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Upright freezer - compressor cycling, burnt smell

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Picked up beside road, cleaned up and plugged it in to garage outlet. 4 hours later it was at 10

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Old 05-26-2008, 03:25 PM
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Default Upright freezer - compressor cycling, burnt smell
Model Number: EKV11CWR0   Brand: Whirlpool   Age: More than 10 years   

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Picked up beside road, cleaned up and plugged it in to garage outlet. 4 hours later it was at 10 below, then started cycling on and off w/ hot smell, not making cold any more. I turned temp control to off...what now? Would like to troubleshoot and fix if possible.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-26-2008, 08:45 PM
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Default Boy am I learning lots about freezers :)

OK, more info. After letting the freezer sit for about 4 hours, I decided to plug it in, watch and listen, and turn on the temp control to "1". Maybe taking it from sitting unused in someone's beach house to my garage and running it full blast in my garage for 4 hours earlier today was too much too fast. Anyhow, tonight it ran for about 20-25 seconds, and as I watched the compressor, a glow/fire started happening inside the relay box!! Pffftt - barbecue smoke came out, I jumped up and turned off the temp control, unplugged the power cord, and fanned frantically at the smoke alarm to keep it from going off (if I woke up the wife and kids like that, I would be found inside this freezer, out on the curb ). Of course the plastic box cover over the relay was hot to touch. I took a flat blade screwdriver and popped off the wire bale that holds it onto the side of the compressor, opened it up for a look. The windings (if that's what you call the wire coils in a relay?) look all corroded and fried. I took a picture, will try to post here. Can I just replace that part? The freezer is ancient - I am guessing about 40 years - but it cleaned up nice and if I can keep power to that compressor it certainly seems to work well, nice and cold. Obviously I already searched the entire web as well as this site for parts to this model, no luck. How about a generic relay with the same specs? I see a wiring diagram on the back of the freezer, but of course it's a label stuck on the back behind the condensor grid and I can't get a clear picture. If anyone needs to see it I could transcribe it and scan it or something.

As I mentioned before, the compressor hums right along nice and quiet, and it cooled right down to <0 F inside the freezer when it was running earlier today. I just need something to sit in the garage and freeze stuff, it doesn't need to be cooler than 0-10 F to make me happy. Any help appreciated!
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:06 PM
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OK, here's a picture of the relay. Can I just replace it (and maybe those toasted wires) and be up and running? Anyone have a clue as to the part # that would work?
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg RCA_Whirlpool_EKV11CWR0_relay.jpeg (117.3 KB, 36 views)

Last edited by dmeyer4 : 05-26-2008 at 09:07 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-27-2008, 02:09 AM
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I would get an ohm meter and check for winding shorts first. You will probably find shorts to ground.
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Old 05-28-2008, 04:11 PM
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Rich, how do I do that? I thought you were referring to the windings in the relay? I can pretty much guarantee those are shorting out - they are all burnt and distorted, and I witnessed arcing and smoke puffing out of it. Nevertheless - I have a nice digital multimeter that I would be glad to put to use if you can point me to a link for testing the relay. UNLESS...you mean the compressor - Gene sent me a message asking if I had tested the compressor as you recommended, so maybe you mean checking resistance across the 3 terminals that go into the compressor...? If that's the case, let me know and send a link to the procedure and the resistances or whatnot I should be seeing for a salvageable compressor. Thanks for your help - I'll have the multimeter at the ready for after the kids go to bed...
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