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Published on August 13th, 2013 | by Staff


How to kill a refrigerator

Desperate to rid yourself of your avocado-colored refrigerator that’s running up your energy bills? Have an ancient refrigerator that’s ruining the look of your pin-worthy kitchen? Have a spouse who won’t part with it until it dies?
Of course, we’re all about extending the life of appliances with do-it-yourself repair. But, if you really want to know, here’s how kill a refrigerator:

Option 1
Try to speed up the automatic defrosting process by using a sharp tool or utensil to scrape away the ice from the evaporator coils.

How this kills it: This will puncture the refrigerant line. The repair cost for this will be too high. Replacing the refrigerator will be more cost effective.


Option 2
Turn the unit on and off repeatedly over the course of 30 minutes to one hour.

How this kills it: This will short cycle the refrigerator’s compressor – an expensive repair. A new unit is most often the cheaper option. (Note: This is known to happen during storms in which power is knocked out and restored repeatedly over a short period of time.)


Option 3
Transport the refrigerator on its side or back.

How this kills it: This will cause the compressor oil to leak into refrigerant lines, which can clog up the capillary tube permanently.

Bonus tip: Move the refrigerator to your garage, if you live in the north.
If your garage’s temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, your self-defrosting refrigerator’s oil can thicken and cause premature compressor failure.


Option 4
Discover that it’s an energy hog.

Use a plug-in energy usage meter to track the refrigerator’s energy consumption. Changes in consumption can indicate problems. Also, you may find that your large, old refrigerator is consuming more energy and costing you significantly more than it should. If you replace a refrigerator that’s more than 20 years old with a new one, the difference in energy consumption can easily be $150/year.

energy usage meter

Have a friend with a loathed refrigerator? Share this with her/him!



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Since 1999, three and a half million people have purchased replacements parts and accessories from RepairClinic and saved more than $260 million in repair costs by fixing appliances, lawn equipment, power tools, and heating & cooling equipment on their own. From the beginning, RepairClinic has provided free troubleshooting and how-to resources on its website.

The company’s 2,000+ free how-to repair and how-it-works videos on its YouTube channel have been viewed more than 41 million times.

RepairClinic’s free, advanced online repair help system empowers do-it-yourselfers to fix common problems associated with home appliances, lawn equipment, power tools and heating & cooling equipment. DIYers can enter a model number to choose from a list of common symptoms for that particular model, troubleshoot and watch award-winning, expertly-produced videos to learn the most likely causes and conditions and purchase the correct part. stocks more than one million parts and accessories for 160 brands of lawn mowers, small engines, snowblowers, string trimmers, furnaces, air conditioners, air handlers, heat pumps, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners, power tools and many other products.

Since 1999, the company has served more than three million customers including homeowners, first-time and beginner DIYers, advanced DIYers, appliance repair professionals, small engine repair shops and landscaping and lawn care business owners. RepairClinic orders are backed by a 365 Days. Period.® return policy that enables customers to return any part. Of the more than one million parts available on the website, 95 percent of parts ordered are in stock and guaranteed to ship the same business day. RepairClinic ships within the United States, U.S. territories and military bases and Canada.

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About the Author staff members enjoy dozens of daily conversations with RepairClinic’s customer community every day. We're inspired by our customers' stories of successful DIY repairs, major money savings and empowerment to tackle many repair projects on their own. Every day, our 2,200+ free how-to videos are viewed 60,000 times. Visit and join us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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