Refrigerator repairs guide pt2: After unplugging the unit and gaining access to the motor by removing the covering panels, the next important step involved in your refrigerator repairs, is to discharge the capacitor. Discharging the capacitor removes any stored charges, and reduces the risk of electric shock.
To discharge the capacitor, you will need a 2-watt, 20,000-ohm resistor, and an inexpensive wire that is readily available at most electrical supply stores. The procedure is simple and should be carefully followed. Attach the probes of the resistor to the terminals on the capacitor, and any remaining charges in the capacitor will be dissipated as the current flows through the resistor. The capacitor may sometimes have 3 terminals. You can connect the resistor probes to an outer and the central terminal, and then successively connect the probes to the other outer post and the central terminal. This procedure will remove all charge. You should test the capacitor for any remaining charges by connecting to the VOM, before proceeding with the refrigerator repairs.
You may need to dismantle your refrigerator in order to replace the necessary parts. The components that control the temperature, and air distribution will normally be located in the upper portion of the unit, while electrical hardware components, such as the coils, compressors, motors and fans are located in the lower portion of the refrigerator body.
In order to gain access to the items in the upper portion of the unit, the retaining screws or clips that keep the covering panels must be removed. These clips may often be hidden by moulding or trim and must sometimes be manually removed with gentle force. In many modern refrigerators, removing the shelves, will also allow access to many of the panels, so that you can gain access to the components.
You will also need access to the lower portion the refrigerator. The panels at the back of the unit can be removed by first removing the retaining screws at the back of the unit. The access may also be gained by removing the front panel that is beneath the front door. On some models, after unplugging, defrosting and emptying the unit, you can gain access to the parts at the bottom by turning the unit over so that is is lying horizontally. Your preference will be determined by the model and the ease of access.
If testing determines that the compressor or condenser and evaporator coils are malfunctioning, you will need professional services, as these parts are usually sealed and normally cannot be repaired. Other components can be easily removed for replacement or repairs.
Many of the problems with electrical appliances are often caused by defected cords or connections.
Examine the power cords carefully. There should be no frayed ends, or burn marks on the prongs, or at the connection of the terminals. The cord can be tested with a voltmeter that is set to the RX1 scale, and should show no shortage or current leakage. If any shorts or current leaks are indicated, the cord should be replaced and retested, if there are still leaks or shortages, it may be an indication of unsecured connections.
Problems with your refrigerator can also be caused by doors that do not operate properly. If you have too much frost, or your refrigerator does not freeze adequately, or find that you are continually increasing lowering the temperature, or your fridge begins to feel noticeably warmer, one of the problems can stem from an improperly operating door. Servicing the door of your refrigerator involves examining the hinges, testing the seal, and replacing the necessary parts. It may also involve removing shelves and panels for access to other parts.