator makes other sounds or is too loud, you should investigate the source and fix it.

Why Does My Refrigerator Have a Buildup of Moisture?

It is usual for the inside of the refrigerator to contain a buildup of moisture. However, if it is excess, it is a sign of a problem. There are two reasons behind excessive moisture:

  1. Blocked fridge air vents. The area around air vents should always be clutter-free, and no object should be on its way to tamper with proper airflow.
  2. Leaving refrigerator doors open for a long time or opening them often. When you open your refrigerator doors, humid air gets inside, resulting in moisture formation. Minimize opening of the doors, and whenever you do, ensure you fully close them all the time.

Is It Normal for a Refrigerator To Leak Water?

No. Your refrigerator should not leak at any given time. Several reasons cause your refrigerator to leak.

The major reason is using plastic tubing instead of copper tubing to complete the water connection.

Most refrigerator manufacturers recommend copper tubing usage during the installation because they are durable, not easily damaged, and hard to cause water leakages.

Can I Buy an Extended Warranty After Purchasing a Refrigerator?

Yes. Most manufacturers recommend purchasing an extended warranty while buying a fridge. It allows you to extend your warranty periods, saving you repair costs for a long time.

Why Is the Ice Maker in My Refrigerator Unable To Produce Ice?

Suppose the ice maker in your refrigerator produces inadequate ice or does not produce it completely. In that case, you should ensure that you have connected the refrigerator to the supply line and turned on the water shut-off valve.

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