4 Common Refrigerator Compressor Problems

A refrigerator compressor laid out in the open.

Refrigerator compressor problems can be a huge pain. Sometimes it’s hard to detect these problems early enough and you only figure out that something is wrong when your fridge stops working. However, experts suggest that if you know what some symptoms might be, you can definitely solve problems before they damage the entire system. A new fridge should not have such problems, but if you have had your fridge for more than five years, you should be a little cautious. Here is a shortlist of the most common refrigerator compressor problems that might occur.

1. Refrigerator Compressor Fan Stops

The refrigerator compressor fan is an indispensable part of the system; you probably know that whenever you have any electric or electronic machine that works on a processor, the fan is necessary to cool the system down and prevent problems such as overheating. If the fan stops, you will feel it and the refrigerator will make some funny noises. This is not a problem you can fix on your own, so you need to call a fridge technician or an electrician who knows how to replace fans.

2. Compressor Clicks On and Off

If you see that your compressor clicks on and off, or doesn’t run at all, you should check if there is a start relay problem. It could also mean that there is some sort of compressor overload. This needs to be checked because the compressor might easily burst if not properly taken care of. You can check it with an amp meter or, again, call someone with experience in electric devices and home appliances. But this doesn’t mean that you will need to pay lots of money. In most cases a dirty relay can cause such problems; therefore, it only requires cleaning and proper maintenance.

3. Fridge Not Cool Enough

One of the best indications that there is something wrong with the compressor is that the fridge is not cool enough, or that some areas of the fridge are less cool than they used to be. Testing the compressor motor will give you a hint about what is happening. How can you test it? It is not hard, but you need to unplug the fridge and access it from the back. However, since most compressors have a capacitor, it is recommended to let an experienced person do this job.

If the fridge doesn’t keep a cool temperature, you should know that there could be four or five different possible problems, not necessarily related to the compressor.

4. Noisy Compressor

This is a rather common problem. The compressor is typically silent in most modern fridges, so if it makes a noise, it’s obviously not a good sign. You’ll need to check where the noise is coming from first. If it’s the compressor itself, it might be already too late. Usually, a noisy compressor is a bad compressor, so you will probably need to replace it immediately. Keep in mind that the compressor is the device that handles the gas and pressure inside the fridge, so noise might be associated with high pressure and bad gas maintenance.