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Refrigerator Troubleshooting Guide

Use this chart to find out what is causing a problem with your refrigerator. Look up the symptom and then review some of the possible causes. Follow links from the possible causes to articles on how to verify the cause and how to repair the problem.


Click on underlined items for further information

Refrigerator does not run and the light does not work

  • Make sure the refrigerator is plugged in securely

  • Check for a blown fuse or tripped circuit breaker

  • Test the power outlet for current

  • Inspect the electrical cord for damage

  • Eliminate use of an extension cord, if any is being used

  • Check the outlet voltage

Refrigerator does not run but the light works

Refrigerator light does not work

Refrigerator or freezer is not cold enough

Refrigerator or freezer is too cold

Refrigerator is noisy or makes strange sounds

Refrigerator runs continuously

  • Defrost the freezer

  • Clean the condensor coils

  • Check the door seals

  • Test the door switch

  • If you recently adjusted the temperature control, loaded the refrigerator or are in a humid location, it is not uncommon for a refrigerator to run for 24 hours or more before getting cool.

Refrigerator starts and stops frequently

Freezer does not defrost automatically

Refrigerator has an unpleasant odor

  • Remove spoiled food

  • Clean refrigerator interior with a solution of hot water and baking soda

  • Clean the door seals

  • Remove breaker strips and check for wet insulation

Water on floor outside of refrigerator

Water inside the refrigerator

  • Clean the drain tube

  • If you have an ice-maker, check refrigerator and ice-maker for level

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