It's a hardworking appliance that hums along in the kitchen, but it can go kaput after years of faithful service if it's completely ignored. If a refrigerator has gone silent, no longer keeps items at the right temperature or has gone into overdrive and freezes the meats and cheeses, then it could be the compressor that's the culprit.
When the refrigerator stops doing all it's supposed to do, replacing the condenser can revive the silent or badly running beast. This isn't always an expensive endeavor and can be much more affordable than buying an entirely new kitchen appliance. Checking out all of the poorly working appliance's many parts can also keep it running in good condition through its final years.
Repairing or replacing a compressor is often cheaper than buying a new refrigerator.
What Causes a Broken Compressor?
The compressor tends to go out on appliances that are older and haven't been maintained properly throughout the years. A quality fridge can last decades when the compressor, water lines and any other mechanical parts are cleaned and repaired at the first sign of trouble.
There are a few reasons a compressor will fail on a fairly new appliance, most of which are preventable. These include a clogged air filter, loose wire, or dust and dirt caked on the condenser coils.
A high-voltage surge can damage the compressor as well as the control board, which is the most sensitive part of the appliance. The refrigerator control board repair cost is relatively inexpensive, according to Strike Check.
Refrigerator Compressor Cost
If the refrigerator has gone completely silent or left a puddle of water on the floor, this can be due to a ceased compressor. If a compressor has to work very hard, it can collect ice on its coils or stop working altogether.
The experts at Angie's List note that a refrigerator compressor can cost $200 to $400 for the average appliance. For refrigerators that are more high-end, the cost of replacing the refrigerator compressor can be significantly higher.
Refrigerator Water Dispenser Issues
If you're having difficulty with the water dispenser, it may not be the compressor but the lines and valves. The cost to repair a refrigerator water dispenser is about $200. Do a quick check of a few parts before you pick up the phone and call a professional.
For water pressure that's low, check the water inlet valve. Make sure that it's in good working order and is open to supply water to the refrigerator's dispenser.
The water supply tube can be blocked or frozen. Disconnect the tube that's located at the bottom of the refrigerator door and blow air through it to check for blockage. If it's frozen, thaw out the tube and check the temperature of the freezer, which should be at zero to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
When to Chuck the Fridge
Mr. Appliance notes that refrigerators typically last 10 to 18 years, with the average being about 14. Refrigerators that are approaching their 15-year anniversaries should more than likely be replaced. Aside from the advances in technology, the lines, seals and structure can be compromised.
Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing for a variety of clients, including The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal Home section and other national publications. As a professional writer she has researched, interviewed sources and written about home improvement, interior design and related business trends. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Her full bio and clips can be viewed at www.vegaswriter.com.