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Why the refrigerator turns on and turns off after a few seconds: reasons and solutions

Everyone wants their favorite things to last as long as possible. But household appliances tend to break down and fail. This also applies to the refrigerators we use every day. A common situation is the sudden shutdown of the device a few seconds after it is turned on. If this happens systematically, then immediately start looking for the problem and find out how you can fix it..

The refrigerator turns on and off.

If the refrigerator systematically turns off after a few seconds of operation, then it is imperative to find ways to solve this problem until the device finally fails..

Features of self-shutdown of the refrigerator

Many people wonder why the refrigerator can turn off. Do not immediately panic and look for the causes of the breakdown. The fact is that such switching on and off is systemic, because the technique also needs to rest.

It all depends on the temperature inside the chamber and outside. Sharp changes in external and internal temperatures create additional stress on the parts of the device. Therefore, continuous work is contraindicated for it, otherwise it will overheat..

Breakdown of the refrigerator.

Continuous operation of the refrigerator can lead to permanent breakdown of equipment..

Description of problems and their characteristics

If you are faced with the fact that the device turns off immediately after turning on, this indicates its abnormal operation. There are several reasons for this “behavior” of the unit..

In addition to the main ones, there are indirect reasons for the breakdown of the refrigerator:

  • Faulty thermostat. The reason here may be not only its breakdown, but also in the wrong setting. The setpoint for the temperature inside the freezer may be too low for the system to reach..
  • The device quickly loses the set temperature. Check if there is a depressurization of the door, which contributes to the release of cold outside.
  • The compressor is overheating. In this case, the temperature regime is not maintained as it should..
  • The amount of refrigerant is insufficient for normal operation. Check the system for leaks. If they are found, then fill the device with freon, and eliminate the leaks..

Overheating of the refrigerator compressor.

Overheating of the compressor can be the main cause of failure..

Failures and surges in the power grid

Before looking for a breakdown in the device, check if you have voltage failures. This is done easily using an incandescent lamp. If it blinks, then the reason that the refrigerator often turns on and off is not a breakdown, but an unstable voltage.

In this case, all equipment is disconnected from the network in order to prevent its breakdown..

Those who have frequent voltage drops in the house should think about purchasing an electricity stabilizer, a surge protector, and fuses. It is advisable to install a transformer that optimizes the supply of electricity to the premises.

Refrigerator stabilizer.

So that the equipment does not fail due to voltage failures in the electrical network, it is worth purchasing a voltage stabilizer.

In older refrigerators, the compressor is controlled by a start-up relay. It regulates the on and off of the motor to avoid overheating. When the relay breaks down, the device starts to spontaneously turn on and then turn off.

Upon visual inspection of the parts, such a breakdown is immediately visible. It can be easily eliminated on its own, especially since this is a very common problem..

Control box problems

If you have a modern refrigerator at home, then check its electronic board (control unit). She is responsible for turning the refrigerator on and off. If it fails, the commands to stop and resume work are chaotic..

Refrigerator board.

The refrigerator control board is responsible for turning the device off and on.

Unfortunately, it is not possible to diagnose such a breakdown without specialized equipment. The unit can be repaired by reprogramming, or a complete replacement is required. Both can only be done in repair shops.

The compressor is out of order

If the previous two points are excluded, then it is worth checking the very “heart” of the device. The compressor, unfortunately, has a tendency to fail and it will be quite expensive to replace it. If you have an old device, then it will be more expedient to buy a new one, rather than purchase a compressor separately.

Refrigerator compressor.

Buying a new refrigerator will cost less than replacing a compressor.

The compressor is the main part of the refrigerator device. It is thanks to him that the circulation of freon is carried out. The refrigerator cannot work without it..

To identify a compressor malfunction, measure the resistance of its winding. If the measurements showed a normal value, then the cause of the breakdown must be looked for elsewhere..

Why the compressor can break:

  • Closing the turns of the winding.
  • Winding damage.
  • Motor seizure.

Compressor replacement.

It is impossible to repair the compressor, you can only replace it.

These reasons contribute to the load on the motor, which, in turn, leads to overheating. Therefore, the relay turns it off a few seconds after turning it on..

The compressor cannot be repaired – it is only possible to replace the part.

The performance of the start-up relay is broken

Physical wear and tear of this part becomes a frequent cause of its failure. This breakdown is easily removable, and the cost of such work does not hit the wallet..

Before replacing this part, you can try to fix it yourself. Check the core. Craftsmen recommend installing a regular ballpoint pen rod in place of a failed core.

Refrigerator start-up relay.

Refrigerator start-up relay repair.

Keep in mind that this method only works on older models of refrigerators. The new ones have a slightly different structure, having a pill-shaped solenoid.

If you do not want to risk it, then call the master at home. He must have some spare parts with him, so repairs and replacements are done at home..

How to diagnose the problem

The refrigerator is not designed to operate smoothly. Therefore, its shutdowns are not sudden, and only happen for a short period of time to give the compressor a rest. The difficulty lies precisely in determining whether the refrigerator is really faulty, or whether such shutdowns are considered the norm..

Shutting down the refrigerator.

When the refrigerator is turned off, the compressor rests.

Let’s try to use math to solve this problem. Let’s say the compressor can work for 2 minutes, and for 10 consecutive minutes it rests. Normal operation is assessed by a numerical value of the coefficient from 0.2 to 0.9. If we take our example, then the coefficient is 0.166, according to formula 2: (2 + 10).

How to identify a malfunction by sound

You can understand the cause of the breakdown by sound analysis. Listen to the device as it turns on and off. Was there a click before it disconnected? Another important point: the volume of the sound of the motor. If it “hums” louder than before, then there is clearly something wrong with it. It can be a relay or a compressor. A faulty electronic board is also a possible cause..

Sound analysis of the refrigerator.

The malfunction of the refrigerator can be determined independently using sound analysis.

How to fix the breakage:

  • If the compressor is burnt out, it must be replaced. It is important to select the model that meets the specifications for your freezer cabinet. Connect it correctly. If you do not know how to do this, look at the guides, or call a specialist.
  • The same manipulations are carried out with the relay..
  • If the problem is in the control unit, use the services of the masters. They will reprogram it for you or replace it completely.

Refrigerator repair.

The exact cause of the breakdown of the refrigerator can be clarified by a qualified technician..

In some cases, it is easier to buy new equipment than to repair old ones. Every year the models are equipped with new functions, so why fix the old “junk” when there are so many new and “advanced” things in stores.

Recommendations and advice from the masters:

  • The average person only reads a device manual when something went wrong. This is a gross mistake. You need to read the instructions carefully before you turn on the refrigerator..
  • Install the refrigerator strictly on a level. If you have a crooked floor, put something under the legs of the refrigerator.
  • The location of the device is very important. Ideally, it should be located away from the sink, stove and radiator. Also, you can not put it close to the wall. You need a distance of at least 3-5 cm to ensure air circulation.
  • The device must have its own socket. If you use a common one, it may cause a fire..

Close the door from the refrigerator.

In order for the refrigerator to last much longer, you need to close the door tightly each time.

And here is what the technicians advise for the care of the equipment so that it will serve you for many years.

  • Close the door tightly and do not keep it open for long periods. In modern devices for this purpose, there is a special signal indicating that the door has been open for too long..
  • If the device does not have the No Frost function, then you will have to regularly defrost the freezer compartment. This is done once a month..
  • Keep the rubber gasket clean, because it does not allow depressurization.
  • Hot meals are not placed in the refrigerator. Only cooled down to room temperature.
  • Do not fill the refrigerator to capacity. This creates an additional burden for him..
  • Do not cover the shelves with anything. So you put the air circulation inside the cabinet.

Where to put the refrigerator.

The location of the refrigerator can play an important role..

Additional Information. We recommend that you familiarize yourself with the tips for organizing the correct storage of food:

  • The freezer is used exclusively for food, but not for bottles. They can crack.
  • All products are stored in packaging. This will prevent the appearance of mold, which can not only harm your health, but also affect the operation of the cabinet..
  • Eggs, juices and other drinks are stored on the side doors.
  • The middle shelves store ready-made meals, as well as cheese and meat.
  • If you store medicines in the refrigerator, then observe the temperature regime indicated on the package..

Refrigerator freezer.

Glass bottles and jars cannot be left in the freezer.


There are several reasons why the refrigerator may turn on and turn off after a few seconds. Some of them can be identified and eliminated on their own, and some – only by resorting to the services of masters. There are times when you need to replace one part, and sometimes you need to buy a new refrigerator.

Read the instructions carefully before using the refrigerator. Place it in the right place. Then it will serve you for many years..

How to repair a refrigerator yourself

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