Refrigerator Compressor Autopsy

Replacing a refrigerator compressor is a big deal. Anything to do with the sealed system is for that matter. It’s not often that a traditional style refrigerator compressor goes out but they do from time to time. Most of the time the refrigerator compressor is fine, it’s something else that’s causing the problem. They have to be told to start by the other components and those are the ones that go out, melt, burn out contacts, there’s literally 100 other reasons for a refrigerator to stop working.

This one had gone bad, and I decided to cut it open. It’s something that most people never get to see. So here it is in all it’s glory. This is the inside of a compressor that wasn’t working. I think it was burned from being installed into a system with bigger issues. By the time it got to me another company had sent 5 techs out to fix it. The first filled it with freon, second replaced the compressor,  the rest ordered control boards.


 

The problem was that the sealed system had a leak to start off with.

The evaporator was no longer available (and presumed to be leaking) so changing the refrigerator compressor with a new one wasn’t worth the cost and could not be a guaranteed repair at that point. Too many hands had been in the sealed system, they’re may have been an non repairable leak, and the tdr valve was probably melted. A complete mess, another one bites the dust. This is the compressor that was installed that worked for a week. I’m not sure what happened to make it go out so quick. I could speculate all day long but in the end it’s just speculation and goes nowhere.

The refrigerator box was about 10 years old, may be a little less. The refrigerator compressor was about a month old from what I was told.

As you can see a refrigerator compressor is basically an electric motor that drives a small piston to compress gas into liquid. I have the piston hanging on my shop wall with a couple others.

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