GE Refrigerator Does Not Turn On [How to Fix]

It is rare but once in a while, you will find that a GE refrigerator does not turn on. If that is the case with yours, this article details what to do.

GE Refrigerator Does Not Turn On

GE Refrigerator Does Not Turn On – Solutions

If you find that your GE refrigerator does not turn on, here are some possible causes and fixes:

1. On and Off Switch

If your GE refrigerator has a switch that turns it on and off, check to see if it is on. You may have accidentally turned it off.

Flip the switch if it is off in order to turn the refrigerator on.

2. Power Cord

Go to the wall outlet into which the power cord of the refrigerator is plugged. Check whether or not it is in the outlet fully. There is a chance it pulled out a little from constant movement.

If it is not fully in the outlet, push it in and check to see if the refrigerator turns on. But if the unit does not turn on after this, remove the cord.

Plug another appliance into the same outlet and check for power. If the appliance does not come on, then the outlet is bad. However, if it comes on, it means the refrigerator cord is bad.

Inspect it. There could be damages to it or a wire in it could have cut. Whatever the case, the refrigerator needs a new cord. Be sure to buy one using the model number of your refrigerator.

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3. Circuit Breaker

Take a look at the circuit breaker in your house to check whether or not it is off. If it is off or tripped, then reset it. Resetting the breaker also applicable if the wall outlet for the refrigerator is GFCI-protected. This is because the refrigerator could be tripping the GFCI-protected outlet or even the breaker.

If the unit continues tripping the outlet or breaker, then use an outlet that does not have GFCI protection.

However, if you find that you cannot do this or it does not work when you do, have a repair technician check it for you.

4. Power Outage

If there was a recent power outage before the refrigerator stopped turning on, it is possible something burnt in the refrigerator. It could also be that there is wiring damage internally.

But you may need the help of a qualified technician in order to check for any damage to the wires.

5. Start Relay

Check the relay. Remove it from the side of the compressor and shake it. If there is a rattle, it is damaged and should be replaced. The same is applicable if it has a burnt smell.

But if none of the above applies, test the relay to check for continuity. Put a multimeter between the run and start terminals. If there is no continuity, replace the relay.

The compressor is likely not to run if the start relay is burnt. And the refrigerator is likely not to work if the compressor does not run.

6. Temperature Control

Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power. Go to the temperature control housing inside the unit and remove the panel that covers it.

Remove the control from the housing and pull off the terminal leads. Now, test it for continuity using a multimeter. Do this as you rotate the control knob to take it to a colder point.

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You should see the control switch close as you do this. But if it does not close, the control needs to be replaced.

7. Electronic Control Board

This part hardly fails so it should not be the first thing to check if a GE refrigerator does not turn on. However, if all the other things check out, then check the board for burns and damages.

GE GME04GGKBB Compact Refrigerator, Black





How to Turn On the Ice Maker in a GE Refrigerator

The following are different ways to turn the ice maker in a GE refrigerator on:

1. Control Panel Button

If you own a refrigerator that has a touchpad, you will see a selection for turning the ice maker on or off. You will see the ice maker button selection where the temperature controls are. Simply press the button that turns the ice maker on if you want to turn it on.

If the selection looks too complicated to you, consult the user manual to see how it is done and follow the steps.

2. Toggle Switch

You will see the switch on the body of the ice maker. It usually looks like a light switch. To turn the ice maker on, move the knob to the top of the switch. That is the knob should move to the point where you see I.

A green light will come on, indicating that the ice maker is powered. This will tell you that you have successfully turned the ice maker on.

3. Slide Switch

Check your ice maker to see if it has a switch that slides from left to right and vice versa. You will see On/Off written close to the switch on the ice maker.

To turn the ice maker on with this type of control, move the switch to the left. Turning it on extends the horizontal paddle in the ice maker out and puts it over the ice. In other words, the paddle passes the ice maker.

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GE refrigerators with bottom freezers or even french door models usually have this type of ice makers. But it is not exclusive to them; it can come with other models.

4. Feeler Arm

Some ice makers have a feeler arm that is made of metal wire. Move the arm down to turn the ice maker on or to start ice production.

This type of ice maker is usually not electronic and is primarily found in older side-by-side and top freezer refrigerator models.

Note: These methods apply to all types of GE refrigerators and freezers.

Here is how to turn on the ice maker in a GE bottom freezer refrigerator…

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GE Ice Maker Auger Not Turning – Quick Fix

You may have to replace the auger of the ice bucket if you find that it is not turning anymore.

But to determine this, take the ice bucket out and turn the auger with your hand. If it is stiff, it needs a replacement. But if the auger moves smoothly, check it for continuity using a multimeter.

If there is no continuity in the auger, replace it. Do this even if the motor of the auger gets power.


Check the power cord, switch, temperature control, start relay and circuit breaker if your GE refrigerator does not turn on.

But if none of the above fixes works, contact GE Cares to report the issue and request service.

Alternatively, use the chatbox to your right to chat with any of our appliance technicians. There is no need for a waiting period or expensive in-house calls.