Refrigerator Running All the Time
Refrigerator Running All the Time

Refrigerator Running All the Time ?

Refrigerator Running All the Time ? Refrigerator running constantly? We’ll help you understand the potential causes for this and show you how to resolve the problem.

Why Is The Refrigerator Running All The Time?

The appliance is located in too warm an environment

Placing your refrigerator in a room that’s too warm can impede its performance. Avoid having the appliance in a south-facing room that gets too warm in summer. We also advise you not to position it next to an oven or radiator.

The refrigerator is overfilled

If you fill your fridge up all in one go, such as when you’ve just returned from shopping for example, you will indirectly cause the appliance to warm up, which will mean it will have to run constantly until the food is chilled. Under these circumstances, it will take longer to stop than normal. We therefore recommend you fill your fridge in stages and check the guidance provided by your appliance’s manufacturer.

The door seal is worn

If the door seal is damaged or not sitting in the right position when the door is closed, warm air may penetrate into the fridge interior. When this occurs, the appliance will run more often than normal, and may even run non-stop.

The light switch is no longer working

If the switch for the light in your fridge is no longer working, the bulb will stay on all the time and generate heat inside the appliance. When this occurs, the fridge will have to run constantly to absorb the heat given off by the bulb. Check this isn’t occurring in your case by placing your smartphone in the fridge with its camcorder filming and closing the door for a second or two. If the resulting video reveals that the light is not going out, the switch will probably be the cause.

The defrost thermostat is defective or a thermal fuse has failed

On appliances fitted with frost-free technology, the thermal fuses (either with or without a thermostat) are the components that provide thermal protection by tripping if the defrost thermostat fails to work. If one of these fuses blows or is defective, defrosting will not occur, causing excess frost to build up inside the appliance. This will force the fridge to run for longer periods of time. You can test these fuses by simply placing the two probes of a multimeter, in ohmmeter mode, on their terminals. If a fuse turns out to have no continuity, it will need to be replaced.

The defrost heating element is faulty

Fridges fitted with frost-free technology feature a special defrost heating element that serves to melt away any ice that happens to form on the evaporator If the heating element is faulty, excess frost will build up and the air will no longer be able to circulate properly around the refrigerator part. The fridge will therefore demand more cooling and the appliance will run virtually all the time. You can test the heating element using a multimeter in ohmmeter mode. If there is no continuity, you will need to replace it.

The temperature sensors are damaged

The temperature sensors on the fridge and the freezer are used to take temperature readings in the appliance’s various internal compartments. They also serve to turn off the heating elements at the end of the defrost cycle (on frost-free appliances only). If any of the sensors is defective, this can indirectly lead to excess frost build-up and make the appliance run for extended periods. You can test these components by measuring their values at the circuit board using a multimeter in ohmmeter mode. Check that the readings on the sensors match the standard values given in the technical documentation provided by the manufacturer.

The defrost timer is not working

On fridges fitted with frost-free technology, the defrosting process is started automatically by a defrost timer. If the timer is faulty, this can cause excess frost to build up, which will force your appliance to run for extended periods in order to maintain the temperature at a suitable level. You can manually turn the timer yourself until the defrosting process begins, at which point you’ll hear a click. Wait to see if the heating element heats up; though do bear in mind that for this to happen, the appliance will need to be at a sufficiently cold temperature. If the element does not heat up, the timer or the element itself will likely be the issue.

The thermostat is faulty

Applies to refrigerators only. If the thermostat is faulty, it will no longer be able to regulate the temperature in your fridge. Your appliance will therefore run non-stop and get too cold. Try placing the refrigerator’s thermostat bulb (the end part of the thermostat’s temperature sensor) in a glass of very cold water with ice cubes in it to see if the thermostat triggers. If it doesn’t, you will need to replace it.

The damper is no longer opening

On certain fridges equipped with frost-free technology, the cold in the refrigerator comes from the freezer compartment. There is a small baffle that opens to allow the cold to pass through: this is known as the damper. If the damper is not working and will no longer open (due to frost build-up for example), the appliance may keep running for longer than usual.

The circuit board is faulty

If the circuit board that regulates the temperature is faulty, the fridge will run non-stop and get too cold. If you’ve already checked all the other potential issues detailed above and the problem still persists, you will probably need to replace the circuit board. You can either do this yourself or call on the services of a manufacturer-approved engineer.

The compressor is defective

If the compressor is defective (e.g. because oil from the motor has got into the coolant circuit), it will struggle to circulate the coolant, which could cause excess frost to build up. If this occurs, your fridge will keep running non-stop. If the compressor is defective, you will need to get it replaced by a professional.

The coolant is no longer able to circulate

Oil from the motor can sometimes get into the coolant circuit and cause it to block. There may also be a leak, which will force the appliance to keep running non-stop. If the coolant is the source of the issue, you will need to seek the advice of a professional to get the problem resolved.

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