The compressor is the most important part of a refrigerator. So much so that it is called the “heart” of the fridge. It pumps the Freon (the refrigerant gas that produces the cooling effect) throughout the coils embedded in the refrigerator. Once the compressor breaks, the fridge becomes instantly unusable. This begs the question: is replacing the compressor a wise decision, or should you buy a new refrigerator all together?
Repairing or replacing the compressor of a refrigerator is a costly affair, and thus I generally do not recommend having the compressor replaced or repaired when it breaks. In fact, the compressor may cost as much as half of the price you bought the refrigerator for. Moreover, the labor cost is also significant owing to the complicated nature of the job.
In this article, we will discuss whether it is wise to repair or replace the compressor of the fridge or not.
- Can a damaged refrigerator compressor be repaired?
- How much does it cost to repair or replace a refrigerator compressor in the Philippines?
- 4 Factors to consider when deciding if replacing the refrigerator compressor will be worth it
- The verdict
Can a damaged refrigerator compressor be repaired?
Compressors don’t quit early or easily – but when they do, it means a lot of headaches will be coming your way.
While yes, you can certainly repair a damaged compressor, it may not be worth it. Replacing a refrigerator compressor entails removing the Freon carefully so that it will not escape, then using a blow torch to remove the faulty compressor. After that, the technician will solder the replacement compressor on to the fridge and then recharge the Freon. Needless to say, this whole operation will be expensive.
Most technicians will agree that replacing the whole refrigerator itself will be wiser than repairing or even replacing the compressor. After all, every subsequent repair will make your refrigerator more liable to break.
Note: Yes, you will need a technician for this; DIY-ing a compressor replacement is dangerous. If done poorly, the refrigerant gas might build up and cause an explosion. It might also escape and pollute the environment.
How much does it cost to repair or replace a refrigerator compressor in the Philippines?
As we’ve touched on earlier, repairing or replacing the compressor of a refrigerator is expensive.
Just the replacement compressor alone will cost you upwards of ₱5,000. If that hasn’t turned you off yet, the professional fee for the technician will cost you an additional ₱3,500 to ₱5,000+. The total repair cost is more than half of what you need to buy a new refrigerator.
4 Factors to consider when deciding if replacing the refrigerator compressor will be worth it
Here are a few factors to help you decide whether replacing the compressor of your refrigerator will be worth it or not.
1. The age of the refrigerator
A properly maintained refrigerator can last you 10 – 15 years. If the compressor breaks down by year 10 (give or take), it will be wiser to buy a new refrigerator than to struggle with replacing the current one’s compressor.
Lean towards repairing a younger unit (especially those still within warranty) than an older one. After all, if you repair a really old unit, it may eventually breakdown soon enough.
2. The repair history of your unit
Has your compressor or any other part of your refrigerator broken down recently? If it underwent a major repair once in its life or is being repaired constantly in the last few years, then it will be more economical to just replace the whole refrigerator.
3. Is your unit still under warranty?
Compressors usually come with a 5-year warranty (inverter compressors come with 10+ year warranties). If the compressor breaks down within that time period, you will either be treated to a free repair/replacement of the compressor, or the whole refrigerator may be replaced free of charge.
If the compressor breaks down after the warranty has lapsed, then just replace the refrigerator – at your expense now, unfortunately.
4. The cost of the unit at purchase
While doing a ₱10,000 repair to a ₱15,000 two-door refrigerator is certainly unreasonable, a ₱20,000 repair done to a high-end french door refrigerator that costs ₱150,000 doesn’t seem that bad of a trade.
As a rule of thumb, if replacing the compressor will cost you about half the price of the refrigerator you have, then it will be much wiser to replace the entire fridge itself than having it repaired.
Also, if you are opting to repair your refrigerator, remember that a totally replaced compressor, while being more expensive, will be more reliable than a refurbished one.
And please, do not even try to repair this on your own. You will put the safety of your family at risk if you muck it up.
Miguel Mores worked for 5 years as a member of the product management team for a home appliance company in the Philippines. He started 101appliance to answer the most common customer questions that he has encountered during his time in the industry. He now works in the digital marketing field and manages a small online bookstore on the side.