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Old 09-18-2012, 05:15 AM   #1
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Refrigerator not working = Help?


Quick backstory...

The refrigerator is 22 years old. It has been running fine in a friends house for 22 years. He was getting rid of it so I got it. Put it in my truck on its back. Moved it home an stood it up for a day so the compressor drained back down if it even needed to. The coils are on the bottom.

Anyway, I cleaned it out and plugged it in. Turned the thermostat on and the compressor kicked on. It ran for a few minutes then shut off. It won't cycle back on now. I tried unplugging it and waited several minutes. Still no go. I can hear the switch click so there seems to be mechanical contact there but I'm willing to be its something on the compressor side or a relay or a safety switch?

Anyone have a clue where i should start? I'm familiar with refrigeration systems and the basics just not familiar with refrigerators and their "circuitry". I have test equipment to check the refrigerant levels but I'm not getting that far into it until I need to.

Thanks

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Old 09-18-2012, 12:44 PM   #2
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bad scenario 1st; compressor may be shot. Reefer could be equipped with a circuit breaker of some sort, look up model number at an appliance parts site Most have parts diagrams. Some have wiring diagrams, pdf owners, repair manuals. And do a check for electrical connections loosened in transit. Could have been one almost ready to fall, compressor vibrations finished job.
What is amperage and wire gauge of circuit it is trying to run on? Should run on 15 amp, depending on what else is on circuit. Induction motor needs a higher burst to start than run. Over loaded or under wired circuit, over long extension cord could not be delivering that boost.
I have an El Cheapo 8 gal air compressor, when empty it starts and runs fine on 15 amps but won't start or recycle if partially filled, just hums, doesn't blow circuit or burn out motor. Probably would if I let it keep trying. On 20 amp or if I just bleed some air to relieve starting load it works fine.

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Old 09-18-2012, 02:50 PM   #3
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Refrigerator not working = Help?


what switch do you hear click? the thermostat or the relay on the compressor. If you hear the relay clicking it could either be a bad relay or the compressor may have locked up. No real good way to check a relay. 22 years old may not be worth it.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:33 PM   #4
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You can jump a relay, but that can be a shocking experience.
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by notmrjohn View Post
You can jump a relay, but that can be a shocking experience.
not a very smart thing to say on these forums, I know your joking (at least I hope you are) but how would the op know that. He may take you at your word and try it
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Old 09-18-2012, 08:27 PM   #6
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Refrigerator not working = Help?


"that can be a shocking experience. " Anybody not smart enuff to get that, not smart enuff to know what jumping relay means. But warning heard and heeded.
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Old 09-25-2012, 05:29 AM   #7
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Refrigerator not working = Help?


Well after doing some digging around, more like browsing to see what was under the referr and where, the unit turned on. It's been on since and cooling fine. That was several days ago it turned on. Me thinks the defrost timer may have been in the middle of a cycle or going into a
Cycle and just needed to realize there was nothing to defrost

All in all it works and beautifully. And when it does die, I'm recovering the r12 refrigerant and charging my old fords air conditioning LOL
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:13 AM   #8
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I lived next to an appliance business for 14 years, owner was my land lord. Never ever lay a refer down unless you are taking it to the dump or recycle center. You can get lucky but often once the oil drains out of the compressor that's it.
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Old 09-25-2012, 08:44 AM   #9
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Well, that's cool. Hah! I crack me up.
I reckon the oil finally drained down. Why the compressor didn't lock and burn out when there wasn't enuff oil I dunno. Could be there is an auto reset overload protection breaker. It kept tripping and resetting until it would run. Could be your browsing jiggled a wire connection back into place. Could be the thermostat is "iffy" and messin with it finally made contact. Could be you got the magic touch, my Dad had that, he could fix most nearly anything. But sometimes he'd open something, take a look, say "There's nothing fixable in there," close it back, and it was "fixed."

Here's a site that was some nice clear diagrams, enter the model number and see if you learn anything. if you didn't find a wiring diagram in your browsing, there are sites that have some, some are "wiki" sites where folks post diagrams. Google "wiring diagram" and your model number.

Could be the psychic emanations from here scared the thing into starting, it knew there was no use goofing off anymore.
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Old 09-26-2012, 09:24 PM   #10
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Hello.
I have picked up a Frigidaire side by side from a neghibor who was getting rid of it. Brought it home and it is for my garage. I plugged it in and it would not work, I turned the cooling control knobs and got it to fire up. The problem that I am having is that when it runs for a few, the GFI trips and the refer shuts off. I tested the Defrost Thermostat and it needed another one. I also tested the heater itself and it is good when I checked it with an Ohm meeter. I have also adjusted the Timer Switch which is at the bottom of the unit and it seems to be ok. I am at the point now where it will run for 20 minn and then the GFI will trip. When the unit is running, it is quiet and nice and the freezer is doing its job by getting cold. Does anyone have an idea why the unit keeps on tripping after it runs for 20 minn? Could I have a faulty Timer? Please help.

Thank you.

Last edited by Vasken Jibilian; 09-26-2012 at 09:27 PM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 05:17 AM   #11
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Refrigerator not working = Help?


how was it tranported... upright or on its side,and was he using it... unplugged it and it wasn't left off for a long time.
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Old 09-27-2012, 07:47 AM   #12
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Refrigerator not working = Help?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasken Jibilian View Post
Hello.
I have picked up a Frigidaire side by side from a neghibor who was getting rid of it. Brought it home and it is for my garage. I plugged it in and it would not work, I turned the cooling control knobs and got it to fire up. The problem that I am having is that when it runs for a few, the GFI trips and the refer shuts off. I tested the Defrost Thermostat and it needed another one. I also tested the heater itself and it is good when I checked it with an Ohm meeter. I have also adjusted the Timer Switch which is at the bottom of the unit and it seems to be ok. I am at the point now where it will run for 20 minn and then the GFI will trip. When the unit is running, it is quiet and nice and the freezer is doing its job by getting cold. Does anyone have an idea why the unit keeps on tripping after it runs for 20 minn? Could I have a faulty Timer? Please help.

Thank you.
So it is only a GFCI in a wall receptacle or in a panel circuit breaker that trips after 20 minutes?

Not exactly kosher but for a fridge that is otherwise running fine but trips the GFCI, I would do these two things:
1. Plug it into a non-GFCI-protected receptacle (using a not too light extension cord if needed).
2. Connect a #16 to #12 bare wire from the body or frame of the fridge to any known ground, preferably the panel ground or the fat ground wire (grounding electrode conductor) coming out of the panel.

At your leisure from time to time, unplug the refrigerator for a few minutes and test resistance between neutral plug prong (larger of the two, or leftmost if you point the prongs away from you with the ground prong down) and the frame. If you get less than "infinity" then you may have an intermittent ground fault that trips the GFCI. At your leisure you can try to find and correct the ground fault although this will be difficult and I don't have any hints.
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Last edited by AllanJ; 09-27-2012 at 07:55 AM.
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:19 AM   #13
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Refrigerator not working = Help?


" Connect a #16 to #12 bare wire from the body or frame of the fridge to any known ground," I'm not so sure about that, if it is truly a grounding problem, it could be some part is not grounded to the frame or grounding circuit.
But A refrigerator should not be on a GFCI circuit to begin with.The high inductive load of the compressor is gonna trip it. Use a non protected grounded outlet that you are sure is grounded. A reefer should be on its own dedicated circuit. Use of extension cord is not good idea. Best to bring the dedicated circuit to it. If it is absolutly necessary, extension cord should be as short as possible, 6ft max, rated for 15 amps, and at least 14 gauge wire. Larger is better. Longer than 6', your getting into some heavy wire so may as well add new circuit.


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Old 09-27-2012, 08:52 AM   #14
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Refrigerator not working = Help?


Thank you all of you who have responded to my post. Today I am going to check the ground issues and see if that takes care of the problem. Just an FYI, from what I read and understand, Florida Law requires that all outlets in a garage are to have a GFI. I guess this law passed about 8-10 years ago. Is there any other way around this? I will post again of my findings and will let you know if this takes care of it.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-27-2012, 09:10 AM   #15
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Refrigerator not working = Help?


Is this a wall mounted gfi for just garage? What is amp rating for it? Separate dedicated circuit with high amp GFI, satifies law. Most GFI protected main distribution panels can handle high amp appliances. Some have marked unprotected circuits for appiances.

Have you tried reefer in non GFI protected grounded circuit yet? Could save you lots of time in searching for possibly non existant ground problem.

Once you are positive there are no ground issues in reefer or non GFI circuit (there are cheap ground testers that just plug in to outlet) and realizing legal and safety concerns, you could run reefer cord thru wall to inside outlet.

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