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Whirlpool Fridge Won’t Turn On/Turn Off

Whirlpool is one of America’s most reliable electronic brands. Whirlpool fridges are durable, come with a huge capacity, and have the best climate control of any other brand. However, they are not perfect and can have problems after years of usage.

If your Whirlpool fridge is not turning on, check the power source first. Ensure the fridge is properly plugged in, and the outlet is functioning by testing it with another appliance. Sometimes, the issue could be as simple as a tripped circuit breaker or a blown fuse in your home’s electrical panel. Resetting the breaker or replacing the fuse might solve the problem.

A second reason might be related to the refrigerator’s thermostat. If the thermostat is defective or improperly set, it might prevent the fridge from turning on. To check this, adjust the thermostat to a colder setting and listen for the motor to start. If there’s no response, the thermostat might need to be replaced. This can be a more complex fix and might require technical expertise or professional help.

Whirlpool Fridge Won’t Turn On/Turn Off

In this article, you’ll learn how to spot the main issues in your Whirlpool fridge and how to fix them. We’ll also tell you which tools you’ll need and what steps to take. 

Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Turn On

Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Turn On


Before doing any major repair on your fridge, make sure you have checked the following: 

  • Check your condenser foils and clean them if they are dirty. 
  • Check if your door seal is loose. 
  • Make sure that you have the correct temperature setting. 
  • Check the cords for a possible power failure. 

If you have followed these steps and your Whirlpool fridge won’t turn on, then the problem might be the overload or start relay. 

The overload acts as a sensor for the compressor’s motor, and it protects the compressor from power changes. If the overload is failing, then your fridge won’t work properly, and you’ll need to replace the overload to fix it. 

How to Fix

To perform this repair, you will need the following: 

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  • ¼” nut driver
  • Flathead screwdriver

Fixing an overload that is not working is much more difficult than replacing one, so we recommend you buy a new overload instead of trying to fix a broken one. 

Follow these steps to replace your Whirlpool fridge overload: 

  1. Unplug the fridge.
  2. The overload mechanism is in the back, so move the fridge to gain access to it. 
  3. In the lower part, you’ll find the cover. Remove the screws, and you’ll gain access to the mechanism.
  4. Remove the overload from the compressor (it is the small grey and black part next to the compressor).
  5. Unplug the wires that connect the overload to the compressor. 
  6. Replace the overload with a new one.
  7. Put everything back in place before plugging your fridge in again.

If you need a more visual guide, then we recommend this video:

Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor Won’t Turn On

Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor Won’t Turn On


If your compressor is not working, then there are a couple of possible causes. It could either be your overload or your electric control board.

The most probable option is overload if you don’t have one of the newer models. To check if that is the case, you’ll need your multimeter. We recommend the AstroAI Digital Multimeter.

Follow the steps in the previous section, but instead of replacing the overload, do the following: 

  1. Disconnect the fridge. 
  2. Move the fridge forwards to gain access to the back.
  3. Open the cover by removing the screws.
  4. You’ll see the compressor (it is usually black) and the overload (it is attached to it and is usually grey and black). 
  5. Unplug the wires connected to the overload and use your multimeter to check if there is any reading.
  6. If you do not have a reading of 120 volts coming into the compressor, then the problem is the overload, and you’ll need to replace it.

For a more visual guide, you can watch the video in the previous section. 

If the problem is not the overload, then you might have problems with your electric control board. You will need a flathead screwdriver for the next steps. 

How to Fix 

  1. Always disconnect your fridge before performing any repair task.
  2. Open the fridge and remove the light shield on top.
  3. You will find two slots on the back of the light mechanism. Remove the lightbulbs.
  4. Use your flathead screwdriver to remove the control panel.
  5. Inside the control panel, you will see the electronic control board. Remove it carefully from the mechanism and replace it with a new one.
  6. Put everything back before plugging your fridge again. 

If you require a more visual guide of the procedure, you can watch this video:

Note: Electric control boards are not cheap. Therefore, make sure to check on other possible problems before replacing one. 

Whirlpool Refrigerator Keeps Turning On and Off

Whirlpool Refrigerator Keeps Turning On and Off


Many Whirlpool fridges have a high voltage board that regulates the amount of power used by the fridge. If the high voltage board is failing, it could lead to the fridge turning on and off repeatedly. 

To reboot the high voltage board, you will only need a screwdriver. 

How to Fix

  1. Unplug your fridge before performing this task.
  2. Move it so you can access the back. 
  3. Remove the back cover (be careful with the waterline). 
  4. You will be able to see the high voltage board. Remove the plastic protection to access the board.
  5. Unplug the wires connected to it.
  6. Remove the board from the fridge.
  7. Check if there is any visual damage on the board. If not, then you can put it back.
  8. Put the board back into the fridge. Be careful because the board is delicate.
  9. Once back, the board will reboot itself.  
  10. To finish this process, you will need to plug the fridge back in and program the machine. 

To see the process in a more visual way and learn how to program back your fridge, you can watch this video:

Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Stay On

Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Stay On


If your Whirlpool refrigerator won’t stay on, there could be a problem with the thermostat. However, most problems with the thermostat do not require hours of repair unless the thermostat is broken. 

To check on the thermostat, open your fridge and use your knuckles to knock firmly next to the thermostat. It should go back to normal unless it is broken. If the thermostat is broken, you will have to replace it. 

You can see this video to see if your thermostat is the problem:

How to Fix

Now that you know that your thermostat is the problem, you should follow these steps to replace it:

  1. Unplug the refrigerator.
  2. Open the refrigerator and remove the control panel mechanism on top.
  3. Once done, you should remove the wires from the thermostat.
  4. Release the sensing bulb (it is protected by a small foam). 
  5. Now you can remove the broken thermostat.
  6. Replace it with the new one and put the sensing bulb back in its place.
  7. Put the control panel mechanism back in the refrigerator.
  8. Put everything in place and plug the unit in again.

If you need a more visual guide, you can watch this video:

Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Turn Off

Whirlpool Refrigerator Won’t Turn Off


If your Whirlpool refrigerator seems to run forever, then you should check if your condenser coils are dirty. When the coils are dirty, it makes the refrigerator run constantly to maintain the same amount of coolness inside the unit. 

How to Fix 

For this, you will only need to clean your refrigerator coils. You must do this every once in a while to ensure that the problem won’t repeat itself. Dirty coils are the number one problem when it comes to Whirlpool refrigerators not running properly or running constantly. 

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You can use a condenser coil brush like the Holikme Dryer Vent Cleaner Kit. Use it to rub against the coils and remove any dust and grime. 

If you need a visual guide on how to perform this procedure, you can watch this video:

Final Thoughts

Whirlpool refrigerators are reliable and durable, but you may run into problems with the fridge not turning on or off. 

The fridge may not turn on because of dirty condenser coils, power failures, incorrect temperature settings, problems with the door seal, or a faulty overload. If it won’t turn off, you should check the voltage board, thermostat, and condenser coils. 

You can avoid many problems with routine cleaning of the coils and check your unit for small problems before you have to replace a part. Also, remember to switch off the fridge before you do any maintenance or repairs. 

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ReadyToDIY is the owner of this article. This post was published on November 28, 2020.

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