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What to Do If Your Refrigerator Starts and Stops Frequently

Open Refrigerator Filled With Fresh Fruits And Vegetable

If you notice that your refrigerator starts and stops frequently, there may be a number of causes. While sometimes you may need professional help, you may be able to fix it yourself. Depending on your technical skills, you may be able to do some DIY troubleshooting to identify the cause of the problem and fix it. Here’s a step-by-step guide to diagnose a refrigerator that constantly cycles on and off:

  1. Clean the Condenser Coils: Most service calls can be prevented by cleaning the condenser coils. Unsnap the grille at the bottom of your refrigerator to access the coils. Remove any dirt and dust that’s clogging the coils. You can use a coil cleaning brush and vacuum.
  2. Check the Outlet Voltage: A refrigerator should run at 120 voltage. To check, pull the refrigerator away from the wall and use a multimeter to measure the voltage. A properly working outlet should give a reading of around 120 volts. If it’s lower than that, you could be damaging the refrigerator over time; to avoid further damage, you’ll need to have the outlet serviced.
  3. Test the Condenser Fans: Before testing, unplug the refrigerator to avoid shock. Clean the fan of any dust and debris, then spin the fan blade. It should move smoothly and freely. If not, then you may need a repair or replacement.
  4. Test the Compressor Relay: If you have a solid-state relay, you’ll need a professional to test it since it requires specific equipment for testing. If you have a wire wound relay, you can pull it straight off the compressor. Then, use a pair of needle nose pliers to pull the connector off the relay’s terminal. Check the wire connector and compressor relay for signs of corrosion. Set a multitester on the X1 or RX1 setting and set the relay on a flat surface. Insert one probe of the tester on the S terminal and one in the M terminal. The tester should read zero. Turn the relay over and the tester should change from zero to infinity. If the compressor relay passes the test, then it’s not the problem. If it fails the test, then you should call on us to take a look.
  5. Test the Overload Protector: Remove both wires from the overload protector, then set your multimeter on connectivity test or diode testing. Connect one end to one terminal of the overload protector and the other end to the other terminal of the overload protector. If there is no connectivity, then there’s an issue with your overload protector.
  6. Test the Compressor Motor: Test the compressor motor for continuity using a multitester. Set it to the X1 setting. Place one end on any terminal and then touch the other each to each of the other two terminals. It should display a reading of zero. Move the first end to each terminal and look for a zero reading. If the compressor motor doesn’t pass all three tests, it needs a professional look.

If your refrigerator is still starting and stopping frequently after cleaning, or if it failed any of the above tests, reach out to North Town Home Services in Chicago right away by calling (847) 999-4600. We’ll have a professional take a look and provide an effective solution. Schedule an appointment online now.

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