Probable Bad Compressor On Kenmore Fridge - Worth Fixing?


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Old 07-30-08, 10:08 AM
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Probable Bad Compressor On Kenmore Fridge - Worth Fixing?

So it's a fairly basic Kenmore with the freezer on top and built in incemaker. It conveyed with the house but I was told when I bought the place that it was only a couple of years old which would make it 7ish years old now.

Have had no problems with it until a couple of days ago while working from home that it was making an about 10 second long buzzing noise every so often which I'm assuming was the compressor trying to start up and failing (after checking and seeing that the stuff in the freezer was starting to thaw. Had to head into the office so I unplugged it partially because I thought I could smell something kinda hot coming from the back.

When I got home in the evening plugged it back and it fired up fine and was obviously cooling because it made more ice. No problems til I got up in the middle of the night to get some water and it was doing the same thing again and things were unfreezing again.

For a couple of days it was ok for awhile going in 'shifts' like this (I was hoping to make it til the weekend to deal with it) and though the freezer wasn't freezing I don't use it for much and the bottom was staying reasonably old.

Well, now it doesn't want to do anything but buzz even after resting for a while. My basic question is what are the chances it's not a bad compressor and if it is (or isn't) on a lower level fridge is it even worth getting it fixed since I know it has to be a professional to replace the compressor.

Think I already know the answer to this but this place was of great value when I was getting a new hvac system last year and figured it was worth checking first.
Thanks in advance.
Rob
 
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Old 07-30-08, 04:29 PM
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I would call an appliance store up and ask them to bring up your machine on the computer and see what kind of starter relay/ run capacitor? you have down there right at the terminal connections to the compressor (a square box that is probably attached to the compressor). This could be all that is wrong with your machine. Ask them all what them components are and how much they or it costs.

It is a good place to start, by replacing, since the part(s) mentioned are about the same or cheaper than having a tech just show up at your door and not do anything!

I coached my brother-in-law over the phone LD and had him use volt-ohm meter to test compressor terminals (after he removed that square box cover and the parts inside WITH THE MACHINE UNPLUGGED!), and when the terminal ohm readings panned out good, he bought the kit, and that fixed his clicking or buzzing sounds/intermitant no running.

See if the compressor is hot, and move fridge out from wall and run box fan at compressor and see what that does, as there is an overload there also that could be tripping out. Heard on report today on radio that it is good idea to pull fridge from wall at least one more inch as that can save up to 10% on energy cost of running the fridge, by eliminating trapped heat back there.
 
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Old 07-31-08, 05:27 AM
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Thanks .... I should have thought to do that. Went through a similar process when my heat pump died. It actually did end up the compressor in that case but the way this is acting I could see it being that.

I have tomorrow off so I'll check it out tomorrow and might be posting back here if I have some questions.
Thanks again!
 
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Old 07-31-08, 07:47 AM
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Let us know the outcome, or if you need more help. Either way. It be great if you get it fixed yourself for fairly cheap, and also then you know where to look the next time if something similar happens to another unit you get sometime, or even a friend or relatives, where you can help them.
 
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Old 07-31-08, 01:38 PM
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Unplug that refrigerator, remove the start relay assembly from the left side of the compressor, and shake it. If it sounds line there is sand or rocks inside, the relay is bad, and probably will work when you install a new one. Usually the humming is because the relay has gone bad, and the start winding are not getting power, the overload device will when shut power off to the compressor. It might be an easy fix.

Himeros
 
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Old 08-03-08, 04:31 PM
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Ok, so I finally got around to pulling the fridge out and checking a couple of things. Pulled the little assembly off the side which was two pieces the plugged into each other. A little black rectangle that is the capacitor and the relay.

The capacitor tested out at what it's supposed to be according to the info printed on the side. I don't hear anything rattling or shaking inside the relay when I shake it.

I plugged them back in place and plugged the fridge in and it seems like the buzzing is coming from inside the compressor.

I remember when I had my heat pump go bad someone had me check the three terminals on the compressor for resistance and recall that it was really high which was bad. I wasn't sure which of the three to pair up to check on the fridge compressor but tried all combinations and wasn't getting anything very high .... but I'm not real good with this stuff so I really don't know what to check for on that side.

Thanks again for the help.
 
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Old 08-06-08, 06:09 AM
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Anybody?

I could take a close up pic of the terminals on the compressor (with relay/capacitor removed) if someone can tell me what kind of resistance I should be looking for (over which terminals) to figure out if it's good or bad.
Thanks
 
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Old 08-08-08, 03:36 PM
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The compressor has two different windings, and for sure that humming is coming from inside. Your problem is the compressor is not starting, for one of two reason. Either the start relay is bad, and not giving power to both windings to start, or the compressor is bad. If the compressor is bad, it could be from several reasons, such as bearing in motor seized up, one winding shorted, or open. Very hard to tell with a meter. If you want to spend a few bucks, you could buy what is called a 3 in 1, also called a hard start kit. It has a start capacitor, relay, overload, and that gives the compressor a big kick to get it started. However if it does start and run, the chances your compressor will fail within a few months is great. Kits cost $15.00 to $25.00 appliance parts store.

Himeros
 
 

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