On this page:
- Estimating the Cost of Repairing a Refrigerator Freezer
- Should I Repair My Fridge?
- What Affects the Cost of Appliance Repairs?
- How Will My Repair Project Measure Up?
- Preparing for a Refrigerator or Freezer Repair
- Cost Comparisons
- Level of Difficulty
- Find a Pro
Your refrigerator and freezer are among the essential appliances of your kitchen or pantry, and when they are out of service the results can be inconvenient, at best. There are a number of issues that can cause problems with either appliance, and repair options can range from simple maintenance tasks and minor parts replacement to replacing major components. A big repair job can rival the cost of a new refrigerator or freezer, so be sure to evaluate your options before deciding how much to invest in the project.
Estimating the Cost of Repairing a Refrigerator Freezer
The cost of most appliance repair projects comes down to the materials or parts required and the time it takes to complete the job. The price of a service call may be standardized, but the cost of parts varies by brand and type, and more complex jobs may carry hourly labor charges on top of the basic service fee. Your pro can provide an estimate for both materials and labor after diagnosing the refrigerator or freezer and determining what parts will be needed.
How Does it Add Up?
The cost of materials can range widely, with some components priced under $20 and others over $400. Installation or labor charges are influenced by local rates, but are typically billed per service call or per hour. The complexity of the repair will affect the time needed for the job, but rates often fall between $65 and $150 per service call or from $45 to $80 per hour. Some pros will apply the cost of an initial diagnostic call toward the cost of the repair if you hire them for the job, so you won’t end up paying their full base rate twice.
Should I Repair My Fridge?
Do I Need a Pro?
There are many appliance maintenance projects and basic repairs an experienced DIYer can tackle, but correctly diagnosing and repairing a problematic refrigerator or freezer usually calls for some specialized training, tools, or materials. A pro can test and troubleshoot the appliance efficiently to make sure the right parts are used, and will have the equipment and skills to get the job done safely and correctly the first time.
Is it Really Worth It?
In some cases, the cost of repairing a freezer or fridge can rival the cost of a new appliance. If that’s the case, it may not be cost effective to invest in repairs. In order to decide whether it makes sense or not, consider the age and quality of the unit, the cost of repairs and of a replacement, and by how long the repair is expected to extend the life of the unit. Compare multiple estimates and recommendations from pros to help you decide if it makes sense to keep the old appliance running or to put your money towards a new version with a longer lifespan.
What Affects the Cost of Appliance Repairs?
Scope of Repairs
The difficulty of a repair project and the type of parts involved will influence the cost of repairing a refrigerator or freezer. While a replacing a worn door gasket or a bad relay might cost less than $100, installing a new compressor could cost more like $500. Several issues can cause similar symptoms, so be sure your pro has narrowed down the problem before agreeing to an expensive repair. If you aren’t confident, get a second or third opinion, but keep in mind that you may be charged a service fee by each pro who takes a look, even if they don’t complete any work at the time.
Availability of Parts
Sourcing parts for older appliances can be challenging, and if it’s hard to track down the right components for your fridge or freezer, chances are they will be a bit more expensive than those for brands or models that are easy to find. Your technician should be able to provide an accurate estimate for parts before ordering them, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to proceed with the repair.
Appliance repair pros commonly charge a flat fee for each service call, whether it’s an initial visit to check out the unit and make a diagnosis, or a return trip to install replacement parts. This fee may cover a certain amount of time spent on the job, so if the job runs longer than that time, an hourly fee may be applied as well. The cost of labor in your area will influence the base and hourly rates of local pros, so if you live in an urban or high-cost area, rates may be higher than in rural or more economical locations.
How Will My Repair Project Measure Up?
Nature of the Repair
It can be difficult to predict the cost of parts for a refrigerator or freezer repair without an inspection and testing, so an accurate determination of the problem is key to pricing the job. A simple repair with no materials or inexpensive parts might be done for the cost of a service call, while a more complex job could cost several times more.
Timing is Everything
The scheduling of your service call can have a big impact on the cost of the repair, since appliance pros often charge a premium or an extra fee for responding to calls on holidays, weekends, or evenings. Since having your fridge or freezer out of commission can lead to an expensive loss of food, it might be necessary to spring for the quick response, which could add $50 to $100 to the bill. If your repair can wait for a standard appointment, you’ll likely save a considerable amount on the cost of labor.
Preparing for a Refrigerator or Freezer Repair
Depending on the problems you are having with your appliance, it may take a couple of trips for a pro to make an assessment and then return with the right parts for the repair. Someone will need to be on hand for these calls, so be sure to plan ahead to accommodate the scheduling.
Prepare the Site
The simpler you can make the job, the faster your pro can get it done. Make sure there is clear access to the fridge or freezer, and check ahead of time to see if it will need to be emptied or unplugged in advance. If so, make arrangements to store the contents of the appliances in the meantime.
If your refrigerator or freezer isn’t working at all and your pro needs to order parts before he can fix it, you may need to find another way or place to store food for several days. Find out what the estimated timeline is for the job so you can decide if it makes more sense to get by with coolers and ice, stash your frozen goods at a friend’s place, or look for another unit you can rent or borrow.
|$95 - $250||$145 - $350||$350 - $700|
Refrigerator and freezer repairs can vary in scope and difficulty. Our examples illustrate a few common projects and typical price ranges.
Buttoning Up: $95 - $150
- • Type of Repair: Replacing a worn refrigerator door gasket is an economical project that can improve the efficiency of the unit.
- • Parts: A replacement gasket may cost between $30 and $100, and is generally easy to source.
- • Labor: A gasket installation is a quick job for a pro that can typically be completed for the cost of a service call, between $65 and $150.
Running the Show: $145 - $350
- • Type of Repair: Replacing a problematic control board can address a number of operational problems with a fridge, from temperature control to defrost issues.
- • Parts: Refrigerator and freezer control boards range in price from $80 to $200, depending on brand and model.
- • Labor: Though the control board is an essential component of the appliance, replacing one is a fairly quick and simple job that can be done for a basic service fee.
Keeping Cool: $350 - $700
- • Type of Repair: A faulty compressor won’t provide the cooling you need from a fridge or freezer, and replacing one is a complex job.
- • Parts: Compressors may cost between $150 and $400, making this one of the costliest appliance repair projects.
- • Labor: This is a job for an experienced pro with specialized tools, and it may take a few hours. The complexity of the project adds $100 to $300 in labor costs to the bottom line.
Level of Difficulty
Diagnosing a faulty refrigerator or freezer can be tricky business, and the fastest way to determine the source of a problem (and avoid buying unnecessary parts) is to call in a pro. Some parts can be installed by an intermediate to advanced do-it-yourselfer, but more complex jobs should be left to a trained expert.
Appliance Repair Services
If you’re ready to bring in a pro to revive or improve your refrigerator or freezer, be sure to connect with an experienced Appliance Repair Pro who has the know-how to get the job done. If it looks like you’re in for an expensive repair, get a few estimates and recommendations to compare so you make an informed decision about the project.