Side-by-Side Refrigerator Problems

A side-by-side refrigerator features two doors. The freezer is located on the left, and the refrigerator is on the right. All major manufacturers offer side-by-side refrigerators, and these units are designed to work without any issues. You may, however, still experience minor problems with your refrigerator. Troubleshoot and fix these issues to avoid paying for services fees.

Repair minor problems with your refrigerator to avoid costly fees.

Operational Issues

Your side-by-side refrigerator won't turn on if it's not plugged directly into an outlet. Verify that the temperature is set to a temperature other than zero and that the refrigerator is turned on. If the refrigerator still won't turn on, test the outlet with another appliance to see if it's working properly. Turn back on your circuit breaker if tripped. Change out any blown fuses. If your refrigerator is running but not getting cool, lower the temperature setting. Give the refrigerator up to 24 hours to cool down if you have just installed it or added a lot of food. Completely close the refrigerator doors. If the doors are not closing properly, clean the door gaskets. Verify that the door is level with a bubble level. If not, repair the floor or rise up the lower end with shims.


If water is leaking from the rear of the refrigerator, check that the connections are tight. Examine the defrost drain pain, and replace if broken. Clean any clog drains. Examine your hoses, and replace them if they're split or cracked. Condensation normally appears on the outside of your refrigerator during warm days. Close the doors if you see condensation inside the refrigerator. Your side-by-side refrigerator normally makes some operational noise. If you hear a noise from beneath the refrigerator, check the drain pan. If moving, hold in place with duct tape. A squealing noise usually indicates a problem with the circulating. Replace the fan. A loud noise at the back of the fridge often means that you have a problem with the compressor. Call for service.


Most side-by-side refrigerators feature icemakers and water dispensers. If your icemaker is not working, verify that no food items are blocking the ejector arm. Check that the refrigerator is connected to the cold water pipe, and completely close the freezer doors. Let the freezer cool down for 24 hours if it has been unplugged, and turn the icemaker on. If the ice cubes are small, clean the water filter, and remove any kinks in the water line. Turn the water shutoff valve to the "On" position. If your ice has an odor or bad taste, throw away the old ice, especially if you have not used the ice for awhile. Never store food in the ice bin as this can transfer odors from the food to the ice.

Water Dispenser

Your first glass of water is normally warm after you first install the refrigerator or if you have not used it for a long time. Your water may be warm if you have used up all of the cold water. Let the water cool down before using the dispenser again. Your water dispenser normally leaks a few drops after you use it. Clean the water filter and supply line if the dispenser does not work at all.