A refrigerator can exhibit different issues, but one of the most difficult ones to diagnose and fix is condensation and rust, especially at the back of the unit. This article explains how to fix an Electrolux refrigerator rusting on the back.
Electrolux Refrigerator Rusting on the Back – How to Fix
One of the primary reasons your refrigerator is rusting on the back is a faulty ice maker. If there is not enough insulation between the inside and outside of the appliance, the moisture from the ice maker may seep through the refrigerator and damage the metal part of the appliance.
If your refrigerator has this problem and there is an ice maker inside it, check for freezing or leakage. And if the ice maker has blocks of ice forming around it or in the ice storage bin, turn off the machine and disconnect the water supply. Remove the ice bucket and allow it to defrost; leave the ice maker off inside the refrigerator.
Next, check the water line that feeds water into the ice maker. It may be leaking and causing the refrigerator’s cabinet to rust. If that is the case, you must replace the tube and ensure it does not form a spool on the floor. Loop the excess and tape it to the back of the appliance. Then, run water from the main source into the refrigerator and see how the new water line performs.
Keep the refrigerator from resting flush against the back and side walls. Proper air circulation helps to prevent condensation from forming outside the refrigerator, including on the back of the unit. Allow about two inches on both sides and at the back for air to flow around it. Additionally, level the refrigerator so that the doors close tightly and securely. That way, condensation does not build due to warm air entering the refrigerator.
Fixing the Rust on the Back of the Refrigerator
You can try fixing the rust on your Electrolux refrigerator yourself. It is crucial to expose the metal beneath the coating on the appliance’s cabinet to determine the extent of the damage and fix it. So, take the following steps to fix the rust if you have the DIY skills:
Empty the refrigerator of all its contents and store them in another refrigerator, freezer, or ice-packed cooler. It may take a while to solve the problem of the rust on the refrigerator, and you do not want frozen foods to thaw.
Next, disconnect the refrigerator from the electric power before you begin working. You can unplug the power cord from the wall outlet or turn off the circuit breaker. After that, move the refrigerator to access the back and inspect the damage to the appliance.
Turn off the water supply from the main source. That means turning off the main water supply valve under the sink, behind the refrigerator, or in the basement. Then, you can disconnect the water line and put it into a bowl to catch the remaining water in it. You need to pull out the water line going into the ice maker if applicable.
Now, put on protective gear before you begin working. Wear goggles to protect your eyes and gloves to shield your hands from chemicals. Epoxy paint may have fumes that are dangerous to the eyes and skin.
Scrub the rust from the affected area using a wire brush; it is the best tool to get the rust off of the appliance. Ensure you do not scrub too hard as to cause further damage but do not hard enough to remove as much of the rust as possible. Afterward, sand the rest of the rust and paint off the body. Use 120-grit sandpaper for this job.
You can use a clean tack cloth to wipe the sanded area and remove bits of debris. Next, smooth the area further using 220-grit sandpaper or a palm sander; use finer sandpaper if you can find one. Ensure you gently sand the refrigerator to avoid damage.
Pour one gallon of hot water into a bucket and add a few drops of dish soap to it. Do not add too much soap so that the water becomes too soapy; it may ruin the process. Use a soft cloth to clean the exterior with this soapy water, rinse it with clean water, and dry it thoroughly with a clean towel.
Put painter’s tape around the affected area before painting it; it will protect the rest of the refrigerator. Start with a primer that inhibits rust; apply it to the affected metal and give it a couple of hours to dry. Then, spray appliance paint over the metal and other parts that require coverage. Use epoxy-based paint for this job.
If the rust is not extensive, use paint and brush instead of spray paint. Keep the paint coat light and allow it to dry before applying a second coat. Give it about an hour to dry and apply another coat if necessary.
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Condensation/Rust on the Back of an Electrolux Refrigerator – What to Do
If there is condensation on the back of your Electrolux refrigerator, ensure the appliance does not overheat. Check the condenser coils and air circulation. Also, ensure the evaporator coils are not frozen, the evaporator fan works well, and the door gasket is tight. If faulty, these parts can cause excessive condensation outside the refrigerator, including the back. This is especially true if there is high humidity.
Clean the condenser coils using a coil-cleaning brush or vacuum. Ensure you remove all the debris on the coils and around them. Do the same on the compressor and condenser fan to ensure the smooth running of the cooling system.
Tighten the door gasket if it is loose. Sometimes, it kinks or loosens, but a small screwdriver will help you fix it. Other times, the gasket becomes too dirty and the door has difficulty sealing. If that happens, the cold air escapes and the warm air replaces it, increasing the risk of condensation. In severe cases, the gasket becomes too worn out to work, and the refrigerator stops cooling.
If the door has a mullion heater, ensure the flap over it properly folds so that the door closes well. Otherwise, it prevents proper sealing, even if the gasket works well. If the flap is faulty, it may be time to replace it or find another solution.
Inspect the evaporator coils to see if they are frozen. Frozen evaporator coils prevent the release of cold air, which may aid in condensation buildup, especially since the compressor and other cooling system components have to work harder to produce cold air. This, in turn, encourages overheating.
Turn off the refrigerator for a few hours or until the coils thaw if frozen. Also, check the evaporator fan to ensure it runs well. You can test it using the door switch; press the switch with the freezer door open to see if the fan’s motor runs. If it does not, run a continuity test on it using a multimeter. Replace the motor or the entire fan assembly if you find no continuity.
If nothing else seems to work, it may be a problem for the professionals to fix. Contact the Electrolux Service Center to report the issue and request service. Alternatively, hire an independent service agent to check and fix the refrigerator.
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