How To Fix Refrigerator That Will Not Start | Fridge Repair The overload relay is a protection device used in the compressor circuit on your refrigerator. Power is applied to the compressor motor windings through the overload device, and the relay is used to add the start winding in the circuit until the compressor is at running speed. How to Troubleshoot Fridge Compressors | Home Guides | SF Gate Dec 28, 2018The compressor is the heart of the refrigerator's hermetically sealed refrigerant system. The compressor is the most expensive component to replace, and one of the few components the homeowner cannot replace himself. Fortunately, the compressor itself is seldom the problem when a refrigerator fails to operate properly.