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Odd reading from amp meter

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I was working on a GE domestic refrigerator today. The start relay was bad, and the motor was going off

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Old 12-30-2009, 08:27 PM
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Default Odd reading from amp meter
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I was working on a GE domestic refrigerator today. The start relay was bad, and the motor was going off on overload. I replaced the start relay and overload assembly, and the compressor started up fine. It was pulling around 1 amp. I then checked the condenser fan motor, and it was pulling 2 amps on one leg. The other leg was only pulling .5 amps. I was also getting a reading from the ground wire on the condenser fan motor. I'm guessing the fan motor windings are shorted to ground and leaking current. Is this correct? The odd thing is the main power coming from the plug were both reading 1.5 amps (both neutral and line).

The fan motor looked very cheap. It looks just like an evaporator fan motor. I thought it would shut off or overheat, since it was pulling two amps. I guess it wasn't really pulling 2 amps though. It was just leaking current to ground. I let it run for about 15 minutes, and it seemed to run fine.

I went ahead and ordered a new motor. Can someone explain this to me? Has anyone seen this before?

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Old 12-31-2009, 10:44 AM
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I have seen this before, your amprobe is getting stray magnetic fields, you can confirm this by rotating the amprobe, will give different readings as a function of orientation.
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Old 12-31-2009, 12:52 PM
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So, I was taking measurements too close to the fan. Is that correct? I ordered the fan motor already, but I'm guessing it wasn't bad.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:04 PM
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You are correct, the open frame motors have stray magnetic fields around them.
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