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Refrigerator Won’t Turn On

The refrigerator is one of the most used appliances in our homes. It is used daily and is crucial to keeping our food at safe temperatures. What does it mean when the refrigerator won’t turn on?

If your refrigerator won’t turn on, inspect the power cord and electrical outlet for any signs of damage. Reset the GCFI if there was a recent power outage. Make sure the external coils are clean and have enough airflow space to disperse heat coming from the compressor.

Refrigerator in the kitchen

This article will discuss several reasons why your refrigerator is not working correctly and how to troubleshoot the issue. Some suggestions are easy to try but others will require an experienced electrician to service the refrigerator.

Refrigerator Not Turning On After Power Outage

Man checking the refrigerator

Did the power recently go out in your home? The sudden surge in electricity can cause our appliances to stop working. Here are some reasons why.

If your refrigerator is not turning on after a power outage, check the electrical outlet to see if the GFCI needs to be reset. Unplug the refrigerator for 5 minutes and then plug it back in. Plug the refrigerator into a different outlet.

After a recent power outage, it is always a good idea to inspect the main circuit breaker of the house. Large appliances are typically installed on their own electrical circuit to prevent appliances from experiencing electrical damage when the power goes out.

When there is a power outage, the circuit breaker will shut off to protect the refrigerator from the surge of electricity. This surge can cause electrical damage. Inspect the refrigerator for signs of electrical damage such as burn marks around the power outlet or even on the power cord itself.

The circuit breaker may need to be turned back on in order to restore power to the refrigerator. If this does not resolve the issue, call a local electrician to inspect the circuit breaker.

Refrigerator Not Turning On After Defrost/Cleaning

Refrigerator in the kitchen

Refrigerators nowadays come with an automatic defrost/cleaning cycle. We no longer have to worry about pulling all the food out and waiting hours for the ice to melt. While this feature is great, it doesn’t always work perfectly.

If your refrigerator is not turning on after defrosting/cleaning, the defrost timer may be defective. The defrost timer controls the amount of time between defrost cycles. If the timer does not signal for the defrost cycle to end, the refrigerator will not turn back on.

Here are some other reasons why the refrigerator is not turning on after defrosting/cleaning.

Control Board

The electronic control board sends voltage to the compressor to keep it running. It also monitors the temperature inside the refrigerator and freezer, controlling the defrost cycle.

You can test the control board by running a forced defrost cycle. Consult your user’s manual or tech sheet for instructions on running this diagnostic test.


Refrigerators need sufficient airflow inside and outside. Airflow is crucial to evenly disperse cold air throughout the inside compartment and also to help dissipate the heat coming off of the coils outside the refrigerator.

If the heat builds up within the refrigerator and around the coils, the compressor will overheat and the refrigerator will shut off. To ensure the best airflow, there should be at least 3 inches of air space at the back of the fridge and at least one inch from the top.


Use an ohmmeter to test the electrical outlet. If the outlet is receiving enough power, the ohmmeter will either light up or the indicator needle will move. If nothing happens, then the outlet is the problem, not the refrigerator.

Different Outlet

If you do not have an ohmmeter, plug the refrigerator into another outlet to see the refrigerator turns on. If the refrigerator turns on, then the problem is with the outlet and you need to call an electrician to inspect the outlet immediately.

Refrigerator Not Turning On Automatically

Woman checking the refrigerator

Our refrigerators do not need to be turned on. They automatically have a run and shut off cycle. If your refrigerator is not turning back on, here are some possible reasons why.

If the refrigerator is not turning on automatically, make sure the refrigerator’s power cord is tightly inserted into the electrical outlet. Make sure the circuit breaker is not tripped. If you live in an older home, make sure there is not a blown fuse in the fuse box.

Refrigerators consist of many components that all need to work together. The thermostat, the thermistor, fans, compressor, timers, just to name a few. If any of these components fail, this can cause the refrigerator to stop working.

Overload Relay

The overload relay is connected on the side of the compressor and starts the winding in the circuit until the compressor is running at full speed. If there are any signs of arcing or overheating, the overload relay needs to be replaced immediately.

Defective Cold Control

The cold control switch supplies power to the compressor and the fan circuit. The switch is located in the fresh food section of the refrigerator and is attached to the temperature control knob.

If the switch does not work, the refrigerator will not turn on. You can use a multimeter tool to check the control for continuity. You can also remove the control switch and check for continuity between the terminals using the multimeter tool.

Exterior Coils

The exterior coils, depending on your refrigerator, are located either in the back of the refrigerator or on the bottom front panel. Either of these places is a prime location for collecting dust, dirt, and other debris.

The debris can easily build up on the coils, trapping heat inside, causing the refrigerator to overheat. Keeping the coils clean will prevent this from happening.

Copyright protected content owner: and was initially posted on March 8, 2022.

You can clean the coils with the brush attachment on a vacuum cleaner and then wipe the coils with a damp cloth.


Airflow has been mentioned before in this article but it bears repeating here too. We take for granted that our refrigerators are not the food version of Tetris.

It is easy to start stacking food inside the refrigerator, forgetting we need to leave some room for everything to breathe and for air to circulate.

If air cannot flow throughout the refrigerator, heat will build up inside the refrigerator and it will shut off. Make sure there is at least 3 inches of air space at the back of the fridge and at least one inch from the top.

Samsung Refrigerator Won’t Turn On

Man checking the refrigerator

Is your Samsung refrigerator not turning on? The solution could be easier than you think.

If your Samsung refrigerator won’t turn on, check the circuit breaker supplying power to the refrigerator. The refrigerator should be on its own designated breaker. Turn the breaker off and on to make sure power is restored.

When a circuit breaker trips, you usually hear a popping sound. Power has been cut off to any connected appliances but the breaker itself is not fully in the ‘Off’ position. Flip the breaker to the complete ‘Off’ position and then turn it on.

LG Refrigerator Won’t Turn On

Refrigerator in the kitchen

It can be frustrating when our refrigerator does not turn on. Before you go shopping for a new refrigerator, though, try this solution first.

If your LG refrigerator won’t turn on make sure the outlet the refrigerator is connected to is receiving sufficient power to run the refrigerator. Plug the refrigerator into another outlet. Plug a lamp or other small appliance into the same outlet as the refrigerator to see if it turns on.

You can also use a multimeter tool to test the continuity of the outlet. If the outlet is not receiving enough power to run the refrigerator, contact a local electrician to inspect the outlet further and determine if there is a more serious electrical issue.

Frigidaire Refrigerator Won’t Turn On

Woman checking the refrigerator

Do you have a Frigidaire refrigerator that won’t turn on? The reason may have to do with the temperature inside the refrigerator.

If your Frigidaire refrigerator won’t turn on, it could be due to a faulty temperature thermostat. The thermostat monitors the temperature inside the refrigerator. If the thermostat is faulty, it will not detect the rising temperature and will not signal for the compressor to turn on.

Depending on the model of Frigidaire refrigerator you have, you may be able to purchase a replacement thermostat and replace it yourself.

Kitchenaid Refrigerator Won’t Turn On

Refrigerator in the kitchen

When you go to your refrigerator for a cold drink, you don’t want to open the door and feel warm air coming out. If your refrigerator is not turning on, the refrigerator may need coolant.

If your Kitchenaid refrigerator won’t turn on, the compressor may need to be replaced. The compressor moves refrigerant throughout the system, cooling the refrigerator down. If the compressor is faulty, the refrigerator will not turn on.

Copyright article owner is for this article. This post was first published on March 8, 2022.

Because the compressor contains refrigerant, it is best to call upon the professionals to replace the compressor. A qualified electrician can easily and safely remove and replace the faulty part.

Maytag Refrigerator Won’t Turn On

Refrigerator in the kitchen

Maytag refrigerators are known for being reliable appliances. If your refrigerator is not turning on, try this simple fix.

If your Maytag refrigerator won’t turn on, reset the refrigerator. You can reset the refrigerator by simultaneously pressing and holding the ‘Energy Save’ and ‘Lighting’ buttons together for 10 seconds.

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on March 8, 2022.

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