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Summary: I have a Whirpool SxS, ED25RFXFW01. Unit has been in the garage for a year, worked until recently. Now

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Old 11-16-2012, 07:03 PM
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Question Refrigerator stops running, still pulling amps
Model Number: ED25RFXFW01   Brand: Whirlpool   Age: More than 10 years   

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Summary:
I have a Whirpool SxS, ED25RFXFW01. Unit has been in the garage for a year, worked until recently. Now the unit sometimes runs but will occassionally trip the 20 amp GFCI receptacle it is on. If I unplug and reset GFCI, it will trip when I plug the fridge back in. The GFCI trips when the refrigerator attempts to "run". When I unplug, set temperature to "Off", reset GFCI and plug back in, fridge will pull minimal (0.03) amps and light still works (0.4 amps when on). GFCI will trip when temperature dial is turned back to on.

I moved the fridge to try another non-GFCI plug. When temperature is moved to on, fridge pulls 5-6 amps but isn't cooling and makes no sound (no compressor, no fan). Normally it only pulls around 3 amps when working(amps measured using Kill-A-Watt). Any help or guidance is greatly appreciated.

Full story:
After running perfectly in the garage for a year, of course, one of our kids left the freezer door open and left everything to melt. We dried out the fridge and left it to get cold again. It ran for 1-2 days then tripped the GFCI (and melted...again). We cleaned it, again, and noticed it would trip the GFCI every time we plugged it in or tried to turn it on. I replaced the GFCI device (assuming the previous one was old and maybe worn) with a 20 amp GFCI. Fridge started to run, but would pull high amps (14-15) when starting then resume to 3 amps. I thought it was odd, so I let it sit for a month hoping it just needed time to finish drying or something. Plugged it back in earlier this week and everything was working great, cooled to temp and worked for 36 hours. Then dreaded GFCI tripped this evening. Same behavior as before, GFCI trips when refrigerator tries to run. Moved to another circuit and it pulls 5-6 amps but doesn't run.

I'm not sure if this is something that can be fixed or worth fixing. I'm not sure where to really start troubleshooting. Any help or guidance, or just pointing me in the right direction, is really appreciated!

-Adam

Updates:
** 5 minutes after posting **
I left it unplugged after the fridge tried to pull 6 amps and wouldn't run. 30 minutes later I went to get the model number from inside and plugged it in to get the light to turn on. This time it didn't try to run when it was plugged in, just pulled minimal amps and light worked. Tried multiple times to switch temp on/off, no change - wouldn't run, no load. Left it plugged in while I came inside to type my post and when I went outside again, it was running, cooling, and pulling 2.83 amps. Ugh! I sure wish I knew what was wrong with this thing!

** Update 3 hours later **
The fridge has cooled to 33°F degrees, freezer at about -2°F. Similar pattern as before, seems to work fine and runs for a day or two before acting up again. Maybe short somewhere in the defrost system? Maybe short somewhere in the start system or faulty capacitor?


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Last edited by texasadam : 11-16-2012 at 09:18 PM.
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 11-17-2012, 01:40 AM
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Here are your parts
Parts for Whirlpool ED25RFXFW01 Refrigerator - AppliancePartsPros.com

See the attachment for the tech sheet

fridge pulls 5-6 amps but isn't cooling and makes no sound (no compressor, no fan). Normally it only pulls around 3 amps when working.
Sounds to me like you were in a defrost cycle.
No fans or compressor is one clue but so is the amp draw.
Tech sheet says the defrost heater is 21 to 27 ohms.
21 ohms draws 5.7 amp, 27 draws 4.8 amp approx. so you are in that range.

Maybe short somewhere in the defrost system? Maybe short somewhere in the start system or faulty capacitor?
I doubt it is either of the above.
The GFI is probably not tripping because of high current draw.
It is probably just seeing a small unaccounted for current (milli-amps).
My guess is that it will run without problems on a non-GFI outlet.
The GFI monitors the amps on the live side and the amps on Neutral, if they are different by a few milli-amps, it trips because that current must be going somewhere. That somewhere may be through your body or so it assumes.

If you have to run it on a GFI outlet, finding the fault will probably be a pain.
All it takes is a little moisture path between a live wire/connection for the GFI to trip.

First unplug he unit and remove the cover in the freezer.
Check the defrost thermostat. If it is deformed/bulged replace it. It has water in it and this is allowing current to flow to ground.
Check that the heater, defrost and wiring connectors are dry.
The parts breakdown does not show how the defrost thermostat is installed. If it uses wire nuts, redo the connections. Point the wire nuts down so water cannot get into them. Some folks like to seal the open ends with some sealant as an extra precaution.
Check that the heater is in good shape. No cracks in it's wires etc.

I always try to use non-GFI receptacles on fridges.
This is still safe.
In order for you to get a shock several things have to happen.
1. A live wire must short to the units frame.
2. You must also loose the ground and Neutral connection.
3. You must be grounded.

If a short happens with Neutral still attached the unit will trip the breaker/fuse in the electrical panel.
If Neutral is also lost then the voltage is directed to the ground connection and again the breaker will trip.

Note: All the above is just speculation on my part and it may well be a problem with the compressor or start device but this is where I would start.
Attached Images
File Type: pdf ED25RF.pdf (157.1 KB, 1 views)
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