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Can Power Surge Damage A Refrigerator?

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Last updated on August 14th, 2022 at 01:28 pm

When an electrical power surge occurs in many buildings, it usually affects any electronic device. This happens if they have been plugged into the wall sockets, including home appliances such as your refrigerator.

The impact of these power surges is generally subsided using safety devices that can help control power surges built in the home. But a bad power surge might still cause damage to your refrigerator. Various things can cause a power surge in your home. For example, if you plug too many items into the same wall socket, it would be vulnerable to a power surge.

Also, if you run the electronics simultaneously, it may lead to a power surge. For example, lightning strikes a building, or the power lines around that building can lead to power surges.

In some cases, your refrigerator itself can be the culprit behind a surge due to the high power demands of the appliance. For example, when a refrigerator makes cycles, turning off and on without manual assistance may lead to a power surge. And this surge can flip the breaker or burn the fuse.

Can a Power Outage Mess up a Refrigerator?

Damage to a refrigerator that results from a power surge is rare, but it can happen, especially during lightning strikes. Usually, when this power surge occurs, it can damage many components inside the refrigerator. Some of those components include; fuses on the unit’s circuit board and the motor.

When power outages occur, all electrical appliances go off immediately. So, when the power eventually returns, the net voltage is often below or above the required ideal level. Suppose a very high power voltage variation happens, also termed voltage surge. It might lead to severe damage to appliances in the home.

Refrigerators, motors, and heavier devices are often more resistant to high voltages, and they hardly burn out because of overvoltage. However, they are easily susceptible to damage by under-voltage. This occurs whenever a refrigerator is made to undergo low voltage. This is a common occurrence after the power supply has been reestablished.

This causes the motor not to have sufficient starting power. And it leads to overheating in its wiring until it triggers the thermal protector. Over time, these constant cycles can destroy the motor. However, it will operate if the engine is still turning on and running even on a low voltage.

Can Power Surge Damage Refrigerator Compressors?

Yes, it can. While it might not often be as damaging as the control board, the compressor can get damaged in the event of a very high voltage surge. A strong power surge can damage the windings that account for the compressor’s functioning, which leads to compressor failure.

The refrigerator’s refrigeration system is a typical vapor compression system. It is made up of the following components to form a closed system. First, this refrigeration system is filled with refrigerant. Next, the compressor spearheads this to circulate throughout the system pipeline.

Also, it absorbs heat from the evaporator and releases heat through the condenser to fulfill its cooling function. Therefore, a high power surge is one of the significant causes of refrigerator damage. In addition, when the voltage surge increases, it will cause the sudden arrival of currents in the refrigerator.

This power surge creates enough heat, which can cause many parts of the refrigerator to become damaged. Even though the compressor is not often damaged like the control panel, which is the most sensitive part of the refrigerator. It can be damaged when it passes through powerful voltage surges.

If your refrigerator’s compressor gets damaged, it is often financially advisable to get a new refrigerator. This is because the cost of changing the damaged compressor is high.

How Do I Protect My Refrigerator During a Power Outage?

Voltage Protector Brownout Surge Refrigerator 1800 Watts Appliance

You can protect your refrigerator during a power surge by purchasing a surge protector. You can also consider the option of unplugging it from the socket if you notice a lightning storm is about to happen.

A refrigerator is a vital appliance for any home, and it can be costly to replace in the event of damage from power surges. In a bid to protect your refrigerator from these attacks, there are a few preventive measures you can take.

A refrigerator surge protector is a viable option. You can purchase this from your local hardware store or online. However, it would be best if you were on the lookout for the ones designed specifically for fridges and refrigerators. This is because these appliances are susceptible when it comes to electrical fluctuations.

The next step is to plug the surge protector into the wall socket and then fix the refrigerator into a surge protector. If an electrical surge occurs, the surge protector will prevent the electricity from causing damage to the fridge.

But the best way to fully protect your refrigerator from damage during an electrical surge is to unplug it completely from the wall socket. Most times, electrical surges occur at random.

But if you know, there is a lightning storm brewing, and it is advisable to unplug your appliances. Consider this to be an extra precautionary method. You can plug them back once the storm threat passes.

How Do You Fix a Refrigerator After a Power Surge?

You can conduct a few preparatory checks when your refrigerator doesn’t function after a power surge has occurred. It is best if you do this before you employ the services of a technician. These checks would help you confirm what happened to your appliance. Then, if it results from a power surge or a minor issue, the homeowner can quickly correct it.

1. Inspect the breaker box connected to the house. You can put the breaker switch connected to the refrigerator’s power circuit in either “on” or “closed” position.

Heavy appliances like the refrigerator are usually installed on their electrical circuit. If a power surge occurs, the circuit breaker is removed to prevent the appliance from electrical damage.

2. Inspect the refrigerator itself for signs of electrical damages visible. Examples of these damages include burn marks around the electrical cord or outlet. If you find this, you need to employ the services of a technician. Using a refrigerator with damaged electrical components can be dangerous.

3. Check the various components of your refrigerator to know if the electrical system failed. In some instances, it might be just parts of the fridge, such as the compressor engine. It might not be turning on to compress and refrigerate as supposed, but other parts of the refrigerator might be active.

Other components such as the inside light, digital front faceplates, and the fans at the bottom of the refrigerator might still function properly. However, these symptoms mean that a particular component from the fridge is faulty and requires repair.

4. If any extension cords connect your appliance to the wall socket, remove them and plug the refrigerator directly into the outlet. The power outage might have damaged the extension cord, not the fridge itself. This occurs if there was a power surge before the blackout.

5. Ensure to plug a working lightbulb into the refrigerator’s electrical outlet to ensure that the wall socket is still functioning.


Power surges are often caused by a drastic change or an increased power supply. And this surge can lead to various kinds of surges and high voltages.

Any contact with your refrigerator can lead to damage. However, there are a few tips on how to prevent your refrigerator from getting damaged in the event of a power surge.

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