Have you suddenly noticed your fridge is no longer working but don't know how to solve the problem? Here we explain the possible causes for this kind of fault, and what you need to do to resolve it.
THE POSSIBLE CAUSES FOR THIS FAULT:
Before you do anything to your appliance, make sure you disconnect it from the power supply.
There is a risk of electric shock.
It's possible that the plug on your fridge is not plugged in at the socket, or even that there's no power coming from it. Plug another appliance into the socket to check if it's working properly. You might also want to check the condition of the power cord. If it's damaged, you'll need to replace it.
If the location in which you have your fridge is too cold, e.g. below 10°C, the thermostat will only operate sporadically. Why? Because the external temperature will be virtually the same as the temperature inside your refrigerator.
If the light bulb inside your refrigerator is not working, this might initially lead you to think that the appliance itself is no longer working when in actual fact it's simply the bulb that's gone. Therefore, wait to see if the appliance stays properly cold, and check especially whether you can hear the compressor starting up regularly or not. If you can, this proves that it's definitely a problem with the bulb and you'll need to consider replacing it.
On refrigerators fitted with fans, if you can longer hearing it operating as normal, this might lead you to think the fridge is no longer working. However, we advise you to wait for the compressor to start up. When it does, you should hear the fan start. If this does not occur, then it's possible your fan has developed a fault. Check to see if anything is physically preventing it from turning. You can test this component using a multimeter in ohmmeter mode. Disconnect the fan's connectors, then place the meter's two probes on the fan terminals. If you do not get a reading, the part is defective and will need to be replaced.
On certain refrigerators equipped with frost-free technology, the defrost thermostat is coupled to a thermal fuse. If this fails to operate once defrosting has finished, your appliance will not start up again. You can verify whether this is the case by using a multimeter to check the thermostat when it's very cold. Disconnect its connectors and place the multimeter's probes (in ohmmeter mode) on the terminals. You should obtain a reading. Conversely, if you conduct the same test with the thermostat at room temperature, you should not get a reading. Important: some thermostats work the opposite way around; they have continuity when warm and no continuity when cold.
On fridges fitted with frost-free technology, the defrosting process is started automatically by a defrost timer. If this is defective, the compressor will not be able to start. You can manually turn the timer yourself until the defrosting process begins. At that point, you'll hear a click. Wait to see if the defrost heating element warms up, and also whether the compressor starts up again after the thermostat switches on at the end of the defrosting process. If this doesn't happen, either the defrost timer or the defrost thermostat will likely be the cause. This means that one or other of them will need to be replaced.
The temperature thermostat is hidden away behind the dial used to set the temperature level inside the appliance. If the fridge is no longer getting cold, the thermostat may be faulty, which will prevent the compressor from starting up. We recommend you remove the thermostat (on the refrigerator part only) from its mounting and plunge the end of the sensor into a glass of very cold water (with ice cubes in it). If you clearly hear the regulating "click" when you turn the selection dial, this means the thermostat is in good working order.
The circuit board mainly serves to regulate the temperature and start the defrosting process as and when required (on frost-free appliances). If nothing is happening or there's no longer anything being displayed (on appliances equipped with screens), you can use a multimeter in voltmeter mode to test the circuit board by checking to see if there's any power reaching it. Protect your hands with electrical safety gloves and place the multimeter's probes on each of the circuit board's power terminals with the appliance plugged in and switched on. If you get a definite reading, then it's likely the circuit board that's the cause of the fault, which will mean it will need to be replaced. You can either replace it yourself or call on the services of a manufacturer-approved engineer.
If the display circuit board is not working, check if there is any voltage present (protect your hands with electrical safety gloves when doing this) at the board's power terminals using a multimeter in DC voltmeter mode ("="). It will normally be somewhere in the range of 5 to 24 volts DC. If there is a definite voltage, it is likely the circuit board needs replacing.
The relay enables the compressor to start up. If the relay is defective, the compressor will not be able to start. You can check if there are definitely 230 volts at the relay's terminals by using a multimeter in voltmeter mode (protect your hands with electrical safety gloves when doing this). Because is not an expensive component, it is a good idea to replace the relay first, before anything else.
If your fridge's compressor is blocked or the compressor's internal coil has broken, it will not start up. If you've replaced the compressor relay and the problem still persists, you will need to start thinking in terms of a problem with the compressor itself. If this is the case, you will need to seek the advice of a professional.