A compressor is the heart of a refrigerator and is necessary for its continued operation. An old refrigerator that is being disposed of may have a compressor that you want to save, or you may be replacing the compressor in your current refrigerator. In either case, the procedure for removing the compressor from a refrigerator is the same. With the proper tools and knowledge you can complete the task with a moderate amount of time and effort.
Pull the refrigerator away from the wall and unplug the electrical cord from the wall outlet. Push the refrigerator further away from the wall so you can access the rear.
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Locate the compressor, which is typically at the bottom of the refrigerator and can be accessed from the rear of the unit. The compressor is round and may have a cover plate over it.
Remove the nuts that secure the cover plate, if there is one, with a socket wrench and the correct size of socket. Remove the cover plate once all of the nuts have been removed.
Locate the bolts that secure the compressor to its bracket and remove them with the socket wrench and a socket that fits the bolts. Pull the compressor off of its bracket slightly once all of the bolts have been removed.
Disconnect the wires from the compressor. Some compressors have wire clips that connect the wiring; these can be pulled off by depressing the sides of the clips simultaneously with your hands then pulling them apart. On some compressors the wires must be cut with wire cutters. Pull out the compressor once the wires have been disconnected.