The Refrigerator Keeps Running – 6 Best Causes & Solutions!

If a refrigerator does not switch itself off and continues to cool down, this can have various causes. Sensitive food is quickly damaged, and the electricity bill gets more significant at the end of the month. In our Home Tip, we show what you can do about the continuous operation. 

The refrigerator keeps running does not switch off – A refrigerator runs day and night, 365 days a year.

However, this does not apply to the compressor, the so-called compressor. It only starts when it is too warm in the refrigerator, and it has to cool down.

You can hear that the compressor works on the back of the fridge and compresses the refrigerant steam by a soft humming sound. Usually, the noise is not always present.

But sometimes, the appliance vibrates continuously, and the refrigerator does not switch off. What is behind the continuous hum, and how do you remedy it?

 

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The refrigerator keeps running and does not switch off: Causes and solutions in summary explained

The refrigerator keeps running does not switch off
The refrigerator keeps running does not switch off / Image by Rolf Hassel from Pixabay

  1. The correct position of the refrigerator can gain a lot. Ensure that it is getting placed in a relatively cold room where it is not exposed to the sun. The back of the refrigerator should not be flush with the wall so that the air can circulate freely. Once a year, you should remove dust from the cooling fins on the back of the refrigerator – this will also increase its performance.
  2. Depending on the time of year, your appliance will have to provide different amounts of power to keep food cold. If it is continuously in operation, the refrigerator may be getting set incorrectly. How to find the optimal setting for your refrigerator is getting explained in this home tip.
  3. If a layer of ice has formed in the refrigerator, the cooling elements will lose power and operate for longer. The older your refrigerator is, the more often this problem will occur. In this circumstance, you will need to defrost your refrigerator. You will also find tips on this in a separate article.
  4. If the refrigerator is in a good position, freshly defrosted and still running all the time, this could be because the door no longer closes properly. It can be getting checked quickly: Take a flashlight, turn it on, put it in your refrigerator, and turn off the light in the room. If light shines through the seals, they are leaking. It may be because ice or dirt has settled on the door. Then clean the seals thoroughly and rub them with talcum powder to increase their elasticity. If the seal is already clearly brittle, you should get a replacement at the hardware store.
  5. If there is nothing wrong with the door, there is probably a mechanical defect. A common weak point is a thermostat, which measures the temperature in the refrigerator. If there is a defect here, you should get a suitable spare part and install it.
  6. The compressor could also be defective, or the coolant could have leaked. However, these are more complicated damages that not everyone can repair themselves. In this case, you should contact a specialist. If the refrigerator’s warranty has not expired, you should contact the manufacturer’s customer service directly.

 

The refrigerator is in the wrong place

The refrigerator is in the wrong place
The Refrigerator Keeps Running – The refrigerator is in the wrong place / Image by Alexas_Fotos from Pixabay

Sometimes the refrigerator is placed in a place that is too warm, like near a heater, oven, or in a sunny spot.

Then your refrigerator has no rest and has much more to do than usual to keep the temperature inside low.

The right place for your refrigerator is a place that is as cool as possible. Check that your refrigerator is in the correct position and change its location if necessary.

 

The refrigerator needs air

The refrigerator needs air
The Refrigerator Keeps Running – The refrigerator needs air / Image by Daniel Albany from Pixabay

Leave sufficient distance between the appliance and the wall so that the air circulation is not impaired. Experts recommend a length of at least ten centimeters.

If warm air accumulates there, the appliance will have to work more, and the refrigerator will not switch off.

Also, clean the cooling fins, the compressor, and the entire back of the fridge regularly. Dust from the air, cobwebs, and other impurities accumulate there.

 

Set the temperature in the refrigerator correctly

Set the temperature in the refrigerator correctly
The Refrigerator Keeps Running – Set the temperature in the refrigerator correctly / Image by Mark Tseng from Pixabay

Your refrigerator needs different temperatures throughout the seasons. Set it colder in the summer months when the outside temperatures are hot and humid than in winter when it is cooler indoors anyway.

The highest number on the controller stands for the coldest setting. The temperature controller number is the best set between three and five in summer and one to three in winter.

If you put the temperature too low, your refrigerator will also work more to ensure cooler inside temperatures. The appliance is in a kind of continuous use, and your refrigerator will not switch off.

 

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Refrigerator is iced

Refrigerator is iced
The Refrigerator Keeps Running – Refrigerator is iced / Image by Pezibear from Pixabay

The more your refrigerator is getting iced up, the more it works – the refrigerator starts more often and runs longer to reach the set temperature and cool your food sufficiently.

Ice on the back wall usually forms when your refrigerator is an older model, and the usual age wear has set in. Sometimes the refrigerator seal is porous, or you have opened the refrigerator door too often during the day.

Defrost the refrigerator more often and free it from ice. Then the compressor is also less in use, and the fridge switches off in between. Even if you put too hot food in it or the drain at the back of the appliance is blocked, the device will work more.

 

Buying a refrigerator guide: What you need to know?

Buying a refrigerator guide: What you need to know?
The Refrigerator Keeps Running – Buying a refrigerator guide: What you need to know? / Image by Nina Garman from Pixabay

Check thermostat and refrigerator seal. A faulty thermostat is sometimes the reason if the refrigerator is running all the time. The controller measures the temperature inside the fridge, compares it with the set temperature, and sounds an alarm if it is too warm.

Then the compressor starts, and the appliance cools down. If the thermostat is getting broken, it no longer regulates the temperature, and you have to replace it.

Also, test if the refrigerator seal is brittle or defective and the refrigerator door does not close properly. If this happens, more warm air will flow into the interior, the appliance will run at full speed, and the refrigerator will not switch off. You can also replace a seal yourself.

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Conclusion:

A broken compressor or defective refrigeration lines should never be repaired by yourself – these damages are a case for a specialist.

 

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