The refrigerator works and cools, but the compressor is hot. How to fix it?

The compressor is the most important part in refrigeration equipment, providing cooling and freezing of the products which are in freezing compartments. The main operational purpose of the compressor is the removal of warm air masses and the cooling of food to the required temperature. If it starts to overheat strongly, then this is a serious signal that not everything is in order with the device and its diagnostics are required.

If the compressor is very hot, but the refrigerator is operating normally, and the refrigerator compartment continues to freeze, you need to quickly remove this problem by calling a specialist. By ignoring the malfunction, you can be left without a refrigerator at all, since the compressor will simply burn out all its working units so that the repair will be impractical and you will have to buy a new device.

compressor overheating

Important points in which compressor overheating is especially dangerous

Specialists note that a stable and not pronounced heating (namely, heating, not overheating) of the processor is a completely normal process. This device is almost always in the active phase of the operating mode, and therefore heats up. You should really worry about this only in such cases as:

  • the engine of the refrigeration unit has stopped functioning;
  • the compressor does not turn on, while it heats up very much;
  • unstable and short operation of the compressor – when turned on, it immediately turns off;
  • The refrigeration unit has stopped freezing or is freezing too much.

Like most electrical appliances, the compressor has a working rate built into it, this is the temperature at which the functionality of the device is not impaired. The normal operating mode of the compressor occurs in the range from 60 to 90 degrees Celsius. If the appliance warms up above the specified values, it means that it is out of order.

Causes of severe compressor overheating

Causes of severe compressor overheating

Even the most high-quality household refrigerators have their own resource of uninterrupted operation, and after 10 or 15 years of active operation, they begin to need a major overhaul. If we do not consider the regular heating of the compressor in the standard operating mode, then the increased overheating of the device (more than 90 degrees) can be caused by a number of reasons, among which the most significant include the following:

  1. non-stop operation in extreme heat in the house;
  2. failure of the heat exchanger;
  3. continuous operation of the device without turning it off after it reaches the maximum freezing temperature;
  4. leakage of coolant (refrigerant, freon);
  5. refrigerated compartments overfilled with products;
  6. work in the mode of increased freezing;
  7. the thermostat of refrigeration equipment is screwed to the temperature maximum;
  8. illiterate operation, mechanical damage.

In addition, the compressor may slightly overheat after the refrigeration unit has been subjected to a defrosting process. The constant opening of the doors of refrigerating chambers will lead to a quick failure of the part.

To save the compressor from unnecessary load, do not overload the refrigerator compartment with too many products. Due to excess food, the circulation of air flows in the unit is disturbed, due to which the compressor begins to work harder and eventually overheats.

compressor heats up

Self-elimination of some malfunctions when the compressor heats up

If the compressor of the refrigeration unit is exposed to severe overheating, but continues to freeze, you can try to fix the breakdown yourself. To do this, you need to do the following:

  • check the correct installation of the unit (the device is leveled by adjusting the height of the legs, while the distance from the wall to the rear grill must be at least 15 centimeters);
  • defrost the refrigerator (refrigeration compartments are completely freed from food, then you need to wait until all the frost has melted, when loading back, you must strictly follow the recommended rules for placing food in the chamber);
  • check the functionality of the temperature sensor (the part is pulled out of the refrigerator and tested with a multimeter, if the sensor is working, then the measurement readings will be zero).

If everything was done correctly, and the compressor continues to get very hot, then a complete replacement of the compressor will be required. The procedure is as follows: the freezing unit is being prepared for repair work (the device is disconnected from the power supply, food, drawers and shelves are pulled out of the chambers).

Then it is required to remove the coolant (the compressor is pulled out of the device, the hollow tube coming from it breaks, the motor turns on for about 10 minutes, during which time the refrigerant must have time to move into the condenser). A piercing valve is mounted and a gas cylinder hose is connected, the valve opens for 30 seconds, during which time all the freon will be removed from the refrigerator.

The filling pipe is being replaced (during repairs, it is best to install a copper part, which is soldered with a propane burner, a capillary expander is cut, the tube breaks off, the filter element is removed from the condenser). The hot compressor is removed from the refrigerator and disconnected from the exhaust and discharge pipes. A new compressor is installed in place of the old one, and the refrigeration unit is reconnected to the network.

With the exception of overheating, a number of additional factors can indicate a malfunction in the operation of the compressor, such as: when touching the surface of the refrigerator, light electrical discharges can be felt, poor cooling of the freezer compartments, and frost and frost form on the walls of the chamber. In the event of such failures in the operation of the capacitor, it is necessary to call an experienced craftsman with special diagnostic and repair equipment.

Checking the compressor for operability

Among the serious and global malfunctions of the compressor, quite often there are elementary breakdowns that do not require a specialist call and can be easily fixed on their own. Among such technical failures, the most common are the following: a light bulb burned out; excess melt water in the pan; the backlight does not work well, the door does not close tightly. In case of such malfunctions, you should not worry and immediately call the wizard, most likely the operation of the device will soon stabilize. It is worth worrying when the compressor is very hot and the refrigeration unit does not work. In this situation, only a specialist will help.

Why does the compressor run non-stop

Most often, the compressor is subjected to severe overheating due to its non-stop operation, when the refrigerator stops turning off even at times of improper operation. In addition, the refrigeration plant will function without interruption when all requirements for proper installation of equipment are not met. The unit must not be installed next to a heating system in rooms where there is an elevated temperature. For stable ventilation of the rear grille, a gap between the wall and the refrigerator body of at least 15 centimeters is required.

The engine stops turning off if the refrigeration thermostat is set to maximum settings and the super-freeze option is active. It is necessary to change the freezing settings and remove some of the products from the compartments. The compressor can run continuously and overheat significantly even if the refrigerator is turned on immediately after defrosting. In order for the motor to normalize and not warm up, you need to wait a while until it gains the right amount of cold and switches to a stable operating mode on its own.

temperature sensor

Malfunction of the temperature sensor (temperature sensor)

Over time, like all parts of electrical equipment, the temperature sensor becomes unusable. Most often, electrical surges lead to its breakdown. A broken temperature sensor begins to signal to the system that the refrigerator compartment is warm and needs to be cooled. To cool the air in the chamber, the motor begins to work actively, practically without turning off, which is the reason for its overheating.

Refrigerant leak

Most often, the coolant flows out, seeping through the adhesions. At this point, the compressor stops completely. To eliminate the malfunction, it is necessary to find the place of damage and restore the broken tightness. After removing the detected breakdown, you need to add freon to the cooling system.

Clogged capillary line

Clogged capillary line

Clogged capillary tubes are caused by lumps of machine oil, as a result of which the coolant begins to flow unevenly through the tubes. A breakdown is guaranteed to lead to blocking of the refrigerator, therefore, it requires prompt elimination. When repairing, the system is thoroughly cleaned, filled with new oil and additional refrigerant is added.


The compressor is the heart of any household refrigeration unit and there are many reasons that lead to its severe overheating. If a breakdown occurs, you need to quickly determine the root cause of the malfunction, which will allow you to understand how to cool the constantly heated device. Some faults can be easily fixed on your own, others will require a call to a qualified technician. In any case, it is safer and more reliable to call the service center and call the master at home.