An LG refrigerator compressor, like many others, is likely to have some problems. So if yours has one or more problems, this article addresses them.
Table of Contents
What Is the Linear Compressor In an LG Refrigerator?
The linear compressor is a gas compressor with a linear track. Here, the piston will move along this linear track to reduce the loss of energy and minimize friction. And all these happen during the conversion of motion.
Below is how the linear compressor in an LG refrigerator will benefit you:
1. Saves Energy
The linear compressor is designed to be energy-efficient. Thus, it does not require so much energy to operate. So, with this, your refrigerator runs with little current, making the electricity bill lower.
2. Quiet Performance
Due to the streamlined design of the linear compressor, it has fewer moving parts (friction points). So, you may not even know when the compressor starts at random intervals throughout the day. That, also, makes it a great option if your house/apartment has an open floor plan.
However, you may hear when the fans start running if you open and close the refrigerator frequently.
Linear compressor refrigerators last longer because they have reduced friction points. As we know, ‘the wear and tear’ on the compressor are due to constantly going on and off.
Unlike the traditional compressor that stops running when the compartment becomes cold, then kick-starts again, the linear compressor works differently. It starts up slowly and slows down when the refrigerator is cool enough. That reduces the friction, hence making the compressor last longer.
Since linear compressors are energy efficient, they emit less CO2 hence, having a less negative impact on the planet. Additionally, they use an eco-friendly refrigerant- R600A gases (from natural sources) instead of the traditional R134A gases.
Note: A refrigerator that uses an R600A gas is most times referred to as a ‘green refrigerator.’
In addition, LG refrigerators with a linear compressor are better at maintaining a stable temperature within the unit. They keep food fresh over a long period and in varying temperature conditions.
Do LG Refrigerators Have Compressor Problems?
Most users have complained about LG refrigerator compressor issues. They find their compressors failing after a few months. Sometimes, they fail shortly after one year of ownership.
Because of this, LG was sued. Then, due to this class-action lawsuit, they compensated some of their users.
The compensation covered about 31 models of LG refrigerators. These were models manufactured between January 1, 2014, to December 31, 2017. The compensation price started from $50 to above $3,500
How to Tell if an LG Refrigerator Compressor Is Bad – Quick Guide
The following are tell-tale signs that the compressor of an LG refrigerator is bad:
The compressor makes a humming sound and clicks on/off while it is running. Listen carefully for at least thirty minutes to the hum and the clicking sound. If you do not hear them, the compressor may be faulty.
Also, when the on/off click becomes too frequent, the compressor may have a fault.
Feel the compressor with your hand. If it is hotter than usual, it is a sign something may be wrong with the compressor.
It is true the compressor is hot when it is running. However, it should not overheat. When touching it, be careful so as not to burn your hand from the hot metal.
The operation of the compressor can tell you whether or not it is bad. If your LG refrigerator compressor keeps running, it shows the compressor is bad.
Similarly, if it is not running at all, it is an indication that the compressor is faulty.
Additionally, when the refrigerator does not cool properly, check the compressor. However, this is not peculiar to compressor problems since other faulty components can cause the same problem.
More so, you can use a multimeter to test the compressor for continuity.
LG Linear Compressor Fridge Not Cooling – How To Fix
To fix an LG linear compressor fridge that is not cooling, check the following:
1. Condenser Coils
Unplug the fridge, disconnect the water supply, and move the appliance away from the wall. Then, unscrew the bottom rear access panel; the condenser coils are behind it.
Now, use a soft brush to clean the coils. If the dirt has caked up, use warm soapy water and a soft brush. However, ensure the condenser coils are dry before testing the fridge.
Dirty condenser coils stop the fridge from cooling. This is because the dirt prevents the dissipation of heat from the refrigerant. The heat travels into the fridge and reduces its cooling capacity.
2. Condenser Fan
The condenser fan is close to the condenser coils. Twirl the fan blades to see if they move freely. If they are stiff, the fan is faulty so change it.
Another cause of stiff blades is when something is entangled in them. If that is the case, remove the objects causing the entanglement.
But if the blades spin freely, check the fan motor. Use a multimeter to check the condenser fan motor for continuity. If it does not have continuity, then it is faulty. You should replace it.
When the condenser fan is faulty, it cannot cool the coils. This causes the refrigerator not to cool.
3. Evaporator Fan
To check the condition of the evaporator fan, empty the freezer and unscrew the panel at the rear wall. You will find the evaporator fan behind the panel.
If there is frost on the fan, thaw it. You can defrost the fan manually by unplugging the refrigerator for some hours. Alternatively, you can use a hand hairdryer.
Other times, the fan motor may be defective. Use a multimeter to confirm whether or not the fan motor is faulty. If it is, change it.
On the one hand, frost on the evaporator fan could be the reason it stopped working. On the other hand, a faulty fan motor may be the culprit.
Whatever the case, once the evaporator fan stops working, the refrigerator will stop cooling.
4. Start Relay
The start relay is the tiny black box that looks like an ink cartridge attached to the compressor. You will find the compressor behind the bottom rear panel of the refrigerator.
Detach this box and shake it to see if it rattles. If the start relay makes a rattling noise, it is most likely faulty.
Alternatively, use a multimeter to test it for continuity. If it does not have continuity, you need to change it.
Note that when the start relay is faulty, it cannot kick-start the compressor to work. And as a result, the refrigerator starts warming up.
5. Temperature Control Thermostat
Use a multimeter to test the temperature control thermostat for continuity. As you are changing the thermostat to different temperature settings, the continuity or resistance should change. If it remains the same, the thermostat is faulty. So, change it.
The work of the thermostat is to send voltage to the cooling system: compressor, evaporator fan, and condenser fan.
So, when the thermostat starts to malfunction, none of these components will receive voltage to power up. As a result, the refrigerator stops cooling.
To check the working condition of the thermistor, use a multimeter to test it for continuity. Just like the other components, if the thermistor does not have continuity during the test, it is faulty. Change it.
The function of the thermistor is to check and send the results of the temperature inside the refrigerator to the control board.
The control board will, in turn, use the temperature reading to regulate power to the cooling system.
Therefore, when the thermistor malfunctions, it cannot send the correct temperature reading to the control board. Consequently, the other components will fail to function appropriately and the refrigerator stops cooling.
Unplug the fridge and pull it away from the wall. The compressor is behind the bottom rear access panel on your refrigerator. You may need to unthread some screws to gain access to it.
Use a multimeter to check the electrical pins for continuity. If the test indicates an open circuit, then the compressor is most likely faulty. Replace it.
The compressor is an important part of the cooling system; it compresses the refrigerant and circulates it within the coils. So, when the compressor is defective, the cooling system will not function appropriately, causing the refrigerator to start warming up.
Although it is uncommon for the compressor to be the cause of refrigerators not cooling, we cannot overlook it. Therefore, if the compressor is the problem, get a new one. However, a service technician should handle this repair.
The other components that might cause your refrigerator to stop cooling are the temperature control and main control boards. But these are less likely to be the problem anyway. So, ensure you have tried troubleshooting the other components before coming to these.
Other things to Check…
Apart from defective components, some of these practices may cause your linear compressor fridge to stop cooling:
- Setting the refrigerator temperature warmer than what the refrigerator requires. The manufacturer recommends 37 degrees Fahrenheit for the refrigerator and 0 degrees Fahrenheit for the freezer compartment.
- Obstructing the cooling vents. If anything blocks the air vents, it will cause the cold to circulate poorly. Consequently, the refrigerator will not cool. Therefore, check your refrigerator and re-organize it if you have stored any item directly in front of the vents.
- When the mullion flap on the doors does not lap well, the door won’t seal properly. And as a result, causing the refrigerator to warm up. So, ensure the mullion flap laps well. If it no longer laps well, it may be defective.
See this video guide to change the mullion flap on your refrigerator:
- Overloading the drawers and shelves may stop the refrigerator door from closing well. The result is what we already know; the refrigerator will stop cooling. Therefore, avoid this practice.
- When the door is misaligned, it cannot cause a good seal. So, close the refrigerator door tightly to ensure a good gasket seal.
- The leveling of the refrigerator can also affect the sealing of the doors. Ensure you level your refrigerator according to its leveling guide.
- Ensure the refrigerator is not on demo or display modes. If the control panel reads OF F, the refrigerator is on display mode. Deactivate it. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on how to disable the display mode.
If you still can’t tell why your LG linear compressor fridge is not cooling, contact LG for further assistance. Otherwise, chat with our service technicians using the chatbox to your right.
Check out these other articles…
LG Linear Compressor Refrigerator Error Codes
Below are the LG linear compressor refrigerator error codes and how to resolve them:
1. OF F
If your control panel reads OF F, it shows your refrigerator is on Display/Demo mode. Open the door and press the ICE PLUS and REFRIGERATOR buttons simultaneously. Hold the buttons for 5 seconds. The control panel will beep.
Now, check the temperature display panel and confirm that you have disabled the Display/Demo mode.
Bear in mind that when your refrigerator is in the Display/Demo mode, it will be on but won’t cool.
2. 15 or IS
This shows the ice maker sensor is disconnected, or the fan motor is malfunctioning. To resolve it, check the connection between the ice maker sensor and the fan motor with the control panel. Ensure the connections are tight.
If the connections are okay and there are no signs of defects, change the sensor and the fan motor. That should clear the error code.
The 22 error code indicates a malfunctioning start relay. Unfortunately, if the start relay malfunctions, you can only replace it since a start relay is unrepairable. The good news is that this component is fairly inexpensive.
This error code shows the doors are still open, albeit slightly. Ensure you do not overload the shelves and drawers so they can fit right. Additionally, make sure no item keeps the refrigerator doors from closing fully.
This code indicates something is wrong with the condenser fan; the feedback time from the fan is below 65 seconds. Check the condenser fan and ensure it is in good working condition. Otherwise, replace the part.
This shows that there is a transmission error between the display and the control board. The transmission error may be due to faulty or loose wiring, or a defective display unit or control board. Unfortunately, only a repair technician can fix it.
7. F dH, r dH, Er dH
The dH error code shows the defrost cycle took more than 1 hour. This error code is easy to clear. Just disconnect the refrigerator from the power source for 2 minutes, then plug it back in.
8. F dS, Er dS, r dS
This error code shows the disconnection of the defrost sensor. A repair technician is the best fit for this repair. The F dS shows a problem with the defrost sensor in the freezer. Then, r dS indicates a defrost sensor problem in the refrigerator.
9. FF or rF
These show there is a problem with the freezer or refrigerator fan, respectively. The cause is usually due to frost building up on the fan. To clear the FF/rF error code, defrost the refrigerator manually.
Unplug the appliance and leave it for at least 8 hours before plugging it back in. Then, use a dry towel to wipe off any moisture left inside the unit. Leave the appliance for 24 to 48 hours to normalize.
To keep this from recurring, ensure nothing is blocking the air vents, and replace the gasket if it is damaged. Furthermore, level the appliance according to its leveling guide, and ensure the door shuts properly.
10. FS or F5
FS or F5 error code shows the freezer sensor is disconnected. Like earlier stated, a repair technician should handle sensor error codes.
11. gF or 9F
gF or 9F indicates low water pressure or a problem with the flow sensor. If the ice maker usually overflows, there is a possibility that the problem is with the flow sensor. Otherwise, it is the water pressure.
If the water pressure is low, increase it a bit. 20psi is ideal.
12. HS or H5
HS or H5 shows the humidity sensor is disconnected. Let a service technician look at it.
13. IF,1F, or F1
These error codes show something is wrong with the ice maker fan. It is probably ice building up around the fan. Defrost the unit manually to clear the error code.
Other times, the problem with the fan can be loose wiring or a faulty fan motor. If this is the case, employ a service technician to fix it.
To stop these error codes from repeating, level the unit according to the leveling guide, and free the air vents. Additionally, change the door seal once it is weak or torn.
14. It or iT
This shows a component of the ice maker is faulty. Since you cannot buy parts of the ice maker individually, you have to replace the ice maker assembly. Let a service technician handle this repair.
rS error code signals a problem with the refrigerator’s sensor; the sensor could be disconnected. Again, let a repair technician fix it.
16. rT or rt
rt/rT error code shows the temperature sensor is disconnected. Leave this repair to a service technician.
This shows an open pantry sensor. You guessed right; let a repairman fix this.
18. dL, dr, or Ad
These error codes show the door motor does not move to the home position within 5 seconds. Other times, it shows the door motor did not open to its maximum position.
19. AS, L AS, r AS
This error code pops up when the auto door motor is working, and the reed switch is ON. Have a repairman look at it.
20. Sb, S6, 5b, 56 (Sabbath Mode)
The Sabbath Mode is used on the Jewish Sabbath or Holidays and turns off automatically after 96 hours. To deactivate the Sabbath Mode, press the WiFi and freezer buttons together, and hold them down for 3 seconds.
If you wish to activate the Sabbath Mode, enable the display panel by touching it. Then, press the WiFi and freezer keys simultaneously for 3 seconds until the Sb code appears on the display.
It is important to note here when you activate the Sb Mode, it disables the dispenser and the alarm functions.
Od error code shows a WiFi modem error. There is a communication error between the WiFi modem and the micom of the LCD. Check the connection between the duo, and reset it if there is a need. That will clear the error code.
This error code indicates a communication error between the dispenser and the micom of the LCD. Resetting the dispenser display should clear this error code.
You can find out how to clear these error codes from your owner’s manual. So if you are still in doubt, check the manual. You can also contact the LG service center for further assistance.
How To Reset LG Linear Compressor Refrigerator
Here is how to reset different parts of an LG linear compressor refrigerator:
Open the door and long-press the freezer switch. That should take about 5 seconds. It will reset the freezer.
2. Water Filter
To reset the water filter, long-press the water filter symbol flashing on the display panel until it stops blinking.
Note: You may only need to reset the water filter settings after installing a new one. You should change the water filter twice yearly or quarterly if construction is going on in your neighborhood.
Furthermore, your refrigerator will always alert you when you need to reset the water filter. Once you see the water filter symbol blinking on the display panel, it is time to change and reset it.
3. Air Filter
Long press the fresh air button for about 3 seconds to reset the air filter. Like the water filter, you may not need to reset the air filter unless you install a new one. Additionally, we advise the change to be twice yearly or quarterly if constructions are going on around your residence.
4. Control Panel
To reset the control panel, all you need to do is disable the Demo Mode. Long press the ice plus and refrigerator buttons together.
Before resetting your refrigerator’s WiFi connection, make sure to connect your router. Now, check the WiFi connection on your refrigerator. If the connection is solid, it should read “Connected” on the router.
But if it reads “Not in range,” relocate the router to get a better signal. Additionally, you may wish to install a repeater. It will strengthen the connectivity of the WiFi.
To reset the temperature in the refrigerator compartment, press the refrigerator button continuously until you reach the setting you want. The same applies to the freezer.
It is important to note that it takes a refrigerator up to 24 hours to normalize the new temperature setting. Additionally, the temperature range for the fridge is 36⁰F to 46⁰F, while that of the freezer is -6⁰F to 8⁰F.
However, the ideal temperature for the fresh food compartment is 37⁰F and the freezer 0⁰F.
7. Ice Maker
To reset the ice maker, open the ice maker compartment and remove the ice bucket. Then, turn on the ice maker on/off switch. Now long-press the test mode button for 3 seconds. The ice maker will start to turn.
Remember to place a dry towel on the floor of the ice room to absorb any ice or water that may fall.
Return the ice bucket to its position and leave the ice maker for 24 hours. If the ice maker produces ice afterward, it shows you have successfully reset it.
If you need more clarification to reset any part of your LG linear compressor refrigerator, consult the user manual. Alternatively, contact the LG service center for further assistance.
LG Refrigerator Linear Compressor Noise – Solved
The compressor makes a humming or buzzing sound. However, you need to know when the noise is a cause for alarm.
But first, let us start with the primary operation of the linear compressor.
When the linear compressor is operating, it changes speed depending on what the refrigerator requires. The essence is to effectively keep the freezer and refrigerator compartments cool.
Due to the change in speed, the compressor will be more active. Consequently, the noise from it increases. When this speed goes higher than normal, the compressor will produce either a banging, knocking, or buzzing noise.
Nevertheless, the noise should not last for over an hour per time. Otherwise, the refrigerator will require a service repair. Similarly, the humming noise should not last more than 1 hour either.
And if the humming/buzzing noise is so loud that you can hear it from another room, your refrigerator requires servicing.
LG Refrigerator Compressor Very Hot – What to Do
Here are things you should check when your LG refrigerator compressor is hot to the touch:
1. Temperature Thermostat
Check the working condition of the temperature thermostat. If this component fails, replace it because the compressor will likely overheat.
The reason this happens is that the thermostat monitors the temperature within the refrigerator. It will then trigger or shut off the compressor depending on the cold air needs of the refrigerator.
So, when the temperature thermostat is faulty, it will most likely keep the compressor running. Consequently, the compressor starts to overheat.
Additionally, do not set the temperature thermostat outside of what the manufacturers recommend. Otherwise, the compressor runs non-stop. And you already know what the consequence is.
If the cooling system runs short on refrigerant, you may need to hire a service technician to fix it. That is because the repair is sensitive and requires experience.
If your refrigerator has a shortage of refrigerant, there is a bigger problem; the gas is leaking. So, you need to find out where the leak is from, fix it, and then refill the refrigerant. That is why we recommend a service technician for this repair.
When there is a shortage of refrigerant, the compressor will work twice as hard to keep the refrigerator cool.
3. Condenser Fan
Check the fan mounted next to the compressor to see if it is working. Spin it and if it does not spin freely, it is most likely defective and the reason the compressor overheats.
The function of the condenser fan also extends to cooling the compressor. So when it fails, the compressor may be working normally, yet overheating.
So, for a faulty condenser fan, you need to replace it. If you trust your DIY skills, change the condenser fan yourself. Otherwise, let a service technician handle it.
4. Condenser Coils
Check the condenser coils for dirt and clean them if they are dirty. Use a refrigerator coil cleaning brush or a vacuum with a soft brush for this cleaning.
The condenser coils contain the refrigerant, and when they get dirty, they will not circulate the refrigerant efficiently. Consequently, the compressor will work harder to maintain the temperature inside the refrigerator and eventually overheat.
However, this can only be true if your refrigerator does not have the “Never Clean” condenser coils. The “Never Clean” condenser coils are in locations where you cannot easily access them. So, they do not require you to clean them manually.
How Do You Reset An LG Refrigerator Compressor?
If you want to reset the compressor on your LG refrigerator, all you have to do is to reset the thermostat. Follow these steps:
Unplug the refrigerator from the wall socket, and leave it for some minutes. Five minutes is ideal.
Note that when the refrigerator shuts off, you will likely hear a whooshing or knocking sound.
Open the refrigerator and turn off the freezer and fridge controls. It should be in the “OFF” or “0” position.
Plug back the refrigerator to the power wall socket.
Adjust the temperature controls to the setting you desire. The thermostat ranges from 0-9. It is ideal to set it to 5.
Then, allow the refrigerator up to 24 hours to normalize the new temperature setting.
Resetting the thermostat allows you to adjust the temperature of the refrigerator further. That will not only reduce energy costs, it will also allow the refrigerator to defrost. Additionally, the unit will get back to room temperature.
Afterward, the compressor will run until the unit reaches the temperature you desire – cooler than room temperature.
LG Refrigerator Compressor And Fan Not Running – Solutions
The solution to your LG refrigerator compressor and fan not running is to change the parts. It is because these parts cannot be repaired easily.
Follow the steps in this video to see how to change a compressor in an LG refrigerator…
To replace the fan, here is a video guide…
It is important to note that when the compressor and fan fail, the refrigerator will stop cooling. Furthermore, they may cause irreparable damages to the unit.
Why Do LG Refrigerator Compressors Fail?
The reason LG refrigerator compressors fail is like different bridges linking together. Let’s see these connections.
First, it starts from the evaporator tube. It is susceptible to pitting and corrosion. Due to the pitting, the refrigerant inside the evaporator tube leaks, and air enters the tube. Consequently, the leakage causes the refrigerant to build up excessive pressure, putting stress on the compressor.
Since the compressor cannot handle this excessive pressure, it starts failing gradually. This failure begins with the discharge valve, which is the weakest part.
On the other hand, if the refrigerator fan is faulty, it will stop cooling the compressor. And as a result, the compressor overheats, leading to compressor failure.
If you are wondering which LG refrigerators have compressor issues, the popular ones are the linear compressor refrigerators.
Where Is the Compressor Located On an LG Refrigerator?
The compressor on an LG refrigerator is behind the bottom access panel at the back of the unit. Therefore, before you can access the compressor, you will need to gain access to the rear of the refrigerator first.
Follow the steps below to locate the compressor on your LG refrigerator:
Disconnect the refrigerator power cord from the power outlet, and shut off the water supply line.
Pull the refrigerator far off the wall to create enough working room.
Disconnect the water supply line from the inlet valve. Then, proceed to unthread the bottom access panel at the back of the refrigerator.
You will find the compressor on your left-hand side. It is the black pot-like component there.
How to Test LG Refrigerator Compressor
To test the compressor on your refrigerator, follow these step-by-step guide below:
Unplug the refrigerator from the power outlet, shut off the water supply, and pull the appliance away from the wall.
Unthread the rear access panel at the bottom of the refrigerator.
Unclip the black plastic cover at the left-hand side of the compressor, and wiggle it out. In some cases, a single screw will be holding the plastic cover in place. Other times, it will be several clips.
Use a flathead screwdriver to carefully detach the start relay from the compressor.
Loose and remove the overload protector. You can also call it the overload switch or overload relay. The overload protector keeps the compressor from overheating and causing a fire.
Switch your multimeter to ohms of resistance. Then, select the smallest range on it.
Place the testing ends of the multimeter on the short copper pipe sticking out from the compressor. As you place the testing ends on the copper pipe, move them around. You will see different numbers appearing on the screen.
Now, leave one testing end (red color) on the pipe. Then, place the other one (black colored) individually on the three pins sticking out from the compressor.
Note that while touching the pins, numbers should not appear on the meter. If they do, the compressor is shutting down. You need to replace it.
However, if no numbers appear on the screen, test the resistance between the three pins. It is important to take note of the numbers.
Add the numbers from the sides. The big number from the two pins above should be a sum of the numbers from the side. However, this result is only correct for an old-school compressor.
For the BLDC inverter compressor, the resistance should remain the same across all three pins. Any number between 5.9 and 7.5 is good.
For the LG linear compressor, one side should have 7.5 ohms of resistance. The other two sides should be 0.
If you need more clarification, the video below would be helpful…
Testing the compressor with a multimeter is an electrical test. So, if your compressor passes this test, it is in perfect working condition. If not, replace it.
LG Refrigerator Compressor Will Not Start – Solved
If the compressor on your LG refrigerator will not start, here are the common culprits:
The overload relay is a part of the compressor that keeps it from overheating and causing a fire. So, when this part of the compressor is faulty, the compressor will not run.
Check the start relay for arcing or overheating. These are signs that the component is damaged. So if you see any of these signs, change the overload relay.
Alternatively, you can use a multimeter to test the functionality of the overload relay.
The start relay is a part of the compressor that triggers it to work. So if it fails, it cannot kick-start the compressor to action. You have to change it.
To check if the start relay is faulty, test it for continuity using a multimeter. Another way to know if the start relay is faulty is to detach it from the compressor and shake it. If the start relay rattles, it is most likely faulty.
If neither the overload relay nor the start relay is the reason your compressor won’t start, this other component is.
Check the motherboard; a small relay on the motherboard sending voltage to the compressor is not doing its job. If this relay is burnt or faulty, the compressor cannot start.
The compressor should get a 120V AC from the motherboard. Otherwise, change the motherboard.
To determine if the compressor receives voltage from the motherboard, test the wire connecting to the compressor using a multimeter. The meter should read 120V AC.
It is important to run a maintenance check on the refrigerator and compressor occasionally. So if an LG refrigerator compressor is failing, find a service agent.
Are you still unsure what causes the problem with your compressor? Your refrigerator may be due for a service repair. If your LG refrigerator needs repair servicing call LG, or schedule an appointment online from this page lg.com/us/support/repair-service/schedule-repair
Alternatively, contact any of our service technicians. They will be happy to help. No appointments or charges!
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