How to test freezer compressors

Written by johnathan cronk
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How to test freezer compressors
Test your freezer compressor if you notice the freezer no longer working properly. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

The freezer compressor is a vital component within the cooling process. The compressor reduces the volume of the refrigerant gas, allowing it to be easily transported for cooling. If the compressor fails within your freezer, the gasses can no longer be pressurised and transported, resulting in the inability of the cool air to be properly circulated. You can test the freezer compressor by testing the resistance of the unit using a multimeter.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Multimeter

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  1. 1

    Unplug the freezer from the electrical socket. Allow the freezer motor and components to cool for 10 minutes.

  2. 2

    Pull the unit out if it's positioned against a wall so you can access the back. The compressor and other components are on the bottom of the unit. Locate the compressor relay; the relay looks like a box of copper wires and is housed in a terminal box.

  3. 3

    Unclip the retaining clip on the terminal box and slide the cover off. You now have access to the compressor pins.

  4. 4

    Set the multimeter to the "Ohms" setting. Clip the positive lead on the multimeter to one pin. Clip the negative lead to a grounded point such as the floor. The positive lead is coloured red and the negative lead is black. Do this for each pin. Each pin should be no more than one-half ohm difference in reading. If the resistance of one pin is one-half ohm more than that of another, then there's a short in one of the pins and the compressor needs to be replaced or serviced.

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