UPDATED: What To Do If Your Refrigerator / Freezer Stops Working

Your refrigerator and freezer are essential appliances in your home, working tirelessly day and night to keep your food fresh and your drinks cold. However, like any mechanical device, they are prone to malfunctions and breakdowns. Understanding the common causes of refrigerator and freezer breakdowns is crucial for ensuring their longevity and optimal performance. By identifying these issues early on and taking proactive measures, you can prevent costly repairs and keep your appliances running smoothly. 

At ServiceOne, we are your Omaha appliance repair experts. In this blog, we go over the primary culprits behind refrigerator and freezer breakdowns, from overstuffing to damaged components. Let's explore the factors that can cause your refrigerator and freezer to break down.

What causes refrigerators to break down?

There are many factors that can cause breakdowns to occur within your refrigerator. Below, we dive into the common causes of a refrigerator malfunction:


Overstuffing your refrigerator with too many foods and beverages is one of the leading causes of breakdown. Your fridge is built to be able to handle a certain amount of work, and overstuffing it with many items can put a lot of stress on the compressor motor, ultimately increasing the risk of a breakdown. 

Frayed cabling

Faulty or frayed cables within your refrigeration system are another very common cause of breakdown. 

Refrigerant leakage

Lastly, a refrigerant leak is a sign that there’s a major problem with your refrigerator. This can lead your refrigerator to stop cooling, causing food to spoil in both your fridge and freezer. 

What causes a freezer to break down?

Damaged fan motor

If you have noticed loud or unusual noises coming from your freezer? This could be a result of a damaged evaporator fan motor. When you run into this issue, it’s important to get your fan motor replaced as soon as possible to avoid other problems. 

Faulty defrost heater

Is there too much frost forming on the items in your freezer? While too much frost can be caused by a number of things, including accidentally leaving the freezer door open for too long, it can also be a sign of a bigger issue. When you start noticing too much frost buildup in your freezer, it could be a sign that the defrost heater is not working properly.

Malfunctioning electronic controls

Lastly, if your freezer is not running properly or turning on at all, it could be a sign of malfunctioning electronic controls. You will notice that your freezer isn’t working properly by several signs, including warm temperatures, freezer lights that won’t turn on and more. 

What to do if your refrigerator or freezer stopped working

If you notice that your refrigerator or freezer stopped working unexpectedly, the first thing you should do is review the appliance manual. This is why keeping all of your appliance manuals closeby is important. Reviewing the manual can help you understand what might be going on. 

Once you have reviewed the appliance manual and you are still unsure of what may have caused your refrigerator or freezer to stop working, the next step is to call an Omaha appliance repair technician to come out, take a look and hopefully get your problem resolved. Although fixing the issue yourself may seem like the cheaper option, hiring a professional appliance repair tech will ensure that your issue gets fixed properly and reduce the risk of running into the same issue in the future.

Home appliances, sadly, do not last forever, and your refrigerator and freezer are no exception. However, with proper upkeep and by noticing signs of wear and tear early, homeowners can take precautionary steps to help keep their kitchen appliances working properly as they should. 

At ServiceOne, we offer appliance repair services throughout the Omaha metro. When you run into a problem with any of your home’s major appliances, our team will be ready to help. Visit our website to learn more about our services.

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