How to Start Fridge Compressor Without Relay: Complete Guide To Creating A Bypass

To start a fridge compressor without a relay, create a bypass by turning off the power at the circuit breaker, unplugging the unit, and safely moving the fridge away from the wall. Next, locate the relay at the back of the refrigerator and disconnect the wires. Finally, strip the wires and connect them with electrical tape.

Your refrigerator is an important appliance in your home; otherwise, you wouldn’t be looking for a way to get it to work despite a faulty relay. I’ve been there, and no one can blame us for making this effort. It is a better alternative than being forced to throw food away.

The relay is an electrical switch that tells the compressor when to turn on or off based on the fridge’s need for cool air. This switch is necessary because the compressor cannot always run. If it does, it will overheat and will be damaged. 

While I won’t bore you with too many technical terms, you should know that the relay helps to keep the compressor and, by extension, your fridge running.

Perhaps your refrigerator stopped working due to a bad relay. Can you still run your refrigerator while waiting for the repairman?

The answer is yes! You can use a temporary ” bypass ” measure to make your compressor work without a relay. Read on to find out how to perform a successful bypass.

how to start fridge compressor without relay

How To Bypass Your Refrigerator’s Relay

Bypassing a Refrigerator’s relay is not an easy task, majorly because of the location of the relay in your refrigerator compressor. However, the effort is a price we have to pay to keep the refrigerator running

Below are simple steps to create a successful bypass.

Step 1: Turn Off The Power

  • Unplug the refrigerator and turn off the circuit breaker.
  • Get an extra hand to assist you in moving the fridge away from the wall.

Step 2: Remove The Cover Plate and Box

  • Find the cover plate. It is located at the bottom back of the refrigerator.
  • Once found, use a screwdriver to remove the plate and set it aside.
  • Also, pull out the metal box in the lower right corner of your refrigerator and remove it from the unit.
  • You should be able to see the refrigerator relay system once you remove the metal box.

Step 3: Remove The Relay

  • Push down on the space between the relay and its cover with a flathead screwdriver.
  • Then push the relay and take it out of the fridge.
  • Slide the wires out of the way to make them accessible.
technician bypassing relay

Step 4: Strip Wires

  • You must also remove the metal connector connected to the refrigerator relay system.
  • Then, strip a portion of the wire (about 14 inches) on both sides using a plier. 

Step 5: Join Wires To Make A Bypass

  • Connect the two ends of the wire back to the relay housing with electrical tape to completely bypass the missing relay and close the circuit.

Step 6: Replace The Cover Plate And Reconnect Your Refrigerator

  • Replace the relay system box cover and the rear cover plate on the fridge.
  • Then, reconnect the electrical switch and plug in the refrigerator.
  • Turn on the refrigerator and keep an eye on it for a few hours to ensure the compressor is working properly. Then, you will hear the compressor start (it should make a clicking sound).

Best Practice: Remember that the bypass is only a temporary solution. To avoid compressor overload, do not leave the appliance in bypass mode without a relay for a long period. Instead, you should contact your maintenance specialist to replace the fridge relay and get your appliance back in working order in no time. 

How Do You Tell If A Relay Is Bad?

how to tell if a relay is bad

Refrigerator Not Cooling 

When the compressor stops working, the refrigerator circuit will only murmur throughout the day without any cooling effect. If the fridge makes this sound and the temperature in the freezer begins to rise, the relay is likely faulty. 

When The Relay Starts To Click

When the relay is activated, the compressor comes on. However, if the fridge does not turn on, the start relay has to roll again, resulting in clicking. If clicking continues, this means the relay PTC plugs are deteriorating.

Physical Inspection Of The Relay

The relay is located in the same compartment as the compressor and is connected to the back. And inspecting it during maintenance is essential.

To physically inspect the relay:

  • Turn off the fridge’s power supply and open the compartment.
  • Take out the compressor and unplug the relay to give it a shake.
  • If the relay in the compartment makes a rattling noise, the part is damaged and should be replaced.

FAQs On How to Start Fridge Compressor Without Relay

Is It Worth Replacing The Compressor On The Refrigerator?

It’s not a bad idea to replace your fridge compressor. It will last longer and be more reliable. However, if it will cost you more than half of your refrigerator, you should probably reconsider

Can Sudden Power Surge Damage Your Compressor?

Yes, powerful voltage surges can damage your compressor and cause premature failure. So, always put surge protectors on all of your power circuits.

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