Why would my refrigerator stop cooling and then start working again?

Why would my refrigerator stop cooling and then start working again?


Refrigerators are essential appliances in our homes, keeping our food fresh and preserving its quality. However, it can be concerning when a refrigerator suddenly stops cooling and then starts working again. In this article, we will explore the possible reasons behind this occurrence and understand why it happens.

Possible Causes

1. Temperature Control Issues: One common reason for a refrigerator to stop cooling and then start working again is a malfunctioning temperature control system. This system regulates the temperature inside the refrigerator and freezer compartments. If the temperature control is faulty, it may cause the refrigerator to stop cooling until it is reset or repaired.

2. Defrost Cycle: Modern refrigerators often have an automatic defrost cycle that removes frost buildup on the evaporator coils. During this cycle, the refrigerator may temporarily stop cooling to allow the coils to defrost. Once the defrosting process is complete, the refrigerator will resume normal cooling operations.

3. Overheating Compressor: The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant and maintaining the cooling process. If the compressor becomes overheated due to excessive use or a lack of proper ventilation, it may shut off temporarily to cool down. Once it reaches a safe temperature, the compressor will start working again, and the cooling process will resume.

4. Dirty Condenser Coils: The condenser coils, located at the back or bottom of the refrigerator, release heat from the refrigerant. Over time, these coils can accumulate dust and debris, reducing their efficiency. When the coils are dirty, the refrigerator may struggle to cool properly, leading to intermittent cooling issues. Cleaning the condenser coils can often resolve this problem.

5. Faulty Thermostat: The thermostat is responsible for sensing the temperature inside the refrigerator and signaling the cooling system to turn on or off accordingly. If the thermostat is faulty, it may incorrectly detect the temperature, causing the refrigerator to stop cooling. Once the thermostat is replaced or repaired, the refrigerator will resume normal operation.

Preventive Measures

To minimize the chances of your refrigerator stopping and starting again, consider the following preventive measures:

1. Regular Maintenance: Schedule regular maintenance for your refrigerator, including cleaning the condenser coils, checking the temperature control system, and inspecting the thermostat. This can help identify any potential issues before they escalate.

2. Adequate Ventilation: Ensure that your refrigerator has proper ventilation space around it. Avoid placing it too close to walls or other appliances that may restrict airflow. Good ventilation helps prevent the compressor from overheating and improves overall cooling efficiency.

3. Avoid Overloading: Do not overload your refrigerator with excessive food items. Overloading can obstruct airflow and strain the cooling system, leading to potential issues.


A refrigerator stopping and then starting again can be caused by various factors, including temperature control issues, defrost cycles, overheating compressors, dirty condenser coils, or faulty thermostats. Regular maintenance, proper ventilation, and avoiding overloading can help prevent such issues. If the problem persists or worsens, it is advisable to consult a professional technician for further diagnosis and repair.


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