Fridge not “starting” straight away when powered up …

We’ve got a fridge that doesn’t start working immediately when plugged in. It does, eventually, sort itself out and starts working out of the blue. By way of example, we unplugged it last night to switch the socket into which it was plugged. It was working happily before, but when switched on again - nothing happened.
It’s done this a few times before. It is always weeks or months before it starts running again. As it’s a wine fridge (ahem :roll_eyes::wine_glass:) it’s not something that’s a massive priority. We just leave it there to keep on storing the (albeit unchilled) wine.
Do any of the electronics whizzes have any idea what could be causing this? How could we even go about investigating?
It would be great if we could fix it, as it was a bargain when we bought it new but replacing it now would be rather expensive :disappointed:
Thanks in advance for any ideas, and if anyone thinks they might be able to help … we’ll, we’ve got lots of nice wine to drink :wink:

1 Like

Does it have electronic or simple mechanical thermostat control? If electronic, does the display give any clues? Have you got a plug-in energy monitor that you can use to see what’s happening? It may be that it’s trying to start the compressor (significant power draw) without success.

A common problem with small self-contained mains-powered electronic devices is that they have a capacitive dropper and the “self-healing” capacitor gradually dies until they no longer get a stable power rail. This is especially likely in devices that contain relays (plug-in timers, ovens) whose coils consume significant current, but in my experience fridge controls use triacs because the compressor is on average a small load so the heat dissipation of the (cheaper, solid state) triac is not an issue.

Fridge compressors tend not to be able to start up under load, i.e. if power has been removed while they are operating so the refrigerant is being compressed, and they are started again before this dissipates. There should be measures in place to cope with this though (resettable thermal cutout?).

Hi Matthew
Thanks for the tips, and sorry for taking so long to say so - I’ve been offline all week.
It has an electronic controller and a motherboard with a digital display. The display doesn’t come on at all, and it’s not drawing any power at all - we put a power monitor on it to check.
We did switch it off properly before unplugging it, so that shouldn’t be an issue. And there is no kind of reset button or similar that we can see.
I guess we’ll need to find an electrician who can test things for us, although i expect that would end up costing as much as just getting another fridge - such is the way of modern electronics. I did call the manufacturer and as soon as I told them it wasn’t in warranty, they as good as hung up the phone on me - they didn’t want to know. No service department, even on a paid basis. Sigh.
Thanks again though- appreciate it muchly!

That’s OK. Dead display is probably easier to fix. Someone might be selling the whole PCB, or if you can remove the PCB I’m sure one of the electronics people could investigate it.

I am going to see if a friend who’s an electrical engineer can have a look at it. If he can’t help then I’ll see about removing the PCB and bringing it into the space to find a friendly and helpful electronics person :grinning: