How to Replace the Compressor Run Capacitor in a Top-Freezer Refrigerator



This DIY repair guide has step-by-step instructions for replacing the compressor run capacitor in a top-mount refrigerator. The run capacitor continuously sends electrical current to keep the compressor running. If the house circuit breaker for your refrigerator trips as soon as the compressor tries to start, the run capacitor could have shorted out. Replace a shorted run capacitor with a manufacturer-approved replacement part.

Note: In refrigerators with an optional capacitor, the compressor starts and runs even if the capacitor isn't getting electrical current. A failed optional run capacitor won't keep the compressor from running, but it shortens the life of the compressor. Over time—probably a few years—you might notice the compressor motor overheating and clicking off.

This repair procedure works for Kenmore, Frigidaire, Electrolux, Whirlpool, KitchenAid, Maytag, Amana, GE, Samsung, LG, Gibson, Crosley, Bosch and Haier refrigerators.

Repair difficulty:
Time required:

Less than 15 min.

Parts Required:

  • Compressor run capacitor

For manuals, repair guides, and specific part recommendations, enter your model number.

Tools Required:

  • Work gloves
  • Nut driver set
  • Slot screwdriver

Before you begin

Wear work gloves to protect your hands.


 Warning: Undertaking repairs or maintenance to appliances or power equipment can be hazardous. Should you choose to undertake repairs or maintenance, you are assuming the risk of injury to your person or property. In an effort to reduce the risk, use the proper tools and safety equipment noted in the applicable 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 or maintenance, however, should only be performed by a qualified technician.

How to Replace the Compressor Run Capacitor in a Top-Freezer Refrigerator

Step 1: Shut off the power

Unplug the power cord from the wall outlet.

Step 2: 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.

Step 3: Remove the run capacitor

Pry off the wire retainer holding the start relay on the compressor.


Pull the run capacitor off the compressor start relay.

Step 4: Install the new run capacitor

Plug the new run capacitor into the compressor start relay.


Reinstall the wire retainer to hold the start relay on the compressor.

Step 5: Reinstall the rear compartment cover

Position the rear compartment cover on the back of the refrigerator and reinstall the mounting screws.

Step 6: Restore electrical power

Plug in the refrigerator and push the refrigerator back into place.