Refrigerator Does Not Turn Off [How to Fix]

It is one thing to have a refrigerator that works well. But it is different if the refrigerator does not turn off. It will freeze everything in it and keep going. Learn how to fix it in this article.

Refrigerator Does Not Turn Off

Refrigerator Does Not Turn Off – What to Do

Do the following if your refrigerator does not turn off:

1. Check the Door Seal

Open and close the door of the refrigerator to see if it seals tightly. If you suspect the seal no longer works as it should, run your hand down the length of it; you may feel cold air escaping if the seal is weak. But if you feel nothing, you can check if there are gaps between the seal and the door frame. Sometimes, you will notice that some parts of the seal stick better than others.

However, if that does not apply, close the refrigerator door on a dollar bill. Pull the dollar bill with the door closed and if you can pull it out, replace the door seal. The suction it creates should hold the dollar bill tight enough to make it difficult to pull out without opening the door.

Sometimes, the seal does not need a replacement but thorough cleaning. Dirty refrigerator door seals do not seal as they should because the dirt on them creates a barrier. Therefore, clean the seal, especially if you notice they are noticeably dirty or you have never cleaned them.

Check to see if the seal is loose if none of the above applies. Try pushing it into place with a small screwdriver if you can, or have a professional do it. That may fix the problem. When a refrigerator door seal stops sealing tightly for any reason, the refrigerator will keep losing cold air, causing the compressor to run constantly without turning off.

2. Check the Thermostat

Setting the temperature too low will determine how often the refrigerator runs. Set the temperature to a high point and see if the compressor goes off. The refrigerator is working well if the compressor responds in that manner. You may just need to set the thermostat to a mid-point for the best results.

However, consider replacing the thermostat if the compressor does not go off when the temperature is high. Hire a professional technician to do the replacement job if you are unsure of doing it yourself.

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3. Check the Defrost System

Testing the components of the defrost system is not as technical as it may seem. Begin with the defrost timer because it handles the defrost cycle. Disconnect the refrigerator and locate the timer; its location will depend on the refrigerator type. A side-by-side model will have it at the back; other models may have it in the control panel or behind the bottom grille in front of the unit. Find the timer’s terminals so that you can run a continuity test if necessary. Replace the timer if there is no continuity.

But turn the timer using a small screwdriver to advance it into a defrost cycle if it is the mechanical type. You should hear a click as the heater swings into action. If this does not happen and the timer does not advance out on its own, replace the timer.

Next is the defrost heater. Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and unmount the evaporator fan cover inside the freezer section. Find the heater under or beside the evaporator coils and test it with a multimeter for continuity. If the heater registers no continuity, replace it.

After that is the defrost thermostat. Test the thermostat if the heater and timer are in good condition. Like the heater, you will need a multimeter to check its continuity, but you will have to wait for when its contacts are open, and that will be when the evaporator coils’ temperature is more than 47 degrees Fahrenheit. Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and check the continuity. Replace the thermostat if there is no continuity.

The defrost system may malfunction and stay in the defrost mode. When that happens, the refrigerator will not turn off as it tries to maintain a cool temperature. If you are unsure of fixing the defrost system, consider hiring a professional to do the job.

4. Check the Content

Storing hot food or overloading the refrigerator with foods at room temperature will affect its cooling capacity. For one, there will not be enough cold air to circulate and cool all the foods at the same time, and no space for circulation. Two, it will take a longer time for all the foods to cool. As a result, the refrigerator will keep running to make up for the load in it.

Therefore, avoid putting too many items in the refrigerator at the same time, especially if they are at room temperature. And if you cook, allow the food to sit out until it is cold before putting it in the refrigerator. You can opt to lower the temperature to a colder point, but it may not be for the best. Following this process will help the refrigerator to run normally.

5. Check the Evaporator Fan

Remove the cover at the interior back inside the freezer and inspect the fan attached to it. There may be ice clogging and affecting the blades. If there is ice, it is a clear indication that the defrost system has a problem. Follow the steps above to check the system and replace any faulty parts. And if the blades are damaged due to a load of ice or some other reason, replace them.

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However, if none of the above applies, you need to ensure the motor is working. Turn the blades and if they turn well, the motor may be working well. Otherwise, test the windings of the motor with a multimeter to check for continuity. Replace the motor if you find no continuity.

The refrigerator stops cooling if the evaporator stops working because it is in charge of circulating cold air within the unit. Therefore, having a functional fan motor is crucial.

6. Check the Location

The placement of the refrigerator can affect its cooling and consequently, how often it runs. Heat can make the outer cabinet warm and increase the internal temperature. See if the refrigerator is in the path of direct sunlight or close to a heat source. Relocating it works, but if that is not an option, consider lowering the set temperature.

7. Check the Condenser Fan

The fan does not need any inhibition so that it can operate freely. Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and remove the rear access panel at the bottom. Check for debris that may be obstructing the free movement of the fan, and clean the blades. Turn them afterward with your hand and if they are stiff, it may mean the fan’s motor is defective. Run a continuity test on it using a multimeter and replace it if there is no continuity.

The condenser coils need the fan to remain cool; otherwise, the heat from the coils will overheat the refrigerator and affect its cooling capacity. If the area between the refrigerator and freezer sections is warm to the touch, it means the condenser coils are too hot, indicating the fan is not working to cool them.

8. Check the Compressor

The compressor may have an open circuit, and you can tell if this is the case when it shows no continuity during a test with a multimeter. And if it has an internal wiring problem or a failed internal part, it may be time to replace the compressor. Otherwise, the problem may manifest as the compressor running in an unorganized manner, thereby affecting the refrigerator.

9. Check the Closed System

Any damage to the closed system may mean having to replace the entire refrigerator. The closed system, or cooling system, is where the refrigeration process takes place, and a leak means the process can no longer happen. The refrigerator will keep leaking refrigerant and cannot stay cold. As a result, the compressor will try to make for it by running too much.

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Note: When a refrigerator does not turn off, it means the compressor keeps running non-stop. Usually, a cooling issue keeps the compressor running and it does not turn off. But if you find and fix the problem, the compressor issue will also be fixed.

Check out these other articles…

Refrigerator Thermostat [How to, Issues & Proven Solutions]

How to Move a Refrigerator in Different Situations [Detailed Guide]

Refrigerator After Moving [Issues & Proven Solutions]

Freezer Does Not Freeze [Issues Solved]

Laying a Refrigerator Down [Critical Information]

How to Bypass a Refrigerator…[Detailed Guide]

Refrigerator Does Not Turn On [How to Fix]

Why Has My Fridge Turned Off?

Your fridge has turned off for a number of reasons. One of them is that the compressor is not working as it should, probably because the start relay is malfunctioning. Another reason is that the thermostat is wrongly set and needs to be adjusted. Yet another reason is the control board; it may be damaged, affecting other key components of the refrigerator. This article explains more and how to fix them in detail.

Refrigerator Light Will Not Turn Off – Solved

Check the light bulb; a broken filament will affect the light in different ways, including not turning off. If the filament inside the bulb is broken, it is time to replace the bulb. But if the bulb is not the problem, check the socket. It is the part that holds the bulb. Ensure the terminals have no discoloration or damage, otherwise, you will have to replace the socket. You can run a continuity test if there is no discoloration, and replace the socket if there is no continuity.

Another part to check is the switch. The door switch controls the light, turning it on when you open the door and off when you shut it. A defective door switch cannot turn the light off or even turn it on in some cases. So, test for continuity in the switch using a multimeter, and replace it if there is none.

A defect in the design can cause the light to remain on even when the door shuts. You may want to report the issue to the manufacturer and seek repairs if nothing else seems to fix the problem. A refrigerator light that does not turn off is a fire and health hazard. The heat from the constantly-burning light can melt refrigerator parts and wiring, causing a fire to start. It will also thaw frozen food and make it unsafe to eat. Therefore, it is crucial to find a solution as quickly as possible.


The importance of a refrigerator cannot be overemphasized. So, having a refrigerator problem can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are ways to fix the problem if your refrigerator does not turn off, and we have explained the solutions so that you can fix yours. Be sure to contact a professional for further assistance if none of the fixes works.

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