How to Assemble a Refrigerator Split Phase Compressor Tester for Repair Diagnostics


Hey everyone. Tim with Fred’s Appliance Academy here with another great video for you today. In our last video, we showed you how to make a 15 amp mini fuse breaker, used to bypass fuses, door switches, thermal devices in any unit. Now we’re going to also teach you right now how to make another specialty tool being our split phase compressor tester. Now all the items that you’re going to need are in the description below and we’re going to go step by step.

But before we do that, a lot of technicians, when they go out, there looking for a compressor that’s not starting due to a faulty relay. Now they do the old shake test and it shakes and it’s no good. They throw another relay on there. They might get called back to a customer’s home because it fails again. Using the split phase compressor tester, that’s going to eliminate that. You should allow this compressor to run for a few minutes using this tester so you know it’s just a relay and not something internal in the compressor itself.

Split Phase Compressor Tester Component Test

Now for compressors that aren’t starting and you try another relay, so a technician goes out and gets this three in one hard start, which is not manufacturer recommended. This is an aftermarket part. This is also posing as a danger or hazard to the customer itself because if it gets too hot, there’s no overload. There are exposed connections. These force a compressor to start if they have a locked rotor. Ultimately you need to replace the compressor. You should not use one of these in the field.

Let’s get started and we’ll show you exactly what you’re going to need and give you the steps to make your compressor tester. The first thing we’re going to have here is we have to crimp on connectors. And I know if you’ve taken our course or any good technician out there knows crimp on connectors are not a good thing to use except for repair. When you’re repairing, you don’t use them. We’re going to be testing something. This is not going to be something permanent on the unit so it’s going to be okay to use the crimp on connectors. And of course later on, if you want, you can solder them and that would be the best choice. We have a 120-volt power cord here with two stripped ends that we’re going to use. And we also have a PTC relay with a run capacitor on it.

What we’re going to need to do first is we’re going to have to get our crimp-on connectors on there so you will need some kind of crimping tool. And the first thing you’re going to do is you’re going to want to wind these wires up so it becomes more of a solid-state so they don’t split when you’re trying to put the connector on them. You’re going to take and put your first wire in and then we’re going to use our little homemade crimper here. And again, any crimper that you like that does work, it makes a good connection, feel free. Ultimately you want to solder these though. I’m just going to tighten this down until it’s nice and tight. And that’s our first connector that’s on there. It’s not coming off. Going to take our second one, I’m going to do the same process. Crimp the connection on. Then we should have a nice tight connection here.

All right, we’re not done yet. Now we need a hook up the relay. It’s not just so much of oh, just plug it in and you’re good to go. Me and personally, I like polarity and making sure things are done right and in looking at a wiring schematic, you know that the line voltage passes through the overload so I’m going to connect my line voltage side of the cord to my top overload here. And these connectors are very good. They fit nice and tight inside so they won’t vibrate out causing any arcing. I’m then going to take my neutral, I’m going to place that on the other connection here. Once you have that done, if you take any split phase compressor, make sure it’s a split phase, you can tell by the voltage. It’s going to say that it’s for 120 volts and it will also say one PH on it. Go ahead and line your relay up on your compressor and then locate the nearest outlet that you have, 120-volt source. Then we’re going to go ahead plug that in.

And as you see, the compressor started up and what you want to do is you want to allow this compressor to run for at least the next five, six minutes or so while you’re giving the customer a quote. You’re going out to your truck, you’re getting a new relay because again if there’s something internally wrong in a compressor and this compressor shuts down because there’s something wrong with it, the relay is not going to fix it. You need to replace the compressor. We’re going to go ahead, shut this off now and then all you would do is just wrap this up, put this right back in your tool bag and now you have a tester. Again, it only works for a split phase compressor.

We find it’s very important to have these testing tools to be accurate in the field and doing things safe. Don’t use these hard starts, use some kind of tester. I hope you guys enjoyed the video. I hope you like what you see here. If so, please like, subscribe to our page, look for further videos coming out. Other than that, I’m Tim with Fred’s Appliance Academy, training tomorrow’s technicians today.


Leave a Reply