How to Bypass Start Relay on Refrigerator | Full Guide with Images


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The compressor in your refrigerator works to operate only a few times per week to maintain cool temperatures. Because a compressor cannot run indefinitely, it makes sense to employ a relay. Let’s learn how to bypass start relay on refrigerator.

This is the most popular question on message boards. Relays are typically repairable by the average person, sparing them the expense of hiring an expert.

A start relay is an electrical switch that raises the pressure within a refrigerator’s compressor. The compressor is activated or deactivated based on the cooling power required. If the compressor fails or burns out, it will no longer be possible for the cabinet’s interior to freeze.

Start relays are switches that turn on the compressor. Use this device to keep your food cold, as it circulates cold air throughout the unit depending on the amount of cool air the refrigerator requires. 

It is a relay that instructs you to switch the power on or off. Since the compressor will not operate if the relay fails, you must bypass the refrigerator’s relay system to resolve the issue.

When you activate the relay, you will listen to a click. It occurs regardless of the degree of air compression.

How to Bypass Start Relay on Refrigerator

How to Bypass Start Relay on Refrigerator

This is how the cooling system looks like on a fridge

The relay will likely re-engage if the compressor does not begin operating after a few seconds. Most likely to fail if the compressor suddenly stops clicking is the relay.

Tools you will need to bypass a refrigerator.

  • The head of a standard screwdriver.
  • Pliers for flathead screwdrivers.
  • The purpose of electrical tape is to use it with a switch.

Compressor Direct Start without Relay

You must remove the appliance from the wall to bypass a refrigerator relay. 

How to Bypass Start Relay on Refrigerator

Remember that the compressor makes sounds and clicks when the relay or capacitor doesn’t work.

Using a screwdriver, unscrew the cover plate at the bottom of the refrigerator. Make room for the plate on your desk.

How to Bypass Start Relay on Refrigerator

Get to the refrigerator base where you see the three points and the circle

You can disengage the metal box in the lower right corner of your refrigerator by pressing or bending it. After its removal, the refrigerator relay system will be visible. 

How to Bypass Start Relay on Refrigerator

The common terminal (C), the start terminal (S), and the run terminal (R)

Using a flathead screwdriver, you can compress the space between the relay and its housing. To remove the relay from the refrigerator, press down on it and pull it out.

Move the relay wire out of the way to see it whenever you need. After disconnecting the wire from the relay system, cut a 14-inch section of wire on either side of it using pliers. 

The common terminal (C), the start terminal (S), and the run terminal (R)

Place the cables into the common and the run terminal.

L1 and L2 are the power source cables and go into C and R ports.

L1 and L2 are the power source cables and go into C and R ports.

Remember to make a splice connection to the S terminal from the R terminal, as shown.

Remember to make a splice connection to the S terminal from the R terminal, as shown

You have two terminals connected to a plug and one free cable to put it into the S terminal. Remember that the connection to the S terminal must not exceed two seconds.

Remember to make a splice connection to the S terminal from the R terminal, as shown.

When you put the cable into the S terminal, don’t exceed two seconds, the compressor needs one second to start.

When you put the cable into the S terminal, don't exceed two seconds, the compressor needs one second to start

If it doesn’t start means, it will be damaged

Other Ways to Start the Compressor

Find the compressor first, followed by the relay.

On the right or left side of the refrigerator, you will notice a large black cylinder with copper tubes. A black plastic container with wires on one side houses the refrigerator system. This location houses the relay.

Releasing a compressor is as simple as pulling or pushing its relay system. It may be necessary to use a flathead screwdriver to remove the relay from your compressor.

Using a screwdriver, remove the cover plate to gain access to the system. 

Inside the metal box, the temperature of the missing and overloaded protector will be visible. You must remove the metal connectors first, next, pliers to remove a portion of the wire less than 14 inches long from both sides of the refrigerator.

Removing the metal connector from the wire must first be stripped. Use scissors. You can remove a quarter-inch of the wire casing by grasping the wire ends.

Wrap electrical tape around both wires and connect them to the system housing to complete the circuit breaker. 

Electrical tape the back panel of the refrigerator and reinstall the system metal box in its original location. First, turn off all household electrical appliances. Turn off the electricity at the breaker panel. To remove the refrigerator, you will need the aid of several adults.

Turn on the electricity and plug the refrigerator in. Invest a few hours, ensuring that your device is in proper working order.

To avoid overheating and excessive power consumption, look for signs of a faulty relay. 

If you leave your device in bypass start mode for more than a few minutes, we recommend that you immediately power it down. A skilled technician can help you repair your refrigerator correctly.

After pulling the refrigerator away from the wall, search for the cover plate. It is in the back, near the bottom of the unit. To remove the cover plate, unscrew it with a screwdriver. Place the cover plate in a secure location and continue the installation. To release the metal box, push or flex it in the lower right rear of the appliance.

You can remove it with a screwdriver. Set aside the cover plate.

Pull the metal box from the right lower back of your refrigerator. When the metal connector box of the fridge is removed, you can find relay systems inside using a flathead screwdriver; remove relay systems from their cases with caution.

Important Safety Considerations

The refrigerator compressor and relay are inextricably linked. Additionally, it prevents your relay from overheating, saving you money. If the relay of the refrigerator overheats, it can malfunction or even fail.

Whenever possible, avoid using the refrigerator relay bypass mode. If you must, only do so temporarily. Contacting a professional will then fix the relay temporarily.

It is only a temporary solution to assist you in overcoming your current difficulties. Call a technician and have a second relay bypass installed in the system to give your cooling system a much-needed boost.

Unplug the appliance from the power source before activating bypass mode. Please turn off the circuit breaker by removing it. You must remove the appliance from the wall with some help. Failures of relays can be hazardous due to their weight and potential trip hazards.

Signs of a Broken Start Relay System

If you observe any of these symptoms, the start relay in your refrigerator may be defective. Examine each one with care.

Insufficient refrigeration cooling is present.

A lukewarm refrigerator is one of the most obvious indications that your refrigerator’s start relay is malfunctioning. In certain instances, you may hear your refrigerator less frequently than usual. You will not listen if the start relay is severely damaged.

Sound of Clacking

When the start relay of the compressor is activated, you will hear a single click that sounds similar to the compressor’s hum. However, if the start relay on your compressor is damaged, it will not function properly.

As a result, there will be a great deal of clicking but no humming. If a start relay fails, the clicking will typically occur between two and five minutes apart.

Shaking and rattling test

Perform a shake and rattle test if your start relay is not functioning. First, you should turn off refrigerators. Open the rear compartment, where the compressor and start relay are located.

After disconnecting the start relay’s plug, shake it. If the start relay is in working condition, there will be no sound. If the device vibrates, a replacement relay will be necessary.

Even if you do not hear rattling, you should assume that your refrigerator has one or both of the other issues discussed here. Unfortunately, compressor repair is more expensive and time-consuming than start relay repair.

Critical Next Steps

Refrigerators should only be temporarily bypassed if the issue persists. Therefore, you should immediately purchase a replacement start relay. To avoid future problems, you must install your new start relay correctly.

Consequently, it is highly recommended to employ a qualified technician.

What is the initial step for bypassing a compressor?

Connect a single wire to each of the terminals on the new cap. It is recommended that the wire ends be de-insulated. Connect one wire to one terminal and the other wire to the other terminal while turning on the compressor.” Immediately remove these wires from the running cap.

Bottom line

After familiarizing yourself with your refrigerator’s system, it will be much simpler to comprehend. Bypassing the refrigerator’s compressor is not a sustainable solution. If you leave your unit in this state for an extended time, it may sustain permanent damage.

It is worthwhile to attempt a repair on a more expensive, feature-rich refrigerator. If you can save money by replacing an older, inferior model, you should do so.

Call a professional to repair the relay when you put your refrigerator into bypass mode. They can also assist with the replacement of an entire relay system.


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