Refrigerator Not Working After Power Outage – What To Check First?

(Last Updated On: June 20, 2019)

A refrigerator may not work after a power outage. The fridge may not cool or even turn on. When the refrigerator won’t turn on or has completely stopped working, you need to find the solution. After a power outage, what is the first thing to check to get the refrigerator running again?

A power outage can cause power issues with refrigerators. If your power has gone out and your refrigerator will not turn on or begin cooling, please check the following issues below.

FRIDGE POWER OUTAGERefrigerator Not Working After Power Outage

FAST REFRIGERATOR HELP – AFTER POWER OUTAGE: When the power comes back ON and if the refrigerator is not running, first check the main refrigerator circuit breaker, next check to see if the refrigerator turned off during the power outage. Turn the refrigerator ON by pressing the appropriate button on the control panel or turn the switch ON located within the fridge. All models will vary when turning the fridge ON.

If the fridge still does not turn ON, check the GFCI power outlet that the refrigerator is plugged into. The outlet may have tripped during the power outage. If the fridge still does not run, check the cord and plug for damage. If all these items are ON and in working order, simply wait 15 minutes for the fridge to begin cooling.

Table of Contents

Get Refrigerator Running After Power Outage

Quick Fridge Power Outage Checklist…
– Check the main refrigerator circuit breaker
– Make sure the refrigerator is turned ON
– Be sure the GFCI power outlet that the refrigerator is plugged into is not tripped
– Inspect the cord and plug for electrical short
– Fridge component or part is faulty
– Refrigerator may simply need time to begin cooling

1. Breaker Has Tripped
Power outage has caused the refrigerator circuit breaker to trip
The breaker is not located on the refrigerator.
The breaker box is usually located outside the house.
Locate the breaker box and check the fridge breaker to be sure it is in the ON position.
Flip the refrigerator breaker ON.

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Check for tripped circuit breaker to fix refrigerator after power outageCheck for tripped circuit breaker to TURN ON refrigerator after power outage

2. Refrigerator Control Panel Issue
Power outage has simply turned the refrigerator OFF
All refrigerators are different – Check owners manual for HOW TO turn the refrigerator back ON.
A refrigerator with a control panel may have the ON OFF buttons located on the control panel.
Some refrigerators have a switch located inside to turn it ON or OFF.
NOTE: If the lights are on within the refrigerator, you may need to wait 15 minutes for the refrigerator to begin cooling again.

Need to turn your refrigerator ON? Refrigerator Owners Manuals Here

Refrigerator Display Blank Not Working – How To Reset Fridge Display?

Turn on refrigerator using control panel after power outageTurn on refrigerator using control panel after power outage

How to turn on (reset) a Samsung refrigerator?
The refrigerator/freezer controls are located on the display panel (if applicable).
Did the cooling mode turn OFF?
Press buttons on the control panel for turning cooling mode back ON.
Samsung refrigerator ON OFF info here.

How to turn on (reset) a Whirlpool refrigerator?
The refrigerator and freezer controls are located on the dispenser panel (if applicable).
Did the cooling mode turn OFF?
Press and hold “Lock” and “Filter” simultaneously for three seconds to turn the cooling feature back on.
Whirlpool refrigerator ON OFF info here.

3. Reset GFCI Outlet
Check to see if the refrigerator outlet has tripped (if applicable)
For safety reasons some outlets have a small reset switch that can trip during a power outage.
Press the GFCI reset button on the outlet to reset it as the power outage may have tripped the outlet.
NOTE: If the reset button on the power outlet trips, the outlet will NOT get power, reset it to get power.

Refrigerator Has NO PowerHow To Troubleshoot?

Check for tripped GFCI refrigerator outlet after power outageCheck for tripped GFCI refrigerator outlet after power outage

4. Fridge Lights Are On But Not Cooling
A part within the refrigerator/freezer may have failed or the fridge needs time to begin cooling
If the power has just come back on and the refrigerator is running, the fridge may need time to begin cooling again.
Wait at least 15 minutes for the refrigerator to begin cooling again once power has come back on.
Refrigerator Has Power and Lights But Not Blowing Cold Air

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5. Inspect Refrigerator Power Cord
Power outage can cause electrical damage in some rare cases
An electrical issue may have shorted out the refrigerator power cord or plug.
Slide the refrigerator out slowly, check the power cord and plug to see if electrical shorting has occurred.
If the power cord is damaged and or shorted it will need to be replaced.

6. Refrigerator Part/Component May Have Failed
The power outage may have shorted out a part or component
If you have tried all the above solutions and the fridge still fails to run, you may have a faulty part.
You can try troubleshooting the problem by working from most likely fault to the least likely faulty.
Refrigerator Is Not Cooling – What To Check And How To Fix

HINT: If the refrigerator works but DOES NOT DISPENSE ICE after a power outage, check here for how to troubleshoot…
How To Fix Ice Maker After Power Outage

All the above methods to get your refrigerator working after a power outage will work with Hotpoint, Emerson, Maytag, Sharp, Bosch, KitchenAid, GE, Profile, Whirlpool, Samsung, LG, Haier, Kenmore, Frigidaire, Toshiba, and Panasonic refrigerators.

Keep Food Safe During Power Outage

Food Safety During Power Outage
Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed during outage.
A refrigerator can keep food cold for about 4 hours if the doors are kept shut.
A mostly full freezer can hold the temp for 48 hours or 24 hours if not full.
Put frozen meats on a tray so when they become thawed the juices will not drip.
More info on food safety during a power outage here…

Keep Food Safe During Power OutageKeep Food Safe During Power Outage
Source: FoodSafety.gov

Need help with your refrigerator? Please describe the issue you are having using the form below. Please give us the model number of your fridge so we can investigate further. We can help you with your refrigerator not running after a power outage!


15 thoughts on “Refrigerator Not Working After Power Outage – What To Check First?”

  1. Ok so after the storm electricity kept flashing on and off every 5 seconds, so the fridge stop working, check the breaker its ok, check the cord its ok, change capacitor, change other units outside compressor – still compressor wont start.

  2. My fridge will not switch back on automatically after a power cut, I have to switch it back on manually. Is there a setting I can adjust or is this standard ?

  3. Whenever there is a power fluctation, my Frigidaire Gallery Refrigerator Serial 4A70712518, Model JBND-28 stops working. Have to press and hold default setting until it starts again. Concerned that I will be away for a time and everything in refrigerator will spoil Hope you can help. Lynda

  4. Samsung Refrigerator model# rf28hfedbsr
    After a power outrage my freezer is still working but my refrigerator doesn’t get colder than 50 F.
    First time I changed the Fan as the ice was accumulated, it looked fine, but the second time it happened again and having the same issue.
    What could be the reason?

  5. I have a samsung side by side refrigerator…. Whever there is a power cut my refridgerator doesnt resume power automatically after the power comes back… I need to unplug the refrigerator and then plug it back in after min 30 secs …. This is happening repeatedly…. Is this a faulty machine?

  6. ge fridge GSS25GMHLCESHM432770 won’t turn on after power outage. Panel won’t work and lights are off. Not cooling. What can I do?

  7. Hello, after a nasty brown out followed by a power outage, my freezer no longer freezes. When I plug in the power cord it comes on for about a minute, then shuts off with a click, I think it tries to start up every so often then shuts down with the click.
    It’s a kenmore Elite chest Freezer. Model 253.16082108. serial # wb33052368
    Thanks. Dave

  8. I have a ge profiles refirdge model PC51RKZHSS . Power flashed off and on and unit did not power back up. I unplugged waited 5 min and plugged back in and still dead. frount pannel has no power no lights of any kind. I checked power at outlet and has power. Also reset house breaker for this outlet.

  9. hi, i have a beko american fridge freezer, a friend sold it me. Model gnev220aps

    I left it to settle for 24 hours and switched on for 12 hours and all working fine. Moved my old ff out and moved this in its place, just wheeled to other side of kitchen, plugged in and after 5 – 10 seconds it tripped my electric. Left and hour and tried again and did the same after 10 seconds.

    Do i need to leave it to settle 24 hours again from sliding(wheeled) it over crom other side of room. I have no ff now so am stuck

  10. After a 5 hour power outage the alarm on the refrigerator will not stop‍. I checked all the vents are clear, cleared all the ice and pressed all the buttons. It says -7 on the freezer side, it’s flashing and beeping. This is happening on our Whirlpool fridge with ice and water dispenser.

    1. I have a Bosch refrigerator that has turned into a freezer after a power outage, it doesn’t matter where the settings are set at, it still freezes.

  11. After power outage lights in refrigerator and freezer on and fan blowing in freezer but no longer freezing or keeping cold. Have checked plug and breaker box with no change.
    It is an upper fridge lower freezer. Kenmore Model# 795.78272.901

  12. After power outage the freezer works, but the refrigerator doesn’t get colder than 50 degrees. Any solutions?
    Fridgidaire- FFSS2614QP6A

    1. Sounds like the damper control valve, every time we have a power outage we have to replace that piece in our kitchenaide.

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