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My refrigerator stays on for 8 minutes and then off for 20 minutes, is this normal

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What is the complete model number of the unit?

Posted on Dec 05, 2012

  • 2 more comments 
  • Denise Waldin Dec 06, 2012

    the model number is FRT18L4JW3

  • Richard Roth
    Richard Roth Dec 06, 2012

    First, check the condenser coils and the fan to be sure they are free of lint and dirt buildup.

  • Denise Waldin Dec 06, 2012

    where are the condenser coils and fan located?

  • Richard Roth
    Richard Roth Dec 06, 2012

    On the back by the compressor.



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The refrigerator keeps shutting off and coming back on periodically

Hello Jeff;

My name is Peter. I am a retired field service refrigeration technician.

That tells me your unit is working normally. If it was running continuously then you have a problem.

1.) Every 8-10 hours your unit will shut down except for the lights. At this time your defrost heater will come on for 20-30 minutes to defrost your cooling coils. Then your unit will come back on.

2.) You compressor will turn on when your have reached 10-20 degrees below temperature. It will shut off when you have reached 10-20 degrees above your set temperature.

3.) The normal settings for your freezer is -2 to 2 degrees F. and the normal setting for your fresh food section is 35-40 degrees F.

4.) Make sure you clean your condensing coil. This dissipates the heat from your unit every 6 months. This coil is either in the bottom front or a canister located in the lower left hand side in the back of your unit. Unplug your unit if you have a canister.

Feb 13, 2015 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Will it shut off automatically if left on too long and water runs out?

Hello Tara;

My name is Peter. I am a retired field service refrigeration technician.

The normal cycle for a refrigerator is for the unit to completely shut down (with the exception of the lights) every 8-10 hours. At this time your freezer defrost heater will turn on for 20-30 minutes to defrost your cooling coil. At this time condensate (water) will run into your drain pan. This water will evaporate or time.

If you have water running out on the floor and ice on the bottom of your freezer, then you probably have a frozen drain.

Tell me more so I may help you if you have a problem.

Jan 30, 2015 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

How do you manually defrost a Samsung RF261 refrigerator and how long should the defrost cycle last.

Defrost cycles in normal conditions can last from five (5) to 25 (25) minutes, depending on variables like humidity, runs times and how often the door is opened. Defrosting the unit manually as you've done is merely a short term solution as it recurs again over time. You should find out why it is not working automatically, as intended. This could be a problem with poor air flow (fan, blower or restricted air), a bad control, or even loose connections. Forcing defrost without correcting the underlying issue will not eliminate the problem.

Dec 06, 2014 | Samsung Refrigerators

1 Answer

Does a bosch fridge freezer always have water in the evaporation tray?

Hello Mary;

My name is Peter. I am a retired field service refrigeration technician.

It is normal to have water in your evaporator drain pan.

Your refrigerator goes through a defrost cycle every 8-10 hours, where your refrigerator will shut down for about 20 minutes and your defrost heater turns on.
You do not need to clean your drain pan. You have a condenser fan that blows across the drain pan to evaporate the condensate.

You drain pan will fill during the defrost cycles. the condenser fan blow across the drain pan and will evaporate the water.

The amount of water in your drain pan will depend on conditions such as high frost in the freezer.

Mary, you had just happened up the drain pan not completely evaporating the condensate.

Sounds to me like you are in good shape.

Peter, Baltimore, MD, USA

Nov 02, 2014 | Bosch KAN60A45G Inox 510 l Fridge Freezer...

1 Answer

Low ice output

Low ice production has multiple causes. First check condensing coil to see if they are dirty and not passing air. This is the most probable cause for low ice production. Next, measure freeze cycle time and harvest time. Freeze time is typically 20 to 30 minutes and harvest time is normally 1.5 to 3 minutes. If freeze time is long (> 35 minutes), first check water valve shuts after reservoir is full. If it does not shut off the water solenoid operated valve needs replaced. Second, find the harvest solenoid operated valve which branches off the compressor discharge and port high temperature gas into evaporator during harvest and see that evaporator side of harvest valve cools down to surrounding temperature in a few minutes 8 - 10 after freeze cycle starts and harvest time stops. If it does not cool off the valve is leaking by its seat and will require a technician to replace. Lastly, if long freeze cycle could be due to low refrigerant and will require and tech to charge properly. Ice machine are critically charged and a tech will know how to charge the right amount. Again, it is possible the metering device is not passing enough refrigerant and a technician can determine this by checking the superheat and subcool. Low subcooling <3 and a high superheat >20 typically indicate an txv (metering devise) needs replaced and will require a tech to replace.

Oct 13, 2013 | Scotsman Ice Machine - 290lb...

1 Answer

20 + year old Whilrpool refrigerator cycles on or ~8 minutes then goes off ~7. Temp in freezer normally zero and frig. is ~38 F. Ambient temp is 70 F, and coils are regularly cleaned. Is this normal or do...

Can you find a model number Donald? It could be just a start relay, overload and run capacitor. A defective fan motor can also cause those parts to go bad. Not sure about your 20 year old Refrigerator but from my view I believe they will outlast today's refrigerators. Just depends on what you can tell me more about the symptoms and results. Is the compressor hot? Sea Breeze

Oct 13, 2013 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

Compressor running non-stop

Temperature setting/changes takes more than 2 hours to stabilize.If still running non stop after 24 hours use a digital thermometer to check the internal temp of refrigerator. If not cold enough it will not open the thermometer and turn off the compressor. Meanwhile, a 20 minute defrost cycle is about right.

Sep 23, 2017 | Amana ARB220ZCS Bottom Freezer...

1 Answer

Fan motor keeps kicking on.

You must have a bad compressor relay

If you need further help, reach me via phone at

Dec 22, 2009 | Refrigerators

1 Answer

My Hotpoint Refrigerator keeps popping the outlet breaker and shutting off. I took the rear vent grate off to clean any dust out and noticed there is about a 1/8" of water sitting. Is this what could be...

Normally if the fridge is tripping the circuit breaker, it is due to a short caused by the defrost element.

However, the second problem could be caused by a faulty timer.


Oct 22, 2009 | Hotpoint Refrigerators

1 Answer

The freezer automatic defroster element is not coming on enough to prevent ice build up on frezzer coils. Is there a way to trick system to make the hot coil work more. Often?

Your evaporator coils frost up in normal use and every eight hours or so the entire unit shuts down and the defrost heater comes on to melt the frost. This cycle last about 20 minutes.
If yours is not staying on long enough the defrost thermostat may be defective and cutting it off too soon. It's clamped to the evaporator coil.
You have an adaptive defrost control which determines when and how long to defrost. I could be malfunctioning.

Jul 03, 2009 | Maytag MSD2756G Side by Side Refrigerator

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