Your refrigerator should always be running (although you must unplug it before attempting cleaning or repair). Either the compressor will be running or a defrost feature--which typically turns on four times within a 24-hour period--should be running. If your Frigidaire refrigerator has stopped completely, check the following: Is the interior light on? Is the compressor running? Can you hear the fan or motor? Can you hear the ice maker? For a Frigidaire that is not running, first try turning the thermostat to a colder setting. Just by turning it to a colder setting, you may "jump start" the appliance. Second, check for an electrical problem. Plug in another electrical device to the same outlet to see if the outlet is working. If those steps fail, the problem may be the compressor. Also, if your refrigerator starts and stops frequently or stays off or on for long periods of time, the problem may also be in the compressor. Call a service professional and have your compressor checked.
The compressor is the part of the refrigerator that maintains the thermostat temperature by circulating enough coolant to maintain the pre-determined temperature. It should always be running when the unit is cooling the refrigerator to the desired temperature set by the thermostat. The compressor typically produces a high-pitched hum or a pulsating sound. The compressor on a Frigidaire refrigerator is located in the back of the refrigerator, near the bottom of the appliance. If your compressor is not making any noise, the problem could be the compressor or other components of the refrigerator that deal directly with the compressor: the thermostat, the relay, the overload switch, the capacitor, the defrost timer or the condenser fan motor. The compressor will not run if the freezer control is set to "Off" or "Zero."
Other Compressor Tips
A compressor can become overheated if the condenser coils are dirty. Locate the black and radiator-like coils at the back of your refrigerator and clean off the coils using a vacuum cleaner. Your refrigerator may be in the defrost cycle, which is a cycle that does not utilize the compressor. You may want to consider purchasing a new refrigerator rather than investing in a new compressor in an old unit. Prices for a new compressor typically begin at $250. Unless you are a trained professional, do not attempt to replace a compressor by yourself.