Whirlpool Refrigerator Starting [Issues, Solutions & Guide]

A Whirlpool refrigerator starting needs a specific amount of wattage. If the wattage and other requirements are not in place, the refrigerator may malfunction.

Whirlpool refrigerator starting

Whirlpool Refrigerator Starting Wattage

A Whirlpool refrigerator has a starting wattage of about 750, and more efficient models use 725 watts, and some go as low as 300 watts. The efficiency of the compressor and other motors is vital in how much starting wattage the refrigerator needs per time. These numbers can fluctuate depending on the model, refrigerator content load, the current supplied, wire resistance, and the refrigerator model. 

Double door refrigerators need more wattage to start because of the size and power consumption. You will need a generator with a wattage between 1000 and 2000 to start and run the refrigerator; it usually needs lower wattage to run than it does to start because the motors pull more power during start-up. In such a case, the refrigerator will need about 1500 watts to start.

How to Start a Whirlpool Refrigerator

Before you connect the refrigerator to electric power, clean every compartment with warm soapy water and a soft cloth. Also, clean the shelves, racks, and bins. And if there is an ice maker, ensure you give it a thorough cleaning, along with the ice bucket. Afterward, connect it to electric power and allow it to run. The refrigerator should automatically run once you connect it.

The temperature display should show if the refrigerator has a digital display for the temperature settings. If it has analog controls, follow the instructions in the user manual to adjust the setting to an appropriate point. The same applies to a digital control; it must be set at 37 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Fahrenheit for the refrigerator and freezer, respectively. 

For analog controls, set the dial at mid-point for both sections. However, Whirlpool typically sets the temperature at a default setting, which is the recommended point. Therefore, the refrigerator can run and cool at this setting even if you do not adjust it further. 

Ensure you turn on the cooling function; Whirlpool refrigerators are displayed on demo mode in stores, and the cooling function is usually off. Consult the user manual for specific instructions to exit the demo mode and turn on the cooling function for the refrigerator.

If your refrigerator has a water dispenser and ice maker, it must be connected to a water line. The water line, in turn, must be connected to the main cold water supply for the house. If you are yet to make this connection, it is crucial to do so before starting the refrigerator. This guide explains the steps to install a water line for your new refrigerator. Also, install the ice maker and ensure there is a proper water connection before starting the unit.

Whirlpool Refrigerator Stopped Working and Started Again – Fixed

There may be a problem with the breaker or thermostat for the refrigerator. Other issues include a damaged power cord, dirty condenser coils, and frost on the evaporator ice. It will take some troubleshooting steps to find the source of the problem and fix it.

1. Check the Breaker

The refrigerator should be on a 20-ampere circuit to ensure it does not have interrupted power. So, locate the breaker and rest it; turn it off, wait about a minute, and power the breaker again. Wait for the refrigerator to run and monitor its performance. If it runs steadily, the problem is solved. However, if it persists, the breaker may be unsuitable for the refrigerator. 

If the house is a modern one, the breaker may not be the issue. But if the house is old, the refrigerator may be running on a breaker with insufficient power to carry it. The overload may frequently be tripping the refrigerator. You will need to hire an electrician to check the wiring and breaker to determine whether or not the fuse should be replaced.

2. Check the Power Cord

If resetting the breaker or replacing the fuse does not fix the problem, check the refrigerator’s power cord. It may be loosely connected to the wall outlet or is damaged. Pull it out, inspect it for signs of damage, and reconnect it if there is none. The source of the problem may not be from the cord, but if it is damaged, consider replacing it.

Replacing a damaged refrigerator power cord is crucial because it can pose a fire hazard. Contact Whirlpool Service Center to report the issue and request service or a replacement part for your specific model. Otherwise, check the wall outlet as it may have stopped providing sufficient voltage to keep the refrigerator stable. You may require assistance from an electrician or an appliance technician to perform this part of the task.

3. Check the Temperature Setting

High-temperature settings cause the refrigerator’s cooling system to stop and start in short intervals. The compressor and fans run for a short period, go off, and resume operations because the temperature quickly rises. 

Ensure the temperature setting is low enough so that the cooling system can operate for some time before the refrigerator cycles off. Adjusting the temperature may be a straightforward solution, and if it fixes the problem, you do not need further troubleshooting steps. Otherwise, checking other possible causes is crucial.

4. Check the Evaporator Coils

A significant amount of ice on the evaporator coils restricts the flow of cold air and triggers the refrigerator to stop and start. Inspect the coils behind the rear panel inside the freezer section for ice; use a hairdryer to melt the ice if you want a quick solution. Otherwise, disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and leave it off until the ice melts.

Troubleshoot the components of the defrost system if your refrigerator has an automatic defrost system. The defrost timer is the most likely to be defective because it advances the system in and out of the cycles. So, ice on the coils may have to do with the timer. But check the defrost heater and thermostat if you find that the timer is working well. Also, defrost control board or the main control board may be faulty.

5. Check the Condenser Coils

The condenser coils are typically exposed because of their roles of condensing the refrigerant into gas and dissipating the heat from the system. However, their exposure also means they quickly get dirty, and dirt insulates the coils to prevent the efficient dissipation of heat. Therefore, cleaning them once or twice a year is crucial.

Turn off the refrigerator and move it to access the coils. They may be at the bottom back or under the refrigerator. If they are underneath, remove the front base grille to reach them. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the dust and dirt on the coils, ensuring they are clean. This encourages air circulation, so the refrigerator does not overheat and cause the compressor to start and stop.

6. Check the Main Control Board

The control board governs the refrigerator’s functions, including the defrost and cooling cycles. If the appliance stops and starts too frequently, the control board may be damaged. It is important to test the relays on the board and check for signs of arcing. If there is arcing or burns, replace the board. The same applies if the relays are defective.

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Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Start – Solved

The first thing to check is the cold control if your Whirlpool refrigerator will not start. The cold control in a refrigerator is a switch controlled by the temperature and provides power or voltage to the cooling system. Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and open the refrigerator door to find the cold control switch. It is usually on the control panel in the refrigerator section, behind the adjustment knob.

Unmount the component from the housing and get a multimeter to test it for continuity. Set the multimeter to R x 1 and turn the temperature thermostat to the warmest setting. Set the multimeter’s testers on the terminals of the temperature control and check for an infinity reading. 

Turn the cold control to a colder setting while the probes are still connected to the terminals, and check the reading on the meter. If it changes to 0 from infinity, the component has continuity. But replace the temperature control if it fails to show infinity on a warm setting or 0 on a cold setting.

Overload Device

If the cold control is not defective and the refrigerator still will not start, check the overload device. The device comprises the capacitor and relay and provides the power needed to run the compressor. It also protects the compressor from an overload of voltage to prevent overheating or permanent damage.

You must disconnect the refrigerator from electricity before checking the device. Remove the rear access panel to reach the overload device at the bottom back, where the compressor is. Remove the device and discharge the capacitor if it applies. Get a multimeter and set it to R x 1 before testing it. Place the multimeter’s probes on the device’s terminals and check the readings.

The correct reading may be indicated on the capacitor or in the user manual, so check to determine when you have the correct value. If the value is correct, it means the device is not defective, and the problem may be from the compressor. It means you need a qualified technician for the live compressor test. However, if the reading is not the same as the value on the capacitor or user manual, replace the overload device.

Electronic Control Board

Remove the control board from inside the refrigerator after disconnecting the unit from electric power. The control board should be within the control housing on the side or top of the section. Check for arcing or other forms of damage on the board once you remove it. If the board is damaged or has burnt connections, replace it.

The refrigerator may need immediate servicing, especially if none of the above solutions works. Contact the Whirlpool Center to request service and replacement parts or hire an independent technician for further assistance.

Whirlpool Refrigerator Start Relay Test

Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power and move it to create space at the back. Reach the compressor and detach the relay from it; it is usually mounted on one side. Use needle-nosed pliers to remove any wire connector on the relay and lay it aside. Examine the relay for any signs of damage and if you find any, replace the relay.

Next, check the relay model you have. A refrigerator’s electric system that controls the cooling system differs from one unit to another depending on the voltage supply and frequency of operation of the compressor. You will need a multimeter to test the relay, no matter the type or model. Set the probes of the multimeter on terminals one and two and check for continuity. If there is none, replace the start relay. 

But you can go a step further and place the relay in a vertical position; the coil must face upward. Place the probes on terminals one and three and check for continuity. Replace the relay if you find no continuity. Another way to check it is to turn the coil downward and test for continuity between these terminals one and three. Replace the relay if there is no continuity.

Some relays are wired differently, so the testing method may slightly differ. If you have an electromechanical relay PW, EG, or F, set the relay in a vertical position with the coil facing downward, and place the probes of the multimeter on terminals ten and eleven to check for continuity. Replace the relay if it registers no continuity. Repeat the test with the coil facing upward and replace the relay if there is no continuity.

Note: A Whirlpool refrigerator comes with a tech sheet with values for running continuity or resistance tests. You can also check the body of the relay for the correct value for continuity. If the resultant readings on the multimeter do not correspond to the values on the relay or tech sheet, it means the relay is defective and needs a replacement.

Replacing the Start Relay on a Whirlpool Refrigerator

If you are ready to replace the start relay, ensure the refrigerator is still disconnected from electric power. Wait for a little while for the compressor to cool before touching it to remove the relay; it may be hot if the unit has been operating for several hours. Pull the relay from the compressor’s side and throw it out. 

While removing it, note the orientation of the wires so that you can correctly install the new relay. Next, connect the wires to the new relay; it should always be in the two pins above and the thermal protector in the pin under the other pins. Secure the relay in place on the compressor and reposition the protective cover back in place over the compressor if you remove any earlier. 

Reconnect the refrigerator to electric power and test the new relay. If you are unsure of replacing the relay yourself, although it is a simple task, it is best to hire professional help for the job. An appliance technician can also check the condition of the compressor before determining if the relay can solve the refrigerator issues.

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