Frigidaire Refrigerator Compressor [Issues and Solutions]

A Frigidaire refrigerator can develop different issues. But if a Frigidaire refrigerator compressor has an issue, it should be fixed as soon as possible.

Frigidaire Refrigerator Compressor

Frigidaire Refrigerator Compressor Always Running – Quick Fix

The following are things to look at if a Frigidaire refrigerator compressor is always running:

1. Condenser Fan

If the blades are restricted from turning or are stiff, clean them and oil the shaft so that they can turn. Otherwise, the coils would overheat and cause the compressor to work extra in order to keep the refrigerator cold.

The same is true if the motor is bad. One tell-tale sign of a bad condenser fan motor is stiff blades. If they don’t turn freely, replace the motor because the bearings may be worn.

2. Condenser Coils

Much like the fan, if there is a significant amount of dirt on the coils, they would not be able to release the heat from the refrigerant. As a result of this, the heat transfers to the refrigerator.

As the temperature rises, the compressor makes an effort to reduce it. This causes it to run constantly.

Therefore, clean the coils at least once every year. Make sure there is no dirt buildup on them. This helps to keep the compressor from running constantly.

3. Internal Temperature

Take a look at the setting of the temperature for both the freezer and the refrigerator compartments. Ensure that they are set to the correct points.

If they are set higher, the internal temperature will rise. Of course, the compressor automatically tries to help the unit to maintain a cool temperature.

Keep the setting for the freezer below 10 degrees Fahrenheit or -12 degrees Celsius. And for the refrigerator, keep it between 37 degrees and 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

There are other factors that can affect the internal temperature. The location of the refrigerator could mean that it has a hard time retaining the cold air in it.

If there is any active heat source close to it or it faces direct sunlight, move it out of the way or lower the temperature to a much colder point.

Frequently opening the door or doors of the unit also contributes to a rise in the temperature. And overstuffing the freezer has a role to play here, too.

Therefore, reduce the number of times you open the doors. It helps to write down what you need before opening the door. This way, you won’t have to open it multiple times and you won’t hold it open for too long while you decide.

Additionally, keep the freezer full ¾ of the way, not totally. This way, the content is able to absorb the cold air and the air has room to circulate freely. Plus, the air vents will remain unobstructed.

4. Door Seal

A poorly sealing refrigerator door will let humid or warm air in too easily. Check the seal by passing your hand down the space between the seal and the frame. If you feel even the tiniest whiff of cold air, replace the seal.

A more detailed check is to close the door on a dollar bill. After doing this, see if you can pull the bill out with the door closed. If you can’t, the seal is working. But if you can, replace the seal.

You can also check to see if the seal is just loose and needs adjusting. If that is the case, use a small screwdriver and push the seal into place gently.

The seal traps the cold air in the refrigerator while keeping warm air out. If it becomes too weak or loose, warm air would enter. And when it does, it causes quick condensation, especially over the evaporator coils.

Once the coils freeze up, there will be no cold air to circulate. As a result, the compressor will put in extra to make up for the lack. So, you find it running constantly.

5. Defrost Heater

Using a multimeter, check the heater for continuity. If there is no continuity, it is likely to be faulty. So replace it.

If the heater is faulty, it might not turn on to melt the ice accumulating on the evaporator coils. And when the coils freeze up, they won’t be able to release cold air.

Consequently, the refrigerator’s temperature will rise and the compressor will run constantly to make up for it.

6. Defrost Timer

A defective defrost timer may cause the heater not to work. Turn it with your hand to advance it into the defrost cycle. If the cycle kicks in, it is the first sign that the timer needs a replacement.

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To be sure, wait to see if it automatically advances out of the cycle after about 30 to 40 minutes. If this fails to happen, replace the timer because it is defective.

The timer is supposed to advance the refrigerator into the defrost cycle. If it stops working, the coils would freeze up because the defrost heater cannot turn on when it should.

7. Defrost Thermostat

Test the continuity of the thermostat using a multimeter. There should be continuity when the component gets to the lowest temperature within its operating range. If you don’t see continuity, replace it.

For the defrost heater to come on and warm the evaporator coils, the thermostat has to sense the temperature of the coils. If the thermostat fails, it would not close its contacts to allow the heater to turn on.

As a result of this, ice will continue to build on the coils until they freeze. Then, the refrigerator’s temperature will rise and the compressor will run non-stop to reduce the heat.

8. Defrost Control Board

All the other components of the defrost must in good working condition before you settle for the board. It does not fail easily so it should not be the first stop when checking the defrost system.

This board controls the defrost system of the refrigerator. If it malfunctions, the defrost cycle would not happen. The coils will freeze up and there will be no cold air for the unit to work with.

This is when you will find the compressor working round the clock. It is doing so in order to reduce the rising temperature.

9. Evaporator Fan

Turn the blades to see if they are turning well. This will tell you whether or not the motor is bad. If the blades show some stiffness, the motor is likely bad. But test it to check for continuity before replacing it.

If the evaporator coils are not frozen, then the fan would circulate the cold air from the coils. But if the motor of the fan or even the blades don’t work as they should, it wouldn’t be able to circulate the air.

Consequently, you will find that there is no cold air in the refrigerator, causing the compressor to run constantly.

However, this is not one of the primary reasons for the compressor to run more than it should. So it should not be the first stop when checking the refrigerator.

10. Main Control Board

This is the board that controls all the activities of the refrigerator. If it is damaged or faulty, many things could go wrong, including the defrost system failing and the compressor running constantly.

However, it is the last resort. So check other components before going to the control board as it is the least likely to fail and cause this problem.

Frigidaire Refrigerator Compressor Turns On and Off – How to Fix

If you find that the compressor of your Frigidaire refrigerator turns on and off in short cycles, check the following:

1. Thermostat

Check the thermostat to see if it is correctly set. If it is not, it can cause the compressor to turn on and off. Lower the setting and see if it stops the action from the compressor.

The thermostat reads the temperature in the unit and sends a signal to the control board to send power to the compressor. If it is not set properly or fails, the signal would be wrong. As a result, the board may not send the needed power or send it at the wrong time.

2. Start Relay

Detach relay from the compressor’s side after unplugging the refrigerator. Shake it. If there is a rattle, replace it because it is damaged. And if it has a smell as if it is burnt, replace it. This is especially true if there was a recent power surge or outage.

But if none of these applies, check it for continuity. Put a multimeter between the start and run terminals. If there is no continuity, replace the relay.

The compressor would have a hard time starting and running smoothly if the relay or capacitor is bad. The relay is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why a compressor turns on and off frequently.

Frigidaire 297259515 Compressor Start Relay





3. Condenser Coils

Check the coils, which are at the bottom back of the refrigerator. If there is dirt on them, clean them with a hose attached to your vacuum cleaner or a condenser brush. Ensure you clean them once a twice every year.

You should also check the fan motor as the coils can make it become hot. This is because it runs to cover the slack from the coils so the refrigerator does not heat up.

Additionally, be sure there is enough space between the back of the refrigerator and the wall behind it. Move it slightly to create this space if it is moveable. Otherwise, the compressor will run hot and turn and off regularly.

4. Power Cord

Inspect the cord of the refrigerator to see if there is any damage or frays. Replace it if you find any because it won’t be able to deliver enough power to the compressor that way.

Ensure there is enough voltage from the wall outlet to power the refrigerator. This is another possible reason why the compressor may turn on and off.

Check out these other articles…

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GE Refrigerator Compressor [Problems and Solutions]

GE Freezer Is Frosting Up [Solved]

GE Refrigerator Fan [Issues & Solutions]

Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor [Issues Solved]

Kenmore Refrigerator Compressor [Problems Solved]

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How Do You Reset the Compressor on a Frigidaire Refrigerator?

To reset the compressor on a Frigidaire refrigerator, take the following steps:

Step 1

Disconnect the power cord from the wall outlet. There may be a whoosh or a knocking sound as you do this. Don’t panic; it is normal. Leave the unit that way for some minutes.

Step 2

Turn the temperature controls to 0 or Off in both the freezer and refrigerator. Then, reconnect the power cord to the wall outlet.

Step 3

Once you do this, turn on the temperature controls again and set them to the point you want. Then, give the refrigerator about 24 hours to adjust to the new setting.

How to Check the Compressor on a Frigidaire Refrigerator

To check the compressor on a Frigidaire refrigerator, you need to have the technical know-how. This is because working on a refrigerator compressor must be done by a licensed technician by law.

However, if you do know your way around a refrigerator, check the following on the compressor:

1. Motor Windings

With a multimeter, check the readings between the Start and Common pins and the Run and Common pins.

The readings you get must be within 0.5Ohm of each pin. If you don’t get these readings, then check the winding with the lower number. It has a short and you need to replace the compressor.

You can also check the readings between the housing of the compressor and each pin. If the multimeter does not show O.L during the readings, replace the compressor.

2. Compressor Windings

Unplug the refrigerator and run the test using the Ohms setting. Remove the start relay from the compressor and test it with the multimeter. You can check between the start and common terminals, start and run terminals, or run and common terminals.

If there is no O.L reading during these tests, the compressor may need a replacement.

3. Thermostatic Control Switch

Set the switch and check it for continuity. Do this between the wires and the plug on the relay. There should be 0.000 displayed on the multimeter. If there is O.L instead, get a new thermostatic control switch.

However, if the switch shows continuity by reading 0.000 on each side of the plug as well as one of the wires going to the relay, replace the relay.

If all else checks out, you may have to just replace the compressor. But this has to be done by a licensed technician according to the law.

How to Replace a Frigidaire Refrigerator Compressor

To replace a Frigidaire refrigerator compressor, take the following steps:

Step 1

Unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet. If you cannot reach it, shut off the circuit breaker that controls it. Then, remove everything in the refrigerator.

Store the perishable food items in a cooler with ice packs or in another refrigerator.

Step 2

Move the refrigerator away from the wall so you can easily access the back. Be sure to move it to create good space. So if you cannot do this on your own, find a helper.

Step 3

Remove the panel or cover that protects the compressor. You may need to unthread some screws or just pull it right off.

At this point, allow about half an hour to pass so that any hot metal back there can cool down. Otherwise, you may injure yourself.

Step 4

Take some pictures of how the wires are connected to the compressor before removing or disconnecting anything.

It helps to do this so that you can easily and efficiently fix everything back in its right position. Do this every step of the way as you remove each wire.

Step 5

Once you remove the faulty compressor, keep it in a place far from the new one. This is so you don’t mistake it for the new one.

Now, take the new one and begin to attach the wires. Consult the pictures you took as you disconnected each wire to know where you should fix what.

You may need to add some refrigerant after connecting the wires. Simply follow the instructions laid out on the manual of the refrigerant you have.

Step 6

Replace the panel or cover if you removed one earlier. But do this when you are absolutely sure all the connections are correct.

Reconnect the refrigerator to the wall outlet and test the compressor. Listen for a few minutes for the hum of the compressor.

If you hear it, give the refrigerator about an hour or two to start cooling. And if it starts cooling, you know you did a good job. Otherwise, you will have to start all over again or find a licensed technician to fix it.

This video shows how to replace the compressor on a refrigerator…

Frigidaire Refrigerator Compressor Running but Not Cooling – How to Fix

If you find that the compressor of your Frigidaire refrigerator is running yet the unit is not cooling, check the following:

1. Temperature Setting

As simple as this sounds, one of the most common reasons for a refrigerator not cooling, even with the compressor running, is the improper temperature setting.

Therefore, check the setting. It does not hurt to do, even if you are sure of the setting. If there is any change or increase, adjust it to the correct point.

Afterward, give the refrigerator about 24 hours to adjust to the new setting. This is when you will be able to tell if there is a change in the cooling of the unit.

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2. Evaporator Coils

If you see frost on the coils, the refrigerator won’t cool, even if the compressor is running.

So, take the inside back panel of the freezer compartment out to view the fan. If there is ice or frost on it, thaw it by manually defrosting the refrigerator.

Store the food items in another refrigerator. If this option is not available, use a cooler with packs of ice to preserve the food.

Then, unplug the refrigerator and leave it that way for about 24 hours. Place rags around the foot of the unit to catch dripping water. And after this time, the frost on the coils will melt.

You also have the option of using a hair dryer if you cannot wait that long. However, using the dryer is not as safe as defrosting manually.

3. Condenser Fan

Disconnect the refrigerator from power and move it to access the compressor. The fan is next to it. After moving the unit, reconnect it to power. Then, wait to see if the fan starts running as the compressor comes on.

If it does not run, it is most likely bad. Disconnect the unit from power again and clean the blades. Then, check the motor with a multimeter to see if there is continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the motor.

The condenser fan is part of the cooling system of the refrigerator. It helps to remove heat and cool the condenser coils. So if the motor is bad, the heat in the refrigerator would increase and compromise cooling, even with the compressor running.

4. Evaporator Fan

Open the panel at the rear of the interior of the freezer compartment. Check the temperature there. If there is no frost on the coils yet the temperature around the fan is warm, it is likely not blowing. And when it does not blow, the refrigerator won’t cool properly.

Listen for any loud or odd sound coming from the fan. It will tell you if the motor is bad. Replace it if you hear any loud and unusual sound.

But if you don’t, then test the motor of the fan with a multimeter to check for continuity. If there is no continuity, replace the motor.

5. Air Vents

Ensure the air vents in the refrigerator and freezer are not obstructed by anything. If they are obstructed, there will be no cold air coming into the refrigerator. And as a result, there will be no cooling.

Arrange the content of the unit in such a way as to allow the free flow of air around the compartments. Apart from making for easy cooling and freezing, it also relieves stress on the compressor.

6. Thermistor

This is a sensor in the refrigerator that keeps an eye on the temperature so that it does not get too cold or too hot.

If it fails, the control board wouldn’t have the right temperature reading with which to send power to the compressor. So you may find the compressor and fan running but not enough to cool the refrigerator.

Sometimes, the failed thermistor causes the compressor to turn on and off with clicking sounds. And it won’t be able to run enough to keep the refrigerator cold.

7. Condenser Coils

Clean the coils if there is a good amount of dirt on them. This is not a regular exercise, needed only about once or twice a year, but it is necessary.

If you don’t clean them at all, the compressor is likely to run without being able to cool the refrigerator. This is because the coils, in their dirty state, won’t be able to remove the refrigerant that passes through them.

Consequently, the refrigerant will transfer the heat to the refrigerator and reduce its cooling capacity.

8. Door

Check the gasket and the frequency of opening the door. These affect the capacity of the refrigerator to maintain the proper temperature even with the compressor running.

If the gasket is loose, push it back in with a screwdriver. But do this gently. And if it is worn, replace it.

Frigidaire Refrigerator Compressor Clicking – What to Do

Do the following if the compressor of a Frigidaire refrigerator is clicking:

1. Check the Start Relay

Remove it from the side of the compressor and run a continuity test on it. Place a multimeter between its start and run terminals. If there is no continuity, the relay is likely defective.

To be sure, shake it. If there is a loud rattle, it is damaged. And if it has a burnt smell, get a new one for replacement.

The clicking noise you hear is the compressor trying to start and run without success. And the most probable reason for this is a defective start relay.

2. Check the Condenser Coils

Using a condenser brush or a vacuum cleaner with a hose extension, clean the dirt and dust from the coils. They are most likely to gather dirt because of their location.

Wipe the rest of the dirt off with a cloth and sweep up the dirt on the floor. Doing this prevents it from sticking on the coils again.

The compressor gets overloaded and makes the clicking sound when the condenser coils are dirty. The heat from the refrigerant cannot be removed by the coils. So it makes the compressor work extra to reduce the heat in the refrigerator.

Frigidaire Refrigerator Compressor Not Coming On – Quick Fix

With a multimeter, check the continuity if the start relay or the start capacitor. These are the most common reasons why a compressor won’t come on. Replace one or both if there is no continuity.

The problem could also be that the compressor has worn out. In this case, a replacement is the best solution.

Frigidaire Refrigerator Compressor Noise – How to Fix

If the compressor on a Frigidaire refrigerator is making a noise, something is wrong. Typically, a compressor makes a humming sound that is quiet. It is comfortable.

In newer model refrigerators, you can barely hear the sound of the compressor. However, if the sound becomes uncomfortably loud, find a service agent to check it. This is especially true if it is a knocking sound.


A Frigidaire refrigerator compressor is not built to develop any issue quickly. But if you notice there are problems, find a qualified and certified service agent as soon as possible.

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