Solutions to Fridge Compressor Not Working Problem

You walk into your kitchen, open the fridge, and… nothing. The compressor isn’t working, and your food is starting to spoil. A faulty fridge compressor can be a huge inconvenience. Not only will all your food go bad, but you’ll also have to spend money on a new fridge.

Before you run out and buy a new fridge, check out our blog post on the most common causes of a fridge compressor not working. We’ll walk you through how to diagnose the issue and how to fix it yourself.

What causes a refrigerator compressor to stop working?

A refrigerator compressor is responsible for circulating coolant throughout the fridge, and it relies on several different components to function properly. If any of these components are not working properly, it can cause the compressor to stop working. If your refrigerator compressor has stopped working, check for these common problems.

Faulty Start Relay

The start relay is an electromagnetic switch that’s used to close the circuit on the compressor. It’s what gives the compressor the initial boost of power it needs to start up. If the start relay fails, the compressor won’t be able to turn on, and your fridge will stop cooling.

The start relay is usually located near the compressor, in the back of the Samsung, or any common refrigerator. It will be a small black box with wires coming out of it. If you’re not sure where it is, consult your fridge’s manual.

To check if the start relay is functioning, you can use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If the relay is working, the multimeter should register a continuous beep. If not, then the relay needs to be replaced.

To do this, you’ll first need to identify the correct replacement part for your fridge. Once you have the replacement, follow these steps.

  • Unplug the fridge from the power outlet, locate the start relay and remove it from its mounting.
  • Take note of the wire configuration and how it’s connected to the start relay.
  • Install the new start relay in the same position and reconnect the wires.
  • Plug the fridge back in and turn it on.
  • It should start working again.

If you’re having trouble finding the right replacement part or don’t feel comfortable replacing the start relay yourself, you can always call a qualified technician to do it for you.

Faulty Capacitor

The capacitor is responsible for providing a boost of power to the compressor when it first turns on.  This helps the compressor to overcome any resistance in the system and start up quickly. Once the compressor is running, the capacitor remains off until the next time the unit is turned on.

The capacitor is usually located near the fridge’s compressor in a white or black box. It may also be located behind the kick plate or near the control panel. If you cannot find it, check your owner’s manual for its location.

Over time, the capacitor can become worn out, causing it to provide less power or even fail completely.

If you think the capacitor may be failing, you can check it with a multimeter.

  • Set the multimeter to the ohms setting and touch the probes to the terminals on the capacitor.
  • If the reading gradually increases, then the capacitor is functioning properly.
  • If the reading is zero or close to zero, then the capacitor is not functioning correctly and needs to be replaced.

You can do this yourself if you have some experience with electrical work.

  • First, turn off the power to the fridge.
  • Then, remove the capacitor from its location and take it to a local appliance store to purchase a replacement.
  • Once you have the replacement, install it in the same location as the old one and reconnect the power.
  • Turn on the fridge and check to see if it is cooling properly.

If not, then the problem may be with another component in your frost free or any other type of refrigerator, and you should contact a qualified technician for further diagnosis.

Voltage Surge

Voltage surges can occur for a variety of reasons, including power outages, lightning strikes, and faulty wiring. When the voltage in your home spikes for a brief period, it can cause the compressor to shut off.

Usually, the fridge will automatically restart when the voltage returns to normal. However, if the surge is large enough, it can cause the windings in the compressor to overheat and burn out. This will damage the compressor and cause it to stop working altogether.

If you suspect that your fridge compressor has failed due to a voltage surge, you should have it inspected by a qualified technician.

Also Read: Best Refrigerators: Guides, Reviews & Comparisons

Dirty Condenser Coils

The coils are located on the back of the fridge, and they are responsible for dissipating heat from it. Over time, dust and dirt can build up on the coils, making them less effective at releasing heat. As a result, the fridge has to work harder to cool down, which can cause the compressor to overheat and eventually fail.

  • To clean the coils, you will need to unplug the fridge and remove any removable panels.
  • Once the coils are exposed, you can use a brush or vacuum attachment to remove any build-up.
  • Be sure to also clean any ventilation openings, as these can also become blocked over time.
  • Once the coils are clean, replace the back panel and plug your fridge back in.
  • With any luck, your compressor will start working again.

If your fridge is still not cooling properly after cleaning the coils, then you may need to try another method mentioned in this blog.

Tripped Circuit Breaker

The compressor is powered by an electric motor, and it is this motor that can sometimes trip the circuit breaker. This can happen if the compressor overheats or if there is a problem with the electrical wiring.

The first thing you should do is check the breaker box to see if any breaker has been tripped. If it has, simply reset the breaker, and see if that solves the problem. If the problem persists, you may need to call an electrician to take a look at your wiring.

Blown Thermal Fuse

A thermal fuse is a safety device that is used in fridges to prevent the appliance from overloading and causing a fire. The fuse is designed to break the circuit if the fridge gets too hot, which will stop the flow of electricity and prevent the appliance from continuing to operate.

The thermal fuse is typically located near the compressor, in the back of any, or especially the 5 star refrigerator. It may also be located under the control panel or behind the kick plate. Consult your fridge’s manual to find the exact location of the fuse.

To check if the thermal fuse is functioning, you will need a multimeter.

  • Set the multimeter to the ohms setting and touch one lead to each of the terminals on the fuse.
  • If the reading is zero, then the fuse is functioning properly.
  • If the reading is infinite, then the fuse has blown and needs to be replaced.

If the thermal fuse has blown, you will need to replace it with a new one.

  • To do this, you will need to disconnect the power to the fridge and remove the back panel.
  • Locate the fuse and unplug it from the socket.
  • Install the new fuse in the socket and reattach the back panel.
  • Reconnect the power to the fridge and test the appliance to make sure it is working properly.

If the fridge still does not work after replacing the fuse, there may be another issue mentioned below that needs to be addressed.

Compressor Motor Issues

A compressor motor in a fridge is a specialized type of electric motor that helps to power the fridge’s compressor. This component is responsible for circulating coolant throughout the fridge and keeping the temperature inside at a consistent level. Without a properly functioning compressor motor, your fridge would be unable to maintain a safe and consistent temperature, which could lead to food spoilage.

The motor typically looks like a small, cylindrical device. It is usually made of metal and has a series of coils or other electrical components inside. In some cases, the motor may also have a fan attached to it. This helps to cool the motor while it is running and prevents it from overheating.

It is located near the back of the fridge, near the compressor. In some cases, it may be located behind the freezer compartment or in another location. If you are unsure of where your fridge’s compressor motor is located, you can consult your fridge’s manual or contact a refrigerator repair technician for help.

There are a few ways to check if your fridge’s compressor motor is functioning properly:

  • One way is to listen for any strange noises coming from the back of the fridge. If you hear a humming or buzzing noise, this could be an indication that the motor is having difficulty starting or running.
  • Another way to check the compressor motor is to feel the back of the fridge for any excessive warmth. If the motor is overheating, this could be an indication that it is not running properly.
  • Finally, you can check the fridge’s temperature to see if it is staying consistent. If the fridge is not maintaining a consistent temperature, this could be an indication that the compressor motor is not working correctly.

There are a few common issues that can affect the performance of your fridge’s compressor motor:

  • One issue is dirt and debris build-up. Over time, dirt and debris can accumulate on the coils and other electrical components of the motor. This can cause the motor to overheat or become less efficient.
  • Another common issue is electrical problems. If the motor is not receiving enough power, it can cause the motor to run slowly or become overheated.
  • Finally, a problem with the fridge’s coolant system can also affect the compressor motor. If the coolant level is low, it can cause the motor to overheat or shut down completely.

If you are having trouble with your fridge’s compressor motor, there are a few things you can do to try and fix the problem:

  • First, you can clean the coils and other electrical components of the motor with a soft cloth.
  • If this does not fix the problem, you can check the coolant level and add more if necessary.
  • Finally, you can contact a refrigerator repair technician for help.

We would advise against replacing a compressor motor unless you are a qualified repair person. Incorrectly wiring the compressor motor can be extremely dangerous and can cause serious damage to your fridge. If you are not confident in your ability to correctly replace the compressor motor, we recommend that you contact a refrigerator repair technician for assistance.

Low Refrigerant Levels

Another common reason a fridge compressor may not be working is that the refrigerant levels are low. If the fridge is not properly cooled, the food inside can spoil quickly. A fridge with low refrigerant levels will also have to work harder to maintain the proper temperature, which can lead to wear and tear on the compressor.

There are a few signs that may indicate that your fridge has low refrigerant levels:

  • The fridge is not properly cooling food.
  • The fridge is making more noise than usual.
  • The fridge has frost or ice build-up on the coils.
  • The compressor is running constantly.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s important to have a professional check your fridge to see if the refrigerant levels are low. Low refrigerant levels can be caused by a leak in the system, and this should be fixed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to your fridge.

Faulty Electronic Board

The electronic control board is the brain of the refrigerator, controlling all the components that make the fridge run. It tells the compressor when to turn on and off, regulates the temperature inside the fridge, and controls the lights and dispense water.

The control board is a small, rectangular box located inside the fridge, usually near the back. It has several wires running to it and is mounted on the frame of the fridge.

To test the control board, you’ll need a multimeter and follow below steps:

  • With the fridge unplugged, remove the control board from the fridge and locate the two large terminals on the board.
  • These are the power terminals, and they should have wires running to them from the compressor and evaporator coils.
  • Place one lead of the multimeter on each of these terminals and set the multimeter to the ohms setting.
  • If the reading is infinite, then the control board is most likely fine.
  • If you get a reading of zero or close to zero, then the control board needs to be replaced.

One common issue the control board can have is that it can short out, causing the fridge to stop working. Another issue is that the control board can become damaged and stop working properly. This can happen if there is a power surge or if the fridge is exposed to extreme temperatures.

If the control board is the problem, it will need to be replaced. You will need a professional to replace the Electronic Control Board in your fridge.

While it is possible to replace the control board yourself, it’s not recommended unless you have experience working with electrical components.


There are many potential causes for a fridge compressor not working, so it is important to troubleshoot the problem before assuming that the compressor itself is faulty. Sometimes, simply resetting the fridge can fix the issue. Other times, more serious repairs may be necessary. In any case, it is always best to consult with a qualified appliance repair technician to diagnose and resolve the problem.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

1. How do I know if my refrigerator compressor is not working?

There are a few signs that your refrigerator compressor may not be working properly. One is that your fridge will become increasingly warm over time. Another is that you may hear strange noises coming from your fridge, or it may run for longer periods of time than usual. If you notice either of these things, it’s best to consult a professional to have your fridge checked out.

2. What happens if the refrigerator compressor stops working?

If your refrigerator compressor stops working, your fridge will not be able to properly cool your food. This can cause your food to spoil and become unsafe to eat. In some cases, a broken compressor may also cause water leakage. If you notice that your fridge is not cooling properly, check to see if the compressor is running. If it is not, then you will need to call a qualified repair person to fix the problem.

3. Is it worth replacing a compressor on a refrigerator?

If your fridge compressor is still under warranty, repairing or replacing it will likely be worth it. If your fridge is older than 10 years and the compressor is not under warranty, repairing or replacing it may not be as worth it since other parts of the refrigerator could break down soon after. Ultimately, whether or not repairing or replacing a compressor on your fridge is worth it depends on the age and condition of the fridge as well as if the compressor is still under warranty.

4. How much does it cost to fix a refrigerator compressor?

Any compressor repairs required during the warranty period will be free of cost. Most refrigerator brands give a warranty of 5 to 10 year on compressor from the date of purchase. However, it the fridge is not in warranty, it can cost anywhere from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 15,000 to fix a refrigerator compressor, depending on the severity of the problem and the make and model of the fridge. If the problem is minor, such as a loose wire or clogged filter, then it may only cost a few thousand rupees to fix. However, if the compressor is damaged or needs to be replaced, then the cost can be much higher.

5. How long should a refrigerator compressor last?

The average refrigerator compressor should last about 15 years. However, this is just an estimate, and your mileage may vary depending on the quality of your fridge and how well you take care of it. If you keep your fridge clean and dust-free and don’t overload it, your compressor should last a long time.

6. How to reset a refrigerator compressor?

To reset a refrigerator’s compressor, unplug the power cord from the outlet/socket and leave the fridge unplugged for 5 minutes. Then, turn both the fridge and freezer controls to ‘OFF’ or ‘0’. Finally, plug the fridge back into the power socket and adjust the fridge and freezer controls to the desired setting. Give the fridge a day to adjust to a stable temperature.

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