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sxs, fridge 60 degrees crispers, room temp above, freezer 32 lower, room temp upper

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Hi 3 days ago, I opened the fridge door, after a few seconds, light went off, normal humming sound from

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Old 08-20-2012, 02:46 AM
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Question sxs, fridge 60 degrees crispers, room temp above, freezer 32 lower, room temp upper
Model Number: 106 9432480   Brand: Kenmore   Age: More than 10 years   

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Hi

3 days ago, I opened the fridge door, after a few seconds, light went off, normal humming sound from back of unit stopped. Checked bulb, it's good. Reinstalled bulb, pressed light switch in/out/in, nothing. Fiddled with temp. and air dials, no clicks, no nothing. Jiggled unit, lights/humming came ON. After a few seconds, lights/humming OFF. Opened freezer door, lights/humming came ON, after a few seconds, lights/humming OFF. Jiggled unit again, both lights/humming came ON briefly, then both OFF. No lights/humming since.
Later, noticed both fridge and freezer were slowly warming. Pulled bottom cover from back of unit. Fan on right is blowing room-temp air out, compressor on left is warm to touch, not hot, and doesn't vibrate. All of the 4 copper tubes to/from comp.are near room temp. Whole area including bottom coils are relatively clean. No water in drain pan, looks like no water in it recently.
Currently, interior of fridge is near room-temp above, drawers below are cool (50-60 degrees). Interior of freezer is near room-temp above, almost freezing below (ice cubes slushy). No condensation anywhere. One more thing, when I turn temp. dial OFF, just before "off" I hear a very faint click and then the fridge light comes ON - about half as bright as normal.

Removed starter relay. Number on the PTC is 2 1 5 4 4 3 6. Compressor motor passed the continuity test. When I shake it, the relay sounds faintly like one large part is moving inside. I wouldn't say it rattles. I have to shake the piece vigorously to hear anything moving inside. Relay does not smell or look burned. All the connections are clean brass. No grime or corrosion.

Any way to test the solid-state relay for sure? Like wire it in series with a light bulb. Shouldn't the bulb flicker momentarily if the relay is good? Any way to test the compressor for sure? if all the relay is doing is shorting across the capacitor, can't I loosen the capacitor terminals and carefully short across them for a moment with an insulated-handle probe to start the compressor? If it doesn't start, I'll know the problem is the compressor, correct? If it does start, I'll KNOW the problem is the relay, correct? Or... could it be the capacitor? Could a bad capacitor produce the problem? Do capacitors fail, often, rarely, never? Any way to test the capacitor?

Where from here?


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