How to Reset the Compressor on a Fridge

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Proper temperature stability is important for food safety.

The compressor of a fridge utilizes a gaseous refrigerant that is in a low-pressure state. When the fridge thermostat requests more cold air, the compressor kicks on and the refrigerant becomes high-pressure, moving through the cooling coils while fans push the cool air into the fridge and freezer compartments. Resetting the thermostat on the fridge allows you to further tweak the temperature settings, which can lead to reduced energy costs. It also gives the fridge a chance to defrost and return to ambient room temperature. After it has restarted, the fridge compressor will run until the desired temperature is reached, cooler than the ambient temperature.


Step 1

Locate the refrigerator power cord on the back of the appliance.

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Step 2

Disconnect the power cord from the wall outlet. You may hear knocking noises or a whoosh sound as the power shuts off. Leave the refrigerator unplugged for a few minutes.

Step 3

Turn both the fridge and freezer controls to "Off" or "0" inside the fridge. Plug the fridge back into the power outlet.


Step 4

Adjust the fridge and freezer controls to the desired setting. For example, on refrigerators with settings from "0" to "9," the "5" setting would be normal.

Step 5

Allow the fridge up to one day to adjust to a stable temperature.

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