This refrigerator repair guide explains how to replace the start relay in a top-freezer refrigerator. The compressor won't run if the start relay fails. The relay sends current to the motor start windings to boost motor torque to start the motor, and to the motor run windings. Once the motor starts, the relay continues to send current to the run windings, but cuts off current to the start windings. A defective start relay won't send current to the start windings, run windings or both. The start relay includes an overload component that shuts off all current to the motor if the motor overheats. A defective overload trips when the motor isn't overheated, preventing the motor from starting. Replace the defective compressor start relay with the manufacturer-approved replacement part.
Use this repair procedure to replace the compressor start relay in Kenmore, Frigidaire, Electrolux, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, GE, Samsung, LG, Gibson, Crosley, Bosch and Haier refrigerators.
Replacing a refrigerator compressor start relay video.
Shut off the power
Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.
Remove the rear compartment cover
Pull the refrigerator away from the wall.
Remove the screws from the rear compartment cover and then remove the cover.
Remove the cover screws.
Remove the rear cover.
Remove the compressor relay
Pry off the wire retainer holding the start relay on the compressor.
Disconnect the wire harness from the start relay.
Pull the start relay and run capacitor off the compressor.
Pry off the wire retainer.
Disconnect the wire harness.
Pull out the start relay.
Install the new overload/ptc relay
Transfer the run capacitor from the old start relay to the new start relay.
Plug the new start relay with capacitor into the compressor terminals.
Plug the wire harness into the new start relay.
Reinstall the wire retainer to hold the start relay on the compressor.
Pull the capacitor off the old start relay.
Install the capacitor on the new start relay.
Plug in the start relay.
Connect the wire harness.
Reinstall the wire retainer.
Reinstall the rear compartment cover
Position the rear compartment cover on the back of the refrigerator and reinstall the mounting screws.
Reinstall the rear compartment cover.
Restore electrical power
Plug in the refrigerator and push the refrigerator back into place.
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