February 20, 2015

How to replace a freezer compressor start relay

By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer compressor start relay

This DIY repair guide explains how to replace the compressor start relay on a freezer. The compressor start relay helps start the freezer compressor. A broken relay—which may rattle when you shake it or have burn marks—can keep the compressor from running. Replace the compressor start relay with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Follow these steps to replace the compressor start relay on common Kenmore, Frigidaire, Crosley, Gibson, White-Westinghouse and Kelvinator chest freezers.

Quick links
Tools required
Phillips screwdriver
Pliers
Work gloves
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less
Repair difficulty
Time required
15 minutes or less

Instructions

  1. 01.

    Disconnect the electrical power

    Unplug the freezer or shut off the circuit breaker for the freezer.

  2. 02.

    Remove the grille cover

    Pull the control knob straight off of the cold control thermostat.

    Remove the screws securing the compressor grille cover to the freezer cabinet.

    Hinge the grille cover down to access the back of the cold control thermostat.

    Squeeze together the 2 locking tabs that secure the cold control thermostat to the compressor grille cover and release the cold control thermostat from the grille.

    Pull off the control knob.

    Pull off the control knob.

    Remove the screws.

    Remove the screws.

    Release the thermostat from the grill cover.

    Release the thermostat from the grill cover.

  3. 03.

    Disconnect the wires from the compressor start relay

    Squeeze the wire harness plug to release the locking tabs and remove the wire harness from the compressor start relay.

    Disconnect the start relay wires.

    Disconnect the start relay wires.

  4. 04.

    Remove the compressor start relay

    Release the wire retainer from the compressor start relay.

    Grasp the compressor start relay firmly and pull it out of the connection terminals on the compressor.

    Release the wire retainer.

    Release the wire retainer.

    Remove the start relay.

    Remove the start relay.

  5. 05.

    Install the new compressor start relay

    Position the new compressor start relay next to the compressor and line up the terminal prong connections.

    Push the compressor start relay onto the compressor terminal prongs.

    Reinstall the wire retainer on the start relay.

    Install the new relay.

    Install the new relay.

    Reinstall the wire retainer.

    Reinstall the wire retainer.

  6. 06.

    Reconnect the wires to the compressor start relay

    Push the wire harness plug into the start relay. Make sure that the locking tabs snap into place.

    Plug in the wire harness.

    Plug in the wire harness.

  7. 07.

    Reinstall the grille cover

    Position the cold control thermostat on the compressor grille cover and push it into the grille cover. Make sure that the locking tabs on the cold control thermostat snap into place on the grille cover.

    Position the control knob on the front of the cold control thermostat and push the control knob down on the stem of the cold control thermostat.

    Position the compressor grille cover properly on the freezer cabinet and secure it using the mounting screws.

    Attach the cold control to the grill.

    Attach the cold control to the grill.

    Reinstall the grill.

    Reinstall the grill.

    Reinstall the grill cover screws.

    Reinstall the grill cover screws.

    Reinstall the control knob.

    Reinstall the control knob.

  8. 08.

    Restore electrical power

    Plug in the freezer or turn on the house circuit breaker to restore power.

Warning: Undertaking repairs to appliances can be hazardous. Use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the guide and follow all instructions. Do not proceed until you are confident that you understand all of the steps and are capable of completing the repair. Some repairs should only be performed by a qualified technician.

Symptoms common to all freestanding freezers

Choose a symptom to see related freezer repairs.

Main causes: excessive frost, bad defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal, control system failure, low refrigerant charge, compressor problems
Main causes: leaky door or lid gasket, broken defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat, defrost control failure, faulty compressor
Main causes: dirty condenser coils, condenser fan failure, dirty bottom front grill, leaky door or lid gasket
Main causes: compressor failure, no refrigerant, faulty sensor, control failure, broken defrost heater, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat
Main causes: damaged door or lid gasket, cracked cabinet liner, bad defrost bi-metal thermostat, broken defrost heater, bad defrost timer
Main causes: lack of power, bad compressor, refrigerant leak, bad thermistor, defrost system failure, dirty condenser coils, control failure
Main causes: lack of power, control system failure, broken compressor start relay, locked up compressor, compressor motor failure
Main causes: burned out light bulb, bad door or lid switch, faulty LED light board, wiring failure, control system failure

Repair guides for chest freezers

February 20, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer compressor start relay

The compressor start relay starts the compressor. If the compressor won’t start, follow these steps to replace a defective compressor start relay.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
How to replace a freezer temperature control thermostat

The cold control thermostat regulates the freezer temperature. A defective cold control thermostat can prevent the compressor from cycling on or off. Follow these steps to replace a defective cold control thermostat.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 15 minutes or less
February 1, 2015
By Lyle Weischwill
How to replace a freezer lid gasket

The lid gasket prevents air and moisture from entering the freezer when the lid is closed. Follow these steps to replace a torn or damaged lid gasket.

Repair difficulty
Time required
 30 minutes or less

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Use the advice and tips in these articles and videos to get the most out of your freezer.

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