How to Fix a Fridge Compressor?

Published On: December 23, 20221 Comment on How to Fix a Fridge Compressor?Tags: , Last Updated: January 24, 20246.2 min read

If the compressor in your refrigerator seems too hot to touch, you should take it seriously since it might constitute a fire danger when not properly maintained. So, what’s the deal with your compressor overheating, and how to fix a fridge compressor? Surprisingly, the problem may not even be with your compressor. Several possible factors might be causing it to run hot.

repairman fixing the fridge

We’ll go through each of them, as well as what you can do when the compressor is the source of the difficulties so that you get an idea of how to fix fridge compressor.

Troubleshooting Condenser Coils

Most of us go through life without ever thinking about how our refrigerator works. After all, we do not care how the device accomplishes it as long as it keeps our food cold – it simply does. There is nothing wrong with not understanding how every piece of contemporary technology works as long as there are fridge repair experts who know how to fix fridge compressor problems. There are so many gadgets in our houses that it is difficult to comprehend how they all work.

So, what should you do if your refrigerator compressor is overheating and you’re not sure why? Replacing a compressor takes solid technical expertise, so make certain it is the compressor before proceeding. Some external causes might cause a refrigerator compressor to overheat. It’s possible that the heat is coming from your condenser coils. If you store your fridge or freezer in a dusty or unclean environment, it may interfere with its normal performance over time.

Dust and grime can accumulate on the condenser coil, preventing air from moving and causing your compressor to overheat. You should be able to remove the dust using a vacuum but proceed with caution. If you do not know how to fix fridge compressor issues, it is better to turn to an expert from the very beginning.

Troubleshooting a Condenser Fan Motor

Some telltale signs indicate that your condenser fan motor is the source of your refrigerator’s hot compressor. When the fan is turned on, it will emit a distinct noise. If you don’t hear any sound, there’s a significant probability your fan isn’t working properly. Unplug your refrigerator before proceeding. It is now safe to remove your refrigerator from the wall and inspect the fan. If there is a lot of dust, start by cleaning it away using a cloth or a vacuum. Try spinning the fan blades with your hands next. If it slides smoothly, you should be OK to replug the fridge and give it another go. If your fridge starts working and your compressor isn’t overheating, the problem was most likely caused by excessive dust. Use your knowledge of how to fix a fridge compressor to perform further actions.

Auto Defrost System Not Working Properly

It’s convenient to have a fridge or freezer with an auto-defrost option. When everything is operating properly, you won’t have to worry about defrosting operations that require you to empty your appliance beforehand. When it stops working correctly, though, it may cause a slew of issues, one of which is that it causes your refrigerator compressor to overheat, stopping the cooling process from functioning. This is not a simple fix, and we recommend turning to professionals who know all the tricks of how to fix a fridge compressor.

fridge compressor

What to Do If the Refrigerator Compressor Is Hot?

A refrigerator compressor works by increasing the pressure of the coolant, compressing it into a gaseous condition, and forcing it through the coils positioned on the appliance’s exterior back. When this heated vapour comes into contact with the colder kitchen air, it begins to cool. As it continues its trip past the exposed coil and into the fridge, it cools down the fridge inside. Because the compressor heating up is a natural stage in the cooling process, you should anticipate it to get warm, but not boiling hot.

#1- Unplug and Defrost Your Fridge

If your refrigerator compressor appears to be running hot but there are no apparent burn indications, you may be able to fix the problem yourself. Begin by disconnecting your appliance and setting it aside for a few hours to thaw. It is the first stage of how to fix a noisy fridge compressor. Make a new “temporary home” for any food you’ve stored there so it doesn’t spoil. If you don’t have a second fridge, a cooler full of ice is an alternative.

#2 – Clean the Coils

After allowing your refrigerator to defrost fully, clean the coils at the back of the machine as well as any other dirt and debris surrounding the compressor. Afterward, try plugging your fridge back in and give it an hour or two to cool down. If it looks to be operating correctly at this stage and the compressor is no longer terribly hot, you should be able to bring your food back inside.

#3 – Look for an Open Winding in the Compressor Windings

Those who know all ins and outs of how to fix a noisy fridge compressor recommend removing the refrigerator from the wall and disconnecting the power cable from the wall receptacle. To diagnose the compressor, you’ll be utilizing the ohms feature on your digital multimeter, and having electricity attached to the circuit under test causes incorrect readings and ruins the meter. Find the compressor’s start relay and remove it from the terminals on the compressor’s side. Modern refrigerators employ solid-state start relays, which may be identified by the two wires connected to them. The three exposed pins are labelled “S,” “C,” and “R” for Run, Common, and Start winding pins, respectively. If the pins are not labelled, set the function switch on the digital meter to the R x 1 scale and find the two pins with the highest reading.

#4 – Examine the Motor Windings for Shorts

In a compressor motor, two sorts of shorts can occur: a turn-to-turn short within a winding and a winding-to-frame short. The resistance measured between the Run and Common pins, as well as the Start and Common pins, should not differ more than 0.5 ohms. If the readings differ considerably, the winding with the significantly lower measurement has a turn-to-turn short, and the compressor must be replaced. Take a reading between each of the pins and the compressor casing to look for a winding-to-motor-frame short. If the meter’s LCD does not indicate an “O.L.” during these tests, the compressor is faulty and must be replaced.

#5 – Examine the Thermostatic Control

If the motor windings are in good condition, the issue is either a faulty motor initiating relay work or a buggy thermostatic control switch. Because there is no straightforward method to test the solid-state starting relay without replacing it, examine the thermostatic control switch. Set the switch to 4 or 5, then test for continuity between the plug and the wires connected to the start relay. The LCD of the meter should show a “0.000” reading between either side of the plug and one of the wires connected to the start relay. If either side shows an “O.L.,” the thermostatic control is defective and has to be replaced. Replace the solid-state motor starting relay if the thermostatic switch passes inspection. This manipulation will help you understand how to fix a noisy fridge compressor.

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  1. Dan November 16, 2023 at 7:51 pm

    It’s so true that so many people don’t even care about how any of their appliances work at all. As an appliance repair company, we have extensive training on these kinds of things and many times, the new people have no idea how anything works, just blows my mind….

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