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Why Won’t My Refrigerator Turn On?

No home can really function without a refrigerator. It's not only a critical part of your kitchen, but it's also a critical part of a healthy and safe lifestyle. This means that when yours stops working, you really can't let the issue sit. This is especially true if your refrigerator just won't turn on at all — something that can be incredibly frustrating to try and troubleshoot.

While there are some easy user error reasons you can sift through to determine what exactly is going on with your refrigerator, anything that gets more complex — perhaps a problem with the electric inner workings of the refrigerator or something mechanically wrong — should be referred to a professional for proper diagnosis and repair.

Check the power supply

Start with the cord. Make sure the refrigerator is plugged in and the cord seems to be in good working order and undamaged. Next, check the power supply to the outlet and confirm there are no breakers flipped that could be cutting off the power. If you find this easily fixes your problem, then you should be good to go from there. But if you've confirmed this isn't the case, you'll need to do some more digging into potentially more complex, mechanical causes.

A faulty compressor

This component could be thought of as the heart of the refrigerator. It's the key to making sure the continuous refrigeration cycle functions properly and keeps the refrigerator cool. If the refrigerator appears to be not working, it's not cold and you've determined there's not a power supply issue, this is the next place to look. It's possible it needs cleaning and lubrication, or that it's damaged. Perhaps it was improperly installed in the refrigerator to begin with. If you want to look yourself, this device can be found at the bottom and back of the refrigerator. If you're not sure what you're looking for exactly, a professional can help.

Damaged start capacitor

Though it seems like a simple flip of a switch gets your refrigerator turned on and running, it's more complicated than that. When you hit the switch, the thermostat relays a message to something called the start capacitor, which triggers the compressor to turn on and kick off the refrigeration cycle. If the capacitor is faulty or failing completely, the message will never send, and nothing will tell the compressor to start the refrigeration cycle. This also means other parts of this chain reaction could be defective, if not the capacitor, including the thermostat and the switch. It's best to have a professional take a look.

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