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I had my Kenmore Elite refrigerator (with interior water dispenser) in the garage at the house I am renting (I had to use their frig) for the past two years. I will be moving and was cleaning up the frig again and found that mice/rats had built nests in the bottom of the frig.
I cleaned up what I can reach after removing the lower back plastic panel where the vents are, but I am scared it isn't safe or sanitary to use anymore. I am not sure where the air is being pulled in to cool the interior and if it is pulling from where they lived since I could not reach all of the interior of the frig, then I don't think it is safe. Also, they could have possibly chewed on wires so I don't know if it is now a possible fire hazard. Please advise whether or not the frig is safe to use. Thank you.
If you have not plugged it in yet, please don't. Chewed wiring can blow a circuit or pop the breakers at the least.
If you have to, at least plug it into a wall that the circuit has been flipped off. Then, flip the breaker so you are not holding the cord or close to it. Good luck.
The inside will still be sanitary, if it is sealed. As to its being safe, plug it in and see it there are any weird smells or anything questionable and if so, unplug it.
Why not have Sears serviceman come and check it out? I think it would probably be fine, but you might sleep better if you have the wiring looked at.