How To

KitchenAid Refrigerator Compressor [Issues Solved]

Are you looking for solutions to a KitchenAid refrigerator compressor with issues? Look no further; this article discusses how to fix compressor issues.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Compressor

KitchenAid Refrigerator Compressor Cycling On and Off – How to Fix

To fix a KitchenAid refrigerator compressor that is cycling on and off, check the following:

1. Condenser Coils

Make sure that the condenser coils, located beside the compressor, are clean. Inspect them to be sure, even if you cleaned them just last year.

If there is an accumulation of dust and dirt on them, take a condenser cleaning brush or a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to them. Be sure to get every dirt on them. And if the coils are hard to reach, use a rag.

Dirt on the coils can cause the compressor to become hot. And if it is hot, it tends to go on and off as it tries to handle the heat.

Here is why: heat from the refrigerant should not transfer to the refrigerator. The coils should cool the gas before it goes to the compressor. However, if the coils are dirty, this process is impeded.

As a result, the compressor works harder to keep the refrigerator cool. Because of the extra work, it becomes overburdened.

Another thing to check is airflow around the refrigerator. Don’t push it too close to the wall or surface behind and beside it. Consult the user manual in order to know how much space to create around it.

2. Start Relay

With a multimeter, run a continuity test on the relay. Place the probes of the meter between the 2 run terminals of the relay.

You should get a resistance reading on the meter. So if there is no continuity, the relay is bad. Replace it.

You may want to try shaking it first before doing the continuity test. A rattle coming from it is an indication that the relay is damaged. And if there is a burnt odor coming from it, replace it.

The relay helps the compressor to start and run smoothly. But if it is damaged, the compressor would have a hard time starting and running. Consequently, you will hear the compressor cycling on and off as it tries hard to run.

3. Thermostat

If you set a thermostat incorrectly, the compressor would not run smoothly. It won’t be able to signal the control board to send power to the compressor for it to run. And if the thermostat is faulty, the result is the same.

Therefore, set the thermostat accordingly and see how it affects the compressor. If there is an improvement, you know the compressor itself has no issues.

4. Cord

Getting adequate power to the compressor is impeded if the power cord of the refrigerator is damaged.

Disconnect it and check to see whether or not it has any damage. And if it is showing signs of fraying, replace it. Doing this will help the compressor function better.

Moreover, you reduce the risk of causing a fire if you replace it. This is because it is a fire hazard to have a damaged cord plugged into an electrical outlet.

The compressor will turn on and go off within seconds if the power cord is not in good working condition. Fortunately, replacing it is affordable and easy.

However, if none of the above fixes works, the problem may be with the compressor itself. Test it for continuity using a multimeter. If you are not sure about doing this yourself, have a certified technician do this for you.

KitchenAid Fridge Compressor Not Working – Quick Fix

Do the following if the compressor on your KitchenAid fridge is not working:

1. Replace the Fan Motor

Check the condenser fan which is beside the compressor. It should be running, even if the compressor is not.

But if it is not, turn the blades to see if they turn well. If they do, the fan is probably in good working condition. However, if they don’t, the bearings of the motor may be worn. Since they cannot be fixed, the only solution is to replace the motor.

Another way to make absolutely sure is to test the motor to check for continuity. Use a multimeter to do this. If there is no continuity, replace the motor.

If a compressor keeps running or is overloaded with heat, it would eventually quit working. And a faulty condenser fan can cause it to become too hot and stop working. This is because it is the job of the fan to keep both the compressor and the coils from overheating.

2. Change the Start Relay

Check the relay first to be sure it is no longer working. Remove it from the compressor’s side and shake it gently.

Even the tiniest rattle from it means it is bad. So, replace it. A burnt smell, no matter how faint, also means it should be replaced.

You can also check it for continuity using a multimeter. Check between the run and start terminals. If you don’t find continuity, the relay s bad and should be replaced.

A faulty start relay can keep the compressor from working. Even if it manages to start, it would run only at short intervals.

3. Clean the Condenser Coils

The coils, which are usually at the bottom of the refrigerator, tend to gather dirt easily. And because the back or bottom of the unit is an area that you don’t clean regularly, the dirt builds fast. This is made even truer if you have pets that shed hair.

So, clean the coils with a condenser brush or with any other cleaning tool. Attaching a brush or a hose to a vacuum cleaner also works, especially if the coils are hard to reach. Some need the help of a professional to clean.

Then, ensure you clean them every 6 to 12 months to keep dirt off them. This way, they efficiently dissipate heat from the refrigerant that passes through them.

With dirt on them, they cannot do their job, thereby transferring the heat to the fridge. As a result, the compressor works extra in a bid to maintain a cool internal temperature in the unit.

4. Check the Temperature Controls

If the temperature controls are turned all the way down, they affect how well the compressor works. In fact, it may not work at all. After all, it is part of the cooling system and the controls handle the functionality of the system.

And if they are damaged, the same applies. It is important to check them to see if they are turned down or off. If they are, adjust them and observe the compressor. And if they are damaged, replace them.

5. Replace the Thermistor

Take a multimeter and test the thermistor. This is to check if it still has continuity and functioning. While you are doing this, you should also check its resistance.

A thermistor that is working well should have a changing resistance as long as the temperature around it changes. So if the temperature in the fridge is not changing due to the compressor, use a bowl of water.

Place the thermistor inside it while it is cold and check its resistance. Now, start heating the water slowly to see whether or not the resistance changes. If it does not, the thermistor is probably bad.

However, a lack of continuity on the multimeter certifies that it is bad. Replace the thermistor.

The control board is likely not to power the compressor and fans, which make up the cooling system. And if the board doesn’t power them, it is most likely because the thermistor didn’t send correct temperature readings or any reading at all.

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6. Get a New Power Cord

Push the cord into the wall outlet without being forceful. It is possible the cord is slightly pulled out, thereby being unable to send enough power to the compressor.

But if the cord is fully plugged into the outlet, then remove it and check it for any damage. Damage to the cord means it cannot deliver the needed amount of voltage to the compressor, even if other parts seem to be working.

However, if the cord has no damage and does not appear to be fraying, the outlet may be faulty. To determine this, plug a table lamp into it. If the lamp doesn’t come on, the outlet should be replaced.

Take a look at the circuit breaker and other fuses. If there was a recent power outage or power surge, it might have affected the fuses.

7. Change the Compressor

Test the compressor to see if it is still in good working condition. If you are not sure about how to do it, contact a certified service agent to test and confirm whether or not the compressor needs a replacement.

But to make the journey simple and cost-effective for you, this video gives a step-by-step guide on how to test your fridge compressor…

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KitchenAid Refrigerator Compressor Fan Not Working – Solved

Start with the blades. How well they turn indicates the functionality of the motor. If they turn well, then the motor if the fan is probably working well, too.

However, if the blades seem stiff and hard to turn, check the motor. The bearings may all have worn out, making the motor weak.

But to be sure, run a continuity test on it. Take a working multimeter and check the motor. If you don’t find continuity, replace the motor of the fan.

The compressor fan, or the condenser fan, keeps the compressor from overheating. It also cools the condenser coils as the refrigerant goes through them into the refrigerator.

So, if it is is no longer working, you need to fix it as soon as possible. Otherwise, the compressor will start overheating and may eventually stop working altogether.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Compressor Hot – Solutions

Take the following steps in order to solve the problem of a KitchenAid refrigerator compressor that is hot:

1. Check the Condenser Fan

You can check to see if the fan motor has life. With a multimeter, check to see if the motor has continuity. If you don’t find continuity, replace the motor.

But before using a multimeter, spin the blades with your hand. Doing this will tell you whether or not the motor is in good working condition.

If there is any stiffness or restriction when turning them, the motor needs to be replaced.

When the fan fails to work, the compressor becomes hot. This is because the fan has the duty to cool the compressor and condenser coils. The compressor won’t stop working because the fan fails. But while it is working, it will become too hot.

2. Check the Evaporator Fan

Open the door of the freezer and activate the door switch. Listen for the motor of the fan behind the back wall of the freezer. It should kick back into action when you activate the switch.

But if it does not start running again, it could mean that the motor has failed. And if the motor is louder than normal, you may have to replace it.

To be sure, remove that back panel to access the fan and evaporator coils. Spin the blades to check for stiffness.

Much like the condenser fan, it is an indication of how well the motor is functioning. If the blades spin well, test the motor to check for continuity with a multimeter. If there is no continuity in the motor of the fan, replace it.

The fan circulates cold air in the freezer and it spreads to the refrigerator through vents. For newer models with dual evaporators, this does not apply.

Now, if the fan fails, there will be no cold air for the unit. Sensing this, the compressor steps up to cool the unit. It will have to run constantly in a bid to achieve this. And in the process, it becomes too hot.

3. Check the Condenser Coils

Make sure to check the coils at least once every year. This way, you know when to clean them. If they are dirty, take a rag to them and wipe them thoroughly. You can also use a condenser cleaning brush for this job.

If you leave the coils dirty, they won’t be able to remove the heat from the gas. And if this happens, the refrigerator is likely to get hot.

The compressor will put in extra effort to maintain a cool temperature in the refrigerator. And this will make it run hot.

4. Check the Refrigerant Level

A low refrigerant level will reduce the cooling capacity of the refrigerator. And the compressor will automatically try to keep the unit cold. The extra effort makes it hot.

There is no easy way to check the level of the refrigerant in the refrigerator or even to refill it. So, find a professional and certified technician to fix this.

However, you have to store the food in the refrigerator somewhere else while the fix is going on. Since you cannot leave the unit plugged in with the low refrigerant, the frozen food will thaw.

5. Check the Thermostat

There should an audible click when you turn the temperature control thermostat to the highest point. That indicates it is working well.

But if there is no click, take a multimeter and check it for continuity. And if you don’t find continuity no matter the setting of the temperature, replace the thermostat.

6. Check the Compressor

The compressor may be well on its way to burning out completely. So, test it with a multimeter to see if it is working fine.

If there is no continuity, you may have to replace the compressor.

KitchenAid Refrigerator Compressor Noise – What to Do

The springs that hold the compressor in place may be loose or weak. If this is so, the compressor tends to thump or vibrate whenever the refrigerator shuts off. It could also hit the side of its compartment to make a noise.

If it is a hum, consider the volume. A compressor that is operating normally makes a low hum. But if it is loud, there is a problem. Clean the compressor and see if the noise disappears.

Also, consider the condenser fan. The motor may make a noise if it is faulty. And because it is close to the compressor, you may assume it coming from there. Therefore, check the fan first before settling for the compressor.

A buzzing sound is also an indication of a problem. Cleaning the compressor and the fan may fix it. However, if this does not work, you may have to service the compressor and refrigerator.

How to Replace the Compressor on a KitchenAid Refrigerator

The following are steps to follow in order to replace the compressor on a KitchenAid refrigerator:

Step 1

Unplug the refrigerator from the wall outlet. Then, empty the unit of all contents, especially perishable ones. Put them in an ice-packed cooler or in another refrigerator. Next, move the unit out to create enough space for you to work.

Step 2

Check to see if there is any cover over the compressor. Remove it if there is. The cover may have screws adhering it to the wall of the unit so use a suitable screwdriver to unthread them.

Keep the cover and the screws safe. You don’t want to lose them, especially the screws. Wait about 25 minutes so that any hot part can cool down. This includes the compressor.

Step 3

Take some pictures of the wiring as you remove, cut or disconnect them. Doing this helps you to correctly make the connections when you install the new compressor.

Now, after the disconnection, take the old compressor out. Replace it with the new one. Then, start making the wire connections. Consult the pictures you took earlier to make the right connections.

Some connections will need to be soldered into place. Therefore, get soldering or brazing tools ready before starting.

Step 4

Add refrigerant to the new compressor. Since it does not come filled with gas, you have to buy it separately. Follow the instructions on the label of the refrigerant. You can also check online for guiding steps in adding the refrigerant.

Step 5

Plug the refrigerator back into the wall outlet when you are sure all the connections are correct. Then, listen to the sound of the compressor. It should have a low hum. Give the refrigerator time to cool, typically 5 hours, before determining if the compressor is working well.


It is important to quickly fix a KitchenAid refrigerator compressor with problems. A bad compressor can adversely affect the refrigerator.

Contact KitchenAid to report any compressor issue you cannot fix yourself. Alternatively, chat with any of our technicians using the chatbox to your right. No need for an appointment, no waiting period and no expense in-house call needed.