Do Fridges Start and Stop

Updated on April 14, 2022

When a refrigerator is in normal operation, it will start and stop as needed to maintain a set temperature.

There are a few exceptions: when it is first plugged in after a long time, it may take several hours (or even days) to achieve the desired temperature, and when it is filled with room temperature food, it will run continuously for a long time.


Refrigerators, like air conditioners, do not run continuously; doing so not only wastes electricity but also freezes food that does not need to be frozen. Instead, refrigerators have at least one thermostat that runs the fridge until a preset temperature is achieved, then turns it off until the temperature rises again.

This is a regular aspect of the refrigerator’s operation and should not be a reason for concern. A refrigerator that consistently runs, on the other hand, is a clue that something is awry.

Defrost Cycle

Another typical feature is the defrost cycle, which is used by many freezers. As the freezer fills up, ice accumulates on the walls. This ice is interfering with the freezer’s functionality and must be removed.

To accomplish this, the freezer will turn off every now and again for just long enough to allow the ice to defrost. This is a natural aspect of your refrigerator’s operation, just like the thermostat.

Electric Problems

If you think your refrigerator is acting erratically, it could be due to electrical issues. Most refrigerators draw a lot of power, and if the line becomes overloaded, the circuit breaker may trip.

Loud Refrigerator

In general, your refrigerator’s operation should be near-silent. Close inspection is the only way to know if the refrigerator is alternately cooling and not cooling.

However, if your refrigerator makes a loud buzz or hum when chilling, it’s a symptom of a problem that needs to be fixed. Dirty condenser coils are the most prevalent problem and the easiest to remedy. These black metal coils on the back or bottom of the refrigerator aid in the dissipation of heat generated by the refrigerator’s contents.

They must be cleaned in order to perform properly. Simply unplug the refrigerator (the coils are plugged in and have an electric current) and vacuum them. Any coils that are difficult to reach can be cleaned with a brush purchased at any hardware shop. Because the coils may be hot, proceed with caution.

Step-By-Step Guide to Diagnose a Refrigerator that Constantly Cycles on And Off:

Clean the Condenser Coils: Cleaning the condenser coils can prevent the majority of service calls. To get to the coils, unsnap the grille at the bottom of your refrigerator. Clean the coils of any debris or dust that has clogged them. You can clean the coils with a coil cleaning brush and a vacuum.

Check the Outlet Voltage: A refrigerator should be powered by 120 volts. To check, take the refrigerator away from the wall and test the voltage with a multimeter.

A fully functioning outlet should read approximately 120 volts. If it’s less than that, you may be causing long-term harm to the refrigerator; to avoid further damage, have the outlet serviced.

Test the Condenser Fans: To avoid shock, disconnect the refrigerator before testing. Clean the fan blade of any dust and debris, then spin it. It should be able to move freely and smoothly. If not, you may need to get it repaired or replaced.

Test the Compressor Relay: If you have a solid-state relay, you’ll need to have it tested by a professional because it requires special equipment. You can pull a wire wound relay right off the compressor if you have one. Pull the connector away from the relay’s terminal with needle tip pliers.

Look for rust on the wire connector and compressor relay. Place the relay on a flat surface and use a multitester on the X1 or RX1 preset. Place one of the tester’s probes on the S terminal and the other on the M terminal. The tester should show a value of zero. When you switch the relay on, the tester should go from zero to infinity.

If the compressor relay passes the test, the fault isn’t with it. If it fails the test, you should contact us to have it looked at.

Test the Overload Protector: Set your multimeter to connection test or diode testing after removing both wires from the overload protector.

Connect one end to one overload protector terminal and the other end to the other overload protector terminal. If you can’t connect, there’s a problem with your overload protector.

Test the Compressor Motor:Using a multitester, check the compressor motor for continuity. It should be set to the X1 setting. Place one end on any terminal, then touch the other two terminals with the other end. It should show a value of zero.

Look for a zero reading by moving the initial end to each terminal. If the compressor motor fails any of the three tests, it should be examined by a specialist.

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