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How to Repair a Wine Fridge

Closeup of hands opening a wine fridge and removing a bottle of wine.

For the wine enthusiast having a wine fridge or as they are sometimes called – a wine cooler, is essential to the preservation of your expensive and not so expensive wines. Wines can be healthy, and they are a beverage when you want to relax at night before heading off to bed.

But since a wine fridge is a mechanical device, you may experience some parts breakdowns or failures. Knowing how to fix those broken parts is also essential if you want to save a little money on repair costs

Two Types of Wine Fridges

While these mini fridges are compact, handy, and work similar to the big refrigerators, there are only 2 types of wine fridges you can buy. The first is the condenser wince cooler and it works in the same fashion as regular fridges but only on a smaller scale.

The other is the thermoelectric system which has a very different mechanism operation. An electric charge is sent through two pieces of metal helping to draw the heat from one side of the fridge wall to the other. It is called the Peltier Module after the French scientist who invented it in the 19th century.

The cold side is placed inside the cooler while the hot side is placed on the outside and needs a heat sink to help get rid of the heat build-up. The reasons both types of wine coolers stop cooling are due to defective, broken, or worn-out parts.

Fixing The Compressor Wine Fridge

Close up  of a wine fridge with a bar in the background

There are several main components that can break or wear out over the course of its lifespan. The three main ones to check are as follows:

1. The Condenser Fan

This is probably the most vital part you can have inside this type of fridge. Its duty is to keep the compressor and the condenser coils cool at all times. If it fails, then the compressor and the coils can get too hot and make the cabinet interior warm.

Give the fan a good cleaning first and remove any debris in its path. If it fails to turn freely, then replacing it is the only option.

2. Evaporator

This unit creates the cold air inside the interior of the wine fridge. If it goes down, then there is no cold air to send inside the cabinet’s interior. To fix this part, let the ice melt first, then inspect for dirt, debris, and so on. If there are no obstructions, then you will have to replace the evaporator and its fan.

3. Thermostat

This is the go-to source if the first two are in fine working condition. Its duties include allowing you to adjust the temperature inside the cabinet as well as send power to the compressor, condenser fan, and evaporator.

The only fix for this part is the replacement and a professional should handle the task.

Fixing the Thermoelectric Fridge

Close up of an opened wine fridge with the bottom of the bottles pointing forward.

The good news about this particular fridge is that it may not be broken when it stops cooling your wine. There are easier and less expensive issues you should check out first.

1. Room Temperature

This type of wine fridge excels when the room’s temperature is between 50 degrees F (10C) and 80 degrees F (27C). If the room gets too hot or cold, then your fridge won’t work so well.

There is no refrigeration system inside this unit, so it needs the right room temperatures to work. To fix this issue, turn the house thermostat down so the room gets cooler or up, so it gets a little hotter.

2. Ventilation Issues

This fine system does need to have a proper ventilation system. Once the heat is taken out of the fridge it has to go somewhere or it will influence how your fridge works. You need to keep the heat sink free from obstructions so it can get rid of the heat properly.

To fix this problem, you have to make sure there is plenty of free space around the fridge and the heat sink. Keep it away from walls as well as stoves, toasters, and other heat-producing appliances.

3. The Fan System

There are built-in fans that help distribute the cold air and send the heat outside of the unit. If they get dirty, clogged, or fail to function, that heat remains inside and heats up your wine.

To put these fans back into top working order, you need to clean the fans, forget rid of any obstructions, re-attach wiring connectors or replace them when they are broken.

Some Final Words

Wooden slatted shelves in a wine fridge full of wine.

For the compressor-style fridge, if you are not mechanically inclined, it is best to have a qualified repairman handle the repairs. But replacing parts is simple to do if you know how to do it.

For the thermoelectric fridge, you can handle those repairs unless there is a problem with the motherboard or other electronic parts. Just be able to know what you can and cannot do before tearing them apart.

Please keep in mind that we may receive a small commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

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