How to Replace Refrigerator Compressor: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Replace Refrigerator Compressor?

To replace a refrigerator compressor, start by turning off the power and removing the contents of the fridge.

Pull the refrigerator out from the wall and remove the back panel.

Disconnect the power cable and remove the cover, relay, capacitor, and overload protector.

Release the refrigerant, sand the compressor tubes, and cut the discharge and suction tubes.

Remove the old compressor and filter, and clean the tubes if needed.

Install the new compressor by attaching the new filter.

Solder a Schrader valve onto the extra connection, connect and weld the filter onto the condenser outlet, and attach the filter to the capillary tube.

Position the new compressor correctly and connect all the tubes, performing a leak test using nitrogen or soapy water.

Remove air from the compressor with a vacuum pump.

Install the capacitor to the relay and connect the overload protector to the compressor’s terminal.

Connect the cooling system wires and put the cover back on.

Fill the compressor with the correct amount of refrigerant.

Double-check all wires and tubes, then turn on the refrigerator and test if it’s working.

If it still doesn’t work after following these steps, seek assistance from a technician.

Key Points:

  • Turn off power and remove contents of the fridge
  • Disconnect power cable and remove cover, relay, capacitor, and overload protector
  • Release refrigerant, sand compressor tubes, and cut discharge and suction tubes
  • Remove old compressor and filter, clean tubes if necessary
  • Install new compressor, attach new filter, and connect tubes
  • Fill compressor with the correct amount of refrigerant
  • Test if refrigerator is working


Did You Know?

1. The first commercially successful refrigerator compressor was developed in 1916 by Swedish engineer Carl Munters, who later went on to co-found the company that would become Electrolux.

2. In the early years of refrigeration, ice was the primary method of keeping food cold. It wasn’t until the introduction of the compressor system in the 1910s that refrigerators as we know them today began to be manufactured.

3. The average lifespan of a refrigerator compressor is typically around 10-15 years. However, factors such as usage patterns, maintenance, and quality of the compressor can greatly affect its lifespan.

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4. When replacing a refrigerator compressor, it is important to choose the correct size and type to ensure compatibility with the appliance. Compressors come in different sizes and power ratings, so getting the right one is crucial for optimal performance.

5. While refrigerators commonly use compressors that run on electricity, there are also alternative options available. For example, propane-based refrigerators use an absorption cooling system instead of a compressor, making them handy for RVs or homes without constant access to electricity.

Removing The Old Compressor

Replacing the compressor in your refrigerator can be a daunting task, but with the right steps and tools, it can be done successfully. Before beginning, make sure to turn off the power and remove all contents from the fridge. Start by pulling the fridge away from the wall and removing the back panel to access the compressor.

Next, disconnect the power cable and remove the cover, relay, capacitor, and overload protector from the old compressor. Release the refrigerant carefully, following all safety precautions. To make the removal process easier, sand the compressor tubes and cut the discharge and suction tubes. Remove the compressor and filter, ensuring you clean the tubes if necessary.

Installing The New Compressor

Now that the old compressor is out, it’s time to install the new one.

Start by attaching the new filter to the compressor.

Solder a Schrader valve onto the extra connection to ensure proper functioning.

Soldering And Connecting The Filter

To efficiently connect the filter, follow these steps:

  • Weld the filter onto the condenser outlet.
  • Attach the filter to the capillary tube, ensuring a secure weld.
  • Proper positioning and connection of the filter is crucial for efficient refrigeration.

By adhering to these steps, you can ensure an effective and reliable connection for the filter in your refrigeration system.

Positioning And Connecting The Tubes

Once the filter is securely connected, place the new compressor into the correct position in the refrigerator. It’s crucial to align it correctly to avoid any issues. Connect all the tubes to the new compressor, ensuring a tight and secure fit. Weld the tubes onto the compressor to ensure a leak-free system.

  • Ensure the filter is securely connected
  • Align the compressor correctly
  • Connect all tubes securely to the new compressor
  • Weld the tubes onto the compressor to avoid leaks
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Leak Testing And Vacuuming The Compressor

After connecting the tubes, performing a leak test is essential. There are two methods you can use for this:

  1. Nitrogen injection and a sniffer tool: This method involves injecting nitrogen into the system and using a sniffer tool to detect any leaks. The sniffer tool will detect the presence of nitrogen gas escaping from the connections, indicating a leak.

  2. Soapy water method: Another option is to apply soapy water to the connections and look for bubbles. If there is a leak, the escaping gas will cause the soapy water to form bubbles.

Once the leak test is completed successfully and any leaks are detected and fixed, proceed to remove any air from the compressor. You can do this by using a vacuum pump. Removing air from the compressor is important to ensure optimal functioning.

To summarize:

  • Perform a leak test using either nitrogen injection and a sniffer tool or the soapy water method.
  • Use a vacuum pump to remove air from the compressor.

Remember to always ensure that there are no leaks in the system before proceeding.

Final Steps: Installing Electrical Components, Adding Refrigerant, And Testing

Install the capacitor to the relay and connect the overload protector to the compressor’s terminal. Connect the cooling system wires to the relay and overload protector terminals. Once all the electrical components are in place, put the cover back on.

Next, fill the compressor with the correct volume of refrigerant. It’s important to ensure you are using the right type and amount for optimal performance. Double-check the positioning of all the wires and tubes to avoid any potential issues.

Finally, it’s time to test the refrigerator. Turn it on and check if it is working properly. Monitor the temperature and ensure the compressor is running smoothly. If the refrigerator does not work as expected after following these steps, it is recommended to contact a technician for further assistance.

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Replacing a refrigerator compressor is a complex process that requires careful attention to detail. By following these step-by-step instructions, you can successfully replace your refrigerator compressor and ensure efficient cooling in your appliance.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I replace a refrigerator compressor myself?

Replacing a refrigerator compressor is not a recommended DIY project. It requires specialized skills and equipment such as welding, which can be challenging for the average person. Moreover, this repair involves handling flammable gases, making it dangerous for those without proper training. To ensure safety and prevent further damage, it is advisable to seek assistance from an experienced and qualified technician for this complex task.

Is it worth replacing a compressor on a refrigerator?

In considering whether to replace a compressor on a refrigerator, it is essential to factor in the age of the appliance. If the refrigerator has surpassed 10-15 years of use, it may not be worth investing in a new compressor. With the cost of a new compressor amounting to half the total value of the refrigerator, it may be more economical to purchase a brand new refrigerator that comes equipped with a new compressor, providing better value for the money spent.

How much does it cost to replace a compressor on a refrigerator?

The price of replacing a compressor on a refrigerator can vary depending on several factors. On average, the cost falls around $375, but it can range from $250 to $650. Various factors such as the type and brand of the refrigerator, labor costs, and additional repairs required can influence the overall cost. Overall, it is advisable to consult a professional technician who can assess the specific situation and provide an accurate estimate for replacing the compressor on your refrigerator.

How many years does a fridge compressor last?

It is recommended that plans for a replacement of a fridge compressor should be made around the eight-year mark. However, with proper maintenance and care, these modern compressors can continue to function efficiently for up to ten years or even longer. While there may be a gradual decline in efficiency as the compressor ages, its durability and efficiency make it a long-lasting component of a refrigerator.

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