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Inspecting a Fridge on a Home Inspection

First, whether or not the fridge stays is up for debate.  As a Home Inspector we really don’t care.  If it is present during the inspection, especially if it is built-in or the home is vacant, just inspect it as a courtesy.  Appliances are inspected as to whether they work or not, not how well they work.

First, we would look at the door seal for any damage or tearing.  Look at the general condition of the interior for broken or missing shelving or racks.  Check the freezer half for similar damage or missing items.  The fridge should obviously be cold and the freezer, well freezing.  I generally just grab something in the fridge to see if it is cold and rock hard in the freezer.  If you want to check numerically just use your infra-red thermometer.  The fridge should be about 35-38°F and the freezer about 0°F.

If it happens to have the ice and water in the door feature test it.  I always bring a coffee cup with me to check the microwave’s operation.  Just use the cup of water and/or ice from the fridge for the microwave.  Be sure to pay attention to the shape of the cubes.  An automatic ice maker in a fridge should produce half-moon shaped cubes.  If they are round it could be bag ice from the grocery store indicated that the ice maker doesn’t work.  If the ice and water work, don’t say anything.  If they don’t write them up as inoperable.


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