Our fridge hasn't been cooling for about a day. It makes no sounds at all and everything has been warming up. There is power because the internal light comes on.

Our appliance guy told us to unplug the fridge for 24 hours and then plug it back in.

How would this fix the issue?

  • It's possible to get a "vapor lock" situation in the refrigeration system. If that is what has happened, giving it time without the compressor running may be enough to solve it
    – keshlam
    Jul 27, 2015 at 1:13
  • @keshlam But then unplugging it doesn't matter, right? Since the compressor hasnt been running even with it plugged in. Jul 27, 2015 at 1:15
  • Unplugging guarantees it can't run. It's a simple diagnostic test to eliminate the simple case. If that doesn't solve it, you can tell them so and they'll suggest the next test or schedule a visit to check it more deeply.
    – keshlam
    Jul 27, 2015 at 1:23
  • So it isn't actually something that would fix the situation? Jul 27, 2015 at 1:26
  • 1
    Customer support always has to start by ruling out the obvious. Some reports claim IBM used to use a similar step ("unplug it and clean the contacts with a pencil eraser, reconnect in this specific sequence, plug it in and turn it on -- did that help") to avoid embarrassing both the customer and ourselves by having to ask "did you plug it in and turn it on?". It's a necessary part of the process because some customers can't be trusted.
    – keshlam
    Jul 27, 2015 at 1:43

2 Answers 2


The odds of that working are very low. The guy probably said that because he was too busy to come so he just said that to give you something to do in the hope that you would call again later when he had more scheduling availability.

The most likely possibility is that it is the internal overload breaker. Usually it is easy to reset with a screw driver. Here is a picture of a typical one:

fridge reset

The hole has a little slot where you insert the screw driver and give it a half turn to reset it.

Of course, it could be a range of other problems, like a broken controller or a broken temperature sensor, too, but the reset is an easy thing to try.


If the coils inside the fridge/freezer are frozen over, then the air can not circulate over the coils and the fridge/freezer will not cool. By unplugging the fridge for 24 hours, the ice melts. If the fridge starts cooling again, then you have fixed the immediate problem (iced coils) and possibly identified the root cause (bad defrost controller).

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