Refrigerators are only supposed to activate their cooling functions every few hours or so. If yours is running constantly without switching off, this is a malfunction.
The noise from your refrigerator running all the time is irritating, and it adds to your power bill, so this is important to fix. This guide will run through the most common causes and fixes for this problem.
The following models of Electrolux refrigerator are covered by this guide:
Adjust the Thermostat
First, try adjusting the thermostat. This is done through the control panel on the front of your refrigerator or inside the refrigerator on older models.
If your refrigerator is running too often but still takes a break sometimes, your thermostat may be set too low. The refrigerator should be set at or just below 40°F. The refrigerator will need to cool most of the time to maintain a temperature that is too low.
On the other hand, if your refrigerator is running all the time and never stops, the problem is likely to be that the freezer temperature is too high. A warm freezer will heat up the refrigerator compartment and cause it to keep running all the time to get down to temperature. Make sure your freezer is set at 0°F.
Clean the Condenser Coils
If the thermostat is set correctly and the refrigerator still keeps running, try giving the condenser coils a good clean.
These coils are located under the refrigerator. They are part of the cooling system. The refrigerant passes through them while hot, and these coils dissipate the heat into the surrounding air, helping to cool the refrigerant back down.
When they accumulate dust, dirt, and grease on them, they don’t do as good of a job at cooling down the refrigerant. This causes the refrigerator to remain on all the time, as it cannot reach its desired temperature.
Here’s how to give the coils a clean:
- Turn off your refrigerator at the wall or unplug it.
- Remove the toe grill underneath the refrigerator door by pulling on it.
- Use a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment to clean the coils. Brush the coils firmly and clean the area around the coils too.
- Use the vacuum cleaner to clean the vent in the toe grill.
- Replace the toe grill.
- Turn your refrigerator back on.
The condenser coils need to be cleaned every 3-4 months to keep buildups from occurring.
Clean and Check the Condenser Fan
The condenser is cooled by a fan at the rear of the refrigerator. If this fan gets filled with dust, dirt, and other debris, it can stop it from working correctly.
When the fan isn’t working, the condenser struggles to stay cool and it will run constantly to make up the difference. Giving it a clean can fix the problem.
Follow these steps to do this:
- Unplug your refrigerator or turn it off at the wall.
- Pull the refrigerator out from the wall far enough that you can access the back.
- Look at the bottom of the back of the refrigerator to determine whether your model has an access panel.
- If there is an access panel, use a Phillips-head screwdriver to remove the screws and pull the panel off.
- Use a vacuum cleaner to clean any dust and debris in and around the fan.
- Rotate the fan manually with your finger. If it is very hard to rotate, this means that the fan’s motor is faulty. Contact a refrigerator repair technician to fix this.
- Screw the access panel back in and put the refrigerator back in its place.
- Turn your refrigerator back on.
Check the Door Gasket
The rubber door gaskets seal the refrigerator and freezer from the warmer outside air. This seal is important. Because the temperature difference between the inside and outside of the refrigerator compartments is so high, even a small leak will quickly warm up the refrigerator, causing the refrigerator to run constantly.
Additionally, the air from outside the refrigerator is much more humid than the air inside. As humid air gets sucked into the freezer, it condenses and freezes on the evaporator coils, stopping them from working. This happens too fast for the defrost cycle to keep up and is another potential cause of a refrigerator running constantly.
Open the doors and carefully check around the gaskets for any defects – rips, tears, or other blemishes. If there is damage, you will need to contact a refrigerator repair technician to install a new gasket.
Check for Frosted Evaporator Coils
If the problem persists after trying the solutions above, the cause is probably a faulty defrost system causing your evaporator coils to become covered in frost.
The evaporator coils physically cool the refrigerator and freezer. The refrigerant expands into a cool gas as it passes through the coils. As the coils get cold and cool the refrigerator and freezer, they begin to freeze over, causing a frost buildup.
The defrost system regularly heats the evaporator coils, removing the frost buildup. There are multiple electrical and mechanical faults that can cause a failure in this system, most require the attention of a professional repair technician. However, you can diagnose the problem yourself by checking for a buildup of frost on the evaporator coils.
- Unplug your refrigerator at the wall.
- Remove your food from the freezer and put it in a cool place. You can use ice packs if you do not have a second freezer.
- Remove all shelves, drawers, and bins from the freezer.
- Use a ¼-inch nut driver to remove all of the screws on the rear access panel.
- Remove the panel and set it aside.
- You should be able to see the evaporator coils. If they are covered in a large buildup of ice, you will need to contact a professional refrigerator repair technician and tell them the defrost system for the evaporator coils is faulty.
These are the most common problems that can cause your Electrolux refrigerator to keep running constantly. If none of these solutions work, you will need to contact a refrigerator repair technician to diagnose the source of the problem and fix it.