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My mini fridge has full power, but I come home after a couple of days to find that the compressor has shut off and everything has defrosted and the fridge isn't cold anymore. I can turn the knob and in about 15 minutes it's back to ice cold. Does anyone know whey this keeps happening? I don't want to just toss it if it's something I can easily correct.

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I have a 3.3 cu ft mini-fridge that I have to unplug, defrost, remove the interior back plate and wipe all the water off of the cooling fins. The condensation and humidity in the air freezes onto the fins that coil runs through, so I get a block of ice and metal behind the panel and no air flow. Mine is about 8 yrs old and does not goes through a defrosting stage by itself, nor can it drain any trapped condensation. For mine, I do have to defrost it for several hours before I can remove the interior rear panel because it's frozen on. –  Jason Mar 6 '13 at 22:00
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What if this has happened more than once and the knob cannot be turned any more? Please describe the knob turning behavior in more detail. To restart the fridge, do you turn the knob back and forth both ways, ending up at about the same position? Or are you turning the knob up to start the fridge, and then later turning it down to stop the fridge from running all the time? I mean, is it a bad thermostat, or a flaky knob. –  Kaz Mar 7 '13 at 9:51
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