How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Bryan Your Own Question
Bryan, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 12156
Experience:  15 yrs. experience as a certified appliance technician.
Type Your Appliance Question Here...
Bryan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

For the last month or so my Amana Side by Side Refrigerator

This answer was rated:

For the last month or so my Amana Side by Side Refrigerator and Freezer have been struggling to cool. It has gotten worse to the point that the freezer has defrosted all of the food inside. The Fridge is hardly cool at all. What do I need to do I really cannot afford to buy a new Fridge.

Hi,Welcome to Just Answer, My name isXXXXX will be helping you with your appliance issue today.


Okay let's get started, first off is there any frost on the back panel inside the freezer? Second is the fan running in the freezer? Also can you pull the refrigerator away from the wall and get down in the back near the compressor? Do you hear any clicking or buzzing coming from the compressor?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.

No, there is no frost on the inside of the Freezer up the back of it. I am hearing a fan noise, but I am used to it periodically making more noise than it is now.


We pulled it out a few weeks ago and there was not any clicking or buzzing

Okay give it a few minutes and keep listening, can you remove the bottom panel covering the compressor assembly in the back where you pull that out?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I have pulled it out and yes, I can get behind there barely and remove the cover.
Well what's going on with this is the compressor relay has failed, an extremely common problem on these refrigerators this is very simple to replace one you get the back off,it just plugs onto the side of the compressor
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

So I need to buy a new compressor? How much are they usually going to cost to replace?

No not the compressor itself just the start device that's plugged onto the side of it, there is just two wires that go to this and you can take a screwdriver and pop it off the side of the compressor, if you have a voltmeter you can see whether the hundred and 20 V going to the relay, you can order this for $28.35 at this should take care of your problem, thanks, Bryan

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So does there need to be 120 Volts between the two leads after we pull the relay off? Can I test the switch once I pull it off? Can I test it with a meter?
Yes you can you can actually test it while it's still on the compressor if you wish, just pick one of the leads in each of the holes were the wires go and see if it's getting 120 V to it while a refrigerator is on if you getting 120 V and the compressor is not starting the relay is bad, hope that helps, thanks Bryan
Bryan and 2 other Appliance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

When we tested the volts with a meter it is showing recieving 120 Volts. When we got in there the compressor was very warm to the touch.


The compressor is a round device, different from the picture above. The fridge is a 1990 model if that helps.

Yes the compressor is warm because the relay is not starting it so it currently gets warm inside trying to start replace the relay and that should take care of it, thanks, Bryan


PS the compressor itself is round but is the relay the same as the one I showed you? Is the part plugged onto the side of the compressor you can take a screwdriver unplugged refrigerator first and try that relay off you don't need to replace the entire compressor

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
the compressor is vibrating like it is running and it is making noise. Still a relay problem?
Oh, well it could still be the relay if it's not starting the compressor all the time, is the fan next to the compressor running? If so in the compressor is running correctly you may have a Freon leak and is not enough Freon in the system to cool the freezer and the refrigerator, to check this you would need to remove the back panel in the freezer and checked the frost pattern on the coils if the coils are only partially frosted then you have a Freon leak in your losing Freon this would need to be done by a licensed HVAC tech to find the leak and repair it
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

if I understand correctly, since my fan is running the compressor is also running? also, is the back panel inside the freezer?

Yes I'm sorry, inside the freezer the back panel itself,