How to Replace the Compressor Relay in a Refrigerator

If you have ever had a refrigerator for a long time then you know that they will sometimes have problems.

If the refrigerator starts to warm up or makes a clicking noise then it would be wise to check the compressor relay. The relay is a great place to start to diagnose the problem.

Unplug the refrigerator so that there is no hazard of shocking yourself.

Remove the panel that is in the front lower part of the refrigerator or the rear lower part of the refrigerator. Screw or snap off the clips holding the cover to the refrigerator.

Check to see if there is a capacitor. It is a cylinder type of part that has a wire running to the compressor and one to the relay. If there is one, take the leads off of the resister with the leads on the capacitor. This lowers the ohms in the capacitor so that there is no shock accident in the process.

Locate the relay terminal cover, which is usually located on the lower inside panel on the back side of the refrigerator. There will be a wire running from the compressor to this box. Remove the cover, and the relay will be right under the cover. It has a wire running to it from the compressor and has little copper wires wrapped around what appears to be a spool. Remove the wire by pulling the connector that holds it to the relay not the wire.

Go to the appliance store or hardware store to replace the relay. Plug the wire back into the new relay, and push the new relay onto the connectors that you pulled the old one off of. Clip the terminal cover back on, and put the cover panel for the refrigerator back on. Plug the refrigerator back in, and you have successfully replaced your refrigerator relay.

Things You Will Need

  • Screwdriver (Phillips and flathead)
  • Allen wrench
  • New compressor relay
  • Needle nose pliers