How Do You Know if Your Refrigerator Compressor is Bad?

Refrigerators are a common appliance in many homes. If your refrigerator is making an unusual noise, you may be concerned that the compressor has gone bad. Before you call for a repairman, there are a few things to check to determine if it really needs service or not. This article discusses how to know if your fridge’s compressor is going bad, how it affects performance, and what signs might indicate a need for repairs or replacement.


Signs of Bad Refrigerator Compressor

Problems with refrigerator compressors can be difficult to diagnose. Sometimes, I forgot to notice the signs of a bad refrigerator before it happened.  Knowing how to tell if a refrigerator compressor is bad before the problem arises can save you money and time.

What are common signs that you have bad refrigerator compressor ?

  • loud noise coming from the front of the fridge
  • not cooling properly,
  • burning smell when you open the door
  • frost on the back wall.

It’s important to know how to identify these problems so that you can replace any parts before they become worse!

Causes of Bad Refrigerator Compressor

What is a Fridge Compressor Motor?

A compressor is a self-contained machine that uses electricity power to turn a turbine wheel within compression chamber. The shaft from this wheel can drive the impeller in either direction depending on how it’s mounted/connected to your refrigerator door switch. A bad compressor can cause a fridge not to cool properly or even worse, not work at all.



Evaporator Fan

The evaporator fan, which is located behind the freezer wall, is where any frost or ice formation is located. It can be easily detected by howling sounds as the fan rotates to remove heat from inside of your refrigerator. If you notice howling noises even before your refrigerator gets cold, then you might have bad compressor motor or relay problem which causes burning smell and ice forming on sides when opening door.

High Voltage Surge

If you notice unusual noises coming from your refrigerator, it’s possible that something is wrong with the compressor. This can be a result of power surges which are often undetectable to the human ear and may not become apparent until some time later. High voltage surge can cause significant damage to how well your appliance will run and how long it might last.

Compressor Relay

If you notice burning smell when you open the door or ice forming on sides, then chances are that there are a problem with its thermostat switch. Until the compressor is running at its maximum speed, power is transferred from the battery (or starting device) to the motor.


Dirty Condenser Coils

A dirty or clogged up condenser can increase energy consumption. It also affects how cold you want your freezer to be since the compressor will work harder and faster because of increased resistance. The dirtier it gets, the more often the motor has to run in order to cool down your unit which then gradually reduces its lifespan.

Refrigerant Lack

If the motor comes on but does not run correctly when cold then there could be something wrong with the refrigerant charge. The amount of gas that runs through the system determines how much cool air will come out of an A/C unit—and too little gas means there isn’t enough cooling power provided by the system so indoor temperatures stay high even though it seems like everything else works fine. The compressor motor starts overheating because of inadequate pressure which slowly damages its components leading to eventual breakdowns.

Call in the professionals!

This article has discussed how to know if your fridge’s compressor is going bad, how it affects performance, and what signs might indicate a need for repairs or replacement. After reading this article you should be able to tell whether the noise coming from your refrigerator means that the compressor needs service or not. If you’re still unsure what’s wrong with your refrigerator, or you know the problem but just want some help fixing it, don’t hesitate to call in some professional  repairteam!