How to Repair a Refrigerator that Will not Run Correctly – Expert Guide


Is your refrigerator not functioning properly? Expert refrigerator repair and troubleshooting guide will show you the steps on how to repair a refrigerator that will not run correctly like low cooling, noises from the refrigerator and the unwelcome freezing of food items. While refrigerators are generally operating regularly, they may break down. If they do, the food they contain could spoil quickly. Although troubleshooting issues with refrigerators typically requires a repair expert, you can do some basic repair and troubleshooting yourself. In the end, you’ll be able to reduce the time, money, and frustration of waiting for assistance. DIY refrigerator repairs include looking at the controls, power condenser coils, controls, and other parts that are not part of your refrigerator’s sealed, hermetic system.

How to repair a refrigerator that will not run correctly

This guide will help you solve a fridge issue that has gone from a frosty appearance. This step-by-step guide will teach you to repair a refrigerator that will not run correctly and perhaps repair it yourself. If the repair is required, an expert, you’ll be able to demonstrate the issue and save time and money.

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A malfunctioning thermostat

The thermostat, as mentioned earlier, is an electronic switch. Its function is to transmit a start signal to the capacitor that starts to trigger the compressor, and the refrigeration cycle begins. If your thermostat is not in service, there isn’t a start signal, and therefore your refrigerator won’t run. To determine if your thermostat is in good condition, use a multimeter. Put the multimeter’s wires to the thermostat’s wire. If it is hot, it should show a no reading. When it’s cold, it will give an infinity read when it is working. If it’s not giving this reading, it indicates that the thermostat is not working properly. Therefore, you must contact a technical repair service to fix the thermostat.

The refrigerator lights remain on

The lights will be on whenever you open the refrigerator doors, So what’s wrong when the lights are in place even after the doors are shut? You need to touch the lights right after opening the door to determine if the lights remain on. When the lights glow warm, the light remains active regardless of whether the doors are shut. Try to manually switch off the lights by pushing the switch to turn off for this issue. If the button isn’t working, you will need to change the switch on the light.

Ice buildup in the freezer

The freezer functions as an ice-making unit that is part of the refrigerator. However, if there is a buildup of ice within the wall that makes ice in the freezer, it’s not a good idea for refrigerators. The freezer is prone to ice buildup because of the increase in humidity levels of the freezer. The humidity rises inside that freezer when it is left open for a long time, or the air is somehow moving into the freezer. Remove the refrigerator’s plug, unlock the doors, and then use a hairdryer to melt the ice to resolve this issue. Or keep the door open when there isn’t a refrigeration cycle in operation; thus, ice melts on its own.

Doors on refrigerators aren’t sealing correctly

Suppose the refrigerator’s doors aren’t closed or are not sealed properly. In that case, the refrigerator will not maintain the cool temperature within the compartments. Because cold air cannot circulate inside the refrigerator, it will escape from the space. There could be an issue with the hinge, or the gasket for the door is not closing properly. To find out the root of the issue, look for the hinge and whether the gasket on the door’s rubber needs to be replaced. This is an easy task, and you do not require a repair expert to tackle this. Repairing damaged gaskets on the doors of your refrigerator will fix the refrigerator that isn’t functioning properly.

Electronic control board

The electronic power control board monitors temperature and regulates the compressor, fans, and the defrost system. It’s not uncommon to find a defective electronic control board. To determine whether the control board’s electronic circuit is defective or not, disconnect the refrigerator, then remove the control panel. Then check for broken connections, burned foil, or the board is arcing. If you have found the refrigerator’s control board damaged, replace it. The task might not be straightforward, so make sure you consult an experienced technician in refrigerator repair to repair the control board. Repairing a broken control board for the refrigerator will fix the problem of a refrigerator not being able to function.

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Start capacitor

Repair a refrigerator that does not operate. Are you aware of how you can tell when your refrigeration cycle begins? The refrigeration cycle begins by plugging in the refrigerator. A signal by the thermostat activates the capacitor, and your start capacitor causes the compressor to initiate the refrigeration process. If there’s a problem with the capacitor, your refrigerator will not begin. To find out what’s wrong, use a multimeter to examine the capacitor by connecting the two terminals. If the needle isn’t moving, it is a sign that your capacitor is damaged, and you must swap it for a fresh one. Ask a specialist for your refrigerator for assistance if required.

Problem with defrosting in the refrigerator

What exactly is frosting or defrosting? When you are in the refrigeration cycle, the humid air inside the refrigerator is frozen and stuck to the evaporator coil in the appearance of frost. The refrigerator features defrosting cycles that melt the frost inside the evaporating coils. If frost is present in large quantities, it can stop air circulation, and the refrigerator won’t operate. Problems with defrost means that the coils’ frost won’t melt. The cause of the defrosting issue is usually a defective timer for defrosting. The defrost timer switches the refrigerator’s settings between defrost and cooling mode. If it’s malfunctioning, the refrigerator ceases to operate in cooling mode, and the frost can spread more. If the heater is defective, the heater will not cause the melting of frost. To correct the problem, seek a repair professional and then replace the damaged part.

The refrigerator is constantly running

A refrigerator that cycles or runs all the time is a common issue. Since the refrigerator uses lots of energy, it could increase your power bill. There are two major causes for why your refrigerator has to run too frequently. The temperature has been set very low, which causes the refrigerator to struggle to reach or maintain the temperature set. For this issue, you can raise the temperature of your refrigerator a little higher to see if that solves the problem. Another cause could be that the condenser coils have become dirty. The dirt on the coil won’t allow for the transfer of heat from the coil, which could disrupt the refrigeration process. Remove your refrigerator from the outlet and scrub the condenser coils (in most models, the condenser coils are on the lower part inside the freezer).

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The refrigerator is loud

Your refrigerator may be a bit noisy because of the defective motor in the fan. In the refrigerator, there’s a condenser and evaporator fan. When the condenser fans cool, the condenser coil and the evaporator fan push air over the evaporator’s coils. Both fans operate simultaneously; however, if there is an issue with the fan’s motor or the fan itself, your refrigerator may start making loud sounds. If your refrigerator starts to sound louder, you should unplug it first, then examine the fan to determine if they are defective and replace the defective blade or the fan’s motor if required.

There isn’t enough power for the refrigerator

A refrigerator is a complicated electronic device that, to function properly, requires an adequate amount of electricity or power. If there is low voltage in the current supply that the refrigerator can not be able to turn on or turns on but is not cooling well. Verify the current flowing through the outlet using a voltmeter or multimeter. The typical household refrigerator’s voltage is 120 volts. Therefore, ensure that you have enough current flowing. Check the breakers or a GFCI outlet to determine whether they’ve been tripped.

The refrigerator is warm

The purpose of a refrigerator is to keep its interior cool by transferring heat outside. Suppose your refrigerator is hot and does not cool the inside of the refrigerator. In that case, it could be due to defective condenser coils or the condenser fan. Clean the dust from the condenser coil, and then inspect the motor for the condenser fan blades. Replace the condenser fan if it’s damaged or its motor is not functioning properly. This isn’t an easy task, so seek assistance from a repair technician should you require it.

Vents are shut off

Most of the time, your refrigerator doesn’t cool due to the obstruction of vents. The vents in your refrigerator move cold air around the food compartment in the refrigerator. Suppose something like an ice cream box, frozen vegetables, or leftover bread pieces stop the vents. In that case, it blocks cold air circulation in the refrigerator. This will affect the food inside, and the refrigerator won’t function properly. Make sure that the refrigerator’s vents are clear of any blockage. Clearing the vents will help a refrigerator to be able to run.

Dirty condenser coils

Condenser coils’ function in refrigerators is to expel heat by using the fan, which is used to continuously cool your refrigerator till the inside temperature is at the same level as the set temperature. Sometimes, your refrigerator’s inability to run may be due to dirt accumulation within the condenser units in your refrigerator. The condenser’s coils get blocked due to dirt, and it cannot allow heat transfer through the coils. In the end, there is no coolant in the fridge. The refrigerator must be cleaned of coils and eliminate all dust using a vacuum cleaner. It is suggested to clean the condenser coils at least once every 6 months. Click here to learn how to quiet a noisy refrigerator compressor


It is essential to have an ice-cold refrigerator to preserve food flavor and ensure food security. By attempting a few troubleshooting steps, it is possible to repair a refrigerator that will not run correctly, such as thinning out the items to ensure airflow is not blocked, checking the refrigerator’s power supply, and examining the temperature settings and cooling functions. You may also be able to clean condenser coils or repair door gaskets independently. You should likely let mechanical part replacements go to a professional service technician for your appliance. We hope now you understand how to repair a refrigerator that will not run correctly.

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