How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Refrigerator Compressor?

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans

Not all issues that can affect a refrigerator are equal. Some of those issues may temporarily affect how the appliance operates, but you can fix them and return things to normal. An issue that involves your refrigerator’s compressor is more serious and will require more money and skilled labor to resolve.

Simply put, your refrigerator will not function if the compressor is malfunctioning. The refrigerator relies on the compressor to circulate the refrigerant so a faulty compressor can shut off the system entirely. If your refrigerator’s compressor is not working as intended, you will have to replace it.

The cost of your replacement refrigerator compressor will depend on the kind you’re looking for. Used compressors are usually sold at $50 each while a new refrigerator compressor may cost you $400. You must also hire someone to install the replacement compressor inside your refrigerator. Expect the technician you hired to charge $150 for that service.

The only way to repair your refrigerator may be to replace the faulty compressor it currently has. That will be a significant expense, but it’s also a necessary one. Learn more about how much replacing your refrigerator’s compressor will cost by reading the rest of this article.

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Cost of Replacement Refrigerator Compressor

Estimate TypeUsed Compressor PriceNew Compressor Price
Low-End Estimate$35$250
Mid-Range Estimate$50$400
High-End Estimate$80$600

The importance of the compressor to your refrigerator is clear. You need that component working or else the goodies inside your fridge will go to waste. If the compressor is busted, you need to find a replacement for it as soon as possible.

The amount of money you’ll have to spend on the replacement will depend on the kind of component you’re seeking. Used refrigerator compressors are sold by some junk shops and specialty parts stores. To no one’s surprise, used compressors are quite cheap as they cost $50 on average.

Buying a used compressor can be risky because it may break sooner rather than later. Even if the used compressor only cost you $50, that’s still money you’re not getting back.

New compressors are more expensive. You can expect to see them sold at an average price of $400 each.

Despite the significantly higher price tag, you can argue that new compressors are better purchases. Compressors can last for a long time if they’re maintained properly. The purchase you’re making today will likely remain useful for many years to come.

Labor Cost to Replace a Refrigerator Compressor

Estimate TypeCost
Low-End Estimate$100
Mid-Range Estimate$150
High-End Estimate$200

Securing the replacement compressor for your refrigerator is just half of the job. Now, you have to install it in your fridge so you can start using that appliance again. You must hire a technician to handle the installation for you and they typically charge $150.

Replacing the refrigerator compressor yourself is not an option. For starters, special tools are required to complete the replacement and it’s unlikely that you have them lying around at home. Those tools can also be pretty expensive so purchasing them is not a wise use of your money.

Handling this type of task solo is also not an option because you’ll have to work with refrigerants. Only certified technicians are allowed to work with refrigerants so go ahead and leave the task up to them.

Cost to Repair a Refrigerator Compressor

Estimate TypeCost
Low-End Estimate$200
Mid-Range Estimate$300
High-End Estimate$400

The compressor inside your refrigerator may still be salvageable. In that case, you should seek to repair it instead of replacing it. The average cost of repairing a refrigerator compressor is $300.

Note that the labor cost of repairing a refrigerator compressor is higher than replacement. That’s because the former takes more work.

The technician may need more time to understand what’s wrong with the compressor. After identifying the problem, they will have to address it carefully to prevent any further damage. That can prolong their working time and increase your labor expenses as well.

Repairing is not an option in every scenario because some faulty compressors are more damaged than others. Don’t be surprised if the technician tells you that repairing the compressor is no longer possible.

Signs That Your Refrigerator Compressor Is Malfunctioning

A refrigerator compressor may exhibit some warning signs before it completely breaks. You need to watch for those warning signs so you can pre-emptively address the problem. Detailed below are the telltale signs that your refrigerator’s compressor is malfunctioning.

Abnormal Noise Level

When it’s working properly, the refrigerator compressor shouldn’t make much of a sound. The sound coming from the compressor can be best described as a low hum.

That noise will change if your compressor’s having issues. All of a sudden, the compressor may produce a louder and more disruptive noise. The noise may even have a clunky quality.

Take those loud noises as indicators that there’s something wrong with your compressor. Then again, the lack of noise is an issue too.

The absence of noise could mean that the compressor is not turning on. You will have to address that issue as soon as possible.

Contents of the Refrigerator Not Cooling

Recently, you may have noticed that the water you’re keeping inside your fridge is not as cold as it normally is. The other items inside your refrigerator may also not feel very cold.

Your refrigerator’s contents may not be cooling because there’s an issue affecting the compressor. That’s a possibility, but you shouldn’t jump to that conclusion immediately. After all, the lack of cooling could be caused by a wide variety of issues.

Examine your fridge first and see if some other issue may be affecting its cooling capabilities. You should only seek to replace the compressor once the other potential culprits have been checked out.

Refrigerator Shuts Off Repeatedly

The compressor may start to get warm due to overworking. When it gets very hot, it will shut down automatically to prevent potential damage. Once the compressor cools, it will kick back on again.

Faulty compressors warm up faster than their working counterparts. Because of that, they are also prone to shutting down more often. If it seems like your compressor is not working a lot of the time, that’s probably because it has an issue.

You can check if the compressor is overheating by touching it. Look for the compressor near the bottom portion of your fridge at the back. Place your hand gently on it to check if it feels hot.

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Related Questions

How Long Should a Refrigerator Compressor Last?

A refrigerator compressor that is maintained well should remain functional for up to 10 years. When deciding whether to repair or replace your compressor, you should consider its age. You may be better off replacing the compressor if it’s already near the end of its expected lifespan.

Can I Replace a Refrigerator Compressor Myself?

Homeowners are not advised to handle the task of replacing a refrigerator’s compressor solo. Taking on that job risks exposure to refrigerants and that is a big no-no.You may also lack the tools necessary to finish the replacement process. That’s another reason why you should leave that job up to the pros.

How Do I Reset My Refrigerator Compressor?

Resetting the compressor may resolve an issue currently affecting your refrigerator. To reset it, you need to unplug the fridge. Follow that by turning off the refrigerator and freezer via the provided control features.Next, plug the refrigerator in and then turn the refrigerator and freezer back up to your desired settings. All that’s left to do at that point is to wait for the refrigerator to work like normal again. If the problem isn’t resolved, you will have to pursue other ways of addressing it.

Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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