How to Replace a Chest Freezer Compressor Relay

  • 2-4 hours
  • Advanced
  • 50-200
What You'll Need
Allen wrench
New freezer compressor relay
Needle type nose pliers

If your refrigerator has been in use for sometime, it may eventually have problems in the freezer compressor. Check the relay if there are clicking noises or excessive warm up, as this is the first point to initiate troubleshooting. A faulty or damaged freezer compressor relay could often be the reason that the compressor doesn't start.

Step 1: Unplug Refrigerator

Make sure to unplug your refrigerator to prevent any electrical shock before you test the freezer compressor motor. If there is a capacitor in the compressor, there could be a dangerous electrical charge present within, so unless you have ensured the capacitor is discharged, never touch terminals.

Step 2: Remove Front Panel

Remove the front panel on the front and lower end of your refrigerator. Sometimes the panel can be located at the lower rear end. Remove the clips that join the cover to the refrigerator.

Step 3: Check Presence of Capacitor

If you find a part that is shaped like a cylinder and has wiring up to the freezer compressor and another wire to a relay, it is the capacitor. You need to take off the leads from the resistor that has leads over the capacitor. Doing this will reduce electrical resistance within the capacitor and ensures no electrical shock occurs.

Step 4: Find Terminal Cover of Relay

The terminal cover is typically situated over the inside panel present on the lower side at the back of the refrigerator. You will find wire running across the freezer compressor to this cover. Take out the cover and you should find the relay right underneath. You will find that the relay has wire running across it from the freezer compressor. It will also have copper wiring wrapped around like a spool. Take out the wiring by pulling on the connector attached to relay. Do not pull the wire.

Step 5: Replacing the Freezer Compressor Relay

Place the wiring into the new freezer compressor relay you purchased. Place this relay into the previous relay's connectors. Put the cover over the new relay and subsequently place the panel cover over the terminal covering.

Step 6: Check Side Wires

Make sure that you cross check that none of the side wiring has been removed from the original position. Also ensure that the wires do not touch any metallic object over the refrigerator wall. Since metal is a good conductor of electricity, it can result in an electric shock.

Step 7: Switch on Refrigerator

Plug in the refrigerator and test the results of your hard work.

If the initial diagnosis has revealed a problem with the relay and the compressor does not start in a couple of seconds, it may be because of the overload switch, which will block power to the freezer compressor relay. This happens to prevent freezer compressor damage. It is important that you do not bypass this overload switch because it can result in a fire or melt the wiring.