How to tell if refrigerator compressor is bad

The compressor is an important element of the refrigerator cooling system. Its breakdown makes the use of household appliances meaningless. You can understand that something is wrong with the compressor by the following signs:

  1. The appearance of extraneous noise.
  2. Overheating.
  3. Frequent turning on and off.

In this article, we will consider the causes of compressor failure and how to repair it.

Why does the refrigerator compressor fail?

A refrigerator compressor can break down due to high power surges, dirty condenser coils, normal wear and tear, refrigerant problems, etc. Let’s look at each of them separately.

Power surges in the network

Power surges in the network

Power surges lead to breakdown of household appliances, refrigerators are no exception. At the moment when this happens, a powerful current passes through the various components of the equipment, as a result of which they fail. Stabilizer saves from power surges. In it, it is converted and the output is the one required for the normal functioning of the equipment. But the stabilizer is rarely used.

Dirty condenser coils

Dirty condenser coils can lead to compressor failure as they prevent proper cooling. The compressor starts to work in an unusual mode for itself, its wear accelerates. Over time, the condenser can “stand up”, after which the compressor components will stop moving, and cold air will not be produced.

Dirty condenser coil

Refrigerant Problems

The compressor compresses the refrigerant that circulates inside the refrigerator and cools the food. If there is a problem with the refrigerant, this will directly affect the condition of the compressor.

If the refrigerant is contaminated, or its volume is excessive / insufficient, this will negatively affect the operation of the compressor.

Refrigerant leakage is possible due to a violation of the tightness of the system, damage to the internal structural elements of household appliances. Accompanied by poor cooling, long-term operation of the motor, an alarm. The exact cause of the leak can only be determined by a specialist who has the necessary equipment.

General wear

Refrigerator components are subject to wear. The better the compressor, the longer it does not fail. But not all models can boast of a long service life. The first signs of wear may appear after the end of the warranty.

General wear

The longer you use the refrigerator, the higher the likelihood of natural wear of the compressor. Replacing this element is expensive. Sometimes it’s easier to buy a new refrigerator. Moreover, there is no guarantee that after repair the compressor will last as many years as before. It doesn’t matter how much your refrigerator costs. The more expensive it is, the more expensive the compressor repair.

Signs that you can understand that the compressor is out of order

It is better not to engage in self-repair of the compressor. The refrigerant circulating inside is toxic to the body. Its leakage will cause health problems. Entrust this business to qualified specialists.

You can understand whether the compressor has failed or not by a number of signs: the presence of extraneous unpleasant noises, overheating, often turning on / off.

refrigerator compressor is out of order

Strange noise coming from refrigerator compressor

The first thing you need to pay attention to is the appearance of extraneous noise. They signal the imminent failure of the compressor.

Normal compressor noise: a low hum or whirring sound, which is at the same time clearly audible when standing next to the refrigerator. When the device is turned off, the noise disappears, gradually fading, a slight vibration appears.

If the noise of the compressor has noticeably increased, and at the moment of shutdown there is a knock and other dull sounds, this indicates a problem. If you do not take action, the device will stop working in the near future.

Why strange sounds come from the compressor: an electric motor mounted on shock absorbers is placed inside the device. If the integrity of its fasteners is broken, this will provoke the appearance of unpleasant noises. Also, noise may appear due to the wear of the elements inside the engine and the contact of the rear wall of the compressor with the cooling tubes.

Please note: to maintain the temperature at a certain level, the compressor periodically turns on and off. At the same time, at first, the noise emanating from it is stronger than after a few minutes, when the operating temperature is established inside.

refrigerator compressor repair

How to solve the problem: a faulty compressor needs to be changed. The cost of repairs is high, sometimes it is easier to buy a new refrigerator. There is another option to buy a used device taken from the same refrigerator. Then you don’t have to do anything but connect.

Only a qualified specialist can repair the compressor with his own hands. Contact the service center, call the master at home to inspect the equipment. Ask for an approximate cost and make a conclusion whether it is profitable for you or not.

In any case, if you contact the service center immediately after you notice oddities in the behavior of the compressor, you can save the device from a complete breakdown and save on future repairs.

Symptoms of a bad compressor relay

The relay supplies power to the compressor and protects it from overloads. If the relay is faulty, the compressor will not start. The relay is easy to replace. And if the problem is in it, it is not difficult to solve it. You will need to buy a new relay and connect it to the place of the old one. Relay diagnostics: remove the device, put it to your ear and shake it. Do you hear rattling? If so, the relay must be replaced.

refrigerator bad compressor relay

Relay replacement: contact the service center or do the work yourself. To do this, buy a suitable relay, turn off the power to the refrigerator, move it away from the wall and gain access to the compressor. The relay is located nearby, to the right or to the left. Unscrew the screws, remove the protective cover, dismantle the relay. Put a new one in its place.

To avoid problems during the parsing process, look at the instructions for household appliances, or find a video on replacing the relay of your refrigerator model on the Internet.

Compressor overheating

The normal temperature of a refrigerator compressor is in the range of 45-60 degrees Celsius. If it is higher and the body of the device cannot be touched, this indicates a problem. There may not be enough refrigerant inside (leakage or insufficient charge). Over time, this will lead to compressor failure.

At the time of charging the system, the specialist controls the level of refrigerant. If there is enough, but the refrigerator is overheating, it may be time to completely replace the compressor.

Please note: the compressor does not require cooling using forced ventilation. However, it must be positioned so that natural air circulation provides adequate cooling.

The compressor may become excessively hot due to certain user actions for the following reasons:

  • Super freeze mode is activated.
  • Fast cooling mode is activated.
  • Forced defrost is rarely performed. According to the requirements of manufacturers, this should be done at least once every 6-12 months.
  • Wrong arrangement of products inside. If the refrigerator is completely clogged, air circulation is disrupted. The compressor starts to work constantly to maintain a normal microclimate.

Follow these basic rules to prevent compressor overheating and increased wear.

Compressor relay trips too often

Compressor relay trips too often

Pay attention to how often the refrigerator turns on and off. If he does this more than usual, look for a problem in the relay.

Disconnect the refrigerator, remove the relay, shake it near your ear. If you hear rattling, that’s the problem. If you can’t hear anything, the compressor is at fault. It may suffer from congestion for the reasons described above. Therefore, the relay operates more frequently to prevent it from overheating.

If the refrigerator began to turn on and off more often than usual, disconnect it and call a specialist at home. Let’s see what happened. If the case is in the relay, replace it according to the scheme described earlier or leave this matter to the master. It is possible that he has this part in stock and you do not have to waste time looking for it. The main thing is to ask in advance how much it costs and then compare the price with that set by various sellers.

The relay has a certain service life. It breaks due to overheating or as a result of natural wear and tear. You can try to repair it, but its price is not high enough to do it.

Overloading the compressor is fraught with undesirable consequences. Don’t wait until something bad happens. At the first oddities in the operation of the refrigerator, contact the service center. Masters will quickly find the cause of the problem and offer options to fix it.