How to bypass start relay on refrigerator?

How to bypass start relay on refrigerator?


When a refrigerator fails to start, one common culprit is a faulty start relay. The start relay is responsible for supplying power to the compressor, which is essential for cooling the refrigerator. If the start relay is defective, the compressor will not receive the necessary power to function. In such cases, bypassing the start relay can be a temporary solution to get the refrigerator running again. In this article, we will explore how to bypass the start relay on a refrigerator.

Understanding the Start Relay

Before we delve into the bypassing process, it is important to understand the function of the start relay. The start relay is an electrical component that helps initiate the compressor’s operation. It is typically located near the compressor and works in conjunction with the start capacitor. The start relay senses the electrical current and voltage required to start the compressor and provides the necessary power boost during the startup phase.

Materials Needed

To bypass the start relay on a refrigerator, you will need the following materials:

– Screwdriver: To remove the refrigerator’s back panel and access the start relay.
– Wire cutters/strippers: To cut and strip wires if necessary.
– Electrical tape: To insulate and secure connections.
– Multimeter (optional): To test electrical continuity.

Steps to Bypass the Start Relay

1. Unplug the refrigerator: Before performing any repairs or modifications, always disconnect the refrigerator from the power source to avoid electrical hazards.

2. Locate the start relay: Remove the refrigerator’s back panel to access the compressor area. The start relay is typically a small rectangular or square-shaped component attached to the side of the compressor.

3. Identify the start relay terminals: The start relay will have three terminals labeled “S” (start), “M” (main), and “L” (load). The “S” terminal connects to the start capacitor, the “M” terminal connects to the compressor’s main power supply, and the “L” terminal connects to the power source.

4. Disconnect the start relay: Carefully disconnect the wires connected to the start relay terminals. Take note of the wire colors and their corresponding terminals for reconnection later.

5. Bypass the start relay: Take a piece of wire and connect one end to the “S” terminal and the other end to the “M” terminal. This bypasses the start relay, allowing direct power supply to the compressor.

6. Secure the connections: Use electrical tape to insulate and secure the wire connections. Ensure that there is no exposed wiring to prevent any electrical hazards.

7. Reassemble the refrigerator: Put the refrigerator’s back panel back in place and secure it with screws. Ensure that all components are properly reconnected and in their original positions.

8. Plug in the refrigerator: Once everything is reassembled, plug the refrigerator back into the power source.


Bypassing the start relay on a refrigerator can be a temporary solution to get the appliance running again. However, it is important to note that bypassing the start relay eliminates a safety mechanism and should only be done as a temporary measure until a replacement start relay can be installed. It is recommended to consult a professional technician to diagnose and replace the faulty start relay for a long-term solution.