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geovic

De Amana Go Bzzzzzzz

16 posts in this topic

Yesterday morning, my late 1980's vintage Amana refrigerator started making loud buzzing sounds - 3 seconds long, exactly 90 seconds apart. It seemed to come from the defrost timer, behind the toe panel.


 


It sounded nasty, so I turned off the fridge, went to work, and took a closer look at it in the afternoon. Turned it back on - the condenser fan blew, the buzzing buzzed, but the compressor didn't come on.


 


Turned the defrost timer knob to defrost, and the fan and the buzzing both stopped. Turned it back to cool - fan, buzz, no compressor sound.


 


The buzzing seemed just like when the (ceramic disk) start relay failed a couple of years ago, so I pulled it out, shook it, it didn't rattle, measured 4 ohms across the terminals, and put it back in.


 


Since the buzzing seemed to come from the defrost timer, I pulled it out, and here are the resistance values ...


 


TERMINALS....COOL / DEFROST


........3 & 4.....8.4K / Open


........3 & 1.....8.4K / 8.4K


........3 & 2....Open / 8.4K


........2 & 4....Open / Open


........1 & 2....Open / Closed


........1 & 4..Closed / Open


 


Here are my questions …


 


#1. The timer is bad. Correct?


 


#2. Would the timer motor resistance have caused the periodic buzzing, or is there something else going on?


 


#3. Would the timer motor resistance have prevented the compressor from starting?


 


#3. My current plan is to jumper the #1 & #3 terminals, to bypass the motor. (I have a photo of the inside of the timer, but couldn't figure out how to post it here.) Then I could do a daily defrost manually, until I can get a replacement. (There’s an appliance parts store in the area, but I have an important job to finish that will take another 2 or 3 days, at least.) I’d like to save the food, it’s been 34 hours so far, there’s still a small chance. Also, if a motorless timer will allow the compressor to start, it will prove it’s just the timer, otherwise I’d be spending time and (some) money getting a nonrefundable part, just to find out I’m actually facing a big repair bill, or the cost of a new fridge.


 


I’m going to hack the timer in the next couple of hours, so if you’re knowledgeable enough to know for a fact that this is a bad idea, please post here soon. Or, if you think it’s a good idea, I’d like to hear about that, too.


 


Thanks in advance,


 


George

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Need appliance parts? Call 877-803-7957 now!

model number ?

 

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SX25JW

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#1. The timer is bad. Correct?

#2. Would the timer motor resistance have caused the periodic buzzing,

#3. Would the timer motor resistance have prevented the compressor from starting?

#3. My current plan is to jumper the #1 & #3 terminals, to bypass the motor.

(I have a photo of the inside of the timer, but couldn't figure out how to post it here.)

1) could be

2) no

3) no

4) remove Timer (to prevent Defrost)

Jumper # 1 to # 4

Defrost only needed about once a week

grasshoppers can't post directly here.

post to some photo website, then post the link here

 

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It's a failed compressor. Plain and simple.

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RegUS_PatOff

 

Thank you for your informative reply.

 

I removed the defrost timer and jumpered #1 to #4, like you suggested. The moment I turned the cold control dial ON, the buzzing started, same as before - 3 sec. duration, 90 sec. interval. The condenser fan also started blowing.

 

I crawled behind the fridge to get a better listen and heard a click at the end of the buzz - the overload protector?.

 

Unplugged the fridge and pulled out the start relay and the overload protector (Klixon MRP56AGK-296). Got continuity across the overload protector's terminals. (Measured 4 ohms on the relay, earlier.)

 

The compressor terminals resistances are:

S & R = 5.8

C & S = 4.3

C & R = 1.5

 

There is infinite resistance between each terminal and the compressor case bare metal.

 

I just reread my original post and realized I neglected to mention something - when I first heard the buzz, the fridge was running and the compressor sounded normal. If I'd thought it wouldn't start up again, I wouldn't have turned it off.

 

So, ... the same exact buzz occurred then, when the compressor was running, and now, when the compressor won't start. Does this make sense?

 

I don't understand this because the word all over the Web is that the buzzing indicates that the compressor is trying to start, but if that's the case, why would there be buzzing when the compressor is already running?

 

The buzz doesn't really sound like what I imagine a compressor trying to start would sound like, and there's no other audible indication of the compressor making any kind of effort - no hum, no squeal, no nothing, just bzzzzzz-click.

 

I put a mechanic's stethoscope on the compressor case and the buzz doesn't really sound like it's coming from the inside. In fact, the buzz sounds louder to my naked ear. Also, the click (at the end of the buzz) sounds like it's coming from the same place.

 

I tried whacking the compressor with a rubber mallet while it was buzzing, ... did that over a few cycles, but no joy.

 

I'm assuming the compressor has most probably failed, but I'd like to convince myself more totally before taking drastic ($$$) action.

 

So, please tell me, does any of this lead you to believe the problem might be something other than the compressor?

 

Or, if you're convinced the compressor probably has failed, would a hard start kit be worth a try? If so, can I get one from you or through you? Or can you at least recommend one?

 

TIA,

 

George

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Hard start kits only buy you a month or two time, the compressor will fail again in a few months.  If this compressor says "Techumseh" on it, it's a bad compressor for sure. Now, none of the manufacturers will even use Techumseh compressors, they were that bad.

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Scott,

 

It doesn't say Tecumseh, but FWIW, it's been running for about 25 years now, so how bad could it be :-)

 

There's a big, embossed metal label rivetted to the compressor case and it's covered with cryptic codes. The only things I can make out are the voltage ratings and "Made in Brazil". Wish I could figure out what the horsepower is.

 

George

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post YouTube video of the Compressor buzz

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Techumseh compressors are made in Brazil. These were bad compressors. I bet if you give me the model number, I will look up the compressor and the original Techumseh compressor will be substituted with an Embraco compressor. When I worked for Maytag Factory Service( which included Amana brands), we used to run out of these compressors every summer because we were replacing so many of them.

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Comressor is no longer available for this unit. So, I guess if you want to try a hard start kit until it dies, go for it.

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bad bushing inside the compressor 99.999%

A hard start will most likely get you ...........nothing !

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You could make a Compressor test cord using a hard start device.
Then measure the starting and running current.
 

Buckaroo Banzai Appliantologist
 
I use an RCO410 hard start kit:
http://www.repairclinic.com/SSPartDetail.aspx?s=t-RCO410-%3d%3di965237&PartID=965237
I wire nut an appliance cord to the input side of the hard start and,
the black wire to the top pin on the compressor,
the white to the bottom left,
and the red to the bottom right.
If you have a clamp-on ammeter, put it around one of the wires from the test cord.
Plug it in and see if the compressor starts and watch the meter.
The first couple of seconds after the compressor starts, it should draw something around 9 amps
then go back down to something like 1.2- 2 amps.
If this is the case, this part will almost certainly solve your problem.
You can splice the hard start kit into the wires of your refrigerator,
or, if you prefer, get the O.E.M start device for it.

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Bob,

 

I don't get it. The fridge was running fine when I first heard this buzz last week. The compressor sounded normal. I turned it off until I could take a look at it later in the day. It never occurred to me that it wouldn't turn back on.

 

The thermostat and the timer have been turning it on and off, and it's fine, but when I turn it off, it won't turn back on !!!

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RegUS_PatOff,

 

Did the buzz sound familiar?

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