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Compressor not turning on

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Symptoms: No cooling at all in freezer or refrigeration section. All interior and exterior fans/lights/etc work fine, but internal temp

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Old 03-04-2009, 02:39 AM
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Default Compressor not turning on
Model Number: PLHS267ZAB5   Brand: Frigidaire   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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Symptoms: No cooling at all in freezer or refrigeration section. All interior and exterior fans/lights/etc work fine, but internal temp is at a nice warm 72F. The compressor hums for a few seconds, then shuts off with a soft click, then repeats after a few minutes. The top of compressor is very warm/hot after this goes on a few hours.

This has happened about five times since last summer. Generally, the fridge starts working again after anywhere from 1 day, 1 week, or 1 month (I once left it on for 2 weeks, gave up and turned it off for a month, turned it back on, then it started working after 1-2 days). I was working 7 days, up to 85 hrs/week at the time, so I really didn't need a working fridge.

I actually never noticed the compressor not running before this latest incident. It could be that it wasn't running the other times and I mistook the fan noise for the compressor. Or it could be a new wrinkle.

Anyway, after reading a LOT of posts, it looks like the problem with the compressor not running is most likely either the relay, capacitor, compressor, or some combination of the three.

Capacitor:
I tried checking the resistance of the capacitor. I read some resistance value for less than a second, then the meter reads no continuity and stays that way (I stopped after about 10 seconds). Does this mean I've got a bad capacitor, or am I doing something wrong with how I'm taking the measurement?

Compressor:
I checked the resistance between compressor pins and from pin to ground. Got a very low resistance (almost zero, I think) between pins and no continuity from pins to ground. So, is it safe to assume the compressor is good?

Relay:
The wires are recessed into the relay housing, so they rattle against the housing, which means I can't tell if something else is rattling. Is there some other way to test the relay? Better yet, how do I pull the wires out of the relay housing?

Is there anything else I should be checking?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 03-04-2009, 03:57 AM
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Unplug the unit and order the compressor start device, AP4367355. You run capacitor is probably ok, just make sure you wire it in, in yours I think it just plugs into the start device.
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Old 03-04-2009, 07:26 PM
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Well, I'll probably end up doing just that, but out of curiosity, why do you believe the capacitor is fine? I seem to recall reading somewhere that you should see a gradual increase in resistance when measuring a capacitor. Is that incorrect?

Also, any tricks you can recommend to unplug the wires from the relay?

Thanks again.
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Old 03-05-2009, 01:29 AM
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In my 23 years of service I have never seen an oil filled capacitor fail except for a few months ago i replaced a washer start capacitor that had blown literally. I don't think it was oil filled though.
I use a flat blade screwdriver to pry the spade terminals off.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:58 PM
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Well, the replacement relay arrived, and I installed it without too much trouble (had to splice in the wiring harness, which wasn't too bad, except I had to do the soldering on the floor, behind the fridge).

Anyway, bottom line is, the compressor is still not turning over

The capacitor isn't bulging or anything like that, so you're probably correct in that it's not the problem.

It seems to me that the problem may simply be that the compressor is locked up.

Any other ideas would be appreciated.

Otherwise, I'm ordering a new fridge.
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:55 AM
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If your run capacitor where shortd or open, the compressor would still start. It would just fail later. Even if your capacitor is bad it's academic, ie too late, your compressor start winding is bad.
Frigidair has had a lot of trouble with compressors failing, so you might want to bur a Whirlpool or Amana instead.
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Old 03-24-2009, 10:15 AM
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I have a 10 yo Amana doing exactly the same thing, thanks for the description. I replaced the Start/Overload relay but I suspect that the compressor is going bad. BTW, my Amana is just a re-branded Maytag.

ETA:
"Capacitor:
I tried checking the resistance of the capacitor. I read some resistance value for less than a second, then the meter reads no continuity and stays that way (I stopped after about 10 seconds). Does this mean I've got a bad capacitor, or am I doing something wrong with how I'm taking the measurement?"

That is EXACTLY what a good capacitor should do, providing that the +/- is hooked correctly.

Last edited by Redbone : 03-24-2009 at 10:19 AM.
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