How To Reset a Refrigerator Compressor

Refrigerators have become the need of the hour today, with almost every household having at least one at home, and in case of commercial use, they are among the most basic equipment needed to run the place. Hence, it serves as a smart clever of technology that is important for both; commercial and residential uses.

As important as it is, technology can never be entirely reliable. Technical errors are quite common in such devices, be it a device as small as a mobile or as big as a refrigerator. Usually, when a refrigerator does not work, the problem might be with the compressor, since it is the main element that runs the device. How do you reset a compressor to make it work? Before you call customer service, here is a step-by-step guide that can help you out!

How does a Refrigerator Compressor Work? 


A fridge compressor makes use of a low-pressure gaseous refrigerant. When more cold air is required by the fridge thermostat, the compressor kicks in making the refrigerant reach a high pressure, moving it through cooling coils as the fridge’s fans send cool air into the freezer and fridge compartments. With changes in the thermostat, the temperature settings vary, and the process continues. 

What are the Types of Compressors used in Refrigerators? 

When we talk about refrigerators, there are several types of compressor that can be used. There are mainly five types of compressors used in refrigerators that are described below.

1. Piston compressors

Also known as reciprocating compressors, piston compressors make use of a cylinder and piston arrangement to provide a force of compression similar to piston pumps or combustion engines. They have a simple and easy design along with a low initial cost. Piston or reciprocating compressors are the most commercially used ones for refrigerators. 

2. Rotary compressors

As the name suggests, these compressors are made of two rotating elements similar to gears. The refrigerant is compressed between them. These are very efficient compressors taking in and compressing the refrigerant simultaneously. Rotary compressors have low rotational speeds, less moving parts, have low maintenance and low initial costs. Producing less pressure in contrast to other compressors, their use is limited to smaller gas volumes. 

3. Screw compressors 

A pair of helical screws or rotors are used by the screw compressor to compress refrigerants between them by meshing together. Consuming less power in contrast to piston compressors, they can use a small amount of gas to produce high pressure. With a few moving parts, screw compressors have about low or medium costs of maintenance. In dirty environments, and at high rotational speeds, they can have difficulties, hence leading to a shorter life.

4. Scroll compressors

To compress the refrigerant, these scroll compressors make use of two nested offset spiral disks. The lower disk moves while the upper remains stationary. With quiet and smoothly operating units, they have the highest efficiency ratio among other compressors. They are commonly used in commercial chillers. 

5. Centrifugal compressors 

As the name suggests, this compressor use an impeller wheel’s rotation action to create a centrifugal force in a round chamber where the refrigerant is present. Restricted by fixed volume chambers, they are able to compress large refrigerant volumes into low pressures. With the simple design, a few moving parts and being energy efficient, they are the right choice. 

Features of a Refrigerator Compressors 

Compressors used in refrigerators typically incorporate some general features that are common to all. 

1. Thermal shutoff:

This feature of a compressor allows it to shut off at very high temperatures, to prevent overheating. Hence, reducing chances of damage through overheating. 

2. Sealing:

The sealing feature of compressors ensure that no route is provided to the gas to leak off the fridge system. There are three main types; open, hermetic, and semi-hermetic. 

3. Low noise:

Refrigerator compressors generate less noise, making them suitable for environments where silence is required.

4. Lightweight:

Such compressors are made with low-density materials giving them a light weight.

5. Variable speed:

Refrigerator compressors had the feature of speed adjustment, allowing it to run at various conditions and flow rates.

Repair and Replacement of Refrigerator Compressors 

When it comes to choosing refrigerators, people trust famous and well-known brands. In the list of famous brands, in the US, several brands that take the lead. A few of these renowned brands include LG, General Electric, Maytag, Samsung and Whirlpool, which have gained the customer’s trust. 

Nevertheless, no matter how reliable the company, there can be some issues regarding the compressor or the fridge in general. If there is a problem regarding the compressor, what do you do? There are many online stores and otherwise, which offer repair services for refrigerator compressors if they are causing any issue. Sometimes the compressor can be repaired, or in other cases, it may need to be replaced. If within the warranty, companies may replace the 

How do you fix a refrigerator when its compressor is not working? What needs to be done? No need to worry! The simple key is to reset your device. Here is a step-by-step guide to reset a refrigerator to help you with the process. 

A step-by-step Guide to Reset a Refrigerator 

Resetting a refrigerator is an easy task if you follow these simple steps. 

Step 1:

The first and most simple step is to find the power cord of the refrigerator which if found at the back of the appliance. For almost all devices, the power cord is located at the back of the product. 

Step 2:

Once you are able to locate the power cord, disconnect it from the outlet on the wall. There may be some knocking or whooshing noises as it shuts off, so you need not worry. Now let the refrigerator remain unplugged for a few minutes.

Step 3:

Now turn the freezer and the fridge controls to “0” or “off”, the commands inside the fridge. Once done, plug the refrigerator in again by putting the power cord in the power outlet.

Step 4:

The second last step of the process is to set the controls of the freezer and the fridge based on your need E.g. some refrigerators have “0” to “9” settings. In such a case, “5” should be good enough.

Step 5:

Now, you need to give the fridge some time to adapt to a stable temperature. Usually, one day should be enough. 

FAQs about Refrigerator Compressors 

Some popular questions that are asked about refrigerator compressors. They can help you in getting some general idea of compressors used in refrigerators and relevant concerns. 

Q1. Why is my refrigerator compressor making so much noise?

Normally, the inverter compressor will run at high speed in the first time of operation. As the compressor of the inverter slows down, the sound will be reduced as the fridge attains its ideal temperature. 

Q2. Why does my fridge make popping or crackling sounds? Is it a normal thing? 

The noise may be caused as a result of plastic contraction with the temperature change in the compartment of the freezer. This can usually happen once or more on stopping of the compressor. It is normal and does no cause harm to the unit.

Q3. How long should the compressor of my fridge run? 

In most cases, the refrigerator’s compressor should run for four to eight hours before it shuts down and enters the defrost cycle. 

Q4. Why does the side body of my fridge feel hot? Is it normal for it to be this hot? 

This is quite normal. The hot pipe that runs across the side body and the front is the reason for heating of the body. The heat is produced when the compressor is running, hence making the body hot. The heat will reduce as the compressor stops. 

Q5. How do I choose the right size compressor for my fridge? 

The best option is to choose a compressor that it is a little more than what you actually need. It also depends significantly on the volume of air that you need. You can consult a technician to help you decide what compressor size can be best for your refrigerator. 

Q6. My refrigerator runs for most of the time. Is that okay?

Based on what type of compressor is used in your refrigerator, there could be variability in how frequently it runs. It usually is okay for the compressor to go on and off on a frequent basis. Some other compressors are designed to run for 100% of the time apart from the defrost cycle. So, it’s entirely alright for your refrigerator to run for a long time.

Finally, we have had a deep insight into the types, uses, working and setting of refrigerator compressors. So, now, if your refrigerator compressor ever stops working, don’t rush to seek the help of an expert right away. Sometimes, all that your device needs is a simple reset to get it back into action. By the simple step-by-step guide provided above, you can do that with ease! 

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