Does a home warranty cover your refrigerator?
Life without a refrigerator can prove to be quite inconvenient, and it can present many problems. Having a home warranty plan helps protect a homeowner against the sudden breakdown of a home appliance like your fridge.
However, when you do have a sudden breakdown of a major appliance or system, you may be left wondering what is actually covered by your home warranty:
- Is the appliance covered in its entirety?
- Does your home warranty contract even cover the appliance or system at all?
To help you out, this article will delve into whether or not your refrigerator is covered by a home warranty and provide tips for regularly maintaining it.
Is my refrigerator covered by a home warranty, and if so, what exactly is covered?
A home warranty is a service contract between a warranty company and a homeowner. It provides warranty coverage for the breakdown of the systems and major appliances in your home. Usually, an annual fee is paid to the home warranty company, and a small service fee is paid to the technician at the time of the service call.
In general, your home warranty company will cover your fridge as well as an attached fridge freezer. A good home warranty plan will cover all of the components of your fridge, but you should become familiar with your warranty plan’s specific details.
You can typically expect your home warranty to cover the following:
- Top-freezer refrigerator
- Bottom-freezer refrigerator
- Side-by-side refrigerator
- French-door refrigerator
- Built-in refrigerator
- Repair or replacement of components and parts that malfunction due to normal wear and tear
- Breakdown of the fridge mechanical system and/or electrical system
Your home warranty contract terms and conditions will be in your service contract explicitly. So, if you are wondering about particular appliances that may or may not be covered, check out your warranty plan’s terms and conditions.
Typically, a warranty company will cover breakdowns due to normal wear and tear. Reach out to your warranty company to properly determine the exact coverage that you have.
You’ll want to be sure that you know the components and appliances your coverage applies to and in which circumstances. For example, accidental damage to your home appliances and systems should be covered by your homeowners insurance, and that will be covered in your insurance policy outline.
With that being said, there are different reasons why a home warranty company may not cover your refrigerator. If you have an older-model fridge, then it might not be covered. If you have a standalone counter ice maker, it will not be automatically included. You’ll also need to ask if a mini fridge is an eligible covered appliance.
What could go wrong with your refrigerator?
We understand how important your fridge is to your home. It keeps your food from spoiling, ensuring the food you have spent your hard-earned money remains cold and ready to be cooked or consumed.
Refrigerators are not unlike other appliances in your home, which are subject to wear-and-tear breakdowns that require repairs and, sometimes, even replacement. In order to determine just how serious your issue is, you should get an idea of what the problem is to begin with.
Here is a list of common refrigerator issues that may plague your home appliance as well as tips on how to prevent or troubleshoot the issue:
The refrigerator is freezing
If the food in your fridge is freezing, you most likely have an issue with the temperature-control thermostat in the fridge. Your refrigerator may be too full or have food covering the air vents, causing the fridge to over-cool.
The seals on the fridge door could also be damaged, so check to see if they are ripped or warped. An additional issue may be a dirty evaporator coil or condenser coil on the back of your fridge, which would cause the compressor to work harder to produce extra cold air. This can also over-cool the refrigerator compartment.
What to do: Check your refrigerator’s thermostat to see if someone has changed the temperature. Try to reset or change the temperature on the appliance accordingly. Clean the coils on the back of the refrigerator. Check and straighten or smooth the seals on the refrigerator door(s). If this issue persists, call your warranty provider, as a technician will need to assess the fridge’s compressor fan motor.
The refrigerator is not cold.
If the cold food compartment of your fridge is warming or not feeling cold enough, your refrigerator is probably suffering from an airflow issue. You may have a faulty evaporator or diffuser preventing the cool air from moving between the freezer and the refrigerator.
What to do: Listen to your refrigerator for a clue. You should be able to hear a fan running. If you are unable to hear the fan running, or if it is making an abnormal noise, your refrigerator may need a new evaporator fan motor. If the evaporator fan is running but not producing cold air, then it might be experiencing issues with circulating the air.
The refrigerator is cycling too much.
If you hear your refrigerator cycling incessantly, that is the definite sign of an issue. If this is happening and the temperature is increasing, then the issue is likely with the condenser fan. If the temperature is not changing drastically, check the evaporator fan.
What to do: The refrigerator temperature may be set too low, and the refrigerator is attempting to cool itself by cycling. The second option is that your condenser coil or evaporator coil is dirty. Try setting your thermostat to below 40 degrees Fahrenheit or cleaning the coils located at the bottom of your fridge. If this doesn’t work, then your refrigerator condenser fan motor might be malfunctioning. Call your warranty provider if this issue persists.
There’s ice buildup in the freezer.
If you notice a sheet of ice in your freezer, you more than likely have a clogged or plugged defrost drain. The drain may be clogged by debris or ice itself.
What to do: Allow your freezer to defrost, and check for anything that may be clogging your defrost drain.
There is water leaking onto the floor.
It’s a terrible feeling to walk into your kitchen and step into a pool of water. If you have water on the floor and it isn’t from a recent spill or nearby leak, then it’s most likely coming from your fridge.
What to do: Much like ice building up in your freezer, water leaking onto the floor usually means that the defrost drain or water supply is clogged. If your issue lies in the defrost drain, you will need to unclog it. If the issue is due to the water supply, you may be unable to use your ice maker or water until the issue is resolved.
Of course, there are additional issues that may occur with your refrigerator from time to time, but these are a few of the most common culprits.
If you have tried these maintenance tips and your refrigerator is still not working, this is the time to make a service call to have a technician repair or replace your refrigerator.
What should you consider when shopping for home warranty plans?
When you are shopping for home warranty coverage, you want to find a plan that offers ample coverage for all of the items in your home that you are wanting coverage for.
With some home warranty companies, it may be difficult to ascertain what is actually covered. For example, when you opt for coverage of your electrical system, it could act as an extended warranty for all of the electrical components in your home, including the electrical components found in a fridge.
On the flip side, having the fridge covered does not necessarily mean that its electrical components are covered.
So, consider the following:
- In what areas of the home does my electrical system apply?
- What constitutes “plumbing” according to my warranty company?
- Are all components — new or old — in a given appliance covered under my warranty plan?
If you have a pool or spa, septic tank, hot water heater and plumbing and kitchen appliances, you will want to cover these items. Having coverage for these appliances and home systems protects your wallet because you will only pay a small service fee in order to have a technician visit your home to do a repair or replacement.
You also want to choose a company that offers great customer service to place a service request.
You should confirm with your warranty company how much you will be charged for a technician to come out and view the appliance or major system in need of repair. If the technician cannot repair the item, they will let you know. However, all warranty companies will require that a service fee is paid to the technician regardless.
Lastly, your warranty should work like an extended warranty for the other types of warranty plans or insurance plans you have. So, your home warranty should not offer coverage that is comparable to homeowners insurance. Also, check with the manufacturers to see if a manufacturer’s warranty or protection plan has been applied to any of your appliances, including your fridge.
Choose your warranty plan
A home warranty is an effective home protection plan that every homeowner needs. With a variety of home warranty companies offering various types of home warranty plans, as a consumer, you must choose the warranty that fits your needs the most closely.
A company like Cinch Home Services offers warranty plans for every budget — with appliances and systems you will want to have covered in a home warranty plan.
Cinch Home Services has cutting-edge technology and a concise set of terms and conditions.
If you need repair or replacement of your appliances or home systems, Cinch is ready to give you a quote to get you ready to have your home covered by a home warranty plan.