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Question DetailsAsked on 2/21/2017

Technician said 5 year old refrigerator with bad compressor not worth repair. What would it cost. Sealed unit

5 year old Whirlpool refrigerator not cooling. Technician said it was not worth repairing because it would cost too much because it is a sealed unit.

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Afterthought - rereading your question - if you meant he was saying the REEFER was not worth repairing, see answer below. If he meant the COMPRESSOR is not worth repairing - he is right - rebuilding your unit costs more (including round trip shipping) than a new unit usually, though you can buy remanufactured ones if into buying used parts. (I would not) - but household appliance compressors these days are sealed units replaced as a unit.


Probably all reefer compressors these days are sealed units - so I don't know if he was pushing you toward a new reefer (if his company sold reefers) or was being honest about the cost comparison.

Compressors typically around $175-350 depending on brand (about 1/2-2/3 that for aftermarket or remanufactured units if you want to take that chance) - about $200-300 is probably typical labor range depending on accessibility. A few brands you are talking more like $700-1000 range for a new compressor isntalled - some brands like Viking and Sub-zero are known for high repair costs because they do not make them accessible for service, and overprice their parts pretty bad.

So - you need to do a quick check of store ads or websites for comparable new-reefer cost for your size and requirements to be sure you are not pushing repair costs into the range where a new reefer would be cheaper (though that is typically $900-1000 minimum, and on up from there). For a 5 year old (did you check if it is still under warranty ?) reefer I would say figure it is about 1/4 of the way to its life if non-electronic, 1/2 if electronic controls.

And of course, a new reefer does come with a new warranty - though the basic warranty is generally only used if there is a factory defect which shows up real quick - most reefers go 10+ years before they start breaking down, and many, many go 20-30 years without significant repair costs. Consider also if you are interested in buying an extended warranty (keeping it warrantied as long as they will carry a warranty on it - typically about 5-10 years on reefers) because typically they will only sell extended warranties in the first year, or when your regular warranty expires if after a year (probably 1 year on yours). Though reefer warranties generally don't pay for themselves in repair savings unless they are electronic controlled like LG so have a lot of expensive electronics faillures.

You could write down your make and model and call other Appliance Repair - Large vendors for competing pricing for compressor repair.

I would question him - did he check overtemp and overcurrent relays/breakers - they commonly go before the compressor and cost about $25 each - minimum service charge for the labor to replace - typically $75-150 range.

Also - are the coils and fan clean and does it have refrigerant - if the compressor is running (probably for a long time each cycle) it could have leaked out the refrigerant, which he should have checked on - probably about $200-300 to recharge.

And if the evaporator coils are dirty or the fan is lint blocked, the reefer can fail to cool even though the compressor is working because the lint prevents the coils from evaporating the heat removed from the reefer by the system - MANY times a service call could have been avoided (if compressor runs and is not making a bunch of unusual noise) by just cleaning the coils yearly or so - sometimes 2-3 times a year is needed in heavy-lint rug or heavy pet fur environment

Bottom line - check the coil cleaning issue if compressor is running and cooling some, just not as well or as quickly as it should. Then compare the price quote with ballpark numbers above to see if he is in the normal range - if not, get another quote or two from Appliance Repair - Large vendors (your Search the List category). Then compare with new reefer cost.

Here is a link to another similar question with responses too FYI -

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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