If you smell a burning scent coming from the refrigerator, then it is definitely a cause of concern. You must not overlook the fridge emitting burning odor because it might prove hazardous later on. In this article, we will enlist the most common causes of a burning smell from the fridge and some easy fixes for you!
Though there are various causes that can result in burning smell from refrigerator, some call for an easy fix whereas others need professional attention. Nevertheless, you can check whether the burning smell is coming from the inside or outside of the refrigerator. This helps you to determine the source and intensity of the damage done to your fridge.
A burning smell from refrigerator can be caused by a malfunction in the wall socket or fridge’s plug, electrical issue in refrigerator power cord, overheating compressor in fridge, motor malfunction in refrigerator, overheating of internal light bulb of refrigerator or dirty condenser coils and back panel.
Read on to learn 5 common causes of a burning smell from the fridge and their easy fixes!
What are the Common Causes of a Burning Smell from the Fridge?
If your refrigerator smells like burning, don’t touch the plug right after moving it. First, let the fridge stand and then switch off the power to your fridge. Make sure to do a thorough inspection before touching the wall socket or fridge plug because it can be hazardous.
So, the best way is to switch off the breaker from the breaker box, to cut off the power to the fridge. Once it’s done, test the cord and wall outlet to check whether it’s hot or still contains some current because hot cords or wall outlets can cause skin injury.
While the fridge is switched off, the next step is to do a thorough inspection to locate the root cause of the foul burning odor in the refrigerator. Do a in-depth inspection starting from the wall outlet, fridge plug, back panel, and compressor. After that reach out to the refrigerator’s door and open it to check the foul burning odor in refrigerator.
Once you identify the place where the burning scent coming from the refrigerator is strongest, it will be easier to point out the factor that’s causing it.
Enlisted below are the 6 common causes of a burning smell from the fridge:
Loose Wire Connection In Wall Socket & Fridge’s Plug
If the wall outlet is slightly blackened and the plastic around it is melted then it’s an indication that a loose wire connection in the wall socket is causing it. It is not directly related to your fridge but an overloaded or inadequately wired socket can often result in a burning scent coming from the refrigerator.
Talking about the exterior unit, sometimes heat buildup due to loose wire connections can cause melting of the insulation or plastic around the power plug. In this case, you might see the sparking coming out of the wall outlet, and the plug starts melting down due to heat.
How to fix it:
Beware, do not touch the plug or socket, instead switch off the breaker and let the wall socket & plug cool down. The meltdown of a wall outlet or plug is usually caused by a surge in electricity that exceeds the capacity of a wall outlet.
If numerous high-voltage appliances are attached to a single wall outlet it can cause an overloaded circuit and eventually the plug and outlet start melting resulting in the fridge emitting burning odor.
Electrical Issue in Refrigerator Power Cord
As we know there are numerous electrical components that are working inside the fridge, all the components are directly related to a power cord. The electric current coming from the power cord helps the other electric components to run properly. An electrical issue in refrigerator power cord can cause your fridge to not work properly.
The next step is to check the power cord for any burn marks or broken insulation. If you see any signs of broken insulation or burn marks, you have to completely replace the power cord. Because it could be the cause of the burning smell from refrigerator.
How to fix it:
In order to sort out the electrical issue in the refrigerator power cord, firstly you have to identify it. Once you identify the compromised point along the length, it can help you to cut and replace it. Make sure to cut the length of the cord that is damaged, slide the three-pronged plug on the wire, and tighten the connection with the help of a screw and it’s done.
NOTE: If you have no experience with electrical appliances, make sure to ask a certified electrical professional to help you and guide you through the process.
Overheating Compressor in Fridge
Now if you have inspected the wall outlet, fridge plug, and power cord, but you didn’t suspect any damage, now is the time to open the back panel. You have to slightly move the fridge and remove the back panel to check the compressor and starter relay. You have to check the compressor wiring and starter relay for any sign of melting or burning.
The main function of a compressor is to circulate refrigerants, but malfunction of the compressor can cause a burning smell from refrigerator. Also, if there is power surge or fluctuation, it can cause overheating of compressor and in turn melting of starter relay.
How to fix it:
The meltdown of the stater relay due to overheating compressor in fridge is easy to fix. You can use starter relay combination kits depending on the model of your fridge and then you can disconnect the relay’s connecting wire from the compressor. Even though the starter relay can be replaced easily, it does require professional help.
Overheating of Internal Light Bulb of Refrigerator
Next on the list of common causes of a burning smell from the fridge is overheating of light bulb of refrigerator. If the fridge is left open and the bulb is on for a long period, it can result in overheating of the internal light bulb. You might smell the foul burning odor in refrigerator due to the light bulb.
How to fix it:
Unlike motor malfunction in refrigerator, this is easy to fix as you just need to replace the bulb in order to get rid of burning smell from refrigerator. You can simply switch off the fridge, remove the light shield and replace the old bulb with a new bulb of the same size and voltage. Once done, you can put the shield back on and reconnect the power.
Dirty Condenser Coils and Back Panel
If you have checked the fridge for electrical issue in refrigerator, overheating compressor in fridge and motor malfunction in refrigerator but everything is alright, then what to do? While cleaning, most of us forget about the back panel of the fridge which results in dirt accumulation in the condenser coils and back panel.
So the combination of hot and clogged condenser coils can become one of the causes of burning smell in fridge.
How to fix it:
This problem can be resolved in no time, all you can do is wipe off the dust or dirt that is clogged in the condenser coils. This will help you to get rid of the burning smell from fridge freezer.
FAQs About Common Causes of a Burning Smell from the Fridge
What are the common causes of a burning smell coming from the fridge?
A few of the most common causes of a burning smell from fridge includes faulty wall socket or plug, electrical issue in refrigerator, overheating compressor in fridge, motor malfunction in refrigerator, and dirty condenser coils.
Why does my fridge emit a burning odor?
If you smell a foul burning odor in fridge then there is something definitely wrong inside the fridge i.e: the internal light bulb. However, it’s easy to replace and you can do it by yourself.
Is a burning smell from the fridge a sign of a serious problem?
Yes, do not ignore the burning scent coming from refrigerator as it can have a snowball effect and you can suffer major losses. Your appliance can catch fire and damage your property. It can also pose a risk to human lives.
Can a dirty or clogged condenser coil cause a burning smell in the fridge?
Definitely. As we have mentioned above, overheating of dirty condenser coils is one of the major causes of burning smell in fridge. Fortunately, you can easily wipe off the dust and get rid of this smell.
What should I do if I notice a burning smell coming from my fridge?
The best thing you can do is inspect, you must check all the internal and external components of the fridge to find the root cause before things get out of hand. Don’t cut any corners and do a thorough inspection before the burning smell grows into a fire.
Can overheating of the compressor lead to a burning odor in the fridge?
Absolutely. The overheating of compressor can cause melting of starter relay making the fridge emit burning order. Though you can replace the starter spending upon the model of fridge, if you are unable to do so, make sure to get help from a certified professional.
Are there any specific electrical components in the fridge that can cause a burning smell?
Electrical components are usually the potential cause of a burning smell in refrigerator. A faulty electrical component includes a compressor starter relay and internal light bulb. Fortunately, you can replace these electrical components if you feel something wrong with them.
Nevertheless, there are numerous common causes of a burning smell from the fridge, and in this article, we have covered most of them. Starting from the exterior causes like damaged wall sockets, plugs and power cords to internal malfunctions like overheating of light bulbs, compressors, etc.
However make sure to inspect the external and internal associated components of the refrigerator, if refrigerator smells like burning. Otherwise, it might turn into a hazardous incident that can cause damage to the property as well as human lives.Share the joy