Skip to main content

How To Reset A Refrigerator Compressor

By November 17, 2021Home maintenance
Refrigerator compressor

It is now morning and you are just out of bed. You walk into the kitchen and go to the refrigerator to get some eggs out for breakfast. However, as you walk from the refrigerator to the stove to cook your eggs, you begin to hear a noise coming from the refrigerator. This may be the compressor rattling and it might need a break. Also, it can be the temperature in your refrigerator and freezer need adjusting. How to reset a refrigerator compressor? Unplug your refrigerator and let it rest for a few minutes. Adjust the temp and plug back in.

Let’s take a look below at the details involved with how to reset a refrigerator compressor.

What Is Involved

Your refrigerator compressor is built to utilize a gaseous refrigerant under low pressure. The thermostat will request cold air as needed and the compressor will activate and create a high-pressure scenario. This high-pressure now moves the air across the cooling coils and the fans push your cool air into the refrigerator and freezer air vents.

By resetting the thermostat to the desired setting, your refrigerator will adjust when it kicks on to cool your food. This adjustment saves on your energy bill as the cooling process is utilized less. The refrigerator is also given time to defrost and return to room temperature. Once you turn the refrigerator back on, the compressor will activate and cool the refrigerator to the desired cooling temperature.

Refrigerator outlet cord
Refrigerator outlet cord

Steps To Reset Compressor

Let’s take a look at the steps that you should take to reset the compressor in your refrigerator.

  1. Disconnect the power cord from the wall outlet and leave it unplugged for a few minutes
  2. Turn the fridge and freezer off or temperature control to “0” inside the unit. Then plug the refrigerator back in.
  3. Change the temperature setting of the refrigerator to the standard number of “5” and let it reset itself for 24 hours.

By following these steps you allow the refrigerator compressor to rest and relax. It is important to do this to maintain the longevity of your refrigerator compressor.

Compressor for a refrigerator
Compressor for a refrigerator

How Much Does This Cost

Resetting the compressor for your refrigerator is very simple and you as the homeowner could manage this task. However, should you need it, the cost of a refrigerator compressor repair or replacement can vary. Material costs and paying for a professional handyman to swap out compressors also vary.

You are looking at an average cost of $50 to $300 to replace the compressor itself. This is for materials and does not include the labor charge. Luckily, you could make this repair on your own if you have the proper tools.

Other Recommended Maintenance

While you are busy resetting your refrigerator compressor, take a look at some other areas of the refrigerator that might assist in your energy-saving or longevity of the compressor. Understanding if your refrigerator needs its own dedicated circuit helps you in knowing why the refrigerator compressor is working as hard as it might be.

Now that you understand why a refrigerator needs its dedicated circuit, you should know how many amps the refrigerator uses. This allows you to also determine how to adjust your temperature in the refrigerator. Knowing this can save your compressor from working too hard and failing you quicker than expected.

Lastly, take a look at your breaker box. Now that you know the specifics for your refrigerator and how to adjust the temperature and reset your compressor. Knowing if your metal breaker box is grounded is very important and the final step. Preventing electrical power surges that can cause electrocution is your priority.

Compressor repair by a handyman
Compressor repair by a handyman

When Should I Call A Professional

Calling on a professionally licensed handyman might be the best approach here. Finding someone who has swapped out many compressors over time or has knowledge of how to repair one will save you money in the long run. Make it a point to ask questions of the handyman to determine the number of times they have repaired or replaced a refrigerator compressor.


When completing any appliance upgrades or repairs, you should consult a few professionally licensed handymen. You will first want to call on a few professionally licensed handymen to get quotes on the servicing or replacement of a refrigerator compressor. While you are doing that, you will also want to call on All Coast Home Inspections for a plumbing and appliance inspection in Houston, TX.

Leave a Reply