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Common Problems With Wine Coolers— Plus DIY Solutions

There’s nothing quite frustrating as having your wine cooler malfunction right when you need a chilled bottle of wine. Wines are always best served chilled, so it’s up to you to do everything possible to keep your wine refrigerator functioning properly at all times. You wouldn’t want your carefully-selected wine collection to go bad, all because of some faults with your wine fridge.

Several problems can develop in a wine refrigerator. But generally, these problems can be classified into three:

  • Temperature problems.
  • Noise problems.
  • Lighting and power problems.

The most common, and indeed the most disturbing, are temperature problems.

Wine Cooler Temperature Problems

Temperature problems are the most frequently reported issues in wine coolers. It doesn’t matter if you’re using one of the best wine fridges out there. Chances are that the temperature in the cooler may begin to fluctuate at some point in its life.

common problems with wine fridges

Ideally, wine refrigerator serving temperatures should be set up between 40°F and 55°F (5°C and 13°C) for white wine, or 55°F to 64°F (13°C and 17°C) for red wine.

If you just want to store your wine for aging, you can set it up at 55°F (15°C).

Some  dual zone wine fridges can store both types of wine and supply their ideal serving temperatures without any problems. If the temperature of your cooler falls too low, your wine bottles may get frozen and explode: If it rises too much, your wines won’t taste so good.

Usually, wine refrigerator problems reported are more of improper cooling (higher temperatures) than excessive cooling. There are several things that can give rise to these cooling issues.

Here are the three most common causes of a faulty cooling system in wine coolers:

Faulty Fan

If your refrigerator has a compressor, then it has a fan. The primary function of this fan is to cool down the condenser and the coil in it. Ideally, this fan should turn on once you power the fridge. However, if it doesn’t, both the condenser and the coil may overheat. Eventually, this heat will be transferred to the interior wine cabinet, warming up your precious wine instead of cooling it.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

The job of a thermostat is to supply power to the compressor, evaporator fan, and condenser. It allows you to adjust your wine refrigerator temperature. A defective thermostat will make your wine fridge give off wrong temperatures, different from what you set initially. In some cases, it’ll warm up the cabinet. In other cases, it’ll cool it down to freezing temperatures. Defective thermostats can’t be repaired: the only solution is to replace them altogether.

Damaged Evaporator

The evaporator is the component that turns the refrigerant from liquid to gas via evaporation. This component makes it possible for your wine cooler to produce cold air. If the evaporator fails, the entire cooling system won’t work even if your compressor is running at full capacity. 

The evaporator acts as a heat exchanger by transferring heat from items in the cooler and supplying them with cool air instead. Usually, these evaporators are located on the back walls of the wine refrigerator. Leaks, damaged coils, and faulty evaporator fans are three evaporator problems you may encounter. Whichever case, a damaged evaporator should be repaired by a technician to avoid further complications.

The above problems are mainly for wine coolers that use a compressor system. However, for coolers that use a thermoelectric system, issues like high room temperature or poor ventilation are the main things that alter your wine refrigerator temperature.

common problems with wine coolers

Is It Worth Repairing A Wine Cooler?

Yes, it is. Wine cooler repair is relatively straightforward, even for people without technical experience. You may not even need complicated tools to get it working again. There are many DIY techniques you can try first before calling a technician or replacing the cooler.  Don’t ditch your wine cooler when all it needs is a little care. 

However, before you try to fix your wine cooler, ensure that you read the warranty. Attempting certain fixes by yourself may void your warranty, so don’t skip this step.

Quick Wine Cooler Repair Solutions – How to repair a wine cooler?

Here are some common problems and quick fixes you can do to rectify them on your own:

The wine cooler frequently turns on and off. Possible overheating.

Loose power plug.
An automated shutdown is a response triggered by overheating. Allow the fridge to cool for a while, then turn back on later. Double check the distance to the nearest wall is as recommended in the user manual to allow for the adequate airflow.  

Examine if the plug is properly connected to the outlet.
The wine cooler refuses to turn on.Faulty power outlet.Check power outlet, cables, trip board, and fuses: replace if required.
The wine cooler isn’t cooling properly. The cooler door isn’t closing properly (or the seal is broken), allowing for the escape of cold air.

Ventilation is blocked by dust.
Inspect the door for any particular leaks, fix the seal if it’s broken, and seal any leak points.

Clean the dust underneath the wine cooler and those accumulated in the fans.
The wine cooler makes too much noise.Refrigerant is running out and overworking the compressor as a result.

Faulty or blocked fans.
Check fans and clean them.
The internal lights come on and off.Faulty lighting Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

Faulty bulb.
Replace the PCB. This is a more advance DIY solution.  Check out this video for instructions.

Change the bulbs.
The wine cooler internal temperature at the bottom is different from the temperature at the top.One or two internal fans may be faulty.– Check and replace the faulty fans.

– Make sure that the bottles are distributed evenly across the wine fridge.  Avoid large empty spaces.
The wine cooler display is faulty, and buttons aren’t functioning.Faulty control Printed Circuit Board (PCB)Replace the control PCB This is a more advance DIY solution.  Check out this video for instructions.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the common problems of wine fridges and the corresponding DIY fixes you can carry out. For any issue or problems that may arise, repair should always be the first option.  You should only replace a wine fridge when it has exceeded its service life.

In summary, discovering your wine cooler to be faulty shouldn’t call for an alarm. You can simply troubleshoot and carry out the necessary quick fixes. However, for compressor or evaporator problems, it is best to call a technician. A technician will charge based on your fridge size, capacity and the cooling system it uses (compressor or thermoelectric system). 

Compressor coolers tend to have a greater cooling capacity, while thermoelectric coolers are known for their quiet sound. Whichever type you own, proper handling and maintenance will help reduce the chances of these faults occurring. And if they do occur, then get a screwdriver and do a quick fix, or simply call a technician to do a full wine cooler repair.

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