Refrigerator Starts And Stops Frequently

Your fridge starts and stops frequently, and you don’t know why?

This can be really frustrating, especially if you’re not sure how to fix the problem. You might not know what’s wrong with your fridge or where to start troubleshooting.

In this blog post, we’ll outline some of the most common reasons your refrigerator turns on and off frequently, as well as how to troubleshoot and fix them. We hope this information helps you get your fridge back up and running smoothly.

Tools and Supplies You’ll Need

Are you sick of your fridge shutting off every five minutes? Well, here’s how to fix it! You’ll need a few tools and supplies, but nothing too fancy. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll have your fridge back up and running in no time.

  • Rubber gloves
  • Protective glasses
  • Voltmeter
  • Screwdriver set
  • Nut driver set
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Wrench
  • A flashlight
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Cleaning brush
  • Paper towels 
  • Replacement parts as needed 

Causes & Solution To Refrigerator Starts And Stops Frequently Problem:

A refrigerator that starts and stops frequently may be in need of repair. Common causes for this problem include an airflow blockage, a faulty seal or gasket, or a problem with the compressor. In some cases, starting and stopping can also be caused by a simple power surge.

Refrigerators use a lot of energy, so even a small power fluctuation can cause them to turn on and off. If your refrigerator starts and stops frequently, you may try DIY hacks to get it fixed or have it checked by a qualified repair person. Otherwise, you run the risk of damaging the compressor or other vital components.

1. Check the Power Supply

Check the Power Supply

Before checking anything else, it’s important to make sure that the fridge is properly plugged in and receiving power. If it’s not, then none of the other troubleshooting steps will matter.

  • Check the power supply. Make sure the fridge is plugged into a working outlet, and that the outlet is receiving power.
  • If the outlet appears to be working properly, check the power cord for damage. If the cord is frayed or damaged in any way, it will need to be replaced.
  • If the power supply appears to be working properly, check for other possible causes of your fridge’s erratic behaviour.

2. Check the Outlet Voltage

Check the Outlet Voltage

Most refrigerators require between 115 and 127 volts to run properly. If the voltage drops below this range, the refrigerator will start and stop repeatedly to maintain a consistent temperature.

  • Use a voltmeter to measure the voltage at the outlet.
  • If the reading is below 115 volts, contact an electrician to help resolve the issue.
  • In some cases, a drop in outlet voltage can be caused by a loose wire inside the fridge.
  • Unplug the fridge and carefully inspect all the wires for any signs of damage.
  • If you find a loose or damaged wire, be sure to contact an appliance repair technician for help.

3. Clean the Condenser Coils

Clean the Condenser coils

The coils are located on the back of the fridge, and they help to release heat from the fridge so that it can stay cool. Over time, dirt and dust can build up on the coils, making them less effective at releasing heat. As a result, the fridge has to work harder to stay cool, which can cause it to start and stop frequently.

  • Unplug your fridge and find the coils.
  • Use a brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner to remove any dirt and dust from the coils.
  • Once you’ve finished vacuuming, wipe down the coils with a damp cloth.
  • Plug your fridge back in.

By taking this simple step, you can help keep your fridge running efficiently for years to come.

4. Check the Thermostat Setting on the Refrigerator

Check the Thermostat Setting on the Refrigerator

If the setting of the thermostat is too low, the refrigerator will run constantly in an effort to maintain the temperature. Conversely, if the setting is too high, the unit will cycle on and off too frequently.

  • Locate the thermostat. This is usually located near the back of the fridge. If you’re not sure where to find the thermostat, consult your owner’s manual.
  • Check the current setting. Most refrigerators have a range of 1-5, with 5 being the coldest setting.
  • Adjust the setting as necessary. If the fridge is too cold, set it to a higher number. If it’s too warm, set it to a lower number. Else, set the thermostat to the middle of its range.
  • Give the fridge some time to stabilize. After making your adjustments, allow the fridge an hour or two to reach its new temperature.
  • Check the fridge again and make further adjustments as needed.

If you’ve followed these steps and your fridge is still cycling on and off excessively, there may be another issue at play. Consult your owner’s manual or contact a professional for help.

5. Check the Condenser Fan

Check the Condenser Fan

The condenser fan helps to circulate cool air throughout the fridge, and if it is not working properly, the fridge will have to work harder to maintain a consistent temperature.

  • Check to see if the condenser fan is free of any obstructions. If it is blocked by dust or debris, it won’t be able to spin properly, causing the fridge to work harder and use more energy.
  • Check for loose wires. If the condenser fan is not getting enough power, it will also start and stop frequently.
  • Listen for any strange noises coming from the fan. If you hear a loud grinding noise, it could be an indication that the bearings are failing.
  • If you are unsure of how to fix the problem yourself, it is best to call a qualified technician.

6. Test the Compressor Relay

Test the Compressor Relay

If your refrigerator turns on and off frequently, it may be an issue with the compressor relay. The compressor relay is responsible for supplying power to the compressor, and if it is damaged or defective, the compressor will not be able to run properly.

  • Locate the compressor relay on the back of the fridge. It will be a small black box with two wires coming out of it.
  • Use a multimeter to test the relay for continuity.
  • If there is no continuity, the relay will need to be replaced.

7. Check the Overload Protector

Check the Overload Protector

The overload protector is responsible for turning the compressor on and off, and it can become faulty over time. If the overload protector is not working properly, it will cause the compressor to cycle too frequently, which can lead to premature wear and tear. Thankfully, this is a relatively easy problem to fix.

  • Check the overload protector located on the back of the fridge.
  • If it is tripped, reset it, and see if that fixes the issue.
  • If not, you may need to call a professional for further assistance.

8. Check the Compressor Motor

Check the Compressor Motor

Another reason for fridge turning on and off frequently is a faulty compressor motor. The compressor is responsible for circulating coolant through the fridge, so if it isn’t working properly, the fridge won’t stay cold.

  • To check the compressor motor, first make sure that the fridge is plugged in and that the circuit breaker hasn’t been tripped.
  • Then open the fridge and listen for the compressor to start running.
  • If you don’t hear anything, the compressor may be frozen or there may be an issue with the electrical supply.
  • If you do hear the compressor running, please call a qualified technician to service your fridge.
  • Trying to fix it yourself could void your warranty and cause further damage.

9. Check if Defrost Timer is Faulty

Check Faulty Defrost Timer

The defrost timer controls the amount of time that the refrigerator spends in the defrost cycle. If the timer is not working properly, it can cause the refrigerator to start and stop frequently. In some cases, it may even prevent the refrigerator from entering the defrost cycle at all. This can lead to a build-up of ice on the coils, which can eventually cause the refrigerator to stop working altogether.

  • To replace a faulty defrost timer, first locate the timer. It is usually located behind the control panel or near the compressor.
  • Once you have found it, turn off the power to the refrigerator and unplug it from the wall outlet.
  • Next, remove the screws that hold the timer in place and carefully pull it out.
  • Be sure to note which wires are connected to which terminals, as you will need to reconnect them to the new timer.
  • Now, simply install the new timer in the same location and reattach the wires.
  • Make sure that all the connections are tight and secure before turning the power back on.
  • If your refrigerator has an automatic defrost system, you will also need to reset the system. Consult your owner’s manual for instructions on how to do this.

With a little bit of time and effort, you can easily replace a faulty defrost timer yourself. However, if you are unsure of how to do it or would prefer to have a professional do it for you, always call a qualified repair technician.

10. Check if ADC Board is Broken

Check if ADC Board is Broken

A refrigerator is a complex appliance, and when one component malfunctions, it can cause the whole fridge to stop working correctly. In some cases, a broken ADC board can result in the refrigerator turning on and off constantly. The ADC, or automatic defrost control, board regulates the fridge’s defrost cycle. When it breaks, the fridge may run for a while, then shut off for a period of time before turning back on again.

  • Unplug the fridge from the power outlet and remove all food from the fridge.
  • Remove the screws that hold the panel in place and carefully remove the panel to access the ADC board.
  • Locate the broken ADC board and remove it by disconnecting the wires and unscrewing it from the fridge.
  • Install the new ADC board by screwing it into place and reconnecting the wires.
  • Replace the panel and screw it back into place.
  • Plug the fridge back in and return all food to the fridge.

If your fridge is still starting and stopping after replacing the ADC board, there may be another issue causing the problem. Contact a qualified repair person to diagnose and fix the issue.

If you’re not comfortable working with electrical components, it’s best to contact a qualified repair person to diagnose the problem and make the necessary repairs.

Trying to fix a complex appliance like a refrigerator can be dangerous, so it’s always best to leave it to the professionals. In most cases, replacing the ADC board will fix the problem. However, if the fridge is old or has other issues, it may be time for a new one.


A refrigerator that starts and stops frequently can be a very annoying problem. Not only does it make a lot of noise, but it can also cause your food to spoil more quickly.

As we have seen in this article, there are various reasons why your fridge might start and stop frequently.  The most common cause is simply a dirty condenser coil. Other potential causes include a faulty evaporator fan motor, or a problem with the defrost timer.

If your fridge is starting and stopping frequently, it’s important to figure out the root cause of the problem so that you can fix it and prevent future issues. Thanks for reading!

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. How often should a fridge start and stop?

It is normal for a fridge to start and stop 4 to 5 times a day to maintain a consistent temperature. If your fridge seems to be starting and stopping more frequently than usual, or if it is having difficulty maintaining a consistent temperature, it may be time to have it serviced by a qualified technician.

2. How many hours a day does a fridge run?

A fridge typically runs for about 8 hours a day. However, this can vary depending on the size and model of the fridge. Energy-efficient models may run for less time, while larger or older models may need to run for longer periods of time. If your fridge is running more or less than usual, it could be an indication that there is a problem with the appliance. If you are concerned, it is best to consult a qualified technician for diagnosis and repair.

3. What are the signs of a bad refrigerator compressor?

here are several signs that can indicate a bad refrigerator compressor, such as the fridge not cooling properly, strange noises coming from the fridge, or the fridge turning on and off more frequently than usual. If you notice any of these issues, it’s best to contact a professional for further diagnosis. Additionally, a bad compressor may also cause the refrigerator to use more energy than normal, so keep an eye on your energy bills as well.

4. What brand of refrigerator has the least problems?

Some brands that are typically rated highly by users include Samsung, LG, and Whirlpool. These brands tend to offer a wide variety of features and options, making them a good choice for many people. Additionally, these brands typically offer good customer service, which can be helpful if you have any problems with your refrigerator.

5. What refrigerators have the most problems?

Side-by-side refrigerators are one type that often has issues, particularly with the ice maker. French door refrigerators are another type that can be prone to problems, especially with the water dispenser. Bottom freezer refrigerators can also have their share of issues, particularly with the freezer door.

6. Why does my fridge keep turning on and off?

There are a few possible reasons why your fridge might be turning on and off repeatedly. One possibility is that the temperature inside the fridge is getting too warm, causing the fridge to turn on in order to cool things down again. Another possibility is that there’s something wrong with the fridge itself, such as a problem with the compressor or thermostat. If your fridge is turning on and off frequently, it’s best to have a technician take a look at it to diagnose the problem.

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