A crack in your refrigerator liner once meant you had to replace your refrigerator. Refrigerator manufacturers had no other means of addressing the problem. Fortunately, innovations in refrigerator manufacturing have produced new, less costly repair solutions that enable you to keep your refrigerator without sacrificing its performance.
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Most refrigerator liners are made of plastic. They protect the thermal cabinet's insulation from food spills and debris, which could otherwise damage the refrigerator and alter its performance. Liners come in varying degrees of thickness. The thinner the liner, the more susceptible it is to cracking. Unfortunately, to cut production costs, refrigerator manufacturers are installing thinner liners in their appliances.
Causes of Cracking
A refrigerator liner can crack for any number of reasons. A crack can occur during assembly when the liner is stretched to fit into the refrigerator. It can also happen when it's in use. For example, a sudden temperature change can alter the size of the liner and cause a crack. Moreover, stress from too much food placed on shelves and in storage bins can also lead to a liner crack. Certain cleaning products can diminish the liner quality and make it prone to cracking.
For the most part, a cracked liner will not jeopardize the efficiency of your refrigerator. Most cracks are cosmetic and do not impact a refrigerator's performance. However, that does not mean you should let the crack go unaddressed, because it can quickly grow. Consult a refrigerator repair technician if you discover a crack in your liner and notice changes in the appliance's performance.
You can take some steps to prevent the crack from worsening. Drill a hole about 1/8 of an inch in size at either side of the crack near its end points. The holes create a barrier that keeps the crack from becoming bigger. Since liners are often white and made of plastic, you can use silicone to conceal the crack. Most refrigerator manufacturers sell liner repair kits that include tape to seal the crack.