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8 Signs You Have a Faulty Refrigerator Compressor

Signs You Have A Faulty Refrigerator Compressor

Do you have a feeling that the health of your compressor is declining? After a few years of usage, every compressor shows signs of aging, which is normal.

You can save it from extensive damage if you can detect and fix the initial signs on time.

The good news is your system starts giving some signs before it completely dies out. So you should know of them to improve the refrigerator’s efficiency.

These include abnormal sounds, sudden power trips, inefficient cooling, etc.


Some signs appear when the damage is new, and these signs keep getting intense over time.

If you look at the following signs, you can identify the stage of damage and make arrangements accordingly to save the compressor from the bigger problems.

  • The Fan is Getting Noisy.
  • Power Trips Are More Frequent.
  • It Takes Forever to Turn On and Off.
  • The Compressor is Excessively Heated.
  • Energy Bills Make You Cry.
  • There Isn’t Enough Cooling.
  • System Keeps Giving Frequent Sparks.
  • Refrigerant Is Never Enough.

If you want to have the most out of your refrigerator compressor, you should always be on the lookout for any signs that hint at its damage.

A timely solution will not only improve its performance but will also add to its longevity. Here are some signs that you should be looking for:

Signs You Have a Faulty Refrigerator Compressor

The refrigerator compressor gives away some signs for you to pick up before it is damaged beyond repair.

We have compiled eight such signs to make things easier for you to understand.

1. The Fan Is Getting Noisy

The Fan Is Getting Noisy

Normally a compressor makes a slight buzzing noise when running because of its fans. This sound gradually goes off or is silenced as the cooling initiates and the refrigerator achieves its initial threshold.

If this sound enhances over time and does not go off after the starting period, you should worry about your compressor’s health because it is not normal. This can cause overheating and, eventually, a sudden fuse.

You can check to see if something is stuck in the fan. Although it is very rare, that might also happen. Otherwise, it is an electrical issue.

2. Power Trips Are More Frequent

Power Trips Are More Frequent

Due to internal wear and tear of the wires or any other part, the circuit fails to complete and restarts again.

This causes frequent imbalanced power supply, also known as power trips. This is a dangerous sign of a faulty compressor, and you should change your compressor immediately.

You should also check your power plug. Sometimes there is a fluctuation in the power supply due to improper installment of the plug, which damages the compressor even if there is no internal issue.

3. It Takes Forever To Turn On and Off

It Takes Forever To Turn On And Off

When your refrigerator compressor takes longer than usual to start and power off, there is an issue with its power supply unit.

This power supply unit is a very small battery-like block inside a compressor. It is also removable, so to ensure this is the faulty part, move it upside down repeatedly and see if it makes any unusual sound.

Make sure your refrigerator is turned off during this test.

4. The Compressor Gets Excessively Heated

The Compressor Gets Excessively Heated

It is normal for a compressor to heat up to fifty or sixty degrees. You can feel this heat from a small distance from the compressor.

When your compressor is overworking and is supplied with uneven electricity and fuel to run, it starts to overheat and crosses the normal temperature levels.

This overheating is always paired with one or more issues like excessive internal noises and lack of refrigerant.

This issue is commonly associated with the age of a compressor. If this happens, you must buy a new compressor because it is not a reversible problem and is a safety hazard to the entire refrigerator and its surroundings.

5. Energy Bills Make You Cry

Energy Bills Make You Cry

Due to the increased load, a compressor uses more electricity to overcome its power deficiency.

This leads to an increase in the electricity supply to the compressor and hence a drastic increase in your electricity bill.

If you have not installed a new appliance, it is most likely your compressor causing this escalation in your electricity bills.


The average lifespan of a compressor is around eight years.

After five or six years of usage, it shows signs like abnormal sounds, sudden power trips, inefficient cooling, etc.

If you treat these signs promptly and correctly, your compressor can last over eight years.

6. There Isn’t Enough Cooling

There Isn’t Enough Cooling

This is something you will notice over time. Your refrigerator will not be as chilled as it used to be when it was new.

One of the reasons for this is the overloading of food and other stuff in the fridge because this directly puts a load on the compressor, and it has to work beyond its limits.

When it fails to reach the required levels of work, then it gets exhausted and becomes even slower.

7. System Keeps Giving Frequent Sparks

System Keeps Giving Frequent Sparks

This also indicates that your compressor has lived enough, and you should get a new one now. You will hear a slight ticking sound along with small sudden sparks seen from the outlet.

Due to overheating, some tiny wires start to fuse, and, as a result, you can see sparks. Take it as a final warning and do not delay the replacement any more.

8. Refrigerant Is Never Enough

Refrigerant Is Never Enough

Suppose you refill your refrigerant very often and still do not see much improvement in your cooling intensity. In that case, your compressor uses more than normal fuel and needs replacing.

Refrigerant acts like the blood supply of a refrigerator; therefore, any abnormal increase or decrease in its quantity can affect the overall health of a compressor.

Refrigerant is a liquid used in a refrigerator, regulated by the compressor throughout the fridge, and plays an important role in cooling production.


A compressor is a very sensitive part of an appliance. Although it has a pretty long lifespan of about eight to ten years, it can sometimes retire before time, depending on the usage.

Some signs of a failing compressor include overheating, sparking, high electricity bills, noisy fans and internal parts, quick thinning of fuel, excessive power trips, and inadequate cooling.

Look out for these signs to make sure it does not exceed their health limit and cause any further damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Makes a Refrigerator Compressor Important?

A refrigerator compressor applies pressure to compress the air running in its pipes and the refrigerant and moves it throughout the refrigerator.

This is a crucial factor in producing the cooling effect, so it would not be an exaggeration to say that it works as the heart of the appliance.

Can I Fix My Refrigerator Compressor at Home Without the Help of a Mechanic?

You can install a new compressor only if you know the process. Still, if your compressor needs to be repaired, it is not a safe option to fix it on your own since it is a delicate process and should only be handled by a professional.

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