Jump to content


Use this Search Box to Find Appliance Repair Help Now
Need help finding your model number?
365-day return policy on all parts purchased here, even electrical parts that have been installed!


FAQs | Store | Memberships | Repair Videos | Boot Camp | Newsletter | Beer Fund | Contact


Welcome to Appliantology.org, the Web's Premiere Appliance Repair Resource for DIYers!

The world-famous Samurai Appliance Repair Forums


You can post a question and get repair help for FREE! Click here to get started.


Already a member of the Appliantology Academy? Just sign in with your username and password in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.

 


Photo

Frigidare FRS24ZSF started popping GFI

refrigerator GFI

  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 tiggers

tiggers

    Samanera

  • Grasshoppah
  • Pip
  • 14 posts
  • Flavorite Brew:Rouge McRouge scottish ale

Posted 06 December 2011 - 05:56 PM

Hi all. Weekend repair hobbyist here. I could really use some help troubleshooting a fridge that keeps tripping a GFI.

Here’s the background: Frigidare side-by-side, model: FRS24ZSF about 10 years old. Ice maker is off. The fridge is in the garage (beer and frozen pizza mostlyJ) and has worked off the GFI for the last year (I know “no GFI” but it was the closest plug for a convenient fridge location). One day found the freezer door was ever so slightly open. I’m not sure how long it was going, but it looked like it was forming a nice soft snow bank by the door crack. I closed the door and let the kids know (it just had to be them!) to be sure to keep it closed. Two days later I go out and the fridge had tripped the GFI. Luckily things were still frozen inside so it was all moved into the kitchen freezer quickly.

I started trouble shooting and thought the problem was the excess water I found in the freezer section that was causing a short. But after letting it dry for a couple of days it did not fix the problem.

After playing around with it for a little, I can turn the temperature switch to off, plug in the fridge and lights come on. Turn temperature switch to cool and most times the GFI pops. Sometimes (earlier in the testing) it would turn on and start to cool for a while, but would eventually pop the GFI. I thought at first the defrost cycle might be tripping it, but advancing the timer did NOT do the trick (it would still pop the GFI when the temperature dial is turned from off position). I did try plugging it into a separate 20amp circuit, and it would appear to run, although the fridge lights would dim noticeably when the compressor kicked in. Tried it on a second GFI circuit for kicks, but it still popped the GFI. Followed some instructions for testing the compressor leads, and they checked seemed to check out (2.6, 4.5, 7.0 ohms). Starter capacitor is not shorted as well.

I believe the relay switch is the culprit. It did not look to be in the best of condition. The casing on the relay seemed to be loose, but still integral enough when plugged in to work. It did have a faint smell of burned plastic when I held it up close. I’m guessing that this piece probably overheated when the freezer door was left open.

Before I start throwing down cash for a new relay, should I be checking/testing any other components? From what I’ve already researched it seems to point to this. Or could the relay be a symptom of another problem?

Thank you

Use the Appliantology Parts Search Box to Find What You Need!
Enter your model number, part number, type of appliance, brand, or even a part description.
365-day return policy on all parts purchased here, even electrical parts that have been installed!

#2 kdog

kdog

    RoughShod

  • Academy Fellow
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,465 posts
  • Location: Canada
  • Flavorite Brew:Dickens Cider

Posted 06 December 2011 - 06:02 PM

It is not recommended to use a GFCI plug with refrigerator - could have a bad relay and/or compressor. Mesure compressor pins to ground (Copper refrigerant lines)
Help us keep the lights on: buy appliance parts here ==> http://repairclinic.com

For service manuals and lots of other goodies, become an Apprentice ==> Apprenticeship

#3 tiggers

tiggers

    Samanera

  • Grasshoppah
  • Pip
  • 14 posts
  • Flavorite Brew:Rouge McRouge scottish ale

Posted 06 December 2011 - 07:59 PM

Hi kdog, Thank you for the quick reply.

I'll try to move the fridge to another part of the garage next to a dedicated 20amp circuit, but I'd rather not do that just yet till I find were the problem is that's causing the GFI to pop (my worry is the problem will get worse and fail in the future even though it's on a dedicated 20amp circuit).

I measured the three pins on the compressor against each other (2.6, 4.5, 7.0 ohms), and each pin against all the copper tubing coming out of the compressor, and the ground nut on the compressor mount, and found no measured resistance (i.e. no shorts or conductivity, no audible alarm from the multi-meter). Also figured out how to use my meter to measure capacitance, and the starter capacitor is within specification. The white and red wire leads to the relay are measuring 110volts.

The compressor sounded like it was ok when it was running and cooling (ice would just start to form in the test water bottles) and not popping the GFI.
With the relay and starter capacitor disconnected, the fridge lights come on and the condensate fan will run without any trouble.

#4 RegUS_PatOff

RegUS_PatOff

    Sensei

  • Academy Instructor
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 33,588 posts
  • Location: USA
  • Flavorite Brew:Chief NTSC Black & White

Posted 06 December 2011 - 10:39 PM

... and each pin against all the copper tubing coming out of the compressor, and the ground nut on the compressor mount,
... and found no measured resistance (i.e. no shorts or conductivity, no audible alarm

for this test, OHM meter should be on one of the higher ranges ...
.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#5 tiggers

tiggers

    Samanera

  • Grasshoppah
  • Pip
  • 14 posts
  • Flavorite Brew:Rouge McRouge scottish ale

Posted 07 December 2011 - 01:09 AM

Ok. Repeated measuring the compressor pins to ground (copper pipes) per RegUS_PatOff's suggestion and links (highest ohm range) and found the same: no readings from each pin to the copper pipes.

(I confirmed that there was conductivity between the copper pipes just to make sure I was doing it right :))

So I'm guessing that is a good thing as (I think) it is showing that the windings/electrical path inside the compressor haven't shorted to ground (?)

#6 RegUS_PatOff

RegUS_PatOff

    Sensei

  • Academy Instructor
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 33,588 posts
  • Location: USA
  • Flavorite Brew:Chief NTSC Black & White

Posted 07 December 2011 - 03:28 AM

correct ..
.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw

#7 Samurai Appliance Repair Man

Samurai Appliance Repair Man

    Shōgun

  • Fermented Grand Master
  • 28,711 posts
  • Location: USA
  • Flavorite Brew:Sapporo Original Draft Rice Lager

Posted 08 December 2011 - 09:13 AM

Measuring the resistance from the each winding to ground will only reveal a dead short or a low resistance path to ground. This is rarely seen and usually only in catastrophic failures. Most of the failures of this nature will be a high resistance path to ground that develops slowly over time as the varnish insulation on the motor windings is exposed to higher-than-design temperatures and breaks down. To detect this condition, you need to use a special meter called a Megger (mega-ohm meter). Supco makes a nice, rugged one with different colored LED indicator lights for about $100.

#8 kdog

kdog

    RoughShod

  • Academy Fellow
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,465 posts
  • Location: Canada
  • Flavorite Brew:Dickens Cider

Posted 08 December 2011 - 01:05 PM

Some of this "leakage" is expected, therefore they do not recommend using GFCI for the product
Help us keep the lights on: buy appliance parts here ==> http://repairclinic.com

For service manuals and lots of other goodies, become an Apprentice ==> Apprenticeship

#9 tiggers

tiggers

    Samanera

  • Grasshoppah
  • Pip
  • 14 posts
  • Flavorite Brew:Rouge McRouge scottish ale

Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:08 PM

I finally was able to get my hands on a clamp multi-meter to test the white and red wire amperage into the compressor. It was to difficult to get the clamp around either the red or white wire at the relay, so I had to go about a foot worth of wire from the relay to make the measurement. I’ve not used one of these before, but I don’t think this should matter.

I plugged it into my garage 20-amp circuit and turned the fridge on (again, noticeable dimming of the frig light when the compressor kicked on). The clamp meter seems to be a bit sensitive as to the location of the wire in the clamp when a measurement is taken, so I made sure to hold the red wire in the same location in the clamp as the white wire. The red wire seems to be about .1 amps more than the white wire on average.

Just another note when I tried plugging in the fridge into the GFI (garage and kitchen): first plug-in with the fridge off, and relay disconnected, would trip the GFI. Resetting the GFI would allow the lights to come on, and allow me to turn the fridge on (no compressor, but defrost fan would run). Not sure if it’s another clue as to what’s going on, but it’s what I observed.

I went ahead and ordered a new relay. Even if it isn’t the problem, the fact that it was starting to come apart, along with the old burnt plastic smell, probably should be replaced regardless.

#10 appl.tech.29501

appl.tech.29501

    Sensei

  • Academy Fellow
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,025 posts
  • Location: USA
  • Flavorite Brew:Waffle House Coffee

Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:14 PM

and the amp readings were ??
If you would like to make a donation you may do so at the link below

One on one repair help now available !

http://homepage.mac....ppl.tech.29501/

http://twitter.com/ApplTech29501

http://www.facebook.com/ApplTech29501

www.eliteapplianceservice.org

#11 tiggers

tiggers

    Samanera

  • Grasshoppah
  • Pip
  • 14 posts
  • Flavorite Brew:Rouge McRouge scottish ale

Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:16 PM

Follow up: So I went back and wanted to see out what the peak amperage was as I noticed it would drift down to about 1.5-2 amps (depending on where in the clamp I held it) after I put the clamp on. I was curious to see how close to 15 amps (GFI circuit) it was.

Of course the fridge started doing something new Posted Image. After the compressor came on, I would here the relay click, and the compressor go off (first time). Then a few seconds later it would kick back on. It did this a couple of times before it, along with power to the fridge fan/lights, went out, I unplugged the fridge at least once when the compressor was off. Now when I plug it in, the entire fridge is dead (EEKK!). Did something else blow? (breaker on 20-amp circuit is not tripped). If it was the relay, or even the compressor, that died I wouldn’t expect power to the entire fridge to go.

and the amp readings were ??



Oh, sorry. After the amperage was reading steady, it was about 1.5 amps with the wire in the middle of the clamp.

#12 tiggers

tiggers

    Samanera

  • Grasshoppah
  • Pip
  • 14 posts
  • Flavorite Brew:Rouge McRouge scottish ale

Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:30 PM

Sorry for the deluge of info tonight. I went back to clean up and tried to plug it in one more time. Of course, after posting the above, lights came back on and compressor went on (white wire peaked at about 16.5 amps). Relay started to click again, so I powered down and unplugged. After disconnecting the power I heard the relay click again, so I’m assuming that it’s something inside heat activated to protect the compressor (?). Unless someone has some other suggestions to look at/test, I’m going to leave it off till I get the new relay installed least my fiddling breaks something else.

#13 DurhamAppliance

DurhamAppliance

    Sho' Nuff Chozin

  • Grand Master Funk
  • 4,375 posts
  • Location: USA
  • Flavorite Brew:Bells Two Hearted

Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:59 PM

There's definitely a short somewhere. Check you power cord for shorting. The click that you heard after the fridge was unplugged was probably caused by a discharging start capacitor.


Measuring the resistance from the each winding to ground will only reveal a dead short or a low resistance path to ground. This is rarely seen and usually only in catastrophic failures. Most of the failures of this nature will be a high resistance path to ground that develops slowly over time as the varnish insulation on the motor windings is exposed to higher-than-design temperatures and breaks down. To detect this condition, you need to use a special meter called a Megger (mega-ohm meter). Supco makes a nice, rugged one with different colored LED indicator lights for about $100.

Samurai, we need to have a long talk about this... or maybe post more info about this in a blog. Looks like i'm gonna have to get another tool...o happy day!

Durham Appliance Thrift & Repair, LLC

www.DurhamApplianceThrift.com


#14 kdog

kdog

    RoughShod

  • Academy Fellow
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,465 posts
  • Location: Canada
  • Flavorite Brew:Dickens Cider

Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:33 PM

The clicking you hear is the compressor cycling on the overload - 16.5 A is WAY too much, you might be lucky and get away for awhile with a new start device, but it sounds like Compressor is on it's way out.
Help us keep the lights on: buy appliance parts here ==> http://repairclinic.com

For service manuals and lots of other goodies, become an Apprentice ==> Apprenticeship

#15 DurhamAppliance

DurhamAppliance

    Sho' Nuff Chozin

  • Grand Master Funk
  • 4,375 posts
  • Location: USA
  • Flavorite Brew:Bells Two Hearted

Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:45 PM

The clicking you hear is the compressor cycling on the overload - 16.5 A is WAY too much, you might be lucky and get away for awhile with a new start device, but it sounds like Compressor is on it's way out.


Just curious, what would be causing the fridge lights to go out if there is power at the receptacle?

Edited by DurhamAppliance, 11 December 2011 - 10:45 PM.

Durham Appliance Thrift & Repair, LLC

www.DurhamApplianceThrift.com


#16 kdog

kdog

    RoughShod

  • Academy Fellow
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,465 posts
  • Location: Canada
  • Flavorite Brew:Dickens Cider

Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:47 PM

Probably the 16.5 A parallel load
Help us keep the lights on: buy appliance parts here ==> http://repairclinic.com

For service manuals and lots of other goodies, become an Apprentice ==> Apprenticeship

#17 DurhamAppliance

DurhamAppliance

    Sho' Nuff Chozin

  • Grand Master Funk
  • 4,375 posts
  • Location: USA
  • Flavorite Brew:Bells Two Hearted

Posted 11 December 2011 - 10:51 PM

Probably the 16.5 A parallel load


I think I've seen that before but was at a loss to explain it. Thanks!

Durham Appliance Thrift & Repair, LLC

www.DurhamApplianceThrift.com


#18 RegUS_PatOff

RegUS_PatOff

    Sensei

  • Academy Instructor
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 33,588 posts
  • Location: USA
  • Flavorite Brew:Chief NTSC Black & White

Posted 12 December 2011 - 02:13 AM

Measuring the resistance from the each winding to ground will only reveal a dead short or a low resistance path to ground. This is rarely seen and usually only in catastrophic failures. Most of the failures of this nature will be a high resistance path to ground that develops slowly over time as the varnish insulation on the motor windings is exposed to higher-than-design temperatures and breaks down. To detect this condition, you need to use a special meter called a Megger (mega-ohm meter). Supco makes a nice, rugged one with different colored LED indicator lights for about $100.

some good info, some not-so-good info, some doesn't apply

Samurai, we need to have a long talk about this... or maybe post more info about this in a blog.


.

one of my video productions: “Easter Seals: Walk With Me”

every day is Down Syndrome Awareness Day
"A Child Is Waiting" . Burt Lancaster . Judy Garland . 1962

RegUS_PatOff > www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPAY2LsKVEw




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


FAQs | Store | Memberships | Repair Videos | Boot Camp | Newsletter | Beer Fund | Contact


Use the Appliantology Parts Finder to Get What You Need!
Enter a model number, part number, type of appliance, brand, or even a part description.
365-day return policy on all parts purchased here, even electrical parts that have been installed!

Your Sometimes-Lucid Host:
Samurai Appliance Repair Man
"If I can't help you fix your appliance and make you 100% satisfied, I will come to your home and slice open my belly,
spilling my steaming entrails onto your floor."

The Appliance Guru | AppliancePartsResource.com | Samurai's Blog

Real Time Analytics