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Refrigerator won't work after power outage

Updated February 21, 2017

You can run a few preliminary checks when a refrigerator doesn't work after a power outage before calling a service technician. These preliminary tests help verify that the failure of the appliance is due to the power outage rather than a circumstantial failure easily corrected by the homeowner. Review the owner's manual as well to make sure nothing needs to be reset in the event of a power failure.

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  1. Inspect the main the breaker box for the house. Put the breaker switch for the refrigerator's power circuit in the "On" or "Closed" position. Large appliances such as refrigerators are often installed on their own electrical circuit and in the event of a power outage, the circuit breaker may have disengaged to protect the appliance from electrical damage.

  2. Inspect the appliance itself for visual signs of electrical damage. Symptoms of electrical damage include signs such as burn marks around the electrical socket or cord. If electrical damage is found, call a service technician due to the danger of running a refrigerator with damaged electrical components.

  3. Check different components in the refrigerator to see if the entire electrical system has failed, or just parts, such as the compressor engine. For example, the refrigerator may not be turning on to compress and refrigerate, but other electrical devices on the refrigerator may be responding, such as the inside light, digital front face plates, and fans located on the bottom of the refrigerator. These symptoms indicate that a particular component within the refrigerator has failed and requires repair from a qualified service technician.

  4. Remove any extension cords and plug the refrigerator directly into an outlet. The power outage could have damaged the extension cord if there was a surge before the power went out.

  5. Plug a working light into the refrigerator's electrical socket to ensure that the outlet is working.

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About the Author

Gabriel Dockery began writing in 2009, with his work published on various websites. He is working toward a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience in a transfer program between Ivy Tech College and Indiana State University.

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