Help! Frigidaire freezer thawing!

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Old 04-11-09, 03:54 AM
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Help! Frigidaire freezer thawing!

Hello,

I have a Frigidaire model FFU20FC6AW4 upright commercial freezer, about 5 years old. I just noticed the red "alarm" light is on, and some water on the floor in front of it. I opened it and it is thawing (OMG! The wife has lots of veggies she bought from farmers and blanched them and foodsavered them). I checked and the compressor is hot, but not coming on. It is buzzing, then something clicks (overload protector I assume) and it quits, then after a while it buzzes again.

Where the wires connect to the comressor, there is a black module held on with a bail wire. I unplugged it, and there is a burned hole at the top of it. There is also a spade terminal above this connector. Obviously something burnt up...wondering if something even connected to this spade terminal?

I am assuming this "module" is a relay and capacitor all in one unit? If so, does anyone know what I can do to get it back on? I don't know if I can find parts today or not, being a holiday weekend, but I can try. If not, can this be remedied with a conventional starting capacitor? If so, how, and what size capacitor do I need?

Sheesh...my last deep freeze was a model from the 1960s, and it lasted 40 years and probably could have kept going. This one is a $500+ commercial unit and all I get is 5 years?

Any input would be appreciated!!!! I'm about to have a mess on my hands!
 
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Old 04-11-09, 02:20 PM
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I don't think I'd try jury-rigging up some wrong-rated capacitor.

It's hard to say why this thing failed already, for sure. But there are few possible likely causes.

I think some appliances like this have about a 5 year warranty on the compressor and perhaps parts related to it. Don't know for sure. We had that once in a rental and we just made that deadline, when compressor failed in newer fridge.

If you have a volt-ohm meter, which I presume you do, because of who you are (small engines moderator), you can remove that plug-on box that is held to the compressor with that bail wire (by simply pulling it off the compressor, after wire unhooked), and expose the 3 pin terminals of the compressor, and ohms test each pin to each other (3 combinations) and you should show a low number on each, and they are progressive that 1 reading + 2 reading = 3 reading, if good. Also, make sure that ohm testing between any one pin and say copper coming off the compressor yields a total open reading, as it should (because if you get a reading, you have a short). If your readings all check out, this means the compressor is good electrically, but does not prove it is good mechanically (i.e. a bind inside). Also you may have run low on freon and the compressor had to work too hard, and then started getting hot from having to run all the time to try to reach set-temp, and then it had to keep troipping on overload.

The only way you will find out, as a DIY job, is to buy the needed parts, install, and then re-run the freezer and see what it does. See if it runs properly, without clicking, but does not want to reach set temp, meaning low on freon or a mechanical failure in compressor.

The whole device package down there is an overload protector, relay and perhaps the run capacitor. Usually cheaper to buy these parts, and chance it, rather than have a service man come out to diagnose.

But be sure your unit still is not under warranty!
 
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Old 04-12-09, 05:30 PM
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Thanks, I have the compressor control assy on order. I was thinking of a way to get it going so that I wouldn't have to take all my stuff and put it in someone else's freezer. It's been done now though, so we're good until the part comes in (~10 days to get it).
 
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Old 04-13-09, 07:59 AM
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10 days? Wow. My appliance parts store gets stuff quite quickly through Dey appliance parts out of the Twin Cities.

Is this being shipped direct to you?, or to some appliance parts retailer first?
 
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Old 04-13-09, 03:39 PM
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I'm buying it from an appliance parts seller on ebay. They might be ordering the part, then sending it to me...I don't know. It's less than half the cost of a new one at my local appliance repair shop, and since I'd have to wait a few days in either case, I decided to go with the less expensive place. If the local dealer had it in stock, I would have paid more just to keep from having to put my stuff in someone else's freezer. Since it's in a freezer now, time isn't critical anymore.
 
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Old 04-17-09, 11:15 PM
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Ok, I got the part in today (a little quicker than I expected ). I put it on and the freezer came on, compressor kicked in nice and quietly, and it is cooling. We'll see. I don't know why, but the old part had a hole burned right though the top...melted bubbled up plastic/bakelite type stuff. It's like something inside it blew up.
 
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Old 04-18-09, 04:01 PM
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Let us know in a follow-up post in a few days or week. Hope all is good, for keeps.
 
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Old 04-21-09, 12:24 AM
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Well, just a couple days so far, but the temp is below zero, and the compressor kicks on and off so it apparently is cooling well enough that the compressor doesn't have to run continuously.

I think the piece may have been overworked a few months ago when my brother was visiting and left the freezer door cracked open. It stayed that way all weekend and I lost a good bit of food. I'm sure the thing ran constantly for probably at least 48 hours.
 
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Old 04-21-09, 05:27 PM
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A person can always think that if a part goes bad, that something caused it. In essense, I suppose there is some reason. Maybe the part itself, or maybe escess heat that can't be drawn away from an alcove area the fridge is in, or maybe a bulb in the fridge that does not go out?, or maybe some circumstance like the one you describe.

But the good news with these relay assemblies is that sometimes you replace them, and the unit keeps right on working thereafter. I have the proof of this right behind me where I sit. I think I replaced that one about 2 years ago, and it has been fine ever since.
 
 

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