Kenmore refrigerator cycling on and off

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  #1  
Old 04-06-08, 11:10 PM
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Kenmore refrigerator cycling on and off

My Kenmore refrigerator (Coldspot 106.76249401) has been doing this lately. It turns on for a few seconds and then turns off for a few seconds, repeating for long periods. I have only caught it doing it a few times. Once it stopped by itself. The other times I flipped the breaker for a few seconds then flipped it back - this cleared the problem. This escalated today - my wife turned it off inside because she did not know which breaker to flip. It would not re-start for her. I came home, made sure it was turned on inside and flipped the breaker off and back on. At some point during the ensuing heated argument the unit fired up again.

Can someone tell me what to do to fix this?
 
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Old 04-07-08, 05:35 AM
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Don't worry, be happy!...............arguing won't fix your fridge.

It sounds as if the thermal overload on the compressor is tripping.
This control protects the compressor from overheating.
There are often one of two causes for this.

If you have condenser coils on the back or underneath they could be dirty.
To fix this you would vacuum out the dirt.
If underneath you would need to remove the lower back cover and reach in as far as you can get.

If it is a worn compressor the only fix is to have it replaced.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 09:26 AM
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The unit is about 5 or six years old. Someone locally told me it might be the start relay or the run capacitor... I hear no abnormal noise from the unit; would I if the compressor was overheating? I will clean the coils when I get home.
 
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Old 04-07-08, 03:14 PM
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The relay, thermal overload or a capacitor could also causes your symptoms.
If you were going to diy then these would be the least expensive things to try.

You would not necessarily hear the compressor if it was overheating.
 
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Old 04-08-08, 09:03 AM
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What about the thermostat? Could it be causing the unit to short cycle? I vacumed out the coil air intake and air is noticeably moving through the underside of the unit (so I know the cooing fan is working). The parts suppliers do not cary the start relay/thermal overload combo for this unit - it appears to have a low failure rate. I was thinking of trying the termostat furst... Why would a bad capacitor cause this problem?
 
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Old 04-08-08, 09:56 AM
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Do you know how to use a multimeter (or volt-ohm meter)?
 
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Old 04-08-08, 11:46 AM
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Yes - I have a decent one.
 
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