Refrigerator Keeps Turning Off – What’s Wrong?

As a homeowner, you may wonder why your refrigerator keeps turning off and how the problem can be fixed. Fortunately, we have done some research for you, and here is what we found.

The following are possible reasons why your refrigerator keeps turning off:

  • Faulty thermostat
  • Bad circuit board
  • Bad connection
  • Malfunctioning defrost timer
  • Faulty ADC board
  • Overheating
  • Dirty condenser coil
  • Defective power source
  • Blown fuse

This common refrigerator problem can be easy or challenging to fix, depending on the cause. Keep reading to get detailed information on how to repair your malfunctioning refrigerator.

A young woman checking information from smart fridge, Refrigerator Keeps Turning Off - What's Wrong?

Why Does My Refrigerator Keep Turning Off?

If you notice that your refrigerator is turning off, you should check the components of the appliance to know where the problem is coming from. One of the following could be the cause:

Faulty Thermostat

White dual thermostat for freezer and refrigerator

When the thermostat is faulty, the refrigerator tends to malfunction. This is because the thermostat controls the compressor to keep the temperature cold.

If the problem arises due to a faulty thermostat, you may notice that the refrigerator will not be cool, or the temperature will fluctuate.

Bad Circuit Board

This is also known as the control board. It acts as the brain of the refrigerator and controls the components. With a faulty circuit board, the fridge will have problems with cooling and defrosting.

Aside from that, the circuit board may have signs of burning, which can make the refrigerator go off.

Bad Connection

The temperature control ensures that the refrigerator stays cold. If there is a bad connection to the temperature control, the fridge may keep turning off.

The connection can be seen behind the dial, where you can change the temperature.

Malfunctioning Defrost Timer

Refrigerator freezer defrost timer

The defrost timer of a refrigerator is not meant to run all the time, but if your refrigerator keeps turning off, there is a possibility that your defrost timer is faulty.

To fix this, you can contact a professional to help you with the replacement depending on the model.

Faulty ADC Board

The ADC board is a small board controlling the defroster. When broken, it can make your fridge keep turning off. To know if the ADC board is damaged, unplug and plug at the back of your fridge.

If the problem stops for a while, then the ADC board has an issue.


The refrigerator is meant to keep things cold, but this cannot be achieved if the refrigerator's compressor is hot. When the compressor starts to overheat, it consumes more energy and poses a fire risk.

Overheating can cause a refrigerator to go off. Fortunately, almost all refrigerators are manufactured with built-in indicators to alert you when this issue arises.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Dirty coolant tubes and radiating fins at the back of a fridge

Always ensure that your condenser coils are clean, as most problems could be prevented by keeping them clean. If your refrigerator turns off, it could be going through an issue that makes it overheat.

This has to do with the condenser coil, which can be seen either at the back of your refrigerator or on the bottom at the back of the access panel. Over time, the condenser coils can start accumulating dust and debris, which can quickly lead to overheating.

Ensure the condenser coil is cleaned at least once a year.

You can do this by unplugging your fridge and performing light dusting on the condenser coil. This will remove any dust build-up and ensure that the coils can vent out heat to keep your fridge clean.

Defective Power Source

Your refrigerator can keep turning off if the electric circuit where the power comes from is faulty. There is not much you can do about this than to get it fixed.

Blown Fuse

Although this does not have much impact on your refrigerator, it may be one of the reasons why the appliance keeps turning off.

Make sure to check your fuse box if you notice anything; there is a possibility that your fuse has blown. This can occur when there are too many appliances running at the same time.

Should My Refrigerator Always Be Running?

Open refrigerator full of fuice and fresh vegetables in kitchen

No, the refrigerator does not have to run every time. You can run it for hours, but there should be a break. If your refrigerator keeps running constantly, it has a problem.

To stop it, you can check the condenser coil.

There is a possibility that the coil at the back of your appliance is dirty. The function of the condenser coil is to dispense heat from your refrigerator, and when there is too much dust, it will force the fridge to stay on for an extended period.

You can also check the defrost. This is to ensure your fridge stays frost-free. If there is a malfunction, it can make the defrost keep running all the time.

Another thing to check is the door gasket.

The gasket is a seal that helps keep cold air in the refrigerator and can also wear down. If it breaks enough to keep the fridge running all time, you will notice cold air coming out when the door is closed.

Does Switching A Refrigerator On And Off Damage It?

Person finger pressing an on off button on a fridge

Switching the fridge on and off may damage your fridge because of the thermal overload, which tends to break both the motor and the compressor.

This is because the compressor must maintain pressure consistently to keep the condenser coil from overheating or freezing. The pressures and temperatures are affected every time the refrigerator is plugged back in.

The motor needs to build pressure in the compressor to reach and maintain the right temperature. Therefore, it is recommended that you wait for 5-15 minutes before turning the fridge on. This will not damage the refrigerator.

Does My Refrigerator Have A Reset Button?

If your refrigerator is blinking or does not cool down, it needs to be reset. You can also fix a possible error code on the control panel by resetting your refrigerator.

When you start seeing an error code and are sure your refrigerator is in good condition, a reset can be done. You can also reset your refrigerator when it starts to beep but make sure the cause of the beeping noise is not a significant problem.

Unfortunately, not all refrigerators have a reset button except for some selected brands. If your refrigerator does not have a reset button, there are ways you can fix it.

How Do You Reset A Refrigerator?

To reset your refrigerator, here are the steps to follow:

  1. Unplug the fridge and wait for a few minutes: If your refrigerator is not cooling after the light goes off, you need to reset it. Do that by unplugging the fridge and waiting for at least 10 minutes.
  2. Plug the refrigerator back in: After allowing the fridge to rest, plug it back in and wait for it to power up. This might take a few seconds.
  3. Reset your refrigerator temperature setting: You need to reset the temperature setting of your fridge because it's just coming on. The controls may vary depending on the refrigerator's make and model.

If you are not sure of where the temperature of your fridge should be, you can refer back to the manual.

How Long Should A Refrigerator Last?

Most refrigerators can last for 10-15 years. However, the lifespan of a refrigerator depends on the model, so the age does not determine if you will need a new one.

But instead, use the working condition of your fridge. If your fridge is getting older, the components will start deteriorating. Also, there would be an excessive build-up of frost.

Your refrigerator can also lose cooling efficiency, causing utility bills to rise.

To Wrap Things Up

Young woman checking information from smart fridge

If you notice a refrigerator turning off, the problem could be from the thermostat, circuit board, fuse, ADC board, or condenser coil. It is essential to maintain a refrigerator as it keeps your home cool.

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