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Frigidaire FRS26LF8CS1 Side by side overload relay question


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10 replies to this topic

#1 Visser

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 05:51 AM

Good morning all,
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!

Visser

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#2 Visser

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:08 AM

BY THE WAY- sorry forgot to mention- I do not suspect the run capacitor specifically as i tested it to be okay- with a DMM- I was told to set the DMM to the highest resistance setting when i touch the leads to the run capacitor spades I should see the meter read from zero ohms, (or past zero), and gradually climb to infinity. Then switch the leads and it should do the same. That's what it is doing, so as long as I was told correctly, the run capacitor seems okay. Also, I understand the compressor could ultimately be the culprit, but I think I'm best off suspecting the starter relay device first, especially since the fridge ran fine with no issues until the power surge from the storm seemed to be the cause of the trouble. I did expect to see the relay or the overload protector fried when I opened it up though.

Here is pic of the start device. The overload protector is inside of this.

#3 Visser

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 06:13 AM

Sorry couldnt find how to attach a pic when adding the last post. Here's a link to the start device.
http://www.repaircli...ber=FRS26LF8CS1

#4 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:04 AM

The overload is easy to check with your meter. Just put your probes on its terminals and check continuity. Can do the same with the relay: should have continuity between the two holes that stick onto the compressor posts.

Here's the part link to your replacement relay/overload combo, called a start device ==> Start Device

#5 Visser

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 08:42 AM

It's an honor to get a reply from you, oh Grand Master!

Thank you so much for the quick reply. I do have continuity through both the relay and the overload protector, so they should technically be okay. I DO NOT have continuity through the run capacitor- it's my understanding that this is the case for a good run capacitor, am I correct about that? As mentioned I do have a resistance reading through the run cap, but NOT continuity.

So it appears that I should suspect the compressor as having gone out. Though I'm puzzled that it could possibly be since it was working just fine until a power outtage, which only lasted a few minutes, and we noticed just as soon as the power came back on that the compressor was not kicking on. When I noticed the issue, I unplugged the fridge for about 30 minutes to give it a chance to reset and it still did the hummm click cha cha. The fridge is a 2004 model, so I know the compressor could have just died, and the timing was weird in that it happened to have done it right before the outtage. Is it possible that the compressor could have been damaged by a power spike without the relay or overload protector being damaged?? I would think they would have taken a hit also. Cana compressor just quit working without having a few noticeable issues??

As mentioned, I tested the compressor by checking the resistance across the pins and got good readings. Ohms across two of the pins added up to the sum of the largest of the 3 readings, which I'm told indicates all ok there- (understanding of course the compressor could still be bad due to mechanical failure or the like). I do have a 3 in 1 hard start kit, do you recommend I try that to make determination that the compressor is bad? Or am I best off ordering a new start device on the chance that it could still be bad regardless of the signs it is working okay?

Appreciate your thoughts/opinion!!

#6 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 09:01 AM

I can't remember the last time I replaced a bad run capacitor.

Compressor windings sound okay. Set your meter to Rx1K (or higher if you have it) and check from one of the compressor posts to ground. Any reading at all is bad.

Ohms checking is diagnostically preliminary but it is not diagnostically conclusive. Something can check good on ohms but still be bad (fail under load). The relay contains a PTC silicone material who's resistance increases with temperature so it effectively acts like a relay. It is this silicon material that cooks and makes the rattling noise.

I would replace the start relay kit. Chances are that's the problem. If it doesn't fix it, return it for a refund!

#7 Visser

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Posted 07 September 2011 - 11:50 AM

Thanks so much for the great help, and the prompt responses. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge of what best to do, its very helpful to know the things you indicated!

I'll check the compressor posts to ground, and put a start relay kit in and let you know what happens!

Thanks!

Visser

#8 Visser

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:40 PM

Waiting for the new start relay to arrive. In the meantime I thought of one more clue I can share if anyone wouldn't mind commenting. (I've opened the old starter relay in hopes of seeing something broken or fried inside as an obvious sign of failure, in hopes of a sign that it's not the compressor. It looks clean, and tests okay with an ohmeter.). As Samurai Appliance Repairman points out, I know ohm tests are diagnostic, and not necessarily conclusive, and I do realize that these things can fail without signs of damage. I'm almost certain it's the relay. But while I wait for my new one, does anyone mind commenting on this bit of evidence- Something I observed when I first discovered it doing the hummmm, click cha-cha-

When I first unplugged the fridge when hearing the problem, I let it sit for hours before plugging it back in to make sure I was indeed having a problem. The compressor started up right away, (the hummmm), then I heard the click, and it quit running. Couple minutes later, it clicked, compressor started (the hummm), ran a few seconds, then clicked as it quit running. The click is obviously coming from the start relay, and I assume it's the overload protector I'm hearing. I only let this cycle go twice before I unplugged the fridge. THEN I noticed the relay was really, really hot on the bottom of the relay where the overload protector is located internally.

My question is- is the fact that it is getting really hot, really quick any indication that it could be bad? Or would it get hot like this if it was just "working", or "doing its job" as it stops the compressor from running? Seems to me a lot of heat for just clicking the compressor off a couple times.

Would sure appreciate any thoughts while I twittle my thumbs in hope its only a relay while I wait for the replacement to come in. (Chuckle)! Also just very curious, I like to know for sake of helping somebody else someday....

Many thanks,

Visser

#9 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 10:51 PM

... I let it sit for hours before plugging it back in ... The compressor started up right away,... then I heard the click, and it quit running.

... hhmm.. could be a bad Relay... (if it's not disconnecting the Start winding)
or maybe a bad Compressor .. or maybe a weak Overload..
If you could measure the current draw with a clamp-on amp meter, while it's running ...
There's also a Compressor Test Line Cord (with alligator clips and Fuses) you could possibly wire.. (if needed)
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#10 Visser

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Posted 08 September 2011 - 11:11 PM

It does seem to lean toward a bad compressor unfortunately. (To me it seems like the compressor is starting up okay, then quitting after a second cause the overload protector trips- which makes it seem like the compressor is causing that to happen). I don't have a clamp on meter- should really get one.

I may be mistaken that the compressor is running. I just assumed the humm that all describes is the compressor actually running. In my case, when I first heard the humm, click from the front side of the fridge, I wouldnt have thought it was the compressor making the humm noise. It seemed like a humm from something trying to start the compressor. But when in back of the fridge, and looking at the comprtessor and touching it, it seems it is running. I might be wrong.


At any rate, my new relay will be here tomorrow sometime, and I'll obviously know within minutes of getting the part if its the relay or not. I'll post back when I try the new realy.

Thanks to you both for the great help, advice, and knowledge!

Visser

#11 Visser

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Posted 09 September 2011 - 05:21 PM

PROBLEM SOLVED!! It was indeed the relay, (and I suspect the overload protector specifically. Even though it looked fine and had continuity, it rattled and was getting hot. And also the fact that a power surge is what started the problem to begin with.).

Got the new relay in today. Put it in, and the fridge fired right up, started getting cool right away, and seems to be running fine.

Thanks Samurai, and RegUS for the great help!!

One last question if you don't mind me troubling you a bit further. The new relay uses a new wire connector, (which I have), that splices into the wires at the fridge. I just twisted the wires together and wrapped them in electrical tape just to get it fired up and see that it is working okay. What is most recommended to do for permanent connection? Should I wire nut them, or use crimp connectors?

Thanks,

Visser




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