Having problems with your fridge freezer? This guide gives you the top warning signs that yours is on its way out. Or, head to the FAQs where we'll guide you through unblocking your machine and giving advice on some of the most common problems.
Most fridge freezers stay at the best for around 10 years, so if yours is getting on a bit and showing any of these 5 signs, it might be worth looking for a replacement.
Sometimes fridge freezers can struggle to keep their cool – not what you need when you want those veggies to stay fresh. In fact, food going off quicker than you’d expect could be a sign that your fridge freezer’s overheating. Another way to check is to look for any extra condensation, or if you can get to it, see if the back of your appliance is letting off more heat than usual. If you spot any of these signs, and you can’t see an issue with the door seal or thermostat, it probably means your fridge freezer’s on the way out.
A frosty reception every time you open the freezer could be another red flag. If it isn’t a no frost model, then a bit of ice building up every now and then is normal – you can easily see it off by manually defrosting – but when big chunks of the cold stuff keep appearing, it might mean your freezer just isn’t what it used to be.
Is your fridge freezer sounding like it’s about to take off? Yeah, that’s not good. A noisy appliance could mean the motor’s on the way out. All might not be lost though – simply try the good old-fashioned ‘turn it off and then on again’ technique (that works for everything else, right?). If it’s still doing an impression of a jet engine – especially if it’s over 10 years old – then it’s time to get yourself a brand new replacement that won’t deafen you every time you go in the kitchen.
If your fridge freezer’s as silent as a mouse, then it might be another sign that it could be on the way out. That’s because a quiet appliance could mean the compressor’s been damaged. Another sign to look out for is warm groceries inside. If you’ve tried turning it off and on again (that old favourite) and the problem’s still not fixed, then it’s farewell fridge freezer.
Older models aren’t as efficient as newer ones, and that’s because the tech that makes appliances more eco-friendly is getting cleverer all the time. All the latest models now get a letter on the A-G energy efficiency scale, with A being the best – that means it’s better for the environment and your bills will be lower too. Win-win, right?
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Here’s a few things you can be doing to maintain your fridge freezer, so it's always working at its best.
A guide to defrosting your fridge freezer
Get your fridge freezer working the way it should
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A blocked fridge freezer can be a nuisance, especially if your model has a water dispenser. Thankfully our handy guide below will help you resolve the problem.
If you have a pool of water or leak in your fridge, check the drain isn’t clogged up.
To do this, make sure you unplug your appliance first.
Unscrew the back panel – be careful as you might not be able to move it far.
Now check the grommet – this funny sounding thing is a funnel which lets water down the drain to be evaporated. Check that it's not clogged up or frozen up as this will stop water from draining properly. Take it out and give it a good clean with hot soapy water if necessary before drying and clipping it back into place.
Grab a pipe cleaner and clean out the drain inside your fridge to get rid of any bits of food that might have got trapped.
If your fridge’s dispenser is blocked and no water or ice is coming out, turn off the shut off valve at the bottom.
You’ll then then need to take out the panel at the front.
Now put a towel down and disconnect one end of the water line. Check to see if water is coming out. If not, it’s most likely to be frozen in the middle.
Let the blockage either defrost naturally, or fill a turkey baster with warm water and pour over the line to speed it up – don’t use a hairdryer as this can be damaging.
Once the blockage has melted, connect the line and screw the panel back in – turn the power on and try pouring a glass of water to check everything is working.
If your fridge freezer has a water dispenser, this is something you’ll have to do every now and then. Learn how with our step by step guide below.
Start by turning off the water supply and dispenser at the shut-off valve on the cold-water line.
Take out the old filter by twisting anti-clockwise.
Remove the new filter from the packaging, along with any protective cap.
Put the new filter in by lining up the tabs and twisting the cartridge clockwise until it’s in position.
Now you can turn the water supply and dispenser back on.
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Your fridge should be set to around 4°C.
Your freezer should be set to around -18°C.
Fridge freezer temperature settings are usually measured in numbers. The higher the number, the colder the temperature.
This will be because there is warm air in your fridge, as condensation occurs when warm air cools. This might be because you haven’t shut your fridge door properly, or because certain items you’ve put inside might still be warm, such as last night’s leftovers.
This is most likely due to you not shutting the door properly, or a faulty door seal. If it’s the door seal, just replace it with a new one.
This could be a number of things. You may have some foods that’s gone off, look to the back of your fridge for any items you might have forgotten about and throw them away. If any foods have spilled out from their packaging, then they’ll also leave a smell in your fridge. Also, a smelly fridge might be a sign that you need to give it a proper deep clean.
You might need to check your fridge’s temperature, if it’s too low, your food will go off much quicker. The temperature should be set at around 4°C. Also, if you overstuff your fridge with food, this might be the problem. If it’s set at the right temperature and you’re stacking food properly, then we’d recommend contacting your manufacturer for the best advice.
First make sure your fridge is plugged in properly and switched on. If it is, then check the settings, which need to be set at around 4°C. Make sure you’re closing the door properly, so no warm air can creep in, and check that it’s definitely staying shut. If the fridge’s vents are blocked by any large items, then the cold air won’t be able to move around. If it’s still not staying cold, then we recommend contacting your manufacturer for the best advice.
Turn off your appliance at the wall and make sure there’s no food inside before propping the door open. Lay down a towel on the floor and the place a bowl of hot water on the bottom shelf and leave for a couple of hours. When all the ice has melted, wipe down the insides with a sponge.
No, you should turn it off at the wall before attempting to defrost your freezer.
This is most likely due to the water being frozen in your water supply pipe. It could also be a result of low water pressure or a faulty or dirty water filter.
If your fridge’s dispenser is blocked and no water or ice is coming out, turn off the shut off valve at the bottom. You’ll then then need to take out the panel at the front. Now put a towel down and disconnect one end of the water line. Check to see if water is coming out. If not, it’s most likely to be frozen in the middle. Fill a turkey baster with warm water and then release it over the frozen bit of the pipe to melt the ice.
Turn off the water supply and dispenser at the shut-off valve on the cold-water line. Take out the old filter by twisting anti-clockwise. Remove the new filter from the packaging, along with any protective cap. Put the new filter in by lining up the tabs and twisting the cartridge clockwise until it’s in position. Now you can turn the water supply and dispenser back on.
It’s normal for your water dispenser to drip a little after using it, but if it’s constantly dripping then it might be due to air being trapped in the water line. Try dispensing 10 litres of water from the dispenser to clear out any air trapped in the line. If it’s still dripping, contact your manufacturer for their advice.
Unplug your appliance and then unscrew the back panel. Now check the grommet – this funny sounding thing is a funnel which lets water down the drain to be evaporated. Grab a pipe cleaner and clean out the drain inside your fridge to get rid of any bits of food that might have got trapped. Once you’re done, you can go ahead and put everything back as it was.
First of all, it’s normal for fridges to make a bit of noise. If your fridge is making a humming noise, then there’s nothing to worry about, this is just your appliance working as it should. If there’s a loud noise coming from the freezer then there might be a problem with the fan, in which case you should contact your manufacturer for the best advice. If your fridge freezer has a water or ice dispenser, you may hear a buzzing sound when using it, this is just the sound of it working.
It’s normal for your fridge freezer to make a humming noise.
You just need to adjust the legs at the bottom until it’s level. Place a spirit level on the top of the appliance and check it’s in the middle. If it is, your fridge is level. If not, keep adjusting until it is.
This most likely means the bulb in your fridge has run out. Just unplug your appliance and replace it with a like for like bulb.
It could be a problem with the circuitry inside the fridge. In this case we would recommend contacting your manufacturer or an electrician for the best advice.
This is just a rough guide, look at your product manual where possible for the best advice.
This can differ across models and manufacturers, so check your product manual.
This could be a number of things. From the condenser coils being dirty, to the fan being faulty, or the thermostat not working properly. In any case, we’d recommend contacting your manufacturer for the best advice.
This is most likely due to air sneaking into the freezer compartment and turning into ice. Check that your freezer door is shutting properly and staying shut. Also check the door seal, as a faulty seal will need replacing to stop air creeping in.
A full freezer will stay at a safe temperature for 48 hours without power. A half full freezer will keep for 24 hours.
Freezer burn appears when your frozen food is exposed to the air inside your freezer. It doesn’t make your food unsafe to eat, it just reduces the quality and taste. To stop it happening again, seal your food in airtight bags and pop them in a resealable container for extra protection. Also, try opening and closing your freezer quicker to keep the amount of air that is getting inside to a minimum.
When it’s broken. Usually this will become clear when your food starts going off quicker, or if the temperature in your fridge isn’t very cold.