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How to Remove a Compressor from a Refrigerator

Close up of the back workings of a fridge

When the cooling stops This is going to happen to older fridges more than newer ones. There will be times when your fridge stops cooling and when it does, the repair costs will be larger than you want them to be.

Usually, when the cooling stops the source of the problem is the compressor. To save money, you can do this repair yourself. It will take a minimum amount of experience and a little time. Keep reading to find out how to do this task right.

How to Know It is the Compressor’s Fault

Hand being cupped to ear as if to listen

This is the first step in removing any compressor from any fridge. You have to make sure that it is actually the compressor that is the problem and that it has gone bad. The lack of noise is the first sign that there is a problem with this device.

When you do not hear that gentle humming sound, then there is something wrong. The second sign would be that the fridge remains warm no matter how low you turn the temperature dial.

When these two signs appear, you know that you either have to do this chore or you need to call in a repairman. The latter choice is the only option when the fridge is still under warranty.

How to Replace the Compressor

male hand holding the handle of a red tool box

This task sounds more than it really is but the reason for that is one, it is in the fridge, and two, there are wires to disconnect. Here are the steps that will guide you to a successful replacement:

Step 1 – Locate the Compressor

This unit is usually at the bottom of the fridge and at the back. This means you will have to pull the fridge out from the wall and remove the back panel for easy access. The compressor looks like an odd-shaped cylinder and it is probably the largest part of the fridge.

Step 2 – Removing the Compressor

Make sure you unplug the fridge before you get started working on any wire or part. Next, look for the capacitor as you will have to disconnect that device from the compressor.

This is done by removing the wires, valves, etc., and placing them out of your way.

Step 3 – Remove Any Bolts

Nuts and bolts scattered on a white background

The compressor will not be sitting free. You will have to locate each bolt or screw holding it in place and remove those items. This will only take a minute and if you are used to using tools, even less time is needed.

Once the compressor is free from wires and bolts, simply pick it up and lift it out of the bottom of the fridge. When that is done place it out of your way to wait till you are ready to dispose of it.

Step 4 – Replacing the Compressor

Before you start this task, you should have bought the new replacement unit. Installation is a simple reversal of the removal process. Lift the compressor into place and place it gently down where it is supposed to go.

There is no sense in damaging the new unit before it does any work for you. Replace the bolts and screws and you do not have to go any tighter than hand tight. The screws or bolts should be tight enough so that no vibrations take place.

Step 5 – Reconnect the Capacitor

Just put the wires in their proper place and make sure the connection is good and solid.

Step 6 – Add the Refrigerant

Green Freon bottle with gauges

This can be a bit tricky and make sure you follow all the manufacturer’s instructions when you do this step. One misstep and you may have to buy another can or two of refrigerant.

Step 7 – Connect All Valves

Like the wiring system, this is not hard and the main concern is to make sure the valves connect properly and do not have any leaks. Follow the diagrams that come with the fridge.

It is best to avoid using those diagrams you find online as those may not describe your fridge’s setup or operation.

Step 8 – Do a Test

Always do a test first before you put the fridge away. Making sure everything works as it should and there are no leaks is vital to the operation of the fridge.

That is all there is to it

Open fridge filled with food open against a red wall

As you can see, there is not really a lot of hard work or complicated instructions to follow when removing the fridge compressor. Just take your time and do one step at a time. If in doubt or you do not feel confident enough to handle the task, call in a professional to do it for you.

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