Why My Refrigerator Does Not Work


Refrigerators use a complex system of mechanical parts and chemicals to keep food at a constant temperature, allowing food to stay fresh for much longer than it could at room temperature. Because this system is so involved, many parts of the refrigeration unit can malfunction, causing the refrigerator to stop working.

Compressor Not Running

  • The compressor is the part of the refrigerator that reduces the refrigerant chemical into a cooled liquid from the warm gas it is as it pushes through the heat exchange pipes. This compression is necessary to the recycling, and, once completed, the cooled chemical is reintroduced to the refrigeration channels that cool the box. If the compressor is not functioning, first ensure the refrigerator is not accidentally unplugged. Also examine the refrigerator control knob. This knob must be turned to a cool temperature for the compressor to work. If the problem persists, the refrigerator may have an automatic defrosting cycle. This cycle ensures the refrigerator does not freeze over, preventing adequate operation. Give the refrigerator a few hours to see if the compressor starts. If the problem persists, contact a service center for repair.


  • Although technological progress has reduced much of the noise made by the refrigerator, disconcerting noises still occasionally come from the appliance. Buzzing noises are the result of the water valve opening on an ice maker while the pulsating sound is the normal operation of the fan or compressor. Loud popping, creaking or snapping may indicate the expansion or contraction of the inside walls. If your refrigerator makes this noise, a heat source might have penetrated the interior of the unit. Ensure the doors are sealed tightly and that the refrigerator is powered on. Popping may also be a side effect of the defrost cycle.

Not Cool

  • The whole job of a refrigerator is to cool the products within. If your refrigerator does not cool the interior, first check that power is going to the unit. Also listen for the pulsating noise of the compressor and check the temperature control knob inside the refrigerator. Additionally, inspect the door seal to ensure the door is closing tightly. The door must form an airtight seal to be effective, so broken or worn seals must be replaced.


  • Condensation forming on the inside of the refrigerator can be caused by high indoor humidity. Still, condensation can occur as the result of improperly sealing doors. Examine the door seals to ensure an airtight seal is achieved.

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