Upright freezer clicking during compressor cycle.

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  #1  
Old 02-16-16, 04:46 PM
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Question Upright freezer clicking during compressor cycle.

For quite some time (probably just shy of 2 years) our 45 year old Sears Coldspot upright freezers has been clicking at the beginning of a compressor cycle. Sounds much like a relay clicking off and then back on immediately. A quick "click""click"! It began with just a few clicks a few seconds apart, after-which ran normally until cycle end. Recently though the start of cycle clicking starts out much more rapid (< 1 second intervals) and continues through the entire compressor cycle although the clicking interval does slow considerably.

I know I should have inspected it long ago, no viable excuses. Anyhow, although I've still not gotten my hands dirty thought I might solicit some opinions on likely cause. My train of thought is either low freon pressure or a faulty pressure switch. Pretty sure there are other possible factors.

I should add that the freezer still performs its cooling duties and doesn't seem to run any more or less than it has in the past. Any insight as to what might be the likely culprit would be much appreciated.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 05:31 PM
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Don't rule out something mechanical, like a worn out rubber compressor mount.....
 
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Old 02-16-16, 07:15 PM
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Thanks for the reply CarbideTipped.

I'm pretty confident it's not emanating from parts movement. The lights in the two rooms associated with that circuit dim for a split second every time the click-click happens.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 07:20 PM
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There is a start relay/overload that is plugged into the compressor. More than likely it's wore out.

Post the model number for the freezer.
 
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Old 02-16-16, 07:48 PM
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Appreciate the reply PJmax.

Ah, that would be a nice easy fix.

Sorry about not providing the model # as I know it's quite helpful. Posted spur-of-the-moment. Will be able to provide it tomorrow. ;-)
 
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Old 02-17-16, 09:14 AM
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Model # 106.721541 (Nov '71)
 
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Old 02-17-16, 11:11 AM
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That's an old Whirlpool built workhorse. Probably has been an excellent performer.
How are the door gaskets ?

The part number of the kit you need is 819160. Some places below where available. You can also check with your local appliance parts retailer.

Whirlpool-Part-Number-819160-OVERLOAD/dp/B001E0GE3M#
Kenmore Freezer Model 106.721541/Relay and Overload Kit from Repair Clinic
 
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Old 02-17-16, 12:35 PM
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Much appreciate that info Pete!

Yeah, she's worked beautifully since day one. The only ever issue is the pilot light in the front grill which has been intermittently flickering on and off for the last 20 years. Door seal is still in great condition as I regularly give it a silicon spritz tune-up.

Based on my description and your reply I'm assuming your pretty confident it's "likely" to be the overload protector failing. I'm curious if this type of failure will display in an ohms test (>0)?
 
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Old 02-17-16, 12:46 PM
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The typical way to check the overload is to shake it. If it rattles it's bad.
 
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Old 02-17-16, 02:37 PM
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Thanks again!

I'll give it the maraca test before ordering any parts.
 
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Old 02-17-16, 04:17 PM
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Ok, summoned up the drive to empty the freezer in order to gain access to the guts. Not only was she quite in need of a massive dusting I also found someone had removed the rear panel and not replaced it. I'm betting that reduced the efficiency by 80% as the fan was drawing no air over the condenser. No idea how long ago that was but it had to be more than 25 years!

Now to the nuts-n-bolts of it -- First thing I did was attempt to defang the capacitor. Even though it was about 40 minutes of cleaning before I got to the capacitor I was surprised to find it already completely discharged. Next was the overload protector. It had no end plug on it so that might be a quick indicator of condition...or not. It didn't rattle but it did measure 1.1 ohm.

Based on my findings I'll go ahead and order the overload protection kit. As per your experience might I assume the cap and relay are fine?
 
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Old 02-17-16, 04:43 PM
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The cap is a separate part but the relay comes as a kit now.
 
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Old 02-20-16, 03:40 PM
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Hey Pete. Thanks again!

Ordered the kit from Amazon for $20 (+$5 s&h) on Thursday and received it this morning. Wasn't clear to me why most descriptions of this kit had the word relay in them but now I see why. The relay and overload protection are now a combination part -- That works for me! Installed it and she's hummin' along good as new.

Much appreciate your insight!
 
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Old 02-20-16, 04:04 PM
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Great news...... thanks for letting me know.

Between that and the good cleaning you should be in great shape.
 
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Old 02-24-16, 09:49 AM
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Drats!

I think the rest between parts replacement only provided a temporary rejuvenation. On occasion now it will energize the relay with no resultant full compressor activation. It seems the overload may be kicking it out after 10 seconds. A quick amp test indicates during this period draw is pegged at 16a. Times when the compressor does fully activate and run it draws 5a. I'm assuming compressor is giving up the ghost. Would be great if I could be surprised with another possible option.
 
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Old 02-24-16, 10:12 AM
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Was there a visible starting capacitor ? It was unclear in the service info I was looking at.

If there is... that could be the starting issue and it could be replaced.
 
  #17  
Old 02-24-16, 10:26 AM
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Yes. Start cap (>100 MFD) -- No run cap.

Now that you mention it...Believe I noted in one of my earlier posts there was no charge in that cap after 30 minutes idle time. I can add that I did test it on another occasion after just 5 minutes power-off and still no juice. Not sure if that's normal for that variety of cap. Guess I should have run an analog meter test on it. Btw, I do soft discharges of caps in lieu of the quick-n-dirty terminal short discharge.

Would be great if a relatively inexpensive cap would be another possible option.
 
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Old 02-24-16, 10:31 AM
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There is a distinct possibility the cap is bad since you are having a hard start problem. I'd replace it.
 
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Old 02-24-16, 10:37 AM
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Definitely worth a try as it's likely the last viably cost effective parts replacement.

Thanks again Pete! I'll be sure to let you know how she turns out.
 
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Old 02-24-16, 02:25 PM
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Found an NOS genuine cap (851846) for $12 shipped so ordered it but, I'm gonna' do some soothsaying here. After getting a chance to check the old cap I find it sweeps the analog meter just as it should so I'm not feeling too confident the replacement will result in remedy. Keeping my fingers crossed though!
 
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Old 02-24-16, 04:58 PM
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I'll keep my fingers crossed too because otherwise it may point to an internal compressor issue.
 
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Old 03-07-16, 01:22 PM
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Thanks for keeping your fingers crossed Pete!

I installed the new start cap last Monday and, not wanting to jump the gun, have been monitoring it closely for the past week. The freezer now starts on first activation each time and is cycling like her old self.

Again, appreciate all your insight.
 
  #23  
Old 03-08-16, 09:14 AM
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It's been a couple of months, is your Coldspot freezer still running OK?
 
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Old 03-08-16, 09:23 AM
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Welcome to the forums.

It's only been a week since he replaced the compressor capacitor.
 
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Old 03-08-16, 05:45 PM
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Sorry about that - my math is a little shakey. However, based on golem's results, I followed the same path for my Sears Coldspot that quit last week. Amazingly I had the identical problem right down to the same model number. Same symptoms (clicking, dimming lights, etc). Service tech said the compressor was shot after 40 years of service but he could replace it for $650. That's when I found golem's thread. I bypassed the "Overload and relay kit" replacement as I didn't think I could handle that. Also tested the start capacitor with an ohm meter (it passed as did his) but for $6.50 thought I try that first. At Grainger they tested it with a capacitance meter and got a reading of 72 UFD (spec was 88-108 UFD). Installed it and cleaned up the coils. Freezer temp gauge is reading 12 degrees after turn on 4 hours ago. No clicking or light dimming and runs quiet like it used to. Saved 100 fold - you guys are great, thanks. George
 
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Old 03-08-16, 07:24 PM
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The overload/relay kit comes with instructions.... it's not to hard to install. If you have future problems you'll need to change it.
 
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Old 07-28-16, 01:20 PM
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Worked for a while

After replacing the starter cap 4 months ago, the freezer has worked flawlessly. Now the noise has returned and the resulting click shuts the unit down. Sounds like an overload occurs when the defroster kicks in and the overload relay? shuts everything down. Golem - How is your freezer holding up?
 
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