Close this search box.

How to Check Fridge Compressor – Easy Diagnose Steps From Unity Cooling Systems Inc.

how to check fridge compressor 2

Hey there, y’all! If you’re running a restaurant, grocery store, bakery, or gas station here in Houston, you know just as well as we do how crucial a refrigerator is to your daily operations. A reliable fridge keeps your goods fresh and your customers happy. But what happens when your fridge stops cooling? Often, the culprit is the compressor—an essential component of the cooling system.

At Unity Cooling Systems Inc., we specialize in commercial refrigeration and HVAC solutions. Our goal today is to share our expertise on checking your fridge compressor, helping you diagnose issues before they escalate into costly repairs. Whether you’re DIY-savvy or prefer to call in the pros, this guide is designed for you.

Understanding Your Fridge’s Compressor

Ice Machine Compressor

What is a Fridge Compressor and How Does it Work?

The compressor is essentially the heart of your refrigerator. It circulates refrigerant through the coils, converting it from gas to liquid and back, to keep the refrigerator cool. Think of it as the engine that powers your cooling system.[1]

Signs of Compressor Issues

  • Fridge Not Cooling: If your fridge isn’t maintaining its temperature, the compressor might be failing.
  • Strange Noises: Unusual clicks, hums, or rattles can indicate compressor problems.
  • Overheating: If the compressor feels excessively hot, it’s struggling and may need attention.[2]

Pre-Check Preparation

Commercial AC Unit Repair Near Me

Safety First

Before you start tinkering, let’s talk safety. Always disconnect the power supply to avoid any accidents. Make sure you have the right tools on hand: a multimeter, gloves, and perhaps some safety goggles for good measure.

Tools and Protective Gear Needed

  • Multimeter: For testing electrical resistance and continuity.
  • Insulated Gloves: To protect against electric shock.
  • Safety Goggles: To keep your eyes safe from any potential hazards.[3]

Accessing the Compressor

Most compressors are located at the back or bottom of the fridge. Remove the access panel carefully, ensuring not to damage any components.

How to Check Fridge Compressor Visualy?

Walk In Cooler Glass Door

Perform a Visual Check

Look for obvious signs of wear and tear:

  • Leaks: Any refrigerant leaks?
  • Corrosion: Rust or corrosion on the compressor or nearby parts.
  • Damaged Wires: Frayed or burnt wires can indicate electrical issues.

Check the Start Relay and Overload Protector

These components help the compressor start and run smoothly. If they’re damaged, replace them immediately.

When to Call a Professional

If you see visible damage or signs of electrical issues, it’s best to call in the experts. Unity Cooling Systems Inc. is always here to help.

Testing the Compressor

How to Check a Compressor on a Refrigerator 2

Using a Multimeter

A multimeter is your best friend for this task. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Set the Multimeter: Turn it to the ohms (Ω) setting.
  2. Identify the Terminals: You’ll see common (C), start (S), and run (R) terminals on the compressor.
  3. Measure Resistance: Check the resistance between C-S, C-R, and S-R. Healthy readings usually fall within a specific range outlined in your fridge’s manual.

Interpreting Results

  • Healthy Compressor: Consistent resistance readings across the terminals.
  • Signs of Failure: High or infinite resistance indicates a problem.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Low Resistance: May indicate a short in the windings.
  • High Resistance: Could mean an open winding or a broken connection.

When to Seek Professional Help

Leading Commercial Refrigeration Service: Reliability Meets Expertise

DIY vs. Professional

While basic checks can be done by almost anyone, complex issues often require professional attention. Unity Cooling Systems Inc. offers comprehensive diagnostic and repair services to keep your fridge running smoothly.

Our Services

From routine maintenance to emergency repairs, our team is equipped to handle all your commercial refrigeration needs. Partnering with industry leaders like Carrier and Turbo Air, we ensure top-notch service every time.

Benefits of Professional Services

  • Warranty Protection: Keep your equipment under warranty.
  • Peace of Mind: Know that experts are handling your valuable assets.
  • Expertise: Professional diagnostics often reveal issues DIY checks might miss.

How Knowing How to Check Your Fridge Compressor Can Save You Thousands

how to check fridge compressor

Ever wondered if your fridge or freezer is running efficiently? Let’s dive into a real-life example to show why knowing how to check your fridge compressor matters and the potential savings for businesses around here.

Example: Samantha’s Culinary Haven

Samantha runs a bustling spot, Samantha’s Culinary Haven, right here in Houston. Her restaurant relies on top-notch commercial refrigeration to keep things fresh. One day, she noticed her fridge wasn’t cooling properly and there was a strange noise coming from it.

Initial Problem: Samantha’s refrigerator compressor was malfunctioning.

Impact on Business:

  • Lost Revenue: Due to spoilage, Samantha lost about $500 worth of perishable goods.
  • Emergency Service Call: The urgent repair service cost her $350.
  • Business Interruption: The kitchen was down for a day, resulting in an estimated $2,000 in lost sales.

Total Initial Loss: $2,850

By learning how to check her refrigerator compressor, Samantha could have spotted the issue earlier, avoiding the emergency costs and business disruption.

The Math Behind the Savings

Let’s break down the potential savings:

  1. Routine Check-up: Performing regular checks on her refrigerator compressor could prevent unexpected breakdowns. Suppose a professional check-up costs $100 every six months.
  2. Preventive Maintenance: This would help identify issues like failing condenser coils or an overheating compressor before they become serious.

Annual Check-up Cost: $200

Potential Savings:

  • Spoilage Prevention: Avoiding spoilage worth $500 twice a year = $1,000
  • Emergency Service Savings: Avoiding one emergency repair = $350
  • Sales Loss Prevention: Preventing business interruption once a year = $2,000

Total Potential Savings: $3,350 – $200 (check-up cost) = $3,150 per year

How It Benefits Various Businesses

  • Restaurants and Catering Businesses: Regular compressor checks ensure ingredients stay fresh, preventing costly spoilage and ensuring continuous service.
  • Convenience Stores and Gas Stations: Avoiding breakdowns keeps cold drinks and snacks ready for customers, maintaining sales.
  • Hotels and Event Venues: Efficient refrigeration means guests always have access to fresh food and chilled beverages.
  • Grocery Stores and Supermarkets: Preventing refrigeration issues ensures the quality of perishable goods, keeping customers satisfied.
  • Bakeries: Reliable refrigeration is crucial for dough and ingredients, preventing production delays.
  • Schools and Universities: Efficient refrigerators in cafeterias ensure students have access to fresh meals.
  • Research Facilities and Laboratories: Properly functioning refrigerators are critical for storing sensitive materials.
  • Floral Shops and Garden Centers: Keeping flowers fresh is essential for customer satisfaction.
  • Ice Cream Shops and Frozen Yogurt Stores: Consistent refrigeration ensures products remain at the right temperature.
  • Food Processing Plants: Reliable refrigeration is vital for processing and storing products.
  • Cold Storage Warehouses: Preventing breakdowns ensures goods are stored correctly, avoiding spoilage.
  • Sports Arenas and Stadiums: Efficient refrigeration is crucial for keeping food and beverages ready for large crowds.

By knowing how to check your fridge compressor, businesses can avoid costly repairs and downtime, ensuring smooth operations and substantial savings.

Additional Tips:

  • Regularly test your refrigerator’s compressor using a meter to check its capacitance and continuity.
  • Listen for unusual noises, which could indicate a failing compressor motor.
  • Ensure power to the compressor is consistent to avoid power surge damage.
  • Keep the refrigerator cool by maintaining clean condenser coils.
  • Address any issues promptly to avoid further complications and ensure safety.

Knowing how to check your fridge compressor is not just about maintenance; it’s about protecting your business and saving money in the long run. Whether you’re running a restaurant, a convenience store, or any other business relying on refrigeration, this knowledge is crucial.

Selective focus paper clipboard written final thoughts with pen and eye glasses.

Maintaining a healthy fridge compressor is crucial for the longevity and efficiency of your refrigerator. Regular checks can save you from unexpected breakdowns and costly repairs. So don’t wait until it’s too late—stay proactive.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understand Your Compressor: Know its role and signs of issues.
  • Safety First: Always take precautions before starting any checks.
  • Use the Right Tools: A multimeter is essential for accurate testing.
  • Know When to Call the Pros: Some issues are best handled by specialists.


Paper clipboard with text FAQ or frequently asked question and magnifying glass.

Why is my refrigerator making strange noises?

Strange noises coming from your refrigerator freezer could indicate an issue with the compressor or condenser coils. It’s essential to check if the compressor needs testing or if there are any obstructions around the condenser coils. Regular maintenance can prevent these noises and ensure your fridge runs smoothly.

Why is my dishwasher not spinning?

A dishwasher that isn’t spinning may have motor or belt issues. Checking the voltage and ensuring that the spin cycle isn’t obstructed can help diagnose the problem. If you’re unsure, it’s always a good idea to consult with a professional.

What should I do if my dryer isn’t working?

If your dryer isn’t working, check if it’s a problem with the electricity or if there’s an issue with the dryer’s spin. The cord and pin connections should also be tested. Sometimes, a start kit might be necessary to get things running again.

Why isn’t my microwave heating up?

A microwave not heating up usually points to issues with the magnetron, high-voltage diode, or capacitor. It’s best to get these components checked by a professional to ensure safe and effective repairs.

My Maytag washer isn’t spinning. How do I fix it?

If your Maytag washer isn’t spinning, the problem may lie with the motor, belt, or lid switch. Make sure to check these components as they often hinder the spin cycle’s functionality. If you hear the compressor but nothing happens, you might have a more significant problem that needs a professional touch.

What are the signs of a bad coil in my refrigerator?

A bad coil can lead to your refrigerator not cooling properly and experiencing frequent shutdowns. If you notice these issues, it might be time to check and clean the condenser coils. Keeping them clean ensures good airflow and is essential for the refrigerator’s efficiency.

What causes compressors to overheat?

Compressors can overheat due to poor ventilation, dirt on the condenser coils, or electrical issues. Make sure to keep the area around the compressor clean and ensure it has proper ventilation. If your LG refrigerator’s compressor overheats, it can become unsafe, so addressing this promptly is crucial.

How can I test my refrigerator’s compressor to ensure it’s working?

To test your refrigerator’s compressor, you can use a multimeter to check its windings, capacitance, and continuity. Listen for any unusual sounds that may indicate a problem with the compressor. Ensuring consistent electricity supply can also help prevent damage.

What should I do if my condenser fan isn’t working?

A non-working condenser fan can lead to your refrigerator not cooling efficiently. First, check if there’s any obstruction preventing the fan from spinning. If it’s still not working, it might be an issue with the fan motor or a problem with the compressor. In such cases, replacing the fan or consulting a professional is recommended.

What is a start kit, and do I need one for my refrigerator?

A start kit includes essential components like a relay, capacitor, and overload protector that help kickstart the compressor. If your refrigerator isn’t running or has trouble starting, a start kit can often resolve these issues.

How can I ensure my refrigerator remains energy efficient?

Regular maintenance checks, keeping the condenser coils clean, and ensuring the compressor is in good working condition can maintain your refrigerator’s energy efficiency. Investing in high-quality products from partners like Carrier or Turbo Air can also make a difference.

Ready to Get Your System Running Smoothly? 🚀

Contact us concept with wood block and symbols

Reach out to us at Unity Cooling Systems Inc. for expert assistance with all your commercial refrigeration and HVAC needs. Whether you’re looking to check your fridge compressor or need any other service, we’ve got you covered.

📞 Call us: +1 (281) 818-5959

📱 Follow us on LinkedIn for updates and tips.

🎥 Curious to learn more? Check out our video library on YouTube.

We’re here to make sure your business runs smoothly and efficiently. Let’s connect today!



[1] P. N. Babu, D. Mohankumar, P. M. Kumar, et al., “Energy efficient refrigeration system with simultaneous heating and cooling,” Materials Today, Elsevier, 2021. [HTML]

[2] X. Cao, X. Liang, L. Shao, and C. Zhang, “Performance analysis of an ejector-assisted two-stage evaporation single-stage vapor-compression cycle,” Applied Thermal Engineering, 2022. [HTML]

[3] C. Farion, “The Ultimate Guide to Informed Wearable Technology: A hands-on approach for creating wearables from prototype to purpose using Arduino systems,” 2022. [HTML]

Unleash Your Potential! Dive into Unity Cooling Systems' Expert Video Tutorials on Commercial HVAC & Refrigeration.
Follow us on