Fridge Freezer Not Working: Read Our Guide on What to Do Next


Team Money Savings Advice

Money Savings Advice Fridge freezer not working? Read our guide on what to do

If your fridge freezer isn’t working like it should, there are easy things you can try at home. Attempt to diagnose and fix the problem, but call a professional appliance engineer if you’re not sure exactly what you’re doing.

If your fridge freezer is failing, you risk losing most of the food in your house. Families can struggle without adequate storage for their fresh and frozen food. Most people would consider their fridge freezer to be essential, so it’s important that you get it fixed quickly if it’s not behaving as it should.

Some fridge freezer problems can be fixed very easily. They don’t need to cost a lot of money. Other fridge freezer repairs are more expensive, and these are best left to the professionals.

Read on to learn more about what to do next if your fridge freezer isn’t working.

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Common Fridge Freezer Problems and Solutions

Frost Build Up

A frost build-up in the fridge is a sign that the temperature’s too low. In the freezer, it might mean the same, particularly if the frost in your freezer is a white, dusty snow-like substance. Raising the temperature very slightly could stop more frost from building up, though it’s also likely that you’ll need to clear away the frost already in your appliance.

In the freezer, even the corner of a packet of peas could stop the freezer door from closing properly. Sometimes, a drawer not being pushed back all the way is enough to stop the freezer door from shutting. If there’s nothing in the way, check the door seal to see if it’s damaged as this is a very common issue.

A new door seal (or gasket) for a fridge freezer is relatively easy to fit. Fridge and freezer door seals are also fairly cheap, making this an easy in-home repair.

Leaking Water

Your appliance may be leaking water if the freezer drawer is left slightly open. This may just be a sign that some ice is melting and escaping through the door of your freezer. More difficult problems to repair on your own are blocked drainage pipes and broken condensation pans.

Before calling an engineer, who might be needed for this problem, turn off your appliance overnight. Allow your fridge freezer to defrost completely, then turn it on and try it again. In some cases, defrosting your fridge freezer is enough to clear any pipe blockages.

Not Cooling Properly

If your fridge freezer isn’t cooling as it should, the thermostat may be the problem. First, check that you haven’t accidentally knocked the temperature controls. If the temperature settings are exactly where they should be, you’ll likely want to call an engineer.

If it’s not the thermostat, likely issues include broken sensors and damaged control boards, as well as problems with evaporator coils that will need to be repaired by a professional.

Always make sure that you’re filling your fridge freezer to an appropriate level. Aim for around 70-80% full, since overfilling your freezer can cause it to struggle to keep all your food at the right temperature.


If your fridge freezer is noisy during operation, this can be a sign of big problems building up behind the scenes. However, noise on its own is only an issue if it’s driving you to distraction. During normal operation, fridge freezers can sound a lot louder at some times than others. This isn’t a problem, though continued extra noise can be a sign that a motor’s wearing out.

If you can put up with the extra noise, you could save yourself some money. But, don’t assume that this money will be spare long-term. Treat extra noise as a warning sign, making sure that you’ve got some cash set aside if something more serious breaks.

Bad Smells

Fridge freezers can start to smell bad due to residual food mess. Often this is invisible, so don’t just look for signs of spilled food but make sure to clean often and thoroughly. If you have an ice maker built into your fridge freezer, this deserves special attention.

There are extra cleaning processes, as your fridge freezer’s ice maker is a breeding ground for bacteria. Always follow the manual to learn how to clean your ice maker and how often the manufacturer suggests it.

You can buy fridge and freezer odour absorbers from many shops, though these are usually just used to mask an odour problem. Remember that bad smells are a sign of bacteria and mould and need properly resolving.

Getting Professional Help With Repairs

There are many fridge freezer problems that you can easily fix on your own. Most problems are resolved by adjusting the temperature or defrosting your food storage appliances. Even some seemingly much bigger problems are quite cheap and easy to fix, like a damaged door seal that you can easily replace on your own.

If you’re dealing with a bigger problem, you’ll want to call in an engineer. Domestic appliance engineers will diagnose and fix any issues and should be contacted for problems you can’t solve on your own.

Wrong moves can do more damage or make your fridge freezer unsafe, so always call for professional help if you’re not sure what you’re doing.

Cost of Repairing a Fridge Freezer

Depending on what’s wrong with it, your fridge freezer could need cheap repair or a significant financial investment. You might decide that a new appliance is a better use of your money, though some top-of-the-range fridge freezers are well worth the cost of repairs. A top appliance could cost as much as £2,500.

Suppose you’re calling an engineer, factor in all the costs involved. You’ll pay for the parts that are needed for repairs, as well as the labour cost and likely an additional callout charge.

If your appliance is still relatively new, you may be covered by a warranty. Most manufacturers offer a one year warranty. Many also offer an optional extended warranty that you might have paid for. Your fridge freezer should be fit for purpose and should not break within the first 12 months. The warranty should cover your fridge freezer repairs if you’ve kept some form of proof of purchase.

If your fridge freezer breaks, see if you’re covered by any home appliance insurance. Most domestic appliance insurance comes with excess for your claim, though this may work out a lot cheaper than a callout charge, labour and the cost of repairs.

Your fridge freezer could stop working at any time, so it’s always worth being prepared. Consider taking out white goods insurance, or making sure that you’ve got savings to dip into if your fridge freezer breaks.

What to Do When if Your Fridge Freezer’s Not Working

If your fridge freezer isn’t working, don’t panic. Many problems can be easily diagnosed and fixed without professional knowledge. Though the process is a bit more complicated, the fridge freezer is one appliance that can often be fixed by ‘turning it off and on again.

If you do need extra help, check to see if you’re covered by any form of warranty. If not, consider claiming appliance insurance if you have it.

Is Fridge Freezer Insurance Worth It?

Fridge freezer insurance can start from just a couple of pounds a month and give you peace of mind if you’re fridge freezer was to break down - it should be fixed relatively quickly. The problem is that if you did not have insurance, then the cost of fixing it may not be dissimilar to the cost of buying a new one. As a consequence, this could leave you with quite a significant outlay to buy a new fridge freezer.

What Does Fridge Freezer Insurance Cover?

Standard fridge freezer insurance will cover you for mechanical and electrical breakdowns as well as accidental damage. When you bear in mind, the complexity of the modern-day fridge freezer, the fact that you are covered for both mechanical and electrical breakdown is very important. It is also good to have accidental damage insurance.

How Many Times Can I Claim a Year?

You’ll find there are many fridge freezer insurance policies out there that will give you unlimited claims per year. The fact is that if your machine is continuing to break down then at some point, the insurance company may offer you a replacement of a similar type/value.

Money Savings Advice Tip

Home appliances go wrong and fail all the time and most of the time can be very expensive, especially if you don’t have insurance. Our top tip is to investigate home appliance and white goods insurance in more detail, get a whole of the market quote and get an insurance package that works for you, you will be surprised how cheap white goods insurance can be.

How Long Should I Wait for an Engineer?

In a perfect world, the insurance company would look to have an engineer with you within 24 hours. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, but via email, phone and text message, you will be kept up-to-date on all actions relating to your claim.

Is My Fridge Freezer Insurance Policy Regulated?

Yes. As with the vast majority of traditional insurance policies, you are covered by the FCA in the event that you have a problem or believe that you were mis-sold the policy.

Is It Possible to Personalise My Cover?

You will find that many insurance policies will have a maximum limit per claim which could be anywhere from £500 upwards. However, the lower the maximum limit per claim, the lower your premiums. So, it is probably a case of finding a balance between the two to make it worthwhile.

Will My Fridge Freezer Insurance Policy Have a Helpline?

Yes. If you have any questions regarding the performance of your fridge freezer, there are in-house specialists available to assist. On occasion, they may be able to advise you of actions you can take to fix any issues. Otherwise, they will arrange a visit by one of their engineers as soon as possible.

What Is Covered For With Fridge Freezer Insurance?

You will be covered for repairs, parts and labour costs, although in some circumstances where there is a high cost, over and above the policy limit, there may be an additional payment to make. However, if your machine is continually breaking down, then the insurance company may well decide to offer you a replacement.

Can I Bulk All of My White Good Insurance Policies Together?

Yes. White goods, often referred to as major appliances/domestic appliances, are in effect machines around the household for cooking, washing or food preservation. As a consequence, you should be able to negotiate a discount by taking all of your white good insurance policies with one insurer.

How Can Money Savings Advice Help You With a Home Appliance Insurance?

Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with some of the UK’s leading Home Appliance Insurance brokers. They have already helped thousands of people get the best Home Appliance Insurance deals and they can do the same for you.

Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.

If you would like to speak to one of these brokers who can provide you with a ‘whole market quote’ then click on the below and answer the very simple questions.

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