Refrigerator Compressor Runs for 5 Seconds: Quick Solutions

If your refrigerator compressor runs for 5 seconds and then suddenly stops, you’re probably concerned about what that means for your appliance and your stored food. This detailed guide will systematically walk you through the diagnosis and potential fixes for this issue.

Refrigerator Compressor Runs for 5 Seconds
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Check the Power Supply

The first thing you need to ensure is that your refrigerator is receiving a consistent and adequate power supply. A power issue can cause the compressor to stop prematurely.

Check the Plug: Make sure the refrigerator’s power plug is securely inserted into the electrical outlet. A loose connection can cause power interruptions.

Test the Outlet: Unplug the refrigerator and plug in another appliance, such as a lamp or a phone charger, to see if the outlet is functioning. If the other appliance also has issues, the problem is likely with the electrical outlet, not the refrigerator.

Power Fluctuations: Voltage fluctuations can also affect the compressor. If you suspect this is the case, you might want to consider getting a voltage stabilizer. Check out this Automatic Voltage Stabilizer on Amazon.

Inspect the Thermostat

The thermostat controls the internal temperature of your refrigerator. A malfunctioning thermostat could incorrectly regulate the compressor’s cycles.

Locate the Thermostat: Usually, you’ll find the thermostat dial near the temperature controls inside the fridge.

Test the Thermostat: Turn the dial to the coldest setting. Wait for a few minutes and observe. If the compressor continues to stop after 5 seconds, the thermostat may be the issue.

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Professional Inspection: If adjusting the settings doesn’t work, you might need to have the thermostat professionally inspected, and possibly replaced.

Examine the Compressor

The compressor is a critical component, functioning as the “heart” of your refrigerator. It’s important to identify if the compressor itself is the source of the problem.

Access the Compressor: The compressor is usually located at the back-bottom section of the refrigerator. You may need to remove a protective cover to access it.

Check for Overheating: After unplugging the appliance, carefully touch the compressor. If it’s hot to the touch, it may be overheating, which could cause it to shut down as a protective measure.

Listen for Noises: Odd noises can indicate mechanical issues. If you hear rattling or humming, the compressor might be damaged and could need replacement.

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Look for Electrical Issues

Electrical issues can often disrupt the normal function of your refrigerator’s compressor. Damaged wiring or faulty components could be the culprit.

Inspect Wiring: Look for any frayed or disconnected wires around the compressor and the electrical connections that lead to it. Damaged wires can impede electrical flow.

Check the Start Relay: The start relay is a small device that helps the compressor start-up. If this component is faulty, the compressor may not sustain its run. The start relay is often found near the compressor.

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Capacitors: Some compressors have a start or run capacitor that helps them function more efficiently. A damaged capacitor can prevent the compressor from running properly.

Consult a Professional

If you’ve attempted all the above steps without resolving the issue, your best bet is to consult a professional. Compressor issues can be complex and may require specialized tools and expertise.

Also, improper DIY fixes can void your warranty or cause further damage to your refrigerator. Therefore, for stubborn issues, it’s wise to consult a qualified service technician for diagnosis and repair.