BTW, use the part number on the label of the compressor and do a google
EM2Z80HLT Embraco is the manufacturer.
BTW-2 The LRC at 17.5 amps is at the higest rated line voltage of 127 volts.
That is why you are seeing a lower reading.
BTW-3 If this were me, I would at least try a new capacitor. Also I would
pop open the relay and have a look see. Maybe the contacts are welded shut
and could be separated and cleaned.
BTW-4 Good luck.
I agree about the cap. The parts guy test could have been it's not
shorted & it's not open. That leaves a bad value. E.g., a too small
capacitance that doesn't provide enough start current. But I guess that
you could test that by measuring the current through the start winding,
using your test rig with cap.
The relay is pretty much eliminated as the problem through using your
Thanks for explaining why I'm only seeing 12 Amps when the compressor won't
start when the Locked Rotor Amperage (LRA) spec is 17.6 Amps.
I generally try to "diagnose" parts before giving up on them. It's just so
much easier (mentally) to replace stuff that I *know* for a fact is bad,
then to replace stuff that I "think" is bad.
I'm sure it is far easier, mentally, for the type of people who "throw
parts at the problem" to replace things that they haven't completely
While the capacitor has been tested, I understand what you're saying, which
is to pay a bit less than $100 to replace the cap and starter, essentially
throwing parts at the problem. Or, similarly, I can pay a bit over $100 to
have a tech come out and tell me, for sure, what needs fixing.
Most of the time, when those are my options, I generally opt to buy the
tools for $100, where the tool either fixes the problem or the tool tells
me exactly what that problem is.
But, in this case, I don't think there is that $100 tool option, is there?
Apart from this problem, a good Fluke DMM would be on my immediate acquire
list. And never loan it out if you want to be able to trust it.
There are "hard start" compressor starters available that might be worth
Can you take some more pictures of the start relay? From different angles?
On Tue, 12 Jul 2016 19:08:52 -0400, Bob Engelhardt wrote:
I was wondering what his suggestion had been.
He kept saying I was ignoring him, but I never saw (or remember seeing) his
suggestion. Maybe it's there. Probably is.
Anyway, as a Hail Mary play, I tried the Supco RC0410 1/4-to-1/3 HP 120VAC
"3n1 Start" Solid State Relay Overload Start Capacitor Combination (6.8A
Maximum Continuous Amps):
2. It easily hooked up to the refrigerator, and, in fact, was far easier
than making the test jig (so, in hindsight, forget the test jig - just hook
up one of these 3n1 Start combos):
Good news and bad news.
A. The first time I connected it, the compressor RAN!
B. The second time I connected it, the compressor kicked off after 20
seconds (and the power cord got hot).
When it was running, the Ammeter read 1.5Amps!
I let it run for about two minutes, and I could feel the output (thin)
discharge tubing getting hot to the touch. The input tubing didn't get a
chance to change temperature.
I told the wife it worked, so I unplugged it to show her that it starts up,
and guess what?
The second time I plugged it in, the overload kicked in after 20 seconds,
and the cord got noticably hot.
If I was confused before - I'm doubly confused now.
I'm gonna let it cool down a bit,
Refrigerators and AC's need to rest before being restarted. I think
that the pressures in the system have to equalize, so that the
compressor is not trying to start against too large a "head".
Normally this happens because when the thermostat turns it off, it's a
while before the thermostat tells it to turn on again.
On Tue, 12 Jul 2016 23:08:07 -0400, Bob Engelhardt wrote:
Thanks for answering so quickly, as I had egg all over my face after
telling the wife that I was a veritable genius and that I fixed it for less
than thirty bucks!
I'll let it cool down, and plug it back in, with the ammeter connected, and
check the current. If it starts, I'll leave it running for a few hours!
I must admit - the information is conflicting - so I'm confused.
a. The old equipment tested good (as far as I could tell)
b. The jumper rig should have bypassed the relay (but not the OEM cap)
c. All this 3n1 "hard-start kit" did was replace those two things
Maybe it's a "bigger" capacitor?
There's no mention on the package of how big the cap is, but physically,
the combination unit is far beefier than the OEM unit. So I dunno...
Do you think it could be as simple as the compressor just needed a
Why would it need a beefier cap?
A more-capacitance cap would have a lower impedance and allow more
current to flow. More current in a motor means more torque.
There is still the possibility that the original cap is defective. That
the parts-place check did not measure capacitance, or if it did, it
wrongly concluded that the capacitance that it measured was the needed
On Tue, 12 Jul 2016 23:26:27 -0400, Bob Engelhardt wrote:
Good news, and odd news.
1. I let it cool down for 1/2 hour and then when I plugged the Supco RC0410
1/4-to-1/3 HP 120VAC "3n1 Start" Solid State Relay Overload Start Capacitor
Combination unit in to the mains, the compressor started again!
2. I left the connections to the motor where they were, which seemed to
match our assumption that the top was the COMMON, and the forward-facing
bottom was the START and the rearward facing bottom was the RUN/MARK
3. You'll notice I am not using the original power cord, so I have the rest
of the frig (including condenser the fan) on its own power supply and the
Supco RC0410 hard-start cap on its own power cord.
3. With the Ammeter on the 15Amp scale, when the compressor was running,
the current on the black COMMON lead was about 3 amps.
4. To doublecheck, I checked the current on the input cord neutrals, which
was also 3 Amps (not surprisingly):
5. When the compressor was starting, the current on the START lead jumped a
bit (maybe double the 3 amps?) and then instantly settled down to zero amps
(or very slightly above zero amps).
6. Then the compressor ran for about 10 or 20 minutes, getting very hot to
the touch, where the output (thin) line was hot enough to burn my
fingertips and even the input (thick) copper line was warm to the touch
(and the refrigerator began to get noticeably cooler inside the doors).
7. After 10 or 15 or so minutes of running, the compressor began to hum
instead of work causing 11 amps to flow through the COMMON lead, and then
the relay clicked off (is that supposed to happen?).
8. Then the compressor turned back on, after about 10 minutes, and worked
for a much shorter period of time, before turning off again (maybe fewer
than five minutes).
Is it normal for a compressor to shut off after getting very hot after
working for only about 10 minutes?
Is it OK to have the frig temporarily on two power cords?
a. One for the fan and the rest of the frig
b. One just for the compressor
Up until now, I was just testing things.
So, instead of running the compressor from its own power cord and running
the rest of the frig on its own power cord, I just now connected the
compressor to the refrigerator main power cord.
Unfortunately, the compressor wouldn't start, so I'll let it cool down for
another hour or so (it's VERY hot to the touch right now).
It would be interesting if the lack of starting was due to a lack of
voltage on the power cord due to "something else" lowering the voltage, but
the power cord tested roughly at 120V with the electrical tester.
Anyway, I started trying to clean the V-shaped condenser coils.
It's amazingly difficult (darn near impossible) to get the brush on the
backside of that upside-down V-shaped set of coils.
On Wed, 13 Jul 2016 07:56:28 -0400, Stormin Mormon wrote:
I don't see why you're so angry.
I'm trying to fix the frig while keeping my sister from saying "I told you
so" and while my wife is constantly asking me when she can have her kitchen
I've never even *looked* at the back of a frig before (although I know
basic refrigeration theory from high-school chemistry).
The 1/2-to-1/3HP hard-start cap isn't working.
Half the time it starts the compressor, and half the time it does NOT start
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