Can a wine fridge be repaired?

How to repair a wine fridge

We receive several calls a week from members of the public who have bought wine fridges from multiple sources that have now broken and they're wondering how to fix them. Whilst we are proud to stock only premium wine fridges that offer good length warranties it can be very tempting to buy a £200 wine fridge only to find that, within a year or two, the fridge isn't cooling anymore, is beeping, or has switched itself off entirely.

Like all electrical goods, you get what you pay for, and the quality of the wine fridge will depend on the technology, engineering and parts used to construct the fridge. All wine fridges have the potential to break but most of the time the issue comes down to a handful of likely culprits. Many of these issues can be fixed, however, some will be terminal and some will be so expensive to fix that the outlay costs more than the fridge. In today's climate a simple call out of a technician, forgetting parts and labour can be over £150. A judgement call then has to made if its worth fixing your wine fridge.

Wine fridges of all stripes, freestanding wine fridges, built-in wine fridges or integrated wine fridges and even wine fridge cabinets can fall foul of the following common problems.

Why is my fridge not cooling?

  1. Compressor Conundrum: At the heart of every wine fridge lies its compressor, the silent workhorse responsible for cooling the interior. When this crucial component falters, the entire cooling system grinds to a halt. Compressor failure can stem from various factors, including age-related wear and tear, electrical issues, or lack of maintenance. Additionally, fluctuations in voltage or power surges can exacerbate compressor strain, hastening its demise.

To mitigate the risk of compressor failure, adhere to the manufacturer's maintenance recommendations, which typically involve cleaning condenser coils and ensuring adequate ventilation. Furthermore, investing in a wine fridge equipped with a reliable compressor and surge protection mechanisms can enhance longevity and performance.

  1. Thermostat Troubles: The thermostat serves as the conductor of temperature regulation within a wine fridge, orchestrating the delicate balance between chilling and preservation. However, when the thermostat malfunctions, chaos ensues, leading to erratic temperature fluctuations or a complete cessation of cooling. Common culprits behind thermostat woes include sensor malalignment, electrical glitches, or accumulated dust and debris.

To troubleshoot thermostat issues, conduct a thorough inspection of the unit's temperature settings and sensor placement. Ensure that the thermostat is calibrated correctly and free from obstructions. In cases of irreparable thermostat failure, seek professional assistance to replace the faulty component and restore optimal cooling functionality.

  1. Clogged Condenser Coils: Hidden beneath the sleek exterior of a wine fridge, condenser coils play a pivotal role in dissipating heat and maintaining internal temperatures. Over time, these coils can become encrusted with dust, debris, or pet hair, impeding airflow and hindering cooling efficiency. As a result, the compressor may overheat, leading to diminished performance or a complete shutdown.

To prevent condenser coil blockages, incorporate routine maintenance into your wine fridge care regimen. Periodically vacuum or brush the coils to remove accumulated debris, ensuring unobstructed airflow. Additionally, position the wine fridge in a well-ventilated area away from walls or furniture to facilitate adequate heat dissipation.

  1. Refrigerant Leakage: Refrigerant serves as the lifeblood of a wine fridge's cooling system, circulating through coils to facilitate heat exchange and temperature regulation. However, refrigerant leakage can occur due to manufacturing defects, physical damage, or corrosion of components over time. When refrigerant levels dwindle, the cooling capacity diminishes, culminating in warm interiors and compromised wine quality.

Identifying refrigerant leakage requires keen observation of telltale signs, such as oily residue near refrigerant lines or a noticeable decline in cooling performance. If suspected, refrain from attempting DIY repairs and promptly enlist the expertise of a certified technician. They can pinpoint the source of leakage, seal the breach, and replenish refrigerant levels to revive cooling functionality.

  1. Electrical Malfunctions: A labyrinth of wires and circuits orchestrates the intricate dance of a wine fridge's electrical system, powering vital components and regulating cooling operations. However, electrical malfunctions, such as faulty wiring, damaged components, or power surges, can disrupt this delicate equilibrium, resulting in erratic behavior or a complete shutdown.

To safeguard against electrical malfunctions, employ precautionary measures such as utilising surge protectors or voltage stabilisers to shield the wine fridge from power fluctuations. Routinely inspect electrical connections for signs of wear or corrosion, promptly addressing any anomalies to preempt potential failures.

Why does my wine fridge not switch on?

  1. Electrical Gremlins: At the heart of every non-functioning wine fridge lies the specter of electrical gremlins, lurking within the labyrinth of wires and circuits. These elusive adversaries can manifest in various forms, from faulty power cords and damaged outlets to internal wiring issues. Additionally, power surges or fluctuations can wreak havoc on sensitive electronic components, rendering the wine fridge inoperable.

To tackle electrical gremlins head-on, initiate a systematic inspection of the wine fridge's power supply chain. Begin by verifying the integrity of the power cord and ensuring it is securely connected to a functioning outlet. If the power cord appears frayed or damaged, replace it immediately to prevent safety hazards. Furthermore, test alternate outlets or utilise a dedicated surge protector to shield the wine fridge from voltage irregularities.

  1. Thermostat Tango: The thermostat serves as the conductor of temperature regulation within a wine fridge, dictating when to engage the cooling mechanism. However, when the thermostat malfunctions, the symphony of temperature control falls into disarray, leaving the wine fridge powerless. Common culprits behind thermostat malfunctions include sensor misalignment, electrical glitches, or dust accumulation.

To troubleshoot thermostat issues, conduct a meticulous examination of the temperature settings and sensor placement. Ensure that the thermostat is calibrated correctly and free from obstructions. Additionally, clean the thermostat and surrounding area to remove any accumulated dust or debris that may impede its functionality. If necessary, consult the manufacturer's documentation or enlist professional assistance to recalibrate or replace the thermostat.

  1. Overloaded Circuits: In a world inundated with electronic gadgets and appliances, overloaded circuits have become a common adversary, thwarting the best-laid plans of wine fridge owners. When multiple devices draw power from the same circuit, it can exceed its capacity, triggering circuit breakers or fuses to trip and disconnecting power to the wine fridge.

To address overloaded circuits, conduct a comprehensive audit of the electrical devices sharing the same circuit as the wine fridge. Consider redistributing the load among different circuits or upgrading the electrical panel to accommodate increased power demands. Additionally, refrain from daisy-chaining power strips or extension cords, as they can exacerbate the risk of overloading and pose fire hazards.

  1. Internal Component Failure: Within the labyrinthine confines of a wine fridge, an intricate network of components collaborates to orchestrate cooling operations. However, when one of these vital components succumbs to failure, the entire system grinds to a halt. Potential culprits include malfunctioning compressors, defective fans, or damaged control boards.

To diagnose internal component failure, conduct a thorough examination of the wine fridge's internal mechanisms. Listen for any unusual noises or vibrations emanating from the unit, which may indicate malfunctioning components. Additionally, visually inspect critical components such as the compressor, fan, and control board for signs of damage or wear. If internal component failure is suspected, enlist the expertise of a certified technician to conduct a comprehensive diagnosis and facilitate repairs or replacements.

Who can fix a wine fridge?

If your wine fridge is within warranty then the manufacturer will be liable to assist in repairing the wine fridge. However, if the warranty is lapsed then it makes sense to call a specialist wine fridge repair company. They will be able to evaluate the particular issue with your wine fridge, the availability of any parts and a price. It is then up to the wine fridge owner to make a judgement call on whether the old wine fridge should be fixed or whether a new wine fridge should be procured.

If you need help fixing your old wine fridge or purchasing a new one, speak to our wine fridge experts via live chat or visit us instore.

Sarah newton

Author - Sarah Newton

Sarah Newton has worked in the wine industry for two decades holding senior positions at some of the UK wine industry's leading brands. The MD of Coolersomm, Sarah is WSET certified and our lead wine buyer too.