Styles & Features
- traditional style, with the freezer on the top and the refrigerator on the bottom;
- side-by-side style, with the freezer on the left side and the refrigerator on the right side;
- bottom-mounted style, with the refrigerator on the top and the freezer on the bottom; and
- French-door style, with two doors for the refrigerator on the top and one bottom freezer door compartment.
Some common features include:
- automatic defrosting;
- a power-failure warning that alerts the user by flashing a temperature display;
- chilled water and ice from a dispenser in the door;
- cabinet rollers that let the refrigerator roll away from the wall for easier cleaning behind it;
- adjustable shelves and trays;
- a status indicator that notifies the homeowner when it’s time to change the water filter;
- an in-door ice caddy, which relocates the ice-maker storage to the freezer door and saves approximately 60 liters (2 cu. ft.) of usable freezer space;
- a cooling zone in the refrigerator door shelves, which works by diverting air from the freezer section to the refrigerator door to cool milk, juice, and other beverages stored in the door shelf;
- a drop-down door built into the refrigerator’s main door, providing easy access to frequently-used items, such as milk, thus saving energy by not having to open the main door; and
- a fast-freeze function that rapidly cools foods by running the compressor for a predetermined amount of time and thus temporarily lowering the freezer temperature below normal operating levels.
The inspector may attempt to inspect the refrigerator using normal operating controls. A full and comprehensive inspection may need to be deferred to a qualified expert. However, the inspector may exert his/her best effort by referring to the owner’s manual (if available) to determine the proper condition and operation of the appliance in order to report any apparent deficiencies, whose further evaluation and repair (if required) must be deferred to a qualified professional.
The inspector may report as deficient:
- inoperative unit(s);
- damage to the exterior or interior of the cabinet or components;
- rust on the exterior or interior of the cabinet or components;
- damaged or missing interior shelving;
- excessive ice or frost formation;
- unusual sounds or vibration levels;
- dirty or damaged coils;
- deficiencies in the:
- door gasket, hinges, closure and handle;
- controls and control panels;
- door operation;
- water valve and location(s); and
- water supply line (if applicable).
The inspector may document:
- Style: _______________________
- Make: _____________________
- Model: ____________________
- Manufacturer: ______________________
- Year Manufactured: ____________________
With the door open, the control button should be pressed to see if the light turns off when the door closes.
Where possible, open and close the shelves in and out, inspecting the operation of the glides. If the refrigerator has other features (water, ice maker, etc.), operate those components using normal operating controls.
The refrigerant control divides the refrigeration into two “sides,” the high pressure and low pressure sides. The most often used control device for a refrigerator is a capillary tube. The tube is a very thin copper tube, several feet long. Liquid refrigerant enters the tubing at the high pressure liquid line side. When the refrigerant emerges from the tube, its flow rate and volume are significantly lowered. This tube acts like a throttle of the flow of liquid before it enters the evaporator coils. This is important because only a small amount of high pressure liquid is needed to expand to a vapor that can fill the evaporator coils.
The refrigerator is a cord-and-plug-connected appliance. Without moving the refrigerator, look for the electrical cord and wall receptacle. Check for indications of damage or improper installation. The receptacle must be accessible and located to avoid physical damage to the flexible cord. The refrigerator should not be plugged into a GFCI-protected receptacle. The refrigerator’s flexible cord must terminate in a grounding-type attachment plug. The receptacle for the refrigerator is permitted to be on the small appliance circuit of the kitchen, it or may be supplied from a dedicated 15- or 20-amp circuit.
If applicable, check the water supply line and water valve, as well as their locations. Look for indications of prior water leaks behind and around the bottom of the refrigerator. Check for ice in the freezer, and make a notation if there is an absence of ice. If applicable, check the water dispenser.