How To Test A Frigidaire Chest Freezer Compressor

**Disclosure: We recommend the best products we think would help our audience and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post contains affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, and we may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy here.

In order to ensure the smooth operation of your Frigidaire chest freezer, it is important to regularly test the compressor. The compressor plays a crucial role in maintaining the desired temperature inside the freezer, and any issues with it can lead to inefficient cooling or complete failure of the appliance. By understanding the function of the compressor, identifying signs of compressor issues, and following the necessary steps with the right tools, you can effectively test the Frigidaire chest freezer compressor and ensure its optimal performance.

Understanding the Role of a Compressor in a Chest Freezer

A compressor is the heart of a chest freezer. It is responsible for compressing the refrigerant, which then flows through the freezer coils, absorbing heat and cooling the interior. The compressor acts as a pump that circulates and pressurizes the refrigerant, creating the necessary temperature difference to ensure efficient cooling. The compressor is essential for maintaining the desired temperature inside the freezer and preventing your food from spoiling.

Without a properly functioning compressor, your freezer will not cool effectively, and you may notice a variety of issues such as inconsistent temperature, excess frost buildup, or even warm food.

The Function of a Compressor

The primary function of a compressor is to compress the refrigerant gas, increasing its pressure and temperature. This high-pressure gas then passes through the coils at the back or bottom of the freezer, known as the condenser coils. As the hot gas cools down, it condenses into a high-pressure liquid.

The high-pressure liquid then travels through a narrow opening known as the expansion valve or capillary tube. As it passes through this valve, the pressure and temperature decrease dramatically. This low-pressure, low-temperature liquid then enters the evaporator coils, located inside the freezer, where it absorbs heat from the interior and evaporates back into a low-pressure gas.

The process of condensing and evaporating the refrigerant gas is repeated continuously, creating a cycle of cooling that maintains the desired temperature inside the chest freezer.

Importance of Regular Compressor Checks

Regularly checking the compressor of your Frigidaire chest freezer is essential for ensuring its smooth operation and preventing potential issues. By identifying problems early on, you can avoid costly repairs or the need for a replacement freezer. Here are some signs that indicate potential compressor issues:

  • Unusual Noises from the Freezer: If you hear loud knocking, hissing, or buzzing sounds coming from your freezer, it may be a sign of compressor trouble.
  • Freezer Not Cooling Properly: If your freezer is not reaching or maintaining the desired temperature despite proper settings, it may be due to a faulty compressor.
  • Excessive Energy Consumption: A malfunctioning compressor can cause your freezer to consume more energy than usual, resulting in higher electricity bills.
  • Leaking Refrigerant: If you notice any oily or greasy residue around the compressor or refrigerant lines, it may indicate a refrigerant leak, which can lead to compressor failure.
  • Hot Exterior: If the exterior of your freezer feels unusually hot to the touch, it may be a sign that the compressor is overworking or overheating.

If you notice any of these signs, it is important to test the compressor to confirm the issue and take appropriate action. Regular maintenance, such as cleaning the condenser coils and ensuring proper ventilation around the freezer, can also help prolong the life of the compressor and optimize its performance.

Identifying Signs of Compressor Issues

Before diving into testing the compressor, it is crucial to identify the signs of compressor issues that may indicate the need for testing.

Unusual Noises from the Freezer

One of the first signs of a compressor problem is the presence of strange noises coming from your Frigidaire chest freezer. If you hear loud knocking, hissing, or buzzing sounds that you haven’t experienced before, it is important to investigate further as these can be indicators of internal compressor issues.

While some noises may be normal, especially during the cooling cycle, any sounds that are excessively loud or persistent should not be ignored, as they may indicate a compressor malfunction or impending failure.

For example, a knocking sound could be a result of a loose or damaged compressor mount, causing the compressor to vibrate against the freezer’s frame. This can lead to further damage if not addressed promptly.

Similarly, a hissing sound could indicate a refrigerant leak within the compressor. This can result in inefficient cooling and potential damage to the compressor if left unattended.

Furthermore, a buzzing sound may suggest an electrical issue within the compressor, such as a faulty motor or capacitor. Ignoring this sound could lead to a complete compressor failure, resulting in a non-functioning freezer.

Freezer Not Cooling Properly

If your Frigidaire chest freezer is not cooling properly despite proper settings and ample time allowed for cooling, it could be a sign of compressor trouble. When the compressor fails, it is unable to provide the necessary cooling power to maintain the desired temperature inside the freezer.

This can manifest in various ways. For instance, you may notice that the freezer takes longer than usual to reach the desired temperature or that it struggles to maintain a consistent temperature over time.

Additionally, you may observe that food items are not freezing properly or that there are temperature variations within different sections of the freezer. This can lead to spoilage and potential food waste if the issue is not addressed promptly.

It is important to note that other factors, such as a malfunctioning thermostat or inadequate airflow, can also contribute to cooling issues. However, the compressor should be considered as a potential culprit, especially if other troubleshooting steps have been taken without resolving the problem.

By identifying these signs of compressor issues, you can take proactive measures to address the problem and prevent further damage to your Frigidaire chest freezer. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help extend the lifespan of your appliance and ensure optimal cooling performance.

Necessary Tools for Testing a Freezer Compressor

Before you begin testing the Frigidaire chest freezer compressor, it is important to gather the necessary tools. Having the right tools will ensure accurate measurements and help you avoid any safety hazards.

Testing a freezer compressor requires a thorough understanding of its electrical components and performance. To ensure a successful testing process, it is crucial to have the following tools:


A multimeter is an essential tool for testing electrical components, such as a compressor. It allows you to measure electrical resistance, voltage, and continuity. When testing a compressor, you will primarily be measuring resistance to determine if it falls within the acceptable range.

With a multimeter, you can accurately assess the electrical health of the compressor and identify any potential issues. It is important to ensure that you have a reliable and properly calibrated multimeter before attempting any compressor testing.

When using a multimeter, it is recommended to set it to the appropriate range for resistance measurement. This will provide accurate readings and prevent any damage to the multimeter or the compressor.

Additionally, it is crucial to follow proper safety precautions when using a multimeter. This includes wearing appropriate protective gear, such as insulated gloves, and ensuring that the power supply to the freezer is disconnected before conducting any tests.

Clamp Meter

A clamp meter is another useful tool that can be used to measure electrical current flowing through the compressor. It provides a non-intrusive way to measure the current without having to disconnect any wires.

While not necessarily required for basic compressor testing, a clamp meter can provide additional insights into the compressor’s electrical performance. It can help you determine if the compressor is drawing the correct amount of current, which can indicate its efficiency and overall health.

When using a clamp meter, it is important to ensure that it is properly calibrated and capable of measuring the expected current range. This will ensure accurate readings and reliable results.

Just like with a multimeter, it is crucial to follow safety guidelines when using a clamp meter. This includes wearing appropriate protective gear and ensuring that the power supply is disconnected before conducting any tests.

By having both a multimeter and a clamp meter, you will be equipped with the necessary tools to thoroughly test the freezer compressor. These tools will allow you to accurately measure the electrical resistance and current, providing valuable insights into the compressor’s performance and helping you diagnose any potential issues.

Safety Precautions Before Testing

Prior to testing, it is important to take certain safety precautions to protect yourself and prevent any damage to the freezer or surrounding area.

Unplugging the Freezer

Before performing any tests or maintenance on the freezer, always unplug the appliance from the power source. This will ensure your safety and prevent any electrical shock hazards.

Wearing Protective Gear

When working with electrical components, it is important to wear appropriate protective gear, including insulated gloves and safety goggles. These measures will protect you from potential electric shocks and any debris that may dislodge during testing.

Step-by-Step Guide to Test a Frigidaire Chest Freezer Compressor

Now that you have gathered the necessary tools and taken the appropriate safety precautions, you are ready to proceed with testing the Frigidaire chest freezer compressor. Follow these step-by-step instructions to ensure accurate testing and reliable results.

Accessing the Compressor

To test the compressor, you will need to gain access to it. Begin by unplugging the freezer and removing any frozen items to create a clear working space. Locate the compressor, which is typically located at the back or bottom of the freezer.

Depending on the model and design of your freezer, you may need to remove a rear panel or access cover to reach the compressor. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or consult the freezer’s user manual for specific guidance.

Setting Up the Multimeter

Before connecting the multimeter to the compressor, ensure that it is properly set up for resistance measurement. Set the multimeter to the appropriate resistance scale and zero out the readings, if necessary.

Next, locate the compressor terminals. There should be three terminals labeled “C,” “S,” and “R” for common, start, and run, respectively. Identify the terminal pins using the compressor’s wiring diagram, which can typically be found on the back of the access panel or in the user manual.

Using the multimeter’s test leads, connect one lead to the “C” terminal and the other lead to the “S” terminal. Record the resistance reading displayed on the multimeter.

Repeat the process for the “C” to “R” terminal connection and note down the resistance value.

Reading the Results

Now that you have measured the resistance between the different compressor terminals, you can interpret the results to determine the status of the compressor.

Typically, the resistance readings should fall within a specific range, which varies depending on the specific model and compressor. Consult the Frigidaire chest freezer’s user manual or contact the manufacturer for the acceptable resistance values.

  • If the measured resistance falls within the acceptable range for both the “C” to “S” and “C” to “R” terminal connections, it suggests that the compressor is functioning properly.
  • If the resistance values are extremely high or no reading is displayed, it indicates an open circuit and a faulty compressor.
  • On the other hand, if the resistance readings are extremely low or zero, it signifies a short circuit and a faulty compressor.

Make sure to compare your measured resistance values with the specified range to accurately assess the condition of your Frigidaire chest freezer compressor.

By following these steps and providing the necessary attention to testing your Frigidaire chest freezer compressor, you can effectively ensure the smooth and efficient operation of your appliance. Regular checks and timely action in case of any issues will save you from costly repairs and prevent food spoilage due to improper cooling. Remember to consult the appliance’s user manual or seek professional assistance if you encounter any difficulties or uncertainties during the testing process.

Leave a Comment