An issue with a Whirlpool refrigerator compressor is a problem with the entire refrigerator. But this article discusses how to solve such issues.
Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor and Fan Not Running – Quick Fix
Check if there is power supply to the compressor and fan. The main control board may be damaged, limiting or impeding the supply of power to the compressor.
You can also take a look at the start relay to be sure it is still working. A failed relay affects the functionality of the compressor, even though the fan may still run.
Inspect the temperature controls of the refrigerator. If they don’t work anymore, the fan and compressor won’t work.
Additionally, check the refrigerator’s thermistor as it works with the temperature controls. So if it is defective, the controls will fail because there will be no signal to them to turn on the cooling system. As a result, the compressor and fan, which are part of the cooling system, won’t run.
However, if all else fails, replace the fan and the compressor with genuine and suitable parts.
How to Reset a Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor
Take the following steps in order to reset the compressor of a Whirlpool refrigerator:
Unplug the refrigerator from electric power. Turn off the circuit breaker if reaching the wall outlet behind or beside the refrigerator is not possible.
After leaving the unit without power for some minutes, turn off the controls of the refrigerator and freezer. Then, plug the refrigerator back into the wall outlet or turn on the circuit breaker.
Set the controls of the refrigerator and freezer to any point you want. For the best results, go for a mid-point setting. Then, give the unit some time to adjust to the new temperature setting.
Doing this resets the compressor. This is especially needed if the compressor has been making strange noises, does not come nor run smoothly.
Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor Starts and Stops – How to Fix
If the compressor on a Whirlpool refrigerator starts and stops, the following need to be checked:
1. Start Relay
A faulty start relay is the most probable reason why a refrigerator compressor starts and stops. So, remove the relay from the compressor’s side. Do this after disconnecting the refrigerator from electric power.
Next, shake it gently and listen for an audible rattle. It will tell you whether or not the relay needs a replacement.
A burnt odor from the relay also means it is damaged and should be replaced. However, the best test is to check for continuity between the run and start terminals using a multimeter. If you don’t find continuity, replace the relay.
Setting the thermostat wrongly can cause the compressor to start and stop. Therefore, lower the setting of the thermostat and monitor the compressor for any change. If it begins to run smoothly, you have your answer.
If the thermostat does not signal the control board to power the unit’s compressor, you may find it not running smoothly.
3. Condenser Coils
Clean the coils of the refrigerator thoroughly and make sure to clean them regularly. You will find them at the bottom back or under the unit. Removing dust and debris will increase the coils’ capacity to dissipate heat from the refrigerant.
Too much dirt on the coils will cause an overload on the compressor, making it start and stop in short intervals.
It also helps to create some space around the refrigerator for good airflow, especially for the compressor.
The cord of the refrigerator may have some damage on it. This damage could cause a short that starts and stops the compressor.
Therefore, unplug it from the wall outlet and inspect it. If you notice any burn marks or any other damage, replace the cord.
Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor Runs Continuously – Solutions
If the compressor of a Whirlpool refrigerator runs continuously, do any or all of the following:
1. Replace the Condenser Fan Motor
Take a look at the blades of the fan to check for obstructions. You need to this especially if you have hairy pets.
Clean the blades and remove any obstruction. Then, turn them with your hand to see how smoothly they turn. If there is any stiffness, the bearings of the motor may be worn. Replace the motor.
However, if the blades turn smoothly, test the motor of the fan to check for continuity. Do use with a multimeter. If there is no continuity, replace the fan.
A faulty fan won’t be able to reduce the heat from the refrigerant in the coils. As a result, the compressor works extra to keep the refrigerator’s temperature from rising.
2. Fix the Door Seal
Run your hand down the side of the refrigerator where the seal meets the frame. This is to check for cold air escaping.
If you feel any such thing, it means the seal is not working well anymore. Replace it. But before doing this, open the door and check if it is simply loose. Push it back in gently with a small screwdriver if it is.
Also, check if it is dirty. Dirt caking on the seal reduces its ability to seal. Clean it with warm soapy water and a rag and see if it seals better afterward.
However, if the seal is weak, replace it with the right type of refrigerator door seal.
Warm air enters the refrigerator easily and it carries moisture. The moisture in it condenses on the cooling coils and freezes over time. If the coils remain frozen, they can’t release cold air for the unit. Consequently, the unit’s temperature will grow warm.
Usually, the defrost system should take care of the frost on the coils. But if the seal remains unchanged, the frost will form too quickly for the system to keep up. Therefore, it is best to change the seal as soon as possible.
In addition to the above, make sure you close the door of the refrigerator until it seals before leaving. Sometimes, the door does not close tightly after usage and this compromises the temperature and makes the compressor run continuously.
3. Troubleshoot the Defrost System
You will find the defrost timer, defrost heater, the defrost thermostat, and the defrost control board in the defrost system.
Check each component to see which has failed so you can replace it. It is best to start with the defrost timer.
Turn it counterclockwise until it clicks and advances the refrigerator into the defrost mode. Then, give it about 30 to 40 minutes to automatically advance out of the mode.
If this does not happen, the timer is bad and should be replaced. It is responsible for the defrost heater turning on to melt the ice off the evaporator or cooling coils.
And if it is defective, the refrigerator will have problems with cooling and the compressor will run constantly.
Next is the defrost heater. Check it for continuity using a multimeter. If there is no continuity, is likely defective and should be replaced. You will find it where the cooling coils are.
Then, check the defrost thermostat. Run a continuity test on it with a multimeter. For this to show the best result, the thermostat must reach the lowest temperature point of its range of operation.
If you don’t find continuity at this range, replace the thermostat. It is responsible for sensing the temperature of the evaporator coils. When they are cold, it closes its contacts and allows the heater to turn on.
If it fails to do this, the coils will freeze and the refrigerator will grow warm. So you find the compressor running non-stop to make up for the lack of cold air.
The defrost control board is not usually responsible for a failure in the system. But it helps to check it for any damage since it can cause the whole system to malfunction if something is wrong.
4. Check the Evaporator Fan Motor
Open the door of the freezer section of the refrigerator and press the door switch. Opening the door stops the evaporator fan motor but pressing the switch gets it running again.
However, if the motor does not start running after you press the switch to activate it, it is likely faulty. To be sure, listen for an unusually loud sound from the fan. If there is, replace it
And to check it thoroughly, remove the inside back panel of the freezer to see the fan. Run a continuity test on it with a multimeter. If you don’t find continuity, replace the motor.
There will be no cold air in the refrigerator if the evaporator fan is bad. This is because it is responsible for spreading cold air in the unit. So if the temperature starts rising, the compressor never stops running in order to keep the unit cold.
5. Adjust the Freezer Temperature
Make sure the temperature is not higher than 10 degrees Fahrenheit or -12 degrees Celsius. The refrigerator will start getting too warm if this is the case. And the compressor will run round the clock to make up for the slack.
Keep the temperature between 5 degrees and 0 degrees Fahrenheit for the best result. This is especially true if the refrigerator has a single cooling system. It means the cold air in the refrigerator will come from the freezer.
6. Clean the Condenser Coils
Dirty coils affect the ability of the refrigerator to cool. Because of this, clean them every 6 or 12 months to keep them working optimally. It also helps to keep the area surrounding the coils clean for the most part.
If the dirt on them is significant, the compressor will run continuously in a bid to keep the unit from becoming too hot.
The general cause for a compressor running constantly is the high temperature in the refrigerator. In a bid to help the unit maintain the right cool temperature, the compressor runs non-stop.
It is important to keep this from happening as it wears the compressor out and reduces its life span.
Here are common causes for a Whirlpool refrigerator that runs continuously and how to fix them…
Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor Buzzing – What to Do
A buzzing sound from a Whirlpool refrigerator compressor is pretty normal. It makes this sound when it, along with the fans, is comfortably adjusting in order for performance to be optimized.
But if it becomes loud and continuous, there is a problem. Contact Whirlpool to report the issue and request service.
Check out these other articles…
Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor Clicking – Quick Fix
Check the following if the compressor on your Whirlpool refrigerator is clicking:
1. Start Relay
An overload will cause the compressor to make a clicking noise as it tries to start and run. Remove the relay, which is a little box, from the compressor and smell it. If there is a burnt odor, it is likely damaged. And if it rattles when you shake it, replace the relay.
But if none of these applies, test it for continuity using a multimeter. Place the probes of the meter between the start and run terminals. If you don’t find continuity, replace the start relay.
2. Condenser Fan
To begin, turn the blades. They should turn easily and smoothly but if they don’t, it is an indication that the motor is bad.
Clean them and check the motor. Run a continuity test on it with a multimeter. If there is no continuity on the motor, replace it.
The compressor will become too hot if it is overloaded. And there is an overload if the fan is unable to remove the heat from the refrigerant that passes through the condenser coils.
3. Condenser Coils
The coils are most likely dirty. So get a refrigerator condenser brush or a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment.
Clean off the dust, lint, and dirt on the coils with any of these tools. Do a thorough job of this. And if you can’t get all the dirt this way, use a rag to wipe the rest off.
The heat from the refrigerant should not travel into the refrigerator. If it does, the temperature will rise. So the coils release the heat.
But if they are very dirty, they cannot do this, causing the temperature in the unit to rise and the compressor to work extra. The overload causes it to make clicking noises.
If the refrigerator has a dual evaporator, you may hear this sound when the valve of the evaporator is regulating the cooling cycle. It is completely normal as the cooling goes from the freezer to the refrigerator and vice versa.
Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor Hot – How to Fix
Do the following if you notice that the compressor on your Whirlpool refrigerator is hot:
1. Check the Thermostat
Be sure that the thermostat is set at the correct point. If it is set too low, the compressor will become too hot to the touch.
It is important to always set the thermostat to the correct point. Not only does it keep the refrigerator working optimally but it also keeps the compressor from overworking itself.
2. Check the Evaporator Fan
If the motor of the fan fails, the cold air will stop circulating in the refrigerator, causing its temperature to rise. The compressor will work harder to reduce the temperature and, in the process, become hot.
Replace the motor if the fan is no longer spinning or if there is no continuity in it.
3. Check the Condenser Coils
If they are dirty, clean them with a rag or a condenser brush. You can also use a leaf blower or a hose attachment to a vacuum cleaner. Ensure you check and clean them once or twice every year.
Otherwise, the heat from the refrigerant will heat up the refrigerator. And the compressor will put in extra effort to cool the unit, becoming hot in the process.
4. Check the Refrigerant Level
If the refrigerator is low on refrigerant, the refrigerator will stop cooling. But the compressor will keep running even with the low refrigerant, thereby becoming too hot.
However, you may not be able to tell if the refrigerant is low without professional help. So contact Whirlpool if you suspect this is the case or find a certified appliance technician.
It is best to just disconnect the refrigerator from electric power or power down the circuit breaker. Then, store the food in it elsewhere while you sort out the refrigerant problem.
Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor Knocking Noise – Solved
You may hear this knocking noise from the compressor when it is shutting down or starting up. This is especially true if your Whirlpool refrigerator is an older model.
But if your refrigerator is new and you hear this noise from the compressor area, it is probably not from the compressor. Check the condenser fan and coils. It may even be due to contact between the surrounding surfaces and the refrigerator as it operates.
And if the knocking noise continues, contact Whirlpool and report the issue. The compressor may have developed an issue or needs servicing.
How to Check a Whirlpool Refrigerator Compressor
Start by unplugging the refrigerator from electric power. Then, continue by removing the start relay by the side of the compressor. If there is an overload protector, remove that, too.
Next, set a digital multimeter to the Ohms resistance, to the smallest range. Place the two probes of the meter on the short tubing made of copper that is sticking out of the compressor. If you see numbers appear on the screen of the meter, it means the meter is functional.
Now, place one of the probes on the copper tubing and take the other probe to the pins from where you removed the relay.
While touching each pin with the probe, there should not be any number change on the screen of the meter. If there is any number change, the compressor is shorted to the ground and needs a replacement.
This video shows how to accurately test or check different types of refrigerator compressors…
How to Replace a Compressor on a Whirlpool Refrigerator
To replace the compressor on a Whirlpool refrigerator, take the following steps:
1. Disconnect the refrigerator from electric power.
2. Find the compressor.
3. Remove the old compressor.
4. Install the new compressor.
5. Reconnect the capacitor,
6. Add some refrigerant.
7. Reconnect the valves.
8. See if it works.
For more on each step, check out this article for a detailed explanation.
If a Whirlpool refrigerator compressor has issues, knowing the origin makes them easy to solve. It is necessary to find it and fix it as quickly as possible.
However, if you don’t know what to do, contact Whirlpool for immediate assistance. This is especially necessary if there is still an active warranty on the refrigerator. Most compressors tend to have a 10 to 15 years warranty on them.
We have certified appliance technicians who can help without you booking an appointment, waiting, or needing an in-house service call. Chat with any of them today using the chatbox to your right.