Jenn-Air Refrigerator Compressor [Problems and Solutions]

Are you looking for solutions to a Jenn-Air refrigerator compressor with problems? This article is an expose on compressor problems and their solutions.

Jenn-Air Refrigerator Compressor [Problems and Solutions]

Jenn-Air Refrigerator Compressor Failure – Causes and Fixes

If the compressor of a Jenn-Air refrigerator fails, the first action is to find out why.

There are several reasons why a refrigerator compressor fails and they are:

1. Power Surges

When there is a sudden power outage, the compressor of a refrigerator is one of the components that are most affected. The same is even more true when there is a power surge.

Disconnect the refrigerator and every other electrical appliance from power if there is an outage. The same applies if there is a storm.

If you cannot do this or you are usually out of town, install surge protectors to keep your appliances from getting damaged.

2. Heat

A compressor that overheats regularly will eventually fail. A faulty condenser fan and dirty condense coils are the primary causes of heat transfer to the compressor.

Therefore, check the coils and clean them if you notice they are significantly dirty. And if the fan or its motor is not in good working condition, replace it.

3. Constant Running

When the compressor of a refrigerator never stops running, it runs hot and stops working with time. There are a few reasons why the compressor runs constantly:

  • High internal temperature
  • Dirty coils
  • Poorly sealing door
  • Faulty fan motor
  • Improper airflow
  • Wrong room temperature

Fixing any or all of the above factors will sort out the constant running of the compressor.

4. Poor Maintenance

It is important to maintain the refrigerator and all its parts regularly. While this may be expensive, it saves the cost of constantly repairing one component or another.

Therefore, request service on the refrigerator, especially the compressor and ice maker, on a regular basis. You will catch errors and faults on time if you do this. Replacing a compressor or a refrigerator is not cheap.

5. Age

This applies to old refrigerators. When the compressor has been working for many years, age will begin to tell on it. Eventually, it will stop working completely.

Contact a licensed technician to check the compressor, determine why it failed, and recommend the right solution.

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Jenn-Air Refrigerator Compressor Not Running – How to Fix

To fix a Jenn-Air refrigerator compressor that is not running, do the following:

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1. Replace the Start Relay

Pull the relay from the compressor and shake it. If it rattles, it means the relay is likely faulty. This is an easy and sure way to tell if the relay is bad. Another way is to see if it has a burnt odor.

To be sure, check it for continuity between the start and run terminals using a multimeter. If there is no reading on the multimeter or it is wrong, replace the relay.

A compressor cannot run if the relay is no longer working. This is because the relay has the job of making power available for the compressor to start. So, replace the relay if the compressor fails. It is not an expensive fix.

2. Check the Condenser Fan Motor

Overheating can cause a compressor to stop running. And if the motor of the condenser fan fails, the fan won’t be able to blow air over the compressor to cool it.

Because of this, take a look at the blades of the fan while the refrigerator is running. Without touching it, you can tell whether or not they are turning.

If they are not, make sure that nothing is causing them to stick. Then, test the motor with a multimeter to see if there is continuity. If the multimeter registers no reading, replace the motor.

3. Change the Thermistor

While the thermistor is still in the refrigerator, take a multimeter and check its resistance. As long as the refrigerator’s temperature is changing, the resistance should change.

If you don’t find this happening, remove the thermistor from the unit and use a bowl of water to check it. Heat the water while the thermistor is in it and check it with the meter. If the resistance remains unchanged, replace it.

The control board knows when to power the cooling system, made up of the fans and compressor, through the thermistor. The latter sends temperature readings to the board, alerting it to the needs of the refrigerator.

The board, in turn, supplies power to the cooling system to run as needed. But if the thermistor is damaged, it might send the wrong readings. Consequently, the system will fail to run as it should or even at all.

4. Dust the Condenser Coils

Clean or dust the coils if you notice they are dirty. During the process of compressing the gas or refrigerant, heat rises.

The coils have the job of releasing this heat so the refrigerator is not choked with it. But they can do this only if they are clean.

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So, if they are dirty, the heat goes to the unit and it begins to get warm inside. The compressor, sensing this rise in temperature, starts running without a break in a bid to lower it. As time goes on, it overworks itself and eventually shuts down permanently.

5. Inspect the Refrigerator Cord

Inspect the cord that plugs the refrigerator to electric power for any damage. Replace it if you find any.

Otherwise, check the voltage output of the outlet and check the breaker that controls the refrigerator.

However, this fix only applies if nothing in the refrigerator is working, including the lights. That means the unit is not getting any voltage at all.

6. Replace the Compressor

Finally, check the compressor. This is not a fix anyone looks forward to but sometimes, the compressor completely fails. This is especially true if the refrigerator is old.

Get a licensed and qualified technician to run a test on it and replace the compressor if it is no longer working.

Note: Always unplug the refrigerator from the wall before checking the components unless you need electric power to run the tests.

Jenn-Air Refrigerator Compressor Noise – Quick Fix

An unusually noisy compressor is a cause for worry. But before checking why it is noisy, be sure the noise is coming from it.

A defective condenser fan motor makes noise and can be loud. The same is true if something is caught in the blades. Now, due to its location close to the compressor, it is easy to assume the noise is from the compressor.

Therefore, check the fan. It is an easier fix than the compressor. Make sure everything is working as it should. Clean the fan blades and inspect the motor. Replace it if there is a need for that.

Also, make sure the refrigerator is not too close to the surfaces around it. When it cycles on and off, it may move and hit them, making noise. So, create some space to eliminate this problem. It also helps to improve the flow of air and keep the compressor and coils from getting too hot.

However, when you are sure the noise is from the compressor, be sure the start relay is still working. Test it for continuity and replace it if there is none.

Then, check the compressor springs. If they are loose or worn, replace them. Otherwise, the compressor will keep making a loud vibrating sound anytime the unit shuts off.

And if the noise is a loud buzz or hum, have a service technician look at the compressor and recommend the appropriate fix.

Jenn-Air Refrigerator Compressor Reset – Steps

To reset a Jenn-Air refrigerator compressor, take the following steps:

Step 1

Disconnect the refrigerator from the wall outlet. You may hear it make a whoosh as you do so but this is perfectly normal. Leave the refrigerator disconnected for some minutes.

Step 2

Next, turn off the temperature controls of both the freezer and the fridge where applicable. Move the knob of the control to Off or 0, depending on the configuration of your model. Then, reconnect the refrigerator to the wall outlet.

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Step 3

The compressor will have time to power down, reset and power up again within this period. So, once you reconnect the unit to power, set the controls of the unit’s temperature to a point in the middle.

Allow the compressor to run for about an hour before you check the cooling capacity of the refrigerator. If all is in order, give the unit about one day to properly adjust to the new settings.

Jenn-Air Refrigerator Compressor Problems – Solutions

The following are problems a Jenn-Air refrigerator compressor may have and how to solve them:

1. Noisy Compressor

A noisy compressor is an indication of a problem. However, not all noises signal a bad compressor.

A low hum or buzz is the noise or sound of a good compressor running normally. But a loud buzz or hum means the compressor may be bad. Test it and replace the compressor if it is bad.

A clicking noise means the compressor is trying to start without any success. The cause of this issue is a faulty start relay. Check the relay with a multimeter and replace it if it is indeed faulty.

A vibrating noise is an indication that the springs that hold the compressor steady are loose or weak. Tighten them if they are loose and replace them if they are weak.

2. Hot Compressor

It is important to point out here that a compressor that is working normally is warm or hot. But it doesn’t overheat or become too hot to be touched.

A failed condenser fan and dirty coils make the compressor run hot. Check these two parts and fix them if there is any defect.

Other factors that lead to a hot compressor are:

  • Having a weak or loose door gasket
  • Storing hot or very wet food
  • Setting the wrong temperature or working with the wrong room temperature
  • Positioning or locating the unit close to a heat source or direct sunlight

All these factors lead to high internal temperature. And the compressor works harder to lower the temperature when it begins to rise. The extra work makes it hot.

3. Constantly-running Compressor

The following factors lead to a constantly running compressor:

  • Dirty coils
  • Improper flow of air
  • Weak door gasket
  • Faulty condenser fan motor
  • Wrong room temperature

Fixing these factors affects how often the compressor runs. Additionally, reduce the number of times you open the door of the refrigerator. And when you do open it, keep from holding it open for too long.

4. Failed Compressor

A few faulty components can cause the compressor to fail. Begin your troubleshooting steps by checking the start relay. Test it with a multimeter and replace it if it is bad.

But if it is working well, check the coils, the fan motor, the thermistor, and the compressor. You can also check the main control board as it controls the whole refrigerator. If it is damaged, nothing else will work as it should.


A Jenn-Air refrigerator compressor can develop problems but there are solutions. But if you are not sure, contact Jenn-Air, report the issue, and request service.

You also have the option of using an independent technician. Chat with our technicians.

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