Is It Better to Repair a Broken Refrigerator or Just Buy a New One?


A refrigerator is an expensive household appliance that can cost thousands of dollars. When it gets damaged or doesn’t operate properly, you consider many things before replacing it. You search for “refrigerator repair near me” and get a professional to look at it before you even consider purchasing one. Sometimes replacing the refrigerator might be the right choice. You may get confused over whether to repair or replace your refrigerator with a new one. Let’s check out some factors that may guide you towards the right decision:

The Discussion

  1. Freezer unit is too cold – The point of a freezer is to keep things chilled and frozen. Be it meat, perishables, or medicine. However, you shouldn’t have to melt off the ice every time you need to cook something from the freezer. If there is severe ice build-up in your refrigerator, you have a major problem.

The first thing you can do is unplug the refrigerator and let the freezer defrost. When the ice has melted, plug in the refrigerator and keep a close watch on the freezer chamber. If the problem isn’t fixed, call a technician to get to the root of the problem.

This problem is very common in old refrigerators that lack an automatic defrosting mechanism. If this problem keeps popping up too many times, you need to reconsider if paying the stacking repair costs is better than getting a new refrigerator.

  1. Refrigerator is running hot – This statement seems absurd since a refrigerator is designed to keep things cool. However, refrigerators use a compressor and motor to compress and circulate the coolant. You don’t want that motor to overheat.

Put your hands a couple of inches away from the back of the refrigerator. If it’s mildly warm, things are normal. However, if it’s hot enough to make you instantly pull back your hands, you’ve got a severe problem.

The coils at the back of your fridge are insulated and that’s why you shouldn’t feel an alarming level of heat if things are working fine. Get a repair guy to look at the coils. If he or she says that you need to replace the coils, then it’s an easy and relatively inexpensive repair. Otherwise, the refrigerator may have many components that are in bad shape and buying a new fridge might be cheaper than replacing those components.

  1. A water puddle around the fridge – A puddle of water isn’t just a sign of damage, but also an immediate hazard that puts you and everyone in your family at risk. You may slip on the puddled floor and if the water reaches any electric wiring or socket, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

A leaky refrigerator may be due to a broken drip pan, a damaged hose that connects the refrigerator to the drip pan, the faulty seal on the fridge door, or if the refrigerator is too frosty. If the drip pan is broken or the door seal isn’t effective due to wear and tear, you can replace them yourselves for an inexpensive sum of money.

However, if it’s due to other issues, you may have to call a repair technician. If the problem lies with a leaky hose, it wouldn’t cost you much. But if the technician decides that the fridge is too frosty and the underlying problem is too expensive to fix, you’re better off with a new refrigerator.

  1. Refrigerators are too loud – Refrigerators aren’t quiet appliances. Even the latest and greatest models can be very audible. The problem starts when the refrigerator is excessively loud, and you hear it even when you’re out of the kitchen.

However, this problem shouldn’t be anything major. The usual suspects are the condenser and evaporator fans and getting them replaced by a qualified technician should bring back the peace. You don’t need to consider replacing the refrigerator in this scenario.

  1. Rotting food – Check on the spoiling time of food kept in the refrigerator. Track how quickly veggies, meat, and dairy products are getting spoiled and start going bad. If your food starts to smell and rot more rapidly than it used to, then you should consider replacing the refrigerator.

Food getting spoiled too quickly is a clear sign of insufficient cooling. That means your refrigerator isn’t as efficient as it used to be and maybe drawing more power from the socket. You end up paying more on your energy and grocery bills.

  1. Terrible condensation – Another problem that’s linked to inefficient cooling. Touch the exterior surface of the refrigerator and check for moisture. If the refrigerator is sweating, check the seal at the door.

Put a dollar bill halfway and close the door. Pull at the bill to check resistance. If the bill comes out smooth with no resistance, the rubber seal needs to be replaced. The damaged rubber seal allows cold air to leak out of the refrigerator and puts more strain on the compressor.

If the refrigerator is perspiring internally, the temperature settings may be skewed. You may have accidentally bumped the thermostat dial in the wrong direction while keeping things inside the fridge. Turning it back to the desired position should fix things. If the thermostat is damaged, you can also get it replaced. No need to buy a new fridge in this case.

  1. Refrigerator age – The average refrigerator should last you around two decades if you do regular maintenance. However, components start breaking down just after 10 years and the cost of repairs start alarmingly building up. Moreover, it also gets less efficient and drives up the power bill. That’s why you should go for a new purchase when your refrigerator is too old.


By now you must be familiar with the common problems of a refrigerator and if they are worth repairing. Replacing your refrigerator should always be the last resort when the above-mentioned factors are in play. If your refrigerator is broken, search for “refrigerator repair near me” to get a second opinion from a pro.

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