Can You Reset A Refrigerator By Unplugging It?

Refrigerators are essential for providing home cooks and professionals with reliable refrigeration to keep foods at optimal food-safe temperatures. If you own a refrigerator, you may wonder if you could reset it by unplugging the appliance? Or do all refrigerators have a reset button? We've researched these questions, and we have found substantial answers to share with you!

Generally, unplugging the refrigerator for 45 to 50 minutes will reset the refrigerators' settings. Moreover, the recommended reset method could vary based on the refrigerators' brand, make, and model. 

Are you wondering about the possible causes for why your refrigerator stopped working? Perhaps you are concerned that unplugging the refrigerator will damage the appliance? Or how long is it safe to leave a fridge unplugged? Please continue reading this article. We have well-researched answers to share with you!

Classic century inspired kitchen with white cupboards and cabinets and a marble countertop, Can You Reset A Refrigerator By Unplugging It?

Can you reset a refrigerator by unplugging it?

Yes, unplugging the refrigerator will reset the appliance, provided you leave the refrigerator unplugged and undisturbed for 45 to 50 minutes. When the refrigerator is unplugged, do not open the doors. Doing so will let the cold air escape and negatively affect the internal temperatures, which will expose the foods to warm air and cause spoilage much quicker.

Double-check your refrigerator for a reset button before you unplug it to reset. However, if your refrigerator has a reset button, you could press and hold the button to reset your appliance.

Read your owners' manual for brand and model-specific instructions for the best results before using any reset methods. Also, contact the manufacturers' customer service for further instructions when in doubt.

What causes a refrigerator to stop working?

Generally, a few issues will cause your refrigerator to stop cooling and freezing, and the most common possibilities are the following issues.

If the fridge is not running and the inside is still relatively cold. Please check that the appliance is plugged into the wall outlet and that the outlet is functional. Also, a blown fuse will cut power to the refrigerator, which could be why it stopped cooling. A power outage caused by a storm can shut the power off to the fridge, resulting in a reset.

If the refrigerator is too warm, check the temperature setting to see if it was accidentally changed. If the temperature is at the correct setting and the fridge is still too warm, you will notice that foods in the freezer show excessive freezer burn, and the freezer walls are caked with frost. Also, the refrigerator's food will be partially cool and spoil much quicker.

A freezer filled with ice

These issues often occur when something is wrong with the condenser coils, either damaged or dirty. Also, the evaporator fan motor could have malfunctioned and will require a complete replacement.

If the freezer feels warmer than the appliances' temperature displays states. Place a refrigerator thermometer in the freezer to monitor the temperature for added peace of mind. You could track the temperature differences and report those to the manufacturer for further assistance.

Suppose you are in the market for a new fridge? Always a good idea to do your own research and learn about all the options available. Read our post, "Best Refrigerator Brands On The Market."

Do refrigerators have a reset button?

Generally, most refrigerators on the marketplace do not have a reset button, but a few brands with select models do. Suppose you discover that your refrigerator does not have a reset button, use one of the following methods to reset your refrigerator.

The hard reset method

For the best results, use the hard reset method. Unplug the refrigerator and leave the appliance undisturbed for 45 to 50 minutes. Set the timer on your phone so you don't forget to plug it back into the wall outlet.

While the refrigerator is unplugged, do not open the doors. Doing so will let the cold air escape and negatively affect the internal temperatures. After forty-five minutes, plug the appliance in and ensure the power lights are illuminated.

The soft reset method

If your fridge doesn't require a hard reset, just a showroom reset. Unplug the appliance for five minutes, and then plug it back in. The refrigerator will be set to the showroom, a.k.a factory setting.

Can you damage a fridge by unplugging it?

Unplugging the refrigerator periodically to reset or move the fridge won't harm the appliance. However, if the refrigerator is unplugged and plugged back into the wall outlet often, it will cause damages to the compressor and motor of the fridge.

Because the compressor must maintain a consistent pressure to keep the condenser coils from freezing over or overheating. The pressures and temperatures are disrupted each time the fridge is plugged back in. Furthermore, the motor has to build pressure in the compressor to reach and maintain the correct temperatures.

Fluctuations in temperatures from unplugging and plugging back in will cause unnecessary stresses to the appliance. For the best results, only unplug the refrigerator when necessary, and follow the safety considerations listed below to minimize damages to your appliance.

Safety considerations

Unplugging your refrigerator isn't foolproof. The supply cord will be significantly damaged by misuse, and a damaged cord will cause the appliance to malfunction.

Please follow these guidelines to reduce the risk of fire and electrical damage that could cause personal injuries and property damages.

  • Do not use an uncertified outlet
  • NEVER unplug the refrigerator by tugging the cord
  • Always grasp the plug firmly and pull straight forward to unplug
  • If the electrical supply cord is damaged, a certified technician must replace the cord
  • NEVER plug in any cord with cracks or abrasion damages located lengthwise or at either the plug or connector end
  • When moving the refrigerator, be mindful to avoid rolling over the power cord

Are you interested in reading more about plugging and unplugging your refrigerator? Click here to read our post, "Is It Bad To Plug And Unplug Your Fridge?"

How long can you leave a refrigerator unplugged?

Detailed view of a refrigerator engine

The appliance manufacturer GE recommends that if you leave your refrigerator unused for less than a month, it is best to remove all perishable foods, clean the fridge, turn the ice maker and water supply off, and leave it plugged into the wall outlet.

Although when you are planning to leave the appliance unplugged for more than a month, it is wise to empty the refrigerator thoroughly, shut the ice maker and water supply off, and shut the circuit breaker to the refrigerator off for added safety.

Pro tip: Leave the doors open to promote airflow, diminishing potential mold and mildew growth.

Refrigerators are entirely safe to leave unplugged for long periods of time if stored in a climate-controlled space. Also, it is paramount to make sure the refrigerator is prepared correctly for storage unplugged.

Suppose you plan to leave the refrigerator unplugged for resetting purposes, or a storm has caused your local power to fail. Please consider the following before consuming any foods in an unplugged refrigerator.

Food safety considerations

According to the USDA, foods will keep inside an unplugged and cold refrigerator for up to four hours maximum. When in doubt, throw it out! Do not ever take a chance consuming foods that have sat in an unplugged fridge for more than four hours because maintaining proper food safety practices is the most important task for home cooks and professionals alike.

In closing

Classic century inspired kitchen with white cupboards and cabinets and a marble countertop

Refrigerators are an essential appliance in your kitchen to provide reliable refrigeration for yourself and your loved ones. We certainly hope this article has helped you gain clarity around the topic of refrigerators and how to reset them correctly. Please visit Kitchenseer.com soon for more informative and helpful content!

Learning more about your homes' appliances will assist in becoming a better-educated consumer. Please be sure to check out some of our other posts before you go to help further your knowledge regarding household appliances.

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