What is the most common cause of refrigerator compressor failure?

The most common cause of refrigerator compressor failure is overheating, which can be caused by several factors such as dirty coils, low refrigerant levels, faulty fans, or power surges. Overheating can damage the compressor and reduce its efficiency, leading to higher energy bills and spoiled food. In this article, we will explain how each of these factors can cause compressor failure and how to prevent it.

Dirty Coils

The coils are the part of the refrigerator that transfer heat from the inside to the outside. They are usually located at the back or the bottom of the refrigerator. Over time, dust, dirt, and grease can accumulate on the coils, reducing their ability to dissipate heat. This can cause the compressor to work harder and overheat, which can shorten its lifespan and cause it to fail.

To prevent this, you should clean the coils at least once every six months, or more often if you have pets or a dusty environment. You can use a vacuum cleaner or a brush to remove the dirt from the coils. Make sure to unplug the refrigerator before cleaning the coils and avoid bending or damaging them.

Low Refrigerant Levels

The refrigerant is the substance that circulates through the refrigerator and absorbs heat from the inside. It then passes through the compressor, where it is compressed and releases heat to the outside. The refrigerant level should be maintained at a certain level to ensure optimal cooling performance. If the refrigerant level is too low, the compressor will have to run longer and harder to cool the refrigerator, which can cause it to overheat and fail.

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Low refrigerant levels can be caused by leaks, improper installation, or poor maintenance. To prevent this, you should check the refrigerant level regularly and have it refilled by a professional if needed. You should also inspect the refrigerant lines for any signs of damage or corrosion and fix them as soon as possible.

Faulty Fans

The fans are the part of the refrigerator that circulate air through the coils and the interior. They help to maintain a consistent temperature and prevent ice buildup. If the fans are faulty, they can either run too fast or too slow, or not at all. This can affect the cooling efficiency and cause the compressor to overheat and fail.

To prevent this, you should check the fans regularly and make sure they are running smoothly and quietly. You should also clean the fan blades and the vents to remove any dust or debris that might obstruct the airflow. If the fans are making loud or unusual noises, or if they stop working altogether, you should replace them as soon as possible.

Power Surges

Power surges are sudden spikes in the voltage of the electrical supply. They can be caused by lightning strikes, faulty wiring, or malfunctioning appliances. Power surges can damage the electrical components of the refrigerator, including the compressor. They can also cause the compressor to overheat and fail.

To prevent this, you should use a surge protector to plug in your refrigerator and other appliances. A surge protector is a device that regulates the voltage and protects your appliances from power surges. You should also avoid overloading your circuits and using extension cords or adapters that are not compatible with your appliances.

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Conclusion

The refrigerator compressor is the heart of the cooling system and one of the most expensive parts to replace. Therefore, it is important to prevent it from failing by avoiding overheating. You can do this by keeping the coils clean, maintaining the refrigerant level, checking the fans, and using a surge protector. By following these tips, you can extend the life of your compressor and save money on repairs and energy bills.