Previous in Forum: PC Recovery and Backup Options and Pros/Cons   Next in Forum: A Politically Correct Holiday Wish
Close
Close
Close
18 comments
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Cajun Country , USA
Posts: 1479
Good Answers: 23

Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/17/2013 11:51 AM

The frig started heating up. Heard a faint noise from compressor and then a "click".........seems the cold air stoppped

1. I opened the back lower panel....... Coils were plugged with dust and such

2. Fan was very thickly covered in dust and such

3. I vacuumed the coils and the fan motor.

4. fan is running, compressor is very warm , not over heated, but very warm

5. From the compressor; One copper line is cold, one is warm to the touch

6. There is a slight( faint) humming sound to the compressor BUT NOT the loud motor noise that I hear on the , older stand up freezer we have.

Does all of this sound right?

__________________
There is no recall from extinction.
Register to Reply
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Guru
Hobbies - Fishing - Old Salt Hobbies - CNC - New Member United States - US - Statue of Liberty - New Member

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Rosedale, Maryland USA
Posts: 5198
Good Answers: 266
#1

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/17/2013 12:36 PM

Only if it's keeping the groceries cold!

__________________
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving in a pretty, pristine body but rather to come sliding in sideways, all used up and exclaiming, "Wow, what a ride!"
Register to Reply
4
Guru
Engineering Fields - Power Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: NYC metropolitan area.
Posts: 3230
Good Answers: 444
#2

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/17/2013 12:51 PM

If it's blowing cold air after your cleanup then it sounds OK to me, especially if you have a frosty line and a hot one. The click was probably the thermal overload tripping to protect the compressor.

__________________
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Ben Franklin.
Register to Reply Good Answer (Score 4)
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Cajun Country , USA
Posts: 1479
Good Answers: 23
#3

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/17/2013 3:24 PM

Besides the fan at the bottom of the frig, in front of the coils.... is there another fan inside the refrigerator that moves the cold air around inside the walls of the appliance?

How does the cold air get from 25-30 F at the TOP ( freezer compartment) of the appliance to the bottom section where its in the 40's or so ( where you keep the milk and butter and such).

__________________
There is no recall from extinction.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Out of your mind! Not in sight!
Posts: 4424
Good Answers: 107
#5
In reply to #3

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/17/2013 8:31 PM

Cold air is heavier and sinks down!

__________________
Common Sense Dictates
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1013
Good Answers: 36
#8
In reply to #3

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/18/2013 4:28 AM

Yes, there is another fan inside the appliance since you mention that there is a freezer compartment (separate from the lower compartment). Also, especially if the frig is a frost free type (most of modern ones are).

the fan pushes the cold air down to the lower compartment and there will be a dial type adjustment to control the amount of cold air being directed down ...

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Cajun Country , USA
Posts: 1479
Good Answers: 23
#4

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/17/2013 8:30 PM

.....case solved. The whole thing just went out . ice chest time.

Heading for town tomorrow to buy a new one. Extended warranty is out by about a month....they sure timed that right.

Merry Christmas or Bon Noel to everyone

__________________
There is no recall from extinction.
Register to Reply Off Topic (Score 4)
Guru
Engineering Fields - Power Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: NYC metropolitan area.
Posts: 3230
Good Answers: 444
#6

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/17/2013 9:36 PM

NM,

Less than a month ago I had refrigerator go dark on me as well. If it is totally dead, no lights, fans, etc., then there may be an internal fuse that blew. I went to the back, looked at the wiring diagram and found a 10 amp fuse on a circuit board attached to the power cord.

Worst part was that the fuse looked intact, but when I put my tester across it, it showed full voltage, a sure sign of a fuse that opened under one of the end caps where it couldn't be seen!

It was soldered in so I got a pig-tail fuseholder and a 10 amp slo-blo fuse, soldered the holder to the old fuse and it's been working fine since then. A $5 solution to a $800 problem. Check it out before you throw it out.

Alan

__________________
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Ben Franklin.
Register to Reply
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member Engineering Fields - Retired Engineers / Mentors - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Fans of Old Computers - PDP 11 - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Stronger Than The Storm
Posts: 2391
Good Answers: 202
#7

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/18/2013 12:13 AM

netmaker-

Yes, it sounds right. You did the right corrective action.

If there are mice or other vermin, bees, wasps or such keep an eye out for them on the cooling coil and everything else in the lower parts of the frig. Mice love to nest in there because it is warm and dry. Any of these pest can be difficult to remove so preventive is the best way to go.

If there are any access points in the compressor compartment that were originally closed, replace them or make some to add additional protection against the aforementioned pests.

Many people have the same problem. Best of luck with it. Keep the beer cool.

Good Luck, Old Salt

__________________
Any day on the green side of the grass is a GREAT DAY!, --- me +++++++++. I believe creativity is an inherent part of everyone. --- Kermit T. Frog
Register to Reply
Guru
Safety - Hazmat - New Member Engineering Fields - Retired Engineers / Mentors - New Member Engineering Fields - Piping Design Engineering - New Member Hobbies - DIY Welding - New Member Fans of Old Computers - PDP 11 - New Member

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Stronger Than The Storm
Posts: 2391
Good Answers: 202
#11
In reply to #7

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/18/2013 8:10 AM

Netmaker-

Check the clearance behind the refrig and the wall if it is located in front of one. Having the unit too close sometimes causes condensation on the wall from the compressor cold tubing. Also it reduces the velocity of the air flowing across the coil(s) and makes more dirt, dust, animal hair become caught on the coils and the system. This will accelerate the whole cycle of unwanted materials. Some people put a 2 x 4 on the floor between the refrig and the wall to prevent the unit from being accidentally pushed against the wall. The wife's permission may be necessary for that one.

Good Luck, Old Salt

__________________
Any day on the green side of the grass is a GREAT DAY!, --- me +++++++++. I believe creativity is an inherent part of everyone. --- Kermit T. Frog
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Cajun Country , USA
Posts: 1479
Good Answers: 23
#13
In reply to #11

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/18/2013 11:01 AM

Done that already. This thing just runs like it is in permanent DEFROST mode.

__________________
There is no recall from extinction.
Register to Reply
Guru
Engineering Fields - Power Engineering - New Member

Join Date: May 2007
Location: NYC metropolitan area.
Posts: 3230
Good Answers: 444
#14
In reply to #13

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/18/2013 12:01 PM

It may very well be in defrost mode. Depending upon the make, defrost mode is by a timer or timer in combination with a thermostat located on the defrost heater in the freezer compartment. It's usually a high wattage element so it will heat up the freezer if it doesn't cutout around 40°F. Easiest way to check is with an ammeter, a high draw with the compressor disconnected while it is running will be definitive, otherwise you have to remove the plastic shrouds around the fan and feel if it's hot. Easy job but time consuming because the plastic comes apart like a jig-saw puzzle, so watch the order of removal.

__________________
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Ben Franklin.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1013
Good Answers: 36
#15
In reply to #13

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/18/2013 1:27 PM

In defros mode, the temperature will be higher than the 40°F in the freezer compartment. therefore, it can't be in permanent defrost mode!

As RamConsult said, there is a timer that triggers the defrost mode every so many hours, for ~ 15 to 30 minutes max. In that mode, the compressor will be OFF and a heater will be on in the Freezer compartment. Therefore, if in defrost mode, the compressor will be off.

There is a fan at the back of the freezer compartment and a dialed opening to allow air flow from the freezer to the bottom fridge compartment. The dial opening could be in the normal fridge compartment instead. This needs adjustment to increase the cooling. Check that the fan is working by opening the freezer compartment and pressing the door switch otherwise it stops as soon as it is opened.

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Cajun Country , USA
Posts: 1479
Good Answers: 23
#16
In reply to #15

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/18/2013 1:42 PM

You are correct........... the Fan has stopped working in the freezer compartment. However, the freezer unit will NOT get cold enough to freeze water and the inside temp is hovering around 50F now. The compressor seems to run non-stop no matter what.

__________________
There is no recall from extinction.
Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 1013
Good Answers: 36
#17
In reply to #16

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/19/2013 4:36 AM

If the fan is not working:

- This could be due to: 1- It being stuck by excessive ice buildup on the evaporator which is behind the back cover of the freezer, where the fan opening is positioned.

2- The fan is damaged (winding open circuit ...)

If the fan is not working but there is ice formation on the evaporator (inside the freezer back plate), the cooling of the freezer will be compromised because the air circulation is not there to transfer the cooling into the freezer compartment properly.

On the evaporator, there is a heating element and a thermal switch in series. A timer will be located somewhere at the back of the fridge, near where the compressor compartment is. the job of the timer is to periodically, stop the compressor and supply the heater via the thermal switch. This will melt the ice buildup on the evaporator, which will drain down via a tube (which is to be checked against any blocage due to impurities and or bio growth), to the compressor compartment. It collects in a tray and will evaporate slowly when the compressor re-starts and the condenser tubes get hot again (some of the tubing will go into the tray...).

When the ice has melted, the temperature in the evaporator area will rise to trip the thrmal switch into Open circuit and stop the heating. The timer will keep timing until the set defrost period is completed. The compressor will stat again.

Therefore, if the compressor is not stopping might mean that the timer is not working. You can initiate a defrost period by moving the timer manually until it clicks. But this will mean that you need to move it again manually after about 15 to 20 minutes, to restart the compressor. In that time, you should be able to notice the draining of the water from the melted ice.

Anyway, now that I have explained the process, you might be able to better diagnose the problem. You might still need a pro to do the repairs in case the thermal switch is defective (i.e. not coming ON when the freezer is cold, to initiate the next heating cycle when needed), or the Fan is bad or the timer needs replacement...

Register to Reply
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Cajun Country , USA
Posts: 1479
Good Answers: 23
#18
In reply to #17

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/19/2013 4:50 AM

I have attempted to locate all that you describe and it seems nothing is working. No fan and I am not sure of where the timer actually is. This is above my level of expertise.

Thank you for the advice. It was worth a shot. There is something definitely wrong but I can not find it.

__________________
There is no recall from extinction.
Register to Reply
Guru
Popular Science - Weaponology - New Member Safety - ESD - New Member Hobbies - Fishing - New Member

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Near Frankfurt am Main, Germany. 50.390866N, 8.884827E
Posts: 17996
Good Answers: 200
#9

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/18/2013 5:14 AM

YUP!

__________________
"What others say about you reveals more about them, than it does you." Anon.
Register to Reply
Power-User

Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 177
Good Answers: 6
#10

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/18/2013 7:33 AM

Be sure to replace the back cover as it controls airflow through the condensor coils,

Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Guru

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Cajun Country , USA
Posts: 1479
Good Answers: 23
#12

Re: Refrigerator Compressor Trouble

12/18/2013 10:59 AM

Thank you all.

I have done all what was recommended as far as I can see.

The unit runs continuously. The appliance's interior light goes out, but the green "cold-colder-coldest" green lights remain on. When I unplug the unit and plug it back, all turns on ...then in about 3 minutes the interior light goes out again.

The appliance is keeping the FREEZER section at about 35-40F. The bottom section with the cooked items, milk and butter and such is barely in the 50's. Not cold , just cool.

No repair men can get out until after Christmas which means at any time, the groceries we stocked up on last week will be lost. I am out of my element on this one. It runs like it is permanent "defrost mode". I can see no fuses as such. There is NO water dripping in the condensation pan in the back...and the line is NOT blocked. there is No ice build up anywhere. The outsides of the unit are very cool to the touch. The Compressor unit is still running and is very warm but not hot.

* I even unplugged it. warmed the entire inside with a hot air gun, put everything back and turned it back on.... it still runs on 1/2 cool/cold all through out.*

Thank you all again.

__________________
There is no recall from extinction.
Register to Reply Score 1 for Good Answer
Register to Reply 18 comments
Interested in this topic? By joining CR4 you can "subscribe" to
this discussion and receive notification when new comments are added.

Comments rated to be Good Answers:

These comments received enough positive ratings to make them "good answers".

Comments rated to be "almost" Good Answers:

Check out these comments that don't yet have enough votes to be "official" good answers and, if you agree with them, rate them!
Copy to Clipboard

Users who posted comments:

Andy Germany (1); IdeaSmith (1); LAA_Lucke (3); lrsheldon (1); netmaker (6); old salt (2); ozzb (1); RAMConsult (3)

Previous in Forum: PC Recovery and Backup Options and Pros/Cons   Next in Forum: A Politically Correct Holiday Wish

Advertisement