How to Change the Starting Relay of a Fridge

Jul 30, 2023, 15:08pm

The refrigerator produces cold in its cavity using a system made up of several elements, such as a compressor, a condenser and a relay, the part used to start the compressor. It is an electrical part acting as a switch, which opens or closes an isolated electrical circuit.

This kind of part can be quite sensitive to electrical problems, such as power cuts or power surges, which could damage it. Fortunately, it is very easy to replace it in the event of a problem.

The refrigerator start relay can cause the following failures:

  • The fridge is on but does not make any noise / does not get cold.
  • The compressor does not start.

The relay is located at the compressor level, in the lower part of the fridge, at the rear.

The starting relay of a refrigerator is a critical component that helps to start the compressor. It works in tandem with the start capacitor to power up the compressor, a significant component of the cooling system. If the starting relay is faulty, the fridge may not cool properly, leading to potential food spoilage.

Luckily, replacing the starting relay in a fridge is a straightforward DIY task that you can do with some basic tools. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to go about it.

How to Change the Starting Relay of a Fridge

Tools You’ll Need

  • Replacement starting relay
  • Screwdriver
  • Multimeter (optional, for testing purposes)

Before you start, ensure you have the correct replacement starting relay that matches the specifications of your refrigerator. You can find this information in your fridge’s manual or consult the manufacturer’s customer service.

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Unplug the Fridge

Before you start any repair on an electrical appliance, the first step is always to unplug it from the power source to ensure your safety.

Step 2: Access the Starting Relay

The starting relay is located at the back of the fridge. You may need to move the refrigerator away from the wall to gain access. Once you can reach the back, locate the panel (usually at the lower part of the fridge) that covers the compressor and starting relay. Remove the screws holding the panel in place with a screwdriver and set the panel aside.

Step 3: Remove the Old Starting Relay

The starting relay is typically attached to the compressor. It’s often a small, box-like device plugged into the side of the compressor. Unplug the relay by pulling it out. In some models, you may need to remove a mounting screw or a clip. Be careful not to pull too hard and damage the wires attached to it.

How to Change the Starting Relay of a Fridge

Step 4: Install the New Starting Relay

Plug the new starting relay into the compressor. Ensure that it fits securely and the wires are firmly attached. If your model had a mounting screw or clip, replace that as well.

Step 5: Replace the Panel and Plug in the Fridge

Once the new starting relay is securely in place, replace the panel and tighten the screws. Now you can move the refrigerator back into place and plug it into the power source.

Step 6: Monitor the Fridge

After the replacement, give your refrigerator some time to reach its optimal cooling temperature. Check if the fridge starts and cools properly. If you still experience issues, it might be necessary to call a professional as the problem could lie elsewhere.


Replacing the starting relay of a fridge is a simple DIY task that can restore the functioning of your refrigerator, ensuring your food remains fresh. It’s crucial to remember that safety comes first when dealing with electrical appliances. If you’re unsure at any point during the repair, don’t hesitate to call a professional.