A fridge repair specialist in metropolitan areas like Salt Lake City may charge at least $50 for fixing common problems such as rattling noise, but other problems like a broken icemaker may cost $250 to $330 to fix.
Home appliance repairs involve the 50% rule, which refers to the cost of fixing it versus buying a new one. If you will spend more than half the price of a new refrigerator on repairs, then replacing an old unit seems more economical. Most refrigerators today only last for eight to 12 years, unlike older models that can last up to 25 years.
What to Do Before Calling a Professional
Product warranties will come in handy when you need to repair a refrigerator. Some manufacturers offer lifetime warranties for their products, but the coverage may be limited to certain problems and subject to specific conditions. If you can’t determine the exact problem, look for signs of damage in the circuit breaker. You can find the recommended steps on the product manual, so always keep it in an accessible place.
However, you should only try to fix simple problems to avoid the risk of an electrical shock. Some types of refrigerators, such as built-in ones, are cheaper to repair if you own one for less than five years, while side-by-side refrigerators are more expensive to fix when you have been using one for more than five years.
Making a Choice
Once you decide to repair a broken fridge, the actual cost will depend on the type of problem. Aside from faulty icemakers, a malfunctioning freezer won’t be cheap to fix since repairs usually cost between $200 and $250. Some homeowners choose to buy a new fridge and put the old one in the basement or garage as a spare appliance.
But those who live in places with outdoor temperatures reaching below 8°C shouldn’t put freezers or refrigerators in uninsulated areas. The oil inside the compressor will become thick and may cause the appliance to break down for good.
Knowing the Right Temperature
A refrigerator’s coldness is just as important as the surrounding temperature. If you have a two-door fridge with separate thermostats, the ideal temperature for freezers ranges from 0°F to 5°F. Refrigerator thermostats should be set between 36°F and 38°F. You can use a basic thermometer for appliances without thermostats to know the temperature.
Put the thermometer in a glass of water in the center of the lower compartment, while another one can be placed in the middle of the freezer. Don’t take them out after 24 hours. You should do this ideally every time you notice changes in the temperature.
It’s easy to find a new refrigerator worth less than $200, but you shouldn’t just replace broken appliances each time you encounter problems. Ask a fridge repairman if it can be fixed before deciding to replace it. In case it’s more than 15 years old, then buying a new one will be a more reasonable choice. It’s better than patching things up and spending more on fixing problems caused by faulty repairs.