Modern fridges tend to come with all sorts of new, cool features intended to make them easier and more convenient to use. Of course, this is all dependent on whether the fridge is able to work properly. Being that modern fridges are so complex, there’s a lot that can potentially go wrong.
If you find that your fridge is completely unable to turn itself on, there are a few possible reasons why this might be happening. It could be a faulty start relay, the compressor, or one of the fridge’s other temperature control components. There’s also the possibility that it’s a power supply issue.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the problems that can prevent your fridge from turning on, and explaining how you can diagnose and fix these problems.
Start Relay Failed
The compressor in a fridge needs a little bit of help to get itself going, and that’s where the start relay comes in. This component provides the compressor with a little power boost when the fridge detects that the temperature is warm enough. If the start relay stops working, however, the compressor may be unable to start.
To test the start relay, use a multimeter to check the continuity of the relay’s terminal sockets. If it has no continuity, you’ll need to get a new relay. Another sign of a broken relay is if it has a burnt smell.
Compressor Is Broken
The compressor is basically the pump of your fridge’s cooling system. It’s responsible for moving the refrigerant throughout the system, and it also helps condense the refrigerant so that it’s able to actually extract heat from the air inside the fridge.
Compressors don’t tend to fail that often, so you should check the other components of your fridge first before inspecting the compressor. If you do suspect that the compressor is the cause of the problem, you can find out for sure by using a multimeter.
Put the probes of the multimeter against the compressor’s electrical pins, and if it shows that there’s an open circuit, it means the compressor needs to be replaced. You’ll need to hire a licensed repairman to replace the compressor, since replacing a compressor involves handling refrigerant, which is illegal if you don’t have a license.
Temperature Control Thermostat Failed
The temperature control thermostat is responsible for regulating the temperature inside the fridge. If the thermostat stops working, the fridge won’t know when to run.
The thermostat should have a temperature control dial; you can use this to test the thermostat by rotating the dial from its lowest temperature setting to its highest. If you hear a “click” while doing this, it means the thermostat is still working.
Connect with an Appliance Repair Tech
Click here to use the chatbox to speak with one of our technicians.
No in-home service calls. No appointments.
If you don’t hear a click, get out your trusty multimeter and check the thermostat for continuity. If it has no continuity, replace the thermostat.
Control Board Malfunctioned
Your contains a few control boards that control its various components. It’s not common for these control boards to fail, but it can happen sometimes. If you’ve tested every other likely component of your fridge and still haven’t found the source of the problem, it might be worth checking the control boards.
As is the case with all of your fridge’s electronic components, you can find out if your control boards are still working by using a multimeter to check for continuity.
Power Supply Issues
There’s also the possibility that nothing is wrong with your fridge at all and that the problem lies with your home’s power supply. It’s possible that your fridge has tripped a circuit breaker or blown a fuse (if you have an older home), or that it’s tripped a GFCI outlet.
Check your breaker box/fuse box if your fridge stops working, and ensure that your fridge is actually receiving power. If it isn’t, you likely have power supply issues that will need to be resolved before the fridge can work again.
Let’s take a moment now to answer some questions that people frequently have about using their fridges.
How Do I Reset My Bosch Fridge?
Sometimes, fridge problems are caused by just a simple electronics glitch. Unless you’re totally sure that it won’t help, it’s always a good idea to try resetting your fridge before attempting to fix it through other means. Resetting a fridge doesn’t take much time, so even if this doesn’t solve the problem, there’s no harm in just giving it a shot.
Some fridges (although not the majority of them) have a reset button that you can use, but in the more likely event that yours doesn’t, you can reset your fridge by simply unplugging it from the wall socket. To make sure it properly resets, you’ll want to leave it unplugged for at least five minutes to half an hour.
Don’t worry about moving your food to another fridge if you need to reset your main fridge; even if it’s unplugged, your fridge should be able to maintain its internal temperature for about four hours while unplugged, as long as you don’t open the door.
How Long Should a Fridge Last?
Fridges are generally pretty long-lasting appliances. At minimum, a fridge is usually good for about 10 years, with an average lifespan of about 14 years. If you take really good care of your fridge, however, you could potentially see it last as long as 18-20 years.
It’s worth mentioning that full-sized fridges tend to last longer than compact fridges. Compact fridges usually last for between 4-12 years and have an average lifespan of about 8 years.
When Is It Not Worth It to Fix a Broken Fridge?
If your fridge has been giving you a bit more trouble than usual lately, you might be debating whether you should have it fixed or just replace it with a new one. If you’re trying to make this decision, the two main things you should take into account are the age of the fridge and the cost of the repairs.
Generally, if your fridge is less than 5-7 years old, it’s probably going to be worth it to fix it instead of replacing it. That being said, if the cost of the repair is going to be more than half of the cost of just getting a new fridge, you should probably just get a new fridge.
Just for reference, a new fridge usually costs between $1,000-2,000 on average.
How Can You Tell If Your Fridge’s Door Seal Is Bad?
Having a bad door seal on your fridge or freezer door can be a more serious issue than you might think. A bad door seal will make it much harder for your fridge/freezer to keep itself cool. If the fridge is always warmer than it should be, the compressor will have to run a lot more frequently, which could lead to it wearing out.
A bad door seal can also allow excessive moisture to enter your freezer. If this moisture turns to frost and starts to build up, it can actually affect your freezer’s ability to run efficiently. Put simply, if one of your door seals is bad, you need to deal with it.
There are a couple of ways you can tell if your door seal is leaky. The first way is just to run your fingers around the edge of the door seal. If at any point you feel a cold breeze, it’s likely that you’ve found the leak.
You can also perform the paper test, which involves opening the fridge, putting a piece of paper in between the door and the fridge, closing the door, and trying to pull the paper out. If you can pull the paper out easily, it means the door seal is probably bad.
If your door seal isn’t working properly, it could be either that the seal is worn out and needs to be replaced, or that it’s just come unstuck from the door. If it’s the latter, you can fix the problem by just pushing the seal back into the groove it fits in.
What Happens If I Leave My Fridge Door Open By Accident?
If you accidentally leave your fridge door open for too long, probably the worst that’s going to happen is some of your food will spoil. There’s the chance that some moisture will start forming inside your fridge, and in very rare instances, your compressor might burn out if you leave your fridge open for a really long time.
However, if you’ve only left your fridge door open for an hour or two, it’s likely that pretty much nothing will happen to either your fridge or your food.