Refrigerator Not Working [Problems Solved]

One problem you don’t want to have is your refrigerator not working. Refrigerators are reliable appliances, but other things can go wrong if they stop working. Find out how to fix a faulty refrigerator in this article.

Refrigerator Not Working

Table of Contents

Refrigerator Not Working But Freezer Is – What to Do

If you find your freezer is working, but your refrigerator is not, here are things to do:

1. Check the Evaporator Fan

Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power. You will find the fan behind the inside back panel of the freezer section. Remove the panel by unmounting the screws holding it in place. Then, carefully lift the panel out to check the fan; it is usually attached to the panel. Disconnect the wire harness and completely remove the fan.

Turn the blades to check how well they turn. If they are stiff, the motor may be faulty. But also, the shaft may just need a little oiling. Get some penetrating oil, such as gear oil, and apply it to the shaft. Allow it to penetrate before trying the blades again. If they are still stiff and don’t turn well, test the motor.

Get a multimeter and test the motor windings for continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the fan motor. Otherwise, the freezer may remain cold because of the location of the cooling coils. But the refrigerator will stop working.

2. Check the Air Damper

Find the damper between the refrigerator and freezer. It is a small vent that opens and closes from time to time to allow cold air from the freezer into the refrigerator. Check to see if it is stuck in the closed position. If it is stuck or seems to be broken, the best step is to replace it.

The damper opens and closes to regulate the amount of cold air flowing between the freezer and refrigerator. If the damper stops working, it will leave the refrigerator too warm or cold. In this case, it may be stuck closed, blocking the entrance of cold air from the freezer.

3. Check the Defrost System

Inspect the evaporator coils for frost. Typically, they should have a light coating of ice or be cold without frost. That way, you know they are working well. But if there is a significant frost buildup on the cooling coils, they become unable to release cold air. As a result, the refrigerator won’t work even if the freezer keeps working.

Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and check the coils. You may want to check them while checking the evaporator fan. If they are heavily frosted, leave the doors open and lay towels around the refrigerator. Allow the ice to melt and the towels to catch dripping water. After a few hours, clean up the refrigerator and reconnect it to electric power. If this manual defrost will take too long, use a hairdryer to do the job quickly.

One of the causes of a frost buildup in a refrigerator is a failed defrost system. Therefore, it is crucial to troubleshoot the system to prevent a future occurrence of frozen evaporator coils. Begin the test with the defrost timer. It is the component that handles the defrost cycle and is the most likely to cause a stall.

Find it in your refrigerator and turn it; it will most likely go in only one direction. If it clicks as the refrigerator goes into a defrost cycle, wait for the timer to advance out of the cycle within thirty minutes automatically. If the timer does not advance out, it is faulty. You may want to make doubly sure by testing it with a multimeter. No continuity means the timer needs a replacement.

Next, check the heater. If the heater is faulty, frost will build on the coils even f the timer is in good working condition. That is because it is the heater’s job to warm the coils once they reach a preset temperature. Runa continuity test on the heater using a multimeter. If the heater has no continuity, replace it.

After that, check the thermostat. That is if the heater and timer are working well. The thermostat should supply power to the heater when it senses the temperature of the coils by closing its contacts. If it fails to close its contacts, the heater won’t be powered to do its job. Use a multimeter to determine whether or not the thermostat has continuity. If you find no continuity, replace the thermostat.

There is also the defrost control board to check, but only if the other components are in good working condition. That means the part that controls the general defrost function is defective, and that would be the board.

4. Check the Thermistor

Check the functionality of the thermistor using a multimeter. As the refrigerator’s temperature changes, the thermistor’s resistance should change. If the unit’s temperature is unreliable at this time, remove the thermistor and put it in a bowl of water.

As you heat the water with the thermistor in it, its resistance should change along with the water’s temperature. But if it remains the same, check for continuity. And if there isn’t continuity, replace the thermistor.

The thermistor is a sensor that reads the refrigerator’s temperature and transmits the readings to the control board when there is a need to turn on the cooling system. If it fails, the control board won’t know when to power the cooling system. As a result, the refrigerator will be either too warm or extremely cold.

If nothing else seems to work, it is best to contact the manufacturing brand to report the issue and request service. You can also hire an independent but qualified appliance technician.

Refrigerator Not Working After Power Outage – Solution

Begin by checking the circuit breaker; you will find it outside the house. Turn it back on and see if the refrigerator comes back on. There may have been a power surge that tripped the breaker. But that will also affect a few other appliances or lights in the house.

If the circuit breaker is not the problem, check the power cord. First, ensure you fully plug it into the wall outlet. Disconnect and reconnect it to be sure. If the refrigerator comes on, you are good to go. Otherwise, disconnect the power cord again and check it for damage. The outage may have burned an internal wire, or the cord is simply frayed. If either is the case, replace the power cord.

But if the circuit breaker and power cord are working well, the wall outlet may be causing the problem. In some cases, a power outage or surge damages the outlet or affects a wire that reduces the supply of voltage. Plug another appliance into the outlet to see if it powers. If it does, the problem may stem from low voltage. If it does not come on, you need to replace the outlet. Hire an electrician to fix the problem

The outlet may be the GFCI type, and if it is, a reset may fix the issue. Find the reset button on the outlet and press it. If the refrigerator comes on, you know you have fixed the problem. But if the refrigerator still does not work, there may be a defective component.

Troubleshoot the start relay, thermostat, condenser fan, and evaporator fan. Also, ensure the condenser coils are clean and the compressor is in good working condition.

Refrigerator Not Working After Moving – Solved

A refrigerator that is not cooling after moving means you wrongly placed it during transportation. Typically, a refrigerator should stay upright, and if you must lay it down, ensure it does not lay flat on its back or side. Otherwise, the oil in the compressor will leak into the cooling lines and contaminate the refrigerant, causing the refrigerator to stop working.

If you had to lay the refrigerator down while moving, you need to allow it to stand upright for about three hours before connecting it to a wall outlet. If it lay down for longer than a day, it needs to stand without power for the same number of hours or more. The time allows the oil to flow out of the cooling lines and back into the compressor. If you turn it on immediately after raising it upright, the refrigerator will stop working.

In light of the above, consider if you laid your refrigerator down while moving and plugged it into power immediately after it stood upright. If that is the case, the refrigerator may be damaged beyond repair. Hire a professional to assess the damage and recommend a fix or invest in a new refrigerator.

Refrigerator Not Working in Camper – Quick Fix

Start by checking to see if the refrigerator’s power cord is in the power source, fully plugged. That is, if the refrigerator works on electricity. If the power is plugged in, check the circuit breaker. It may be tripped and in need of a reset. Reset the breaker and try the refrigerator. If the breaker trips again, the heating element may be shorted. Therefore, you should replace it.

But if the circuit breaker is not the problem, test the heating element with a multimeter. Remove the wires of the heating element from the board by gently pulling them out. Then, take the testers of the multimeter and touch them to the two wires. If the ohms reading is infinite, the heating element is faulty.

Also, check the fuses in the control module. Check them for continuity, even if they look to be in good working condition. One or both may be bad. Replace them if you find no continuity.

But if it is running on gas, check to see that the gas valve is open. Then, check the gas level to ensure you have enough supply, especially if other appliances are using the same supply. Check the burner to ensure the flame is burning. The thermostat may sense the refrigerator is cool when it is not because the burner is off. And if the burner is off, the refrigerator is not running at all. Therefore, light the burner and ensure the flame is a strong blue before replacing the shield.

You can also check the thermostat setting. Ensure it is low enough to keep the refrigerator cold but not freezing. Adjust the temperature setting if necessary and wait for the compressor to kick into action. If it does not, the thermostat may be faulty. Consider replacing it.

Refrigerator Not Working After Lightning – Quick Fix

Lightning can cause a substantial voltage spike on power lines. These spikes can send voltage as high as 50,000 volts down the power lines and into your home, destroying electrical appliances on the way. You may have to replace the refrigerator’s control board or the entire unit if it stops working after a lightning strike.

If you can fix the refrigerator, consider using a surge protector. It is recommended that your use protective equipment for your electrical appliances if you live in lightning-prone areas. That way, you don’t have to replace appliances constantly and reduce the risk of fire outbreaks.

Refrigerator Not Working But Light Is On – Solved

If the light is on in your refrigerator, it means the problem is not from the primary power source. An internal component or the refrigerator placement may be the origin of the cooling problem.

Check the space around the refrigerator. There should be about two inches between the refrigerator and the surrounding surfaces. If the unit is too close to the walls, heat will build and reduce the unit’s cooling capacity.

Therefore, move the refrigerator to create space. And while doing so, check the condenser coils for dirt. The coils release heat from the refrigerant as it flows in the refrigerator. If they are dirty, they cannot release the heat, compromising the refrigerator’s internal temperature. Clean the coils using a vacuum cleaner or a small soft-bristled brush.

Next, check the temperature setting. You will find the thermostat inside the refrigerator. Adjust the setting if it is not low enough, and check whether or not the compressor kicks into action. If the compressor does not work or the temperature remains the same, the thermostat may be faulty. Test it for continuity using a multimeter, and replace it if there is no continuity at its lowest temperature operating range. You can try replacing the thermostat yourself or hire a service technician to do the job.

Other Parts to Check

Inspect the evaporator coils for ice buildup. An ice buildup is directly linked to a malfunctioning defrost system. But it could also stem from a leaky door seal that lets in too much warm air. The moisture settles on the coils, freezes, and builds over time. The defrost system may not keep up if the rate of condensation and freezing is too high.

Manually defrost the refrigerator or use a dryer to thaw the evaporator coils. Then, check the defrost system and replace the faulty component. While checking the coils, test the evaporator fan to ensure it is in good working condition. If the blades are bent or broken, replace them. But if the motor is not working, replace the motor.

If you have an older refrigerator model, it may have a defrost button for getting it into a defrost cycle. If the button sticks in the defrost mode, the refrigerator will stop cooling. Check the button and see if you can pull it out.

Newer refrigerator models usually have automatic defrost functions. So the defrost timer may be malfunctioning, causing the unit to remain in defrost mode. You may want to troubleshoot the entire defrost system, not just the timer, and replace any faulty ones.

Finally, check the compressor. Unplug the refrigerator for about an hour or two, plug it back in, and see if the compressor starts working smoothly. If it does, the problem may have stemmed from overheating. Take a look at the condenser fan to ensure it works when the compressor runs. If it is not, clean the blades, ensure they turn well, and test the motor. If the motor fails the continuity test, replace it or the entire fan assembly.

But if the fan is working well, the compressor may be failing. If you can, test the compressor using a multimeter. If the compressor shows wrong readings, there may be an open circuit or internal failure. Consider replacing the compressor as it cannot be repaired.

Refrigerator Not Working, Compressor Hot – What to Do

If you find that the compressor on a refrigerator is hot and the refrigerator is not working, do the following:

1. Check the Location

The refrigerator may be in the path of too much heat. Direct sunlight or a close-by radiator can increase the temperature, reducing the refrigerator’s cooling capacity. The compressor runs more than it should in order to lower the temperature, thereby becoming too hot.

Try moving the refrigerator to another location. If that is not possible, lower the set temperature inside the refrigerator to make it better able to cope with the heat. Otherwise, you risk damaging the compressor or the refrigerator.

2. Check the Condenser Coils

Look at the coils, usually at the bottom back or under the refrigerator. Typically, they should be clean. Even if dusty, the dirt should be only a light coating. But if they are significantly dirty, clean them using a condenser cleaning brush, a vacuum cleaner, or any small soft-bristled brush. Thoroughly dust the coils and sweep the floor around them.

A significant amount of dirt on the coils makes them unable to dissipate heat from the refrigerant. As a result, the compressor overheats, along with the refrigerator. If the trend continues, the compressor may stop working altogether. It is crucial to clean the condenser coils once or twice every year.

3. Check the Cold Control Thermostat

Turn the thermostat to a lower temperature setting and see if the refrigerator starts working. An incorrect setting can cause the compressor to run constantly. If the temperature adjustment does not work, test the thermostat.

Turn it to the highest temperature setting and listen for a click. If you hear the click, the thermostat is in good working condition and is not the origin of the problem. But if there is no click, remove the thermostat and test it for continuity with a multimeter. If you don’t get continuity, replace the thermostat. A faulty thermostat can keep the compressor running longer than it should, causing it to become too hot.

4. Check the Condenser Fan

You will find the condenser fan next to the condenser coils. Check to see if the blades are attached to the shaft on the motor. If they are not, fix them back and tighten them. Next, turn them with your hand. Ensure they turn smoothly; any stiffness indicates a fault with the motor.

So, if they are stiff, the motor bearings may be worn. And if that is the case, replace the fan motor. Otherwise, check the motor for continuity using a multimeter. If you find no continuity, replace the condenser fan motor.

The fan blows air over the condenser coils so that they will not overheat. In the same vein, the fan keeps hot air away from the compressor and prevents it from overheating. However, the compressor will get too hot, and the refrigerator will stop working overtime if the fan fails. And that is because the coils will overheat and increase the refrigerator’s internal temperature. That will cause the compressor to run non-stop.

5. Check the Sealed System

A leak in the sealed system will let refrigerant out, causing the compressor to run more than it should. As a result, it will become too hot, and the refrigerator won’t have enough refrigerant to stay cold or work. Sometimes, it is difficult to determine whether or not a refrigerator is leaking except for a chemical smell.

But you can use a leak detector to check the cooling lines through which the refrigerant flows. If you cannot find a leak detector, mix a little soap in water and pour it into a spray bottle. Then, spray the soapy solution on all the cooling pipes and wait for bubbles to appear on any area. If you find bubbles, there is a leak.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do to fix a sealed system leak if you are not trained. Some online resources will recommend getting a patch to fix it, but the patch is usually not available. Therefore, it is best to hire a professional to find the leak and recommend a  permanent solution.

6. Check the Compressor

The compressor may be faulty or worn out. If the refrigerator is old, it is likely a problem of age. Consider investing in a new refrigerator if you suspect the problem strictly stems from the compressor.

However, test the compressor using a multimeter if you are not sure. There may be internal damage or a loose wire. You may want to employ the services of a licensed service technician for further troubleshooting and repair.

The Compressor of Refrigerator Not Working – Solved

If you find that your refrigerator compressor is not working, check the following:

1. Recent Power Surge

If there was a recent power surge in your area, it might have caused the compressor to overheat and burn out. But that may also mean that the entire refrigerator is not working. If the refrigerator’s compressor is cold and does not run after a power surge, consider replacing the compressor or refrigerator. Then, use a surge protector to prevent future damages.

2. Condenser Coils

Dirty coils will cause the refrigerator to stop cooling enough or at all. And that is because the coils should dissipate heat into the atmosphere. But if the coils are dirty, the heat becomes trapped; the dirt acts as a blanket to cover them. Consequently, the compressor runs without stopping as it tries to reduce the refrigerator’s internal temperature. And the constant operation wears it out to the point of total failure.

Clean the coils using a condenser cleaning brush or a vacuum cleaner. As the dirt drops, ensure you sweep them up to leave the floor clean. That way, the dirt does not adhere to the coils so soon after cleaning it. Make a date to clean the coils in six to twelve months.

3. Refrigerant

You may not be able to check the refrigerant level in the compressor. Insufficient refrigerant in the system increases the compressor’s runtime. At specific times in a day, the compressor turns off so that the defrost cycle can run. During that period, the compressor rests. And during regular operation, the compressor cycles off at intervals.

So, if you find a refrigerator with a constantly running compressor, it means the refrigerator is not getting cold. And the cause may be the low refrigerant. If you are unsure, get an appliance technician to check the compressor and determine the refrigerant level.

It is important to note that refrigerant should not reduce in a refrigerator. It should last for as long as the refrigerator lasts. The refrigerator has a closed system that does not permit leakages. So, if the refrigerant depletes, there is a leak somewhere.

4. Compressor

An old refrigerator may have a worn-out compressor. Constant usage will cause the compressor to wear out over time and stop working. Consider the age of the refrigerator and how long the compressor has been in use. That may tell you whether or not you need a new compressor or a new refrigerator.

Here is how to test a refrigerator compressor…

Refrigerator Not Working After Door Left Open – Solved

If you find that your refrigerator is no longer working after leaving the door open, defrost the refrigerator manually. Empty the refrigerator of all contents. If there is a freezer, do the same. Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and open the doors. Leave them open for a few hours for the ice to melt. If the ice buildup is high, you may have to defrost it for 24 hours manually.

Afterward, clean the refrigerator to remove moisture before closing the doors and reconnecting it to electric power. Then, allow it to run for about six hours before checking whether or not the refrigerator has started cooling. If it is, the issue is fixed. You can put the contents of the refrigerator back inside it.

However, check the damper and air vent if the refrigerator still isn’t working after the manual defrost. One of them may be covered with ice, restricting the flow of cold air from the freezer into the refrigerator.

To find the affected one, open the door of the freezer and find the door switch. Press the switch and hold it while keeping the door open. That should activate the evaporator fan. Next, open the door of the refrigerator and find the door switch. Press the switch when you see it and hold it.

Now, check for cold air coming from the vent at the back of the refrigerator. If you feel cold air, the air return vent in the evaporator section is clogged. But if you feel no cold air, the damper is the problem. You may have to replace the damper.

Refrigerator Not Working After Cleaning – Quick Fix

You may have turned the temperature control off while you were cleaning. Check to see that it is on and at the mid-point. The recommended point is five. Adjust it and see if the refrigerator compressor kicks into action and the refrigerator starts working.

If there is no change, check the power cord. Moving the refrigerator while cleaning it may have nudged the power cord a little out of the wall outlet. Ensure you fully plug it into the outlet and the outlet is on. And if the cord has any damages on it, replace it.

Refrigerator Not Working After Being Unplugged – What to Do

Check the refrigerator’s power cord to be sure you fully pushed it into the power source. Sometimes, it may look as if the cord is fully inside the outlet, so it helps to be sure of the connection.

If possible, try plugging the refrigerator into another wall outlet; the amperage from the outlet may be the problem. If the refrigerator starts working, you know the other outlet is no longer working. But if the refrigerator still does not come on, check the cord to ensure it is in good working condition. If necessary, replace the power cord.

The cold control thermostat may be wrongly set or even off. Look at it inside the refrigerator and adjust it if necessary. The compressor should kick on if the thermostat is the origin of the problem.

One final thing to try is to check other electrical appliances and lightbulbs around the house. There may be a power failure, so inspect the circuit breaker to ensure it has not tripped if no other appliance works. Otherwise, reset it to power the house.

Refrigerator Not Working After Defrosting – Solution

The problem may stem from a malfunctioning defrost system. And the system may be malfunctioning because the defrost timer is faulty. Begin by finding the timer behind the refrigerator’s bottom grille, at the back, or in the temperature control housing inside the unit.

Turn the timer clockwise and wait for the compressor to turn off and the heater to turn on. Then, wait for the timer to advance out of the cycle. If it does not automatically advance out, the timer is faulty. But to be sure, run a continuity test in it using a multimeter. If the timer has no continuity, replace it.

Defrost timers are responsible for advancing the defrost system in and out of defrost cycles. If a timer fails, the system cannot defrost when due. On the other hand, a refrigerator may get stuck in the defrost mode and keep the refrigerator from working optimally.

Next, check the defrost heater. If the timer is working well, the heater may be the problem. It should turn on when power flows to melt the frost off the evaporator coils. But if it is stuck in the defrost mode, the refrigerator won’t work. So, find the heater under the evaporator coils and test it with a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace the defrost heater.

Check the defrost thermostat after certifying that the timer and heater are in good working condition. The thermostat allows power to flow to the heater when it is time to warm the evaporator coils. So, test the thermostat with a multimeter; you will find it on the evaporator coils. If the thermostat has no continuity, replace it.

Consider checking the control board that governs the defrost functions. The board hardly fails, but the defrost functions won’t work if it does. Therefore, try testing the board and replacing it if it is not working.

Refrigerator Not Working at All – How to Fix

Check the following if a refrigerator is not working at all:

1. Circuit Breaker

The circuit breaker controls the functions of the electric power in a house. But sometimes, it may trip off or stop working, especially when there is a voltage spike. It should be the first thing you check if you find that your refrigerator is not working, lights and all.

The circuit breaker is usually outside the house. Look at it to see if it is tripped off. If it is off, reset it to power the refrigerator. And if there is a bad fuse, you may have to replace it. However, it may not be a job for you to do; hire a qualified electrician to find and fix the fault.

2. Voltage Supply

Apart from the circuit breaker, the refrigerator may be receiving low voltage, insufficient to power it. Use a multimeter or voltage tester to check the voltage output from the wall outlet. A regular refrigerator needs about 120V and a 15amps outlet to work. Never plug a refrigerator into an extension; it usually does not supply enough voltage and may damage the unit.

If the multimeter does not show enough voltage, it may be time to replace it. But before doing that, let an electrician check the voltage supply in the house and recommend a permanent fix.

3. Power Cord

Ensure the power cord is not damaged. Pull it out of the wall outlet and check the terminals and the wire. If there is any damage to the terminals, replace the power cord. But if the terminals are intact, check for signs of fraying or kinking. Straighten the wire and if it is not working, replace it.

4. Start Relay

Find the start relay behind the refrigerator, fixed to the compressor at the bottom back of the unit. It is a small device protruding from the compressor. Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and pull the relay out. Shake it a little and listen for a rattle. If the relay rattles, it is faulty and should be replaced.

If you are unsure, check the relay for continuity using a multimeter. Usually, you should test an electrical relay with a multimeter for the best results. If the relay shows no continuity, replace it.

A start relay draws electric power to the compressor when it is time to start and run. It keeps supplying the power until the compressor stabilizes and runs smoothly. Then, it will shut down until it is time to power the compressor again. 

In some cases, the relay is a combination of an overload protector and a start relay. The device shields the compressor from an overload of voltage, so it does not overheat and burn. However, if the device fails, the compressor will stop working, and the refrigerator won’t come on at all.

5. Condenser Fan Motor

The fan is next to the condenser coils and draws air over them during regular operation to keep them cool. Inspect the fan to see whether or not it is running while the compressor is running. If it is not, unplug the refrigerator and clean the fan’s blades. Ensure there is no obstruction to them, and the area is clean. Then, turn them to check their functionality.

If the blades turn well, the fan may just need oiling to start working again. But if the blades don’t turn well, it may be because of worn motor bearings. Check the continuity of the motor using a multimeter. If you find no continuity, replace the condenser fan motor. And if the blades and motor don’t work, replace the entire fan assembly.

The functionality of the compressor is connected to the operation of the fan. The same applies to the condenser coils. The fan ensures the coils and compressor don’t overheat; it is part of the cooling system. But if the motor or blades cease to work, the compressor and coils will overheat and affect the refrigerator.

6. Condenser Coils

Keep an eye on the condenser coils; ensure they are as clean as possible. Typically, you should clean the condenser coils once or twice a year. And if you live in a dusty area or have pets that shed, you need to clean the coils more often.

Use a vacuum cleaner to vacuum the dust from the coils. If you have a small brush with soft bristles, use it instead of the vacuum cleaner. It will do a better job of removing the dirt. Afterward, clean up the area around the coils to remove shed dirt and other debris.

The condenser coils release the heat from the refrigerator, absorbed by the refrigerant. But dirt blankets the coils and prevents the heat from getting removed from the refrigerator. As a result, the refrigerator stops cooling and, over time, stops working altogether.

In addition to cleaning the coils, ensure there is space at the back of the refrigerator and the sides. When the heat leaves the refrigerator, there should be space for it to enter the atmosphere. Otherwise, the heat remains locked and eventually damages the refrigerator.

7. Thermostat

Check the thermostat inside the refrigerator to ensure it is correctly set. Setting the thermostat to the wrong point turns the compressor off and stops the refrigerator from working. It controls the functions of the cooling system and lets it know when to turn on or off. So, adjust the thermostat’s dial to a middle point and give the unit some time. If the compressor turns on, you are good to go.

But if the adjustment brings no change in the refrigerator, test the thermostat. Turn it from low to the highest temperature setting. Wait for the thermostat to click audibly, and if it does not, check it for continuity. No continuity means the component is defective and needs a replacement.

8. Refrigerant

A reduction in the refrigerant level stops the refrigerator from working. Sometimes, the refrigerator’s closed system begins to leak and reduce the refrigerant flowing through the pipes. But there are also signs of leakage, such as a chemical smell accompanying the cooling loss.

If you suspect a leak or a reduction in the coolant, contact the manufacturing brand to report the issue and request service. Alternatively, hire a qualified technician to check the refrigerator’s coolant and fix the issue.

9. Compressor

Finally, check the compressor. A fault with it, such as faulty internal wiring, will stop the compressor from compressing refrigerant and circulating it to the condenser and evaporator coils. Consequently, the refrigerator will stop working. The refrigerator will also stop working if it constantly runs due to the rising internal temperature.

It is a bit complex to test a compressor. But if you have the skills, you can check whether or not the compressor has failed. In the case of a failed compressor, you may have to replace it with the help of a professional technician. Or you may have to invest in a new refrigerator if it is more cost-effective.

If none of the above fixes works to fix a refrigerator that is not working at all, let a professional troubleshoot further and permanently fix it.

Refrigerator Not Working and Making a Clicking Noise – Quick Fix

Check the start relay when you hear a clicking noise from your refrigerator, and it stops working. The noise is the compressor trying to start and run but failing. And that is because the relay is no longer functional enough to supply the needed to start it.

Remove the compressor and plug a new one in its place. If the compressor kicks into action and runs smoothly, you know the relay is faulty. Otherwise, check for dirt on the condenser coils and compressor.

Dirt can cause an overload of heat and cause the compressor to stop running. Intermittently, you will hear the clicking noise as the compressor attempts to run. Even if it runs, it may do so only in short intervals before clicking off.

Therefore, clean the condenser coils and compressor. Ensure the condenser fan is working while the compressor is running. That will reduce the heat at the back of the refrigerator. If there is debris around the coils and compressor, remove it and clean the area. Make sure there is enough space for better air circulation around the coils and compressor.

Refrigerator Not Working in Cold Garage – Quick Fix

Get a garage refrigerator kit and install it close to the thermostat. The kit will warm the area around the thermostat and get it to work to turn the refrigerator on when it needs to cool.

You see, the thermostat is usually in the refrigerator if your unit has both a freezer and a refrigerator. So, when the room is considerably cold, the thermostat senses the temperature and assumes the refrigerator does not need to cool. Therefore, it does not turn on the cooling system.

But the kit will get it up and running so that the refrigerator can start working. Lowering the set temperature may help, but only temporarily because the food may freeze with time.

Refrigerator Not Working on Generator – Quick Fix

The generator’s power output may be lower than the refrigerator needs to come on. Check the label inside the refrigerator, where you have the model number for the amperage and voltage. Then, check the amperage and voltage the generator can deliver. Remember to factor in other electrical appliances that you want to connect to the generator along with the refrigerator.

Typically, a top-freezer refrigerator with an ice machine needs a voltage output of about 120V and an amperage of 6.5 at 60Hertz. A typical generator receptacle is likely to deliver up to 120V and an amperage of 20 at 60Hertz. That is enough to power the refrigerator, but if you add other appliances, you will find that the refrigerator does not have enough power getting to it.

Therefore, ensure you have the correct generator type to power your specific refrigerator model. Otherwise, purchase or new one or power through some other means.

My Refrigerator Light Is Not Working – Solutions

If you find that the light in your refrigerator is not working, check the following:

  • Power supply
  • Light bulb
  • Light socket
  • Light switch

These parts are usually the origin of a faulty refrigerator light, as this article explains in detail.

Refrigerator Not Working in Trailer – Solved

Here are things to check if the refrigerator in your trailer stops working:

1. Power Supply

Most RV refrigerators run on both gas and electricity. A few runs on only gas and others run on batteries. If your refrigerator runs on both, check to see it has enough power supply to get it up and running. 

To check the gas, inspect the gas valve to be sure it is open. Ensure there is enough gas in the tank before checking the valve for excess flow. The pressure regulator should be in good working condition, and the propane detector should be on.

First, ensure the refrigerator is plugged into a power source to check for an electrical fault. Then, check for any flashing lights that may indicate fault or error. You may want to turn the refrigerator off, reset the breakers, and turn it on again. That may reset the unit.

2. Leakage

If the refrigerator is leaking ammonia, it will stop working. A strong ammonia smell and yellow residue on the refrigerator coils alert you to a leak. If you notice any of these, disconnect the refrigerator and open doors and windows for proper ventilation. Then, get a professional to find the leak and fix it. But be aware that such leaks tend to have only one solution: a refrigerator replacement.

3. Sediment Buildup

Ammonia sediment may build up and obstruct the cooling system. This happens if your refrigerator is old or has been in storage for a long time. The ammonia turns to liquid, enters the cooling unit, and obstructs it in such a situation. The evidence is a lack of cooling and eventual damage.

There is not much to do to save the refrigerator if there is ammonia sediment. You may try to fix it, but it usually does not solve the problem. You may have to invest in a new refrigerator.

4. Cooling Unit

It is doubtful that the cooling unit will freeze unless you take the trailer to a freezing area. That is because keeping the refrigerator in a relatively warm place and using it will prevent freezing. However, if the cooling unit freezes, use a bulb with high wattage or a heater to thaw it. Then, make arrangements to keep the unit from freezing again.

5. Burner

Ensure the burner is working and the flame is a solid blue color. If you take the trailer to the high ground, the oxygen supply will drop and prevent the burner from efficiently working. Therefore, switch the refrigerator to AC power in such a situation to keep the refrigerator working.

It is crucial to park your trailer on even and flat ground. Parking the trailer on an incline, no matter how small, may cause the ammonia to stop circulating and pool in the evaporator. Eventually, the refrigerator will stop cooling or working.

Note: Always park your trailer with the side containing the refrigerator sitting in the shade. Hot weather messes with the functionality of any type of refrigerator, which may affect whether or not it works.

Refrigerator Stops Working Then Starts Again – How to Fix

Check the following and fix them if your refrigerator regularly stops and starts:

1. Circuit Breaker

If your refrigerator keeps going off and coming back on, the circuit breaker may be tripping off. Typically, most homes install 20-ampere circuits to power refrigerators. But if yours is connected to the regular circuit, you may find it tripping too often. Consider replacing the fuses in the circuit box to fix the issue. If you are not sure how to do it, hire an electrician for the job.

2. Power Outlet

Connect a smaller appliance to the source that powers the refrigerator. If it comes on, it means the outlet is still working, and there is uninterrupted power. Otherwise, consider replacing the outlet. Be sure to hire an electrician for the job unless you have the skills to replace it yourself.

While checking the wall outlet, examine the refrigerator’s power cord. Any signs of fraying or damage will interrupt the power flow from the outlet to the refrigerator, stopping the unit from working. If damaged, replace the power cord.

If the circuit breaker is not the problem, the power outlet may be faulty. The refrigerator won’t run smoothly if it stops delivering enough voltage or has an internal wiring fault. Also, if the outlet has come loose, the refrigerator will stop working.

3. Temperature Control Thermostat

Incorrectly adjusting the thermostat will turn the compressor off and stop the refrigerator from working. So, take a look at the setting; you or someone else may have accidentally nudged the dial. Move the dial to a higher number; the higher the number, the colder the refrigerator. And that should turn the compressor back on.

If that does not work, test the functionality of the thermostat. Turn it to the highest point, usually 1, and wait for it to make an audible clicking sound. If it does not, run a continuity test on it. Replace the thermostat if you find no continuity.

4. Condenser Coils

It is crucial to keep the condenser coils clean; the recommendation is to clean them once or twice a year. Dusty coils overload the compressor with heat, causing it to turn off and on in short intervals. Therefore, use a cloth to wipe off the dust and other debris if you can reach the coils. Otherwise, use a vacuum cleaner or a small brush to clean them. Also, keep the area around the coils, fan, and compressor as clean as possible.

Refrigerator Water Valve Not Working – What to Do

Check the inlet valve for a mechanical or electrical failure. To check it for a mechanical failure, turn off the main water supply, and pull the water line out of the water inlet valve. Channel the dispensing end of the water line into a container and turn the water back on. If the water flow is strong, the inlet valve is the problem, and you should replace it. But if the flow is weak, the problem is from the primary water source.

Pull the water line out of the valve to check the inlet valve for an electrical failure. Next, separate the wires from the two terminals on the solenoid coils. Take a multimeter and set it to the lowest Ohms point of resistance setting. Ensure you correctly calibrate the multimeter.

Place each of the meter’s probes on the solenoid terminals. There is no continuity in the valve if there is an infinite reading, where the reading does not change. You should replace the water inlet valve.

To replace the water inlet valve, take the following steps:

Step 1

Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and turn off the shut-off valve. Remove food items that could easily spoil and store them in another refrigerator or cooler.

Step 2

Move the refrigerator to create enough space for you to reach the bottom back. Disconnect the water line from the inlet valve and set it on a towel to catch dripping water. Next, unmount the screws holding the back cover in place and remove the cover. Also, unmount the single screw holding the valve’s mounting bracket in place. Set both the screws and the cover in a safe place.

Step 3

Find the locking tab on the valve and press it to release the wire connector. Disconnect the connector from the inlet valve and pull out the C-clip on the water line’s connection. Now, completely disconnect the line from the valve.

Step 4

Insert the water line into the new water inlet valve’s fitting. Push it in until it moves no further, then fix the C-clip back in place. Reconnect the wire connectors and push the locking tab in until it locks.

Set the valve’s bracket so that its hole aligns with the one on the refrigerator’s frame. Insert the single screw to fix the bracket back on the frame. Properly position the back cover and mount the screws to secure it in place.

Step 5

Fix the water supply line into the valve and tape it in place with a bit of pipe thread tape. Turn the water supply back on and inspect the valve for leaks. Tighten the compression nut on the valve if there is a leak.

Otherwise, reconnect the refrigerator to electric power. Give a little time to cool before putting food items back inside it.

Water on Refrigerator Not Working – Solved

Check the following if the water dispenser is not working:

1. Water Filter

If your refrigerator uses a water filter, it may be old and in need of a replacement. Typically, a refrigerator water filter should be in use for only six months, less if you live in a dusty area or have impure water. Ensure you replace it with the correct filter for your refrigerator. Use the model number to make a purchase and follow the instructions in the user manual to replace the filter.

A clogged water filter will restrict the flow of water to the dispenser. In some cases, the flow will be slow and without any force. Other times, the water won’t come out at all.

2. Water Inlet Valve

Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and turn off the main water supply. Trace the water line that goes from the dispenser to the inlet valve to find the solenoid in charge of supplying water.

Test the solenoid’s terminals using a multimeter to check for continuity. If there is no continuity, you may have to replace the inlet valve. But before that, see if the water line has a debris screen. If it does and is obstructed, clean it to make room for unrestricted water flow to the dispenser.

Also, ensure the water pressure is sufficient to open and close the valve. Otherwise, it may seem as if the valve is faulty. Additionally, mineral deposits may clog the valve and reduce the force of water flowing through it. In this case, you have to replace the inlet valve. If the task seems a bit much, let a service technician do the job.

3. Micro Switch

You will find the switch behind the dispenser lever. Unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet and remove the control panel cover to test the switch. Using a multimeter, check to see if it has continuity. If you find no continuity, replace the switch. A faulty switch won’t send power through the inlet valve’s solenoid to activate a water flow.

4. Actuator

Remove the control panel cover after disconnecting the refrigerator from electric power. The actuator is the small component in the dispenser that you press to release water. So, press it and see if it pushes the switch. If it is, the problem does not lie with it. But if it is not, check the actuator’s pivot, the switch’s bracket, and the actuator’s bracket. Replace any faulty ones.

5. Dispenser Control Board

The control board may be malfunctioning, keeping the inlet valve from supplying water to the dispenser. Check the board if all other parts are working, yet the dispenser is not. But don’t be quick to replace it until you are sure; control boards hardly fail.

Fan on Refrigerator Not Working – Quick Fix

There are usually two fans in a refrigerator; the condenser fan and the evaporator fan. Find the condenser fan at the bottom back of the refrigerator. Clean the blades and ensure they turn well.

If they don’t, it may have something to do with a faulty motor. Check the continuity of the motor using a multimeter, and replace it if there is none.

Next, check the evaporator fan. You will find it behind the rear panel inside the freezer section. Carefully remove the panel because the evaporator fan is attached to it. Disconnect the wire harness and remove the fan. Turn the blades to see if they spin freely. If they do, the fan may have other issues. But if they don’t turn well, run a continuity test on the motor windings. Replace the motor if there is no continuity.

Ice Maker in Refrigerator Not Working – Quick Fix

Check the water filter to ensure it is properly fixed. It must be the correct type for your refrigerator model. Always buy one using the refrigerator’s model number so that you will get the right type. Make sure there is no damage to the head and it is clean. Otherwise, it may restrict the water flow to the ice maker.

Then, check the water pressure. It won’t open the valve enough to allow water into the ice mold if it is low. A clogged water filter can reduce the pressure, so replacing the filter may fix the pressure issue if there is one.

Additionally, check the temperature setting. The water in the ice mold won’t freeze if the temperature is not low enough. Always set it at 0 degrees Fahrenheit unless you have other reasons to set it higher.

Top of Refrigerator Not Working – Quick Fix

Ensure the air vents are open and nothing is blocking the flow of cold air around the refrigerator. Keep the refrigerator three-quarter full to make for better air circulation.

Also, a freon leak causes the top part of a refrigerator to stop cooling. You will know this if there is an odd chemical smell around the unit. To confirm it, check the evaporator coils. If there is heavy frosting on one section, you have a freon leak. Have a certified technician verify it and recommend a permanent fix.

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