How much does it cost to repair a refrigerator?
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Refrigerator Repair Cost Guide
Updated: Jan 01, 1970
A refrigerator is a necessity in modern households. Most families have a fridge large enough to hold perishable food for several days. Over time, your appliance may experience some issues that require repair, including leaking, making noise, failing to keep your food cold, or simply not working. If you do not get the issue fixed quickly, you could have spoiled food along with replacement and repair expenses. Many things can go wrong with a refrigerator. Some are simple and inexpensive, but others can be difficult and pricey.
There is a range of prices associated with refrigerator repair. The national average price is between $350 and $500, with most paying around $400 for repairing a broken ice maker with one new part. Cleaning dirty coils is the cheapest option, which has a price of around $80, while replacing the seal system is the highest with a price around $1,200.
Refrigerator Repair Price
|Refrigerator Repair Cost|
|National average cost||$400|
Average Refrigerator Repair Cost by Part
Depending on what is needed, the total price for repairing a fridge can be as low as $60 or as expensive as $1,200. They can break in many ways. Some areas can be easily fixed. Others may need replacing to fix the issue. Sometimes, the problem is not always obvious at first, so some issues require several repairs and replacement parts to solve the problem. Below are some of the more common fixes and the price to perform them.
|Part||Repair Cost (Labor Included)|
|Condenser Coil||$60 - $100|
|Freezer||$100 - $250|
|Evaporator||$120 - $200|
|Fan||$120 - $200|
|Water Dispenser||$170 - $500|
|Ice Maker||$350 - $500|
|Compressor||$500 - $1,000|
|Control Board||$500 - $1,000|
|Sealed System||$800 - $1,200|
Condenser Coil Cleaning
Cleaning the coil has a price between $60 and $100, depending on how hard they are to access. The condenser coil on your appliance keeps it cool. It condenses warm air as it circulates the coolant, which in turn lowers the temperature. Your coils are located beneath the appliance and can collect dirt and grime. When that happens, the condenser can freeze. This can cause leaks and your appliance to warm up.
The average price of diagnosing and fixing the freezer is $100 to $250, depending on the issue. Many things can go wrong with your freezer. It may need a new thermostat, or it could need the door’s seal replaced. If there is too much ice in your freezer, check to see if the door is sealing properly. If not, you can replace this. If it is, you need to replace the thermostat. Most freezer issues involve a diagnostic fee to find the problem.
Refrigerator Evaporator Repair
The evaporator coil is also responsible for keeping your appliance cool, ranging between $120 and $200 to fix. This part helps to hold the heated liquid coolant as it expands to become a gas. This passes its heat through the coil, cooling it back down as it returns to the compressor. Because of the liquid’s expansion and cooling, this can weaken the coil over time, causing it to leak. Depending on the coil and how bad the leak is, you can patch the leak or replace the coil.
Refrigerator Fan Repair
The price to fix the fan is between $120 and $200. The fan is usually installed near the evaporator coil. Most modern frost-free fridges have two fans. It keeps the air circulating over the coil, which keeps it cooling down the liquid as it returns to the compressor. If your fan fails, the evaporator is not as effective. When this happens, you may find that your appliance is too warm.
Repair a Refrigerator Water Dispenser
You can expect to pay $175 to $500 to repair a water dispenser, depending on the issue. There are many parts to a water dispenser, and many things can go wrong. The switch that activates the dispenser may break or come loose so that the system no longer works. The valve inside may begin to leak so that you do not get any water pressure, and you may notice water pooling on the floor. Some tubes can leak and clog. Unless the issue is readily apparent, such as a broken switch, you may need to pay a diagnostic fee.
Ice Maker Repair
The cost to repair an ice maker is usually around $350 but can reach $500 for high-end models. Many refrigerators today have an ice maker. This system uses plumbing water and freezes it into cubes inside the freezer’s container. When you activate the switch on the door, the ice dispenses, and in some cases, it is crushed or ground. Many issues can cause the ice maker to break, from a clogged water tube to a broken switch. Repairs can be invasive, resulting in dismantling the freezer.
Fridge Compressor Repair
You can expect to pay between $500 and $1,000 if you choose to have the compressor fixed or replaced. The compressor is a big part of the appliance's cooling system. It works to compress and control the flow of the refrigerant. It is also one of the bigger repairs. If you have an older fridge, it is usually recommended to replace the fridge rather than just the broken compressor because it can be more expensive than half the appliance’s price.
Refrigerator Control Board Repair
It has a price between $500 and $1,000 on average, which can often be more than half the price of some models. The control board runs the operation. This keeps the pieces running, ensuring they all work together to keep your food at the proper temperature. If the control board dies, which sometimes happens after an electrical surge, the fridge stops running entirely. If your fridge is not humming, lighting up, or keeping things cool, something is wrong with the control board. This is also an expensive fix that may not be worth it on some older models.
Refrigerator Sealed System Repair
The average price to fix the entire system is $800 to $1,200. Your refrigerator’s sealed system is the entire cooling operation. This includes the coils, evaporator, and compressor. Sometimes if the sealed system fails, it is because of one piece like the evaporator or compressor. This can start a cascade of problems that can cause the entire system to shut down. For this reason, repairs to this area are the most expensive. A sealed system repair is sometimes not warranted because the price for fixing it can be more than half the price of a new one.
Fridge Repair Cost by Type of Replacement
The average price for repair varies depending on the type of replacement, ranging between $50 to $1,150. There are many things that break or fail that cannot be fixed. To fix your fridge, you need to have the part fixed or replaced. And sometimes, the price is nearly identical because the work required to remove, fix the part, and reinstall is just as difficult as removing and installing a new one. You may have a higher or lower rate, depending on the part and its replacement.
|Part||Replacement Cost (Labor Included)|
|Drip Pan||$50 - $200|
|Fridge Seal||$60 - $100|
|Thermostat||$100 - $260|
|Fan||$120 - $150|
|Evaporator Coil||$200 - $300|
|Ice Maker||$350 - $500|
|Fridge Door||$500 - $700|
|Compressor||$500 - $1,000|
|Freezer||$600 - $1,150|
Drip Pan Replacement
The price of drip pan replacement ranges between $50 and $200. The drip pan is responsible for catching any water that needs to be drained from the fridge. The water that enters the drip pan evaporates instead of becoming standing water. While all appliances are different, the drip pan is usually located on the bottom of the unit. In other models, you may need to slide the appliance away from the wall to get to the pan located closer to the rear of the unit.
Fridge Seal Replacement
The average price to replace the seal depends on the size and model, averaging $60 to $100. If the seal on your door fails, then you need to replace the gasket. The gasket creates a tight seal between the fridge’s door and edge. Without it, you can experience issues such as condensation and leaks, an overworked fridge, and a warm interior.
Fridge Thermostat Replacement
The average price of replacing a thermostat ranges from $100 to $260, depending on several factors. The thermostat is an important part of every fridge. If you notice that your appliance is not maintaining the right temperature, your thermostat is probably at fault. If it is, then it should be replaced. Depending on the brand and its placement in the fridge, this has a range of rates.
Refrigerator Fan Replacement
You can expect to pay between $120 and $150 for fan replacement. The fan is responsible for helping the evaporator coil release heat and cool the liquid inside. Overheating and working harder to keep things cool are a few common issues when the fan stops working. This could shorten your fridge’s lifespan. Eventually, the food may even spoil. A silent or noisy appliance may need a fan replacement.
Evaporator Coil Replacement
The replacement price of the evaporator coil is between $200 and $300. The evaporator is a copper coil containing the liquid refrigerant. This is the part that makes the inside of the appliance cold. Inside the coil, the liquid expands into steam and condenses back to a liquid as the heat evaporates. This expansion and contraction can stress the coil’s metal. While some small cracks can be fixed, most evaporators that fail need replacement.
Replace an Ice Maker in Refrigerator
The price to replace the ice maker is between $350 and $500. For many people, the ice maker on the fridge is used every day. If it fails, the amount of space that it takes up makes it difficult to resort to an ice tray. Ice makers can be difficult to fix because they have multiple parts reaching the freezer’s back. When they break, the most common response is to replace them.
Fridge Door Replacement
The average price of a new door is $500 to $700. If the door is severely dented and cannot open and close anymore, you may want to replace the door. Your door can have a price of as much as half the fridge’s price, so this is not recommended if the issue is cosmetic. The doors need to be special ordered, shipped, and installed, which is expensive. It is not uncommon for many appliance chains to recommend living with the existing door if it functions or simply buying a new one.
Replace a Refrigerator Compressor
A compressor replacement is priced between $500 and $1,000. The compressor is a key piece keeping your appliance working and your food cold. When this breaks, the coolant cannot be circulated, meaning that the fridge will warm up. If the compressor breaks and is not replaced right away, this can lead to spoiled food. Compressors can be very expensive, sometimes more than half the price of a new one. It is a good idea to replace the compressor only if it is a few years old. After that, you may want to purchase a new one.
The price of this replacement freezer is between $600 and $1,150. If the freezer portion of your appliance breaks, and it is not an issue with the thermostat, you cannot replace just the freezer portion of the appliance. You need to replace the entire thing or purchase a new stand-alone freezer. Stand-alone freezers come in chest and upright styles. Each has attributes that could make it right for you.
Fridge Repair Cost by Problem
The price to fix a fridge goes from $50 to $1,200 and is influenced by the type of problem it is experiencing. They contain several parts that may experience problems over time. When it breaks, you only know that something’s wrong, not necessarily what that is. You should describe the issue to the repairman and ask for a diagnostic rather than a specific fix or replacement. Below are some of the most common types of problems and the prices to fix them.
|Problem||Repair Cost (Labor Included)|
|Too Cold||$50 - $250|
|Freezer Too Cold, Fridge warm||$50 - $250|
|Too Warm||$50 - $250|
|Leaking Water Underneath||$60 - $200|
|Leaking Water Inside||$60 - $250|
|Door Dent||$100 - $700|
|Not Running||$140 - $1,200|
|Freon Leak||$200 - $300|
|Too Noisy||$200 - $300|
|Will Not Make Ice||$350 - $500|
Refrigerator Is Too Cold
If your appliance is too cold, you can expect to pay $50 to $250 to fix the issue. The most common issue is a broken thermostat. It could be failing to regulate the temperature so that the system does not continue to cool. It also could be due to dirty coils, which can cause freezing before warming up again. This may require a diagnostic call, although most technicians can determine the issue quickly.
Freezer Is Too Cold and Fridge Is Warm
The price to fix this issue ranges from $50 to $250, depending on the problem. The most common cause of this issue is also a broken thermostat. If the thermostat is not functioning, it could be sending the wrong signals to both sections. The other alternative is that your door gasket has failed. If this is the case, your freezer will develop ice, making it appear colder. Meanwhile, your fridge is warming up.
Refrigerator Is Too Warm
You can expect to pay $50 to $250 to fix the issue of your refrigerator being too warm. Many things can cause your appliance to be too warm. This could mean a faulty thermostat, broken door gasket, or broken fan. Unless the issue is readily apparent, your technician may need to perform a diagnostic, which may add to the project’s expenses. This can vary depending on how far they need to go to find the issue.
Fridge Leaking Water Underneath
You can expect to pay $60 to $200, depending on the issue. If your appliance is leaking water underneath, the most likely cause is dirty coils or a leaking evaporator coil. Dirty coils can cause ice to build up, which melts, appearing as a leak beneath the fridge. A leaking evaporator coil can leak due to a crack or break from the liquid expanding and cooling. Depending on the issue, this could have several solutions. The most common include cleaning the coils or fixing them.
Refrigerator Door Dent Repair
The price to fix a door dent is $100 to $700. This can be at the higher end of the range, depending on the model. Some automotive companies can fill and paint the dent, provided you can remove the door and bring it to them. If the dents do not impair the door’s function, it is recommended to live with them because getting it fixed approaches more than half the appliance’s price. Most repair companies do not fix dents; they offer to replace the door.
Fridge Leaking Water Inside
If your refrigerator is leaking, you can expect to pay between $60 and $250 to repair the issue. Many things can cause your appliance to leak. The water dispenser or ice maker could have a leak. The door gasket may have failed, causing condensation to build up from the increased humidity. The evaporator coil could be leaking. Because there are so many things that can cause a leak, this might also require a diagnostic fee.
Refrigerator Not Running
There is a wide range of prices associated with fixing this problem, from $140 to $1,200. There are many reasons why your appliance may stop running. Sometimes, this is an electrical issue, and other times the compressor or the sealed system could be broken. A broken circuit board can also cause this issue. If the coils freeze, the system may stop running until they thaw out again.
Refrigerator Freon Leak Repair
The average price to fix this issue and add back any necessary freon is between $200 and $300. Freon is the coolant that your fridge uses, circulating it through your sealed system. It expands and contracts to keep things cool. If you notice that liquid is leaking beneath it and are certain that it is not water, it is probably Freon. This happens when the evaporator coils crack through stress.
Refrigerator Too Noisy
The price to fix and address the issue of a noisy refrigerator is between $200 and $300. Several things can make your appliance too noisy. The fan mount may be cracked, causing it to rattle. Your appliance also could be working too hard due to an overheating system or a failed gasket. If you do not notice problems with the door closing, then replacing the fan, cleaning the coils, tightening things up, or a combination of these can help.
Ice Maker Will Not Make Ice
You can expect to pay $350 to $500 to fix an ice maker that will not make ice. Ice makers can stop for several reasons. There could be a clog in the line supplying the water. The switch may stop working, or the ice maker could simply fail and require it to be fixed. This can often be an invasive repair due to the ice maker’s location and tubes supplying it with water.
Fridge Repair Cost by Brand
The average cost of repairing a refrigerator ranges between $60 and $1,200, depending on the brand. There are many reputable refrigerator brands on the market. However, some refrigerators may experience unexpected faults or breakdowns over time. The cost of repair differs depending on the model, location, complexity of the problem, and the part that needs replacing. If the replacement part is readily available, this reduces the time needed for your refrigerator repair. We list the most popular refrigerator brands and their repair costs in the chart below.
|Brand||Repair Cost (Labor Included)|
|Whirlpool||$50 - $400|
|LG||$50 - $400|
|GE||$80 - $550|
|Kenmore||$80 - $650|
|Samsung||$250 - $1,000|
|Sub-Zero||$250 - $1,200|
Refrigerator Repair Labor Cost
Fixing a fridge with a broken ice maker with one new part has a price of $100 to $250 in labor and $250 in materials for a total of $350 to $500. Rather than billing by the hour, some companies assess a flat rate for certain repairs. Regarding labor, hiring a technician for repairs has a price between $100 and $250 per hour. Repairs are complex and should be performed by a certified technician. A few institutes that offer this type of certification are The International Society of Certified Electronics Technicians (ISCET) and the Institute of Appliance Service Technicians (IAST). Most repairs can be done in two hours or less, assuming that parts are on hand. Technicians may have to order parts for older models, in which case you might have to wait a few days for repairs to be fully completed.
Most repair companies charge a service fee or a diagnostic fee for making the call. A service call runs from $70 to $120, depending on where you live. The service call fee is normally applied to the first hour of labor. If the repair takes one hour or less, you do not owe any additional money for labor. In the event of a diagnostic fee, if you choose to have the repairman make the repair, the fee is waived. However, you will still need to pay the fee if the issue is small and can be fixed yourself. Recognizing the urgency of these types of repairs, many contractors offer emergency repair services. Expect to pay a higher charge for labor if you call at night or on weekends or holidays. Most companies charge anywhere from 10% to 20% on top of their normal fees. Expect to pay between $110 and $300 per hour for emergency service.
Your geographic area influences the labor rate. For example, technicians charge more for a house call if gas prices in your city are very high. Companies also charge more for traveling outside their service area. A contractor’s service area is generally between 20 and 50 miles. The local environmental laws impact the disposal and licensing fees which can increase the labor rate. In some areas, technicians need a license to handle refrigerants. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that labor rates increase by about 7.5% whenever a government license is required.
Clean your fridge’s condenser coils at least twice each year or more often if you have indoor pets. Keeping your condenser coils clean helps your condenser work at its best. Clean the condenser fan to keep the blades moving freely. The crevice attachment can be used to remove dust and small particles. This maintenance avoids the need for repairs while ensuring your unit operates at its peak. It is extremely important to remember to switch the circuit breaker off before cleaning to prevent electric shock. Keeping the inside clean prevents damage to your drawers and shelves. Wash down the interior at least twice a year.
Remove and clean the grill regularly and clean off any dust or pet hair by washing it in a solution of warm water and mild detergent. This prevents dirt from getting into the coils. Make sure the grill is completely dry before placing it back on your fridge. While you have the grill off, check your filter’s condition. Be sure to change the filter whenever it becomes clogged. Reduced water flow is a telltale sign of a clogged filter. If your water filter is not located inside the grill, look for a panel on your refrigerator’s top section.
Repair vs Replace a Refrigerator
The price to replace a refrigerator averages from $1,000 to $3,000, while fixing one ranges between $350 and $500. The average life expectancy of a fridge is 13 years. Any appliance more than 10 years old may benefit from replacement rather than fixing it, particularly if it requires major repairs that can be priced up to $1,200. Your appliance can also experience more than one problem simultaneously. You may also wish to upgrade for energy efficiency. Newer models have a lower price to operate and save money in the long run. Consider replacing your appliance if you can make up your refrigerator’s price in energy savings in less than 5 years. When choosing to buy a new model, calculate the delivery and disposal fees. Appliance dealers may charge between $50 and $100 for delivery. Some dispose of your old appliances for free, while others may charge up to $100 for disposal.
Regardless of energy savings, never spend more than half the price of a new model on repairs. Likewise, if yours have been fixed over the past year, it could be time to replace it. Built-in fridges and traditional models with a freezer compartment on top are generally inexpensive to fix. On the other hand, side-by-side ice boxes tend to be more expensive, particularly if they also have an icemaker.
|Type||Cost (Labor Included)|
|Repair||$200 - $500|
|Replace||$1,000 - $3,000|
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Repair Wine Fridge
You can expect to pay between $50 and $350 to repair your wine fridge. With an average lifespan of 9 to 13 years, you may experience some issues with your wine fridge over time. Just because your wine fridge starts to make noise or is not cooling properly does not mean it needs replacing. Many issues may occur, including a faulty thermostat, malfunctioning fan, clogged drain line, or faulty compressors and condensers. A certified repairman can fix all of these issues.
Mini Fridge Repair
For small repairs, expect to pay between $50 and $250. Mini fridges suffer from the same problems as full-sized units. Unfortunately, the price to fix them is often comparable to a full-sized one. It is often good to replace the mini fridge if it requires larger repairs because the replacement price may be less than the repair rate. This includes fixing the condenser, evaporator, coils, and freezer. If the issue is the door seal, thermostat, or dirty coils, these are all easily fixed.
The price to paint your refrigerator is $350 to $450. Painting it at the same time as fixing it is an effective way to give your fridge a brand new look. You can select a color that matches the look of your kitchen and make it look completely different. A specialized paint is required for the job, with most contractors using an epoxy type of paint. Depending on their preference, the paint is either brushed or sprayed. Fridges are either moved out of the room or toward the center to allow for easy access for painting.
The fee of refrigerator disposal is $100. The price is one of the most expensive of the appliances. These appliances use refrigerant, which can be considered a hazardous waste, and therefore require special disposal. Fridge disposal is necessary to get rid of a fridge that no longer works and cannot be fixed or is too old before installing a new one.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Guarantee. Repairs should come with a guarantee. However, not all of them are the same. Make sure you know if yours covers parts, labor, or both. For example, many warranties cover the price of replacement parts but do not account for labor charges.
- Fridge information. Knowing as much information as possible helps your technician make an accurate diagnosis. Provide the make, model, type, and context on the problem when placing your service call.
- Reconditioned parts. Ask your service technician about used or factory-reconditioned parts. Used parts do not normally come with a guarantee. Installing used parts might also void your warranty.
- Warranties. Many repairs are covered under a warranty or extended warranty. Some warranties require you to have the work done by a factory-authorized repair shop or the dealer who originally sold you the appliance.
- Builder’s guarantee coverage. A builder’s guarantee or home warranty may cover appliance repair. Check the coverage details if you recently purchased a home and received a homebuyer’s warranty at closing.
- Minor issues. Some minor problems like condensation, rattling, broken fridge light, or poor water dispensary may have easy DIY solutions, such as emptying the drip pan or replacing the clips ($5 to $10), replacing the lightbulb ($2 to $10), or changing the filter ($20 to $40).
- How much does it cost to fix a refrigerator that is not cooling?
The price range to fix this problem is $50 to $250.
- Is it cheaper to repair or replace a refrigerator?
To fix your fridge, you need to have the part fixed or replaced. In most cases, the price ends up very close to the same because the work required to remove, fix, and reinstall is just as difficult as installing a new one. You may have higher or lower expenses, depending on the part and its replacement.
- Is it worth repairing a refrigerator compressor?
Compressors can be very expensive, sometimes more than half the price of a new fridge. Only replace the compressor in appliances that are only a few years old. After that, you may want to purchase a new one.
- How can you tell if your refrigerator is going bad?
If your fridge is nearing the end of its lifespan, you may experience spoiled food because your unit is not cold enough. You might also need to defrost more frequently or experience loud noises when it is running.
- What is the best refrigerator on the market today?
In general, traditional refrigerators with a freezer compartment on the top or bottom require fewer repairs than side-by-side models with an icemaker. Built-in options tend to be more dependable than other models.
- How long does the average refrigerator last?
The average lifespan of a fridge is approximately 13 years. It may be time to replace it rather than fixing it. if it is more than 8 years old and requires extensive repairs.
- How do you know if your refrigerator compressor is bad?
When a compressor is bad, you may notice the coils on the back of your fridge are warmer than usual. You might also feel heat coming from them. If a compressor has shorted out, it can have arc marks or emit a burning smell.
- Can a fridge be repaired?
In most cases, yes. Even so, it can be more economical to replace rather than fix a refrigerator, particularly if you require a new motor or condenser. Some problems, such as replacing the door seal, can be performed as a DIY fix and may eliminate the need for more extensive repairs.
- How much does it cost to repair a refrigerator?
Fridge repairs are priced $350 to $500. The price you pay varies depending on the age, make, model, issue, and local environmental and licensing laws.
- How do you know if your refrigerator is leaking Freon?
Your fridge can leak water or Freon, depending on where the leak is. Freon has a distinct sweet smell, similar to chloroform. If you smell this odor and see a liquid beneath or around your appliance, this may be Freon. Keep children and pets away and call a trained technician.
The information provided by our cost guides comes from a great variety of sources. For more information, read our Methodology and sources.
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