How To Reset A Refrigerator Compressor

Six Easy Steps on How to Reset Your Refrigerator Compressor


You just got out of bed and went into the kitchen to grab some eggs from your 30-inch refrigerator and cook yourself breakfast to start your day. But then, you started hearing strange sounds from your appliance that you couldn’t pinpoint. We hate to break it to you, but the compressor might be going out of hand and in dire need of a reset.

So how does one go about resetting a refrigerator? It’s more than simply disconnecting your refrigerator, letting it cool for a few minutes, then changing the temperature before plugging it back. And we here at DaDongNY will be discussing how to inspect and fix common garage-ready refrigerator compressor issues and reset them.

What Does The Compressor In Your Refrigerator Do?

The compressor on your refrigerator is designed to function with a low-pressure gaseous coolant. If needed, the thermostat will request cold air, and the compressor will activate, leading to an elevated pressure condition. The high-pressure air flows across the cooling coils, and the fans push your cold air into the refrigerator and freezer air vents.

Your refrigerator will adjust when it starts to cool your food if you adjust the thermostat to the desired setting. This will also save your electricity bill as you adjust the temperature and use the cooling process less. 

The refrigerator is also given time to thaw and return to its usual temperature. When you switch the refrigerator back on, the compressor will kick in and chill it down to the programmed temperature.

How to Determine if a Refrigerator Compressor Is Faulty

Almost every household has a fully working refrigerator, and every piece of this equipment contains a compressor, one of the refrigerator’s most important components. If something goes wrong, you will immediately discover that your refrigerator should perform more smoothly. 

Here are the most common problems that indicate a malfunctioning refrigerator compressor and their solutions.

  1. The Refrigerator Is Too Hot

There are two indications that your compressor is faulty: when the refrigerator is not cold enough or when some sections are not as cool as they’re supposed to be. Checking the compressor motor will give you a glimpse into what’s happening.

To test your compressor motor, follow these steps:

  • To start, remove the back of the refrigerator to access the compressor.
  • Check the compressor motor’s operation with a digital multimeter.
  • The compressor must be replaced if the measurements suggest it is not functional. 
  • Depending on the condition of your refrigerator, you must consider if it is worth

purchasing a replacement part or whether it is time to replace it with a new fridge.

  • If the digital multimeter tests reveal that your compressor is operating properly, it shows that the problem is with another part.
  1. There Is A Lot Of Noise Coming From The Compressor

Strange noise emanating from your fridge is a common indication of a faulty compressor. Most modern refrigerators have quiet compressors, so if one makes noise, it’s a terrible sign. 

With that being said, you must pinpoint the noise’s source. If the compressor is the culprit, it could be too late, as such a loud compressor is often a damaged compressor that must be replaced. 

You can use a digital multimeter to assess whether the compressor causes the noise. 

  1. The Fan Is Not Working

A condenser fan is an important part of the compressor device as it keeps your compressor cool and prevents overheating. You will notice it if the fan stops and the refrigerator starts generating weird sounds.

To see if this is the case, try the following steps:

  • Move the refrigerator out of the wall and unplug it. Remove the small panel on the back at the bottom to access the compressor and condenser fan.
  • Plug the refrigerator and sit tight until the compressor kicks on.
  • If somehow the compressor starts, but the fan doesn’t, or perhaps the fan is making a loud noise, you need to replace it with a new fan.
  • Once the compressor cools down, try the same procedure to double-check if the fan is indeed broken.
  • After unplugging the refrigerator, replace the fan. You should be able to get a replacement fan online or right through your refrigerator’s manufacturer.
  1. The Compressor Is Switching On And Off

If you see the compressor switching on and off, you probably have a defective refrigerator compressor. If your compressor operates irregularly or not, you can check the start relay as a power surge potentially damages your compressor start relays.

To evaluate if the compressor start relay is the source of the problem, follow these steps:

  • A compressor start relay provides electricity to the compressor. If the relay fails, the compressor cannot receive electricity and will not function properly.
  • The most straightforward way to tell whether a relay is failing is to unscrew and shake it. If the compressor relay starts rattling, it has to be changed.

To resolve the issue, follow these steps:

  • Check if the refrigerator is not connected to any power sources.
  • Remove the back panel to get access to the parts within the refrigerator.
  • Remove the compressor and start the relay with your hand.
  • After detaching, shake it and check for a rattling sound to verify that this needs to be replaced.
  • You would be able to get a new part from your refrigerator’s manufacturer.
  • After changing the start relay, your compressor should continue its normal operation.
  1. The Condenser Coils Look Filthy

Condenser coils are one of the most common parts of the refrigerator compressor that could malfunction if they become dirty. This is because dirty coils make it much more difficult for the refrigerator to cool down efficiently.

With this, your refrigerator is forced to run harder than it should be, resulting in heating and early breakdown. The worst is the condenser could stop working, and all of its parts cannot function, resulting in the refrigerator not generating cold air.

To clean condenser coils, follow these steps:

  • Remove your refrigerator’s electrical supply.
  • Pull your refrigerator’s rear panel.
  • Scrub the coils with a firm brush and clean up the dust accumulation.
  • The refrigerator should function correctly again now that the coils have been cleaned.

If Any Of Your Attempts Are Unsuccessful

If the compressor still needs to be fixed, you want to respect your refrigerator’s warranty, or you are uncomfortable working with electrical components, you should seek professional help.

In other words, it is necessary to be evaluated by an E.P.A.-registered professional (Environmental Protection Agency). But in some cases, simply resetting the refrigerator’s compressor will do the job.

How to Reset Your Refrigerator’s Compressor

Step 1: Pull The Refrigerator From The Wall

Most refrigerators are normally mounted to the wall to provide proper support if they slip and fall off without perfect balance.

Always pull the fridge away from the wall and hold it in the proper position to avoid damaging its parts. To move it effectively, hold it side by side and rock it as you transfer it onto the other side of the kitchen.

Step 2: Disconnect Your Refrigerator

While disconnecting the refrigerator, there are various measures to do; you must do them carefully to avoid damaging your appliance.

  • Pull the fridge from the wall and reach behind it to grab the electrical connection;
  • Always close the water valves that transfer water to the ice-making compartment;
  • And turn the knob on the ice-making line to ensure that it is closed

Step 3: Turn Off The Control Panel

Not all refrigerators are turned off in the same way. With that in mind, always read the instructions for the appliance when you purchase it. This guarantees that your refrigerator is correctly and effectively turned off.

Step 4: Connect The Refrigerator Again

Plug in the refrigerator after it’s been placed back upright. If the fridge has been resting for twenty minutes, you should wait at the same time before putting it back in and turning it on. Make sure that the plug is correctly connected to the outlet.

Step 5: Reset The Thermostat Settings

One of the most effective ways to change the temperature settings is to hold the reset button for a few minutes. You should always consult the instruction guide provided with your refrigerator to ensure everything is done correctly throughout the process.

Step 6: Return The Fridge To Its Original Location

Put the refrigerator back in its original place, making sure to do it carefully so it does not contact the surface. Having fridges that display light when operational to be hit on the surface may cause them to flicker.

Step 7: Wait For A Maximum Of Twenty-Four Hours

You should always wait at least twenty-four hours for your fridge to return to its regular operation before you place all the food items back. It is best to pay close attention to the sound generated to guarantee it is in good working condition.

Five Easy Ways to Maintain Your Refrigerator Compressor

  1. Maintain The Vicinity Around The Compressor Neat

Because the compressor is among the most important components of a refrigerator, you must keep the area surrounding it neat. This will help you keep dirt off the compressor, allowing it to operate smoothly.

Maintaining the area around the compressor clean will also help to make it last longer. To do this, brush away any dirt that develops around the compressor, be bold, and give it a deep clean regularly.

  1. Check For Dust And Dirt On The Coils

Refrigerators have become among the most important pieces of equipment in our homes. Thus, they must be kept in good condition. One way to do that is to clean the coils regularly. These coils in the back of your refrigerator help cool down the compressor. When the coils are clogged with dirt, they can’t function effectively, and your fridge has to exert greater effort to maintain everything cool. 

To avoid overworking your compressor, unplug the refrigerator and use a soft bristle brush to remove any accumulation. After you’re finished, plug in your fridge again, and it should be fine.

  1. Make Sure Sure The Door Seals Are Tight

A faulty seal can cause your refrigerator compressor to cool harder, increasing energy consumption and costs.

Furthermore, a faulty seal can cause the cold air from your fridge to escape or your fridge to be damp, affecting the quality of the food inside. You can keep your refrigerator functioning optimally and your food fresh by testing and replacing the seals on a regular basis.

  1. Change Your Filter On A Daily Basis

Anyone who has once experienced a clogged filter understands how bothersome it can be. This not only decreases the effectiveness of your refrigerator, but it can also end up causing the compressor to overheat. Even so, you can start replacing your filter on a regular basis. Refrigerator filters must be updated every six months, depending on the type of filter you have right now. With this, you can maintain your refrigerator operating like a new one.

  1. Do Not Store Hot Food In The Refrigerator

We’ve all placed hot food in the fridge or freezer. Sometimes we rush to cool our refrigerator, so it doesn’t spoil, or sometimes we cannot wait to cool down before eating it. However, placing hot food in the fridge can harm your appliance.

When hot food makes contact with the cold surface of your refrigerator, the compressor may have to put in more effort than needed. This inevitably puts additional strain on the compressor and leads to higher energy consumption. Therefore, the next time you’re tempted to stash hot food inside the fridge, stop and let it cool off first.

Doing so guarantees that your refrigerator compressor operates and lasts as long as possible.

What Is The Cost Of A New Refrigerator Compressor?

If you or a professional can do nothing to fix your fridge compressor, you will need to replace it with a new one. If you have the technical knowledge to set it up yourself, it will cost you around $200 to $450, depending on the model and size of your fridge.

If you need professional help to install the new compressor, it will cost you an additional charge of $100 to $200 per hour.

Ensure that your technician and the service agency are competent H.V.A.C. specialists registered with the E.P.A! A professional service provider will give a guarantee of the durability and quality of their services.

Make sure that any repairs performed on your appliance do not infringe on the terms of your warranty agreement with the refrigerator manufacturer.

In addition, to save money, spend some time researching and contacting several repair providers for estimates.


  • What you’ll need to Reset Your Refrigerator Compressor?

There are no supplies required to reset your refrigerator compressor. In most cases, you only need moving, unplugging the refrigerator, and a little hard lifting to reset the compressor.

  • Why Is It Not A Good Idea If The Compressor In My Refrigerator Malfunctions?

If the compressor in your refrigerator malfunctions, you will have equipment that is no longer chilling. When the fridge stops cooling, it is no longer fulfilling its duty.

As a result, you’ll end up with spoiled food, water leakage, and a messed-up freezer section, along with an expensive cost to repair or replace the refrigerator.

Furthermore, suppose a high-voltage power surge has damaged the compressor. In that case, the issue becomes much more complicated and expensive because the same high-voltage power surge frequently destroys other fridge parts, which must be fixed or replaced.


A malfunction in your refrigerator’s compressor could be a nuisance if you don’t fix the issue immediately. That being said, you can easily check and fix your problem if you have the technical skills about the fridge and the guide above. If none of the things work, you will have to hire professional help to consult and get quotes to set up a new compressor part for your fridge. 

With the following guides we have provided above, we hope that we can assist you in fixing and maintaining your compressor without a hinge.

To learn more about refrigerators and how this valuable piece of equipment chills the food and beverages inside, check out the post here.

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