Appreciate the forum very much!
I suspect that my compressor starter relay has gone out, (and hopefully not the compressor itself), and could use a little help/advice in ciphering out my problem. This model's compressor starting device is a combined unit that has both the relay AND the overload protector in the same case. The run capacitor is a separate unit that plugs into this starting device. I have had no problems with the fridge until a storm knocked out the power for a few minutes and when the fridge came back on, I immediately heard the dreaded humm- click cha-cha!! So I'm suspecting the starter relay and overload first, before I determine the compressor is bad. My question is in regard to determining that the relay/overload protector is bad- I understand that if you shake it and hear a rattle, that is a good indication that it is bad. Mine makes a noise when shaken, but I don't know if I would call it a "rattle".
So, I want to know if the noise I'm hearing is what people refer to as the rattle indicating it could be bad. Should it make no noise at all?? Could someone elaborate what causes the "rattle"? The sound mine makes almost sounds kind of "normal", like solid state material just a little loose inside a plastic housing. (I've shaken functional components before that sound similar to this, and I think that is throwing me off). And does anyone know when a "rattle" is detected in a bad relay, is the noise coming from the relay portion of the device, or the overload protector that is INSIDE the relay? The noise mine is making is coming specifically from the overload protector! I assume the rattle people are referring to are bits of something loose in the relay housing, (not the overload protector at all), due to bits of broken interior parts, or the circuit board that's in there.
So in addition to my initial questions above, specifically about the overload protector, I have a few others to help me sort out exactly what is wrong-
1. Should I suspect the overload protector before suspecting the relay, because of the noise mine is making? (I see that I can purchase just the overload protector, and the relay interior looks fine). By the way, the overload protector looks fine- not burnt- not even dirty or worn looking- clean as can be.
2. Is there a way to test the relay with an ohmeter? FYI- The inside of my relay seems to look okay. (Clean, nothing worn, or even old looking). I see no visible problems like anything burnt. Visually, the basic electrical flow paths look undisturbed. If the relay were bad, would I see burnt or broken things inside it?
3. There's a small circuitboard in the relay with some small diodes. It looks fine, (not burnt). Could it be suspect without visible damage?
I appreciate any thoughts/advice on the matter. I know it would be easy to just buy the whole starter relay kit, but I'd like to know a little bit more about what actually goes wrong with things. And I am most curious about when the relays go bad that they rattle- I want to know if it's the overload protector rattling or the relay protector, and what is loose inside to cause the noise.
Appreciate any help at all!