Can A Power Outage Damage A Refrigerator | Home Protection Tips

Can A Power Outage Damage A Refrigerator?

Storm watching is a popular pastime among certain individuals, and for good cause. It’s a stunning exhibition of the elements to see thick, dark, dramatic clouds roll in, illuminated up by bolts of lightning.

When lightning hits close to home, though, it can create a power outage by disrupting the electricity grid. Storms may also disrupt the electricity grid in other ways, such as when a tree is knocked over onto a live electrical wire by the wind.

People often question if a power outage might impact their home’s appliances and devices, even though it happens in a flash.

How Does A Power Outage Affect The Power Grid?

When a power outage occurs, all electrical appliances are turned off immediately. When power is restored, the network voltage is frequently above or below the optimal level. 


Voltage surges, which occur when a voltage variation is too great, can cause catastrophic device damage. TVs, DVD players, PCs, and landline phones are among the most vulnerable gadgets to power surges.

Refrigerators, motors, and other heavy equipment are more resistant to high voltages and burn out less frequently as a result of overvoltage. They are more vulnerable to under-voltage, or a supply voltage that is lower than what they require to work.

This occurs when a refrigerator is exposed to low voltage (which can even occur after the energy supply has been restored), causing the motor to lack sufficient starting power and the wiring to overheat until the thermal protector is triggered. 

These repeated cycles might harm the engine in the long term. Even though the voltage is low, the motor will continue to operate if it is turned on and running.

Can A Power Outage Damage A Refrigerator?

Yes because the voltage increase caused by a power surge will lead to abnormal electrical current within the refrigerator, which generates an excessive amount of heat and possibly damage multiple parts of the refrigerator.


Place the refrigerator’s power circuit breaker switch in the “On” or “Closed” position. Large appliances, such as refrigerators, are frequently put on their electrical circuit, and the circuit breaker may have disengaged to protect the device from electrical harm in the case of a power loss.

How To Restart A Refrigerator After A Power Outage 

  1. Check the main refrigerator circuit breaker 
  2. Verify that the refrigerator is turned on 
  3. Verify that the GFCI power outlet where you plug the refrigerator is not tripped 
  4. Check the cord and plug for electrical shorts 
  5. Fridge component or part is faulty
  6. The refrigerator may require some time to begin cooling

How Do You Protect Your Other Appliances In The Event Of A Power Outage?

Use surge-protecting power strips 

Plugging appliances into a power strip with a built-in surge protector is the simplest and least expensive way to protect them. These strips normally have a fuse blowing if there is a voltage spike, turning off the electricity to your equipment and safeguarding them.

Equip your entire house with a surge protector 

Installing a snap-in surge protector directly into your electrical panel is a more complete and resilient option compared to power strips. This sort of surge protector provides surge protection for your entire home and is simple to install if you don’t have a problem working with your electrical panel.

Inquire with your electrical supplier about surge protection installation 

The most reliable option is to install a surge protector directly before your meter, along your incoming electrical line. This sort of work has to be performed by a licensed electrician and in compliance with the regulations imposed by your local utility provider.

Install GFCI outlets in every room of your house

GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) outlets, which are the electrical outlets with red and black buttons named “Test” and “Reset,” are needed in many countries for new kitchens and bathrooms. These outlets keep track of how much energy is flowing into and out of each socket and turn it off if the difference is too great.

Use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to protect gadgets

A UPS (uninterruptible power supply) is a big power strip with a backup battery. The battery activates if any difficulties with the incoming voltage are detected (this contains surges and power outages), enabling you to use the appliance smoothly. It is particularly beneficial for safeguarding desktop PCs from outages that might result in lost work.

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What is a power outage?

A power outage is a temporary or permanent loss of electric power in a specific area or segment of the power grid. Depending on the amount of damage or the reason for the outage, it might affect a single house, a single building, or a whole city.


Power outages are sometimes referred to as power failures, power blackouts, or just blackouts.

Power outages can be classified into the following categories:

  • Brownout: This is just a situation in which the voltage in the system lowers, causing the lights to dim, thus the name. This can cause electrical devices to behave incorrectly.
  • Blackout: An entire loss of electricity in a region owing to damage to the power system, from the power stations to the power lines. Depending on the magnitude of the damage, the outage might continue anywhere from a few minutes to an indefinite period. It might take months to restore electricity in areas hit by major natural catastrophes that damaged the entirely electric grid infrastructure.

What goes bad in the fridge after a power outage?

According to the USDA’s Keeping Food Safe publication, In the event of a power loss, your refrigerator will keep food safe for up to 4 hours. After 4 hours without electricity, discard refrigerated perishable food such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and leftovers.

Check out this video for more information on food safety after a power outage:

After a power outage, how long does it take for a refrigerator to cool down?

If the refrigerator is not opened, it will keep food cold for around 4 hours. If the door is kept closed, a full freezer will hold the temperature for around 48 hours (24 hours if it is half full).

How long can a fridge be used once it has been plugged in?

Before placing food in the refrigerator, wait two to four hours after plugging it in to be sure it’s chilling.


To conclude, the answer to the question, “Can a power outage damage a refrigerator?” is no. You don’t have to worry about your fridge being ruined after a blackout. However, you should check if it works in perfect condition to make sure that your food will not go bad!