Electric zapping noise from fridge

My fridge made a zapping noise (kind of like when Homer Simpson gets zapped) earlier today. The zapping was followed by a harsh burnt rubber smell. The fridge seems to be working ok, but now makes a clicking noise every 2-5 minutes or so. Any ideas on what might have happened? Thanks in advance.
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On Tue, 15 Jan 2008 15:02:02 -0800 (PST), Matt

starter and/or capacitor..
Just fixed a freezer with the same/similar indicators - burnt smell, attempts to start...burnt more...
YMMV
Oren --
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or motor brushes
or compressor seal/bearings
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On Wed, 16 Jan 2008 00:26:35 -0000, AZ Nomad

Not likely. The motor is hermetically sealed inside the heavy gauge metal canister (took me forever to cut open one) and bathed in oil. That's why it is "silent". The only rubber inside it is a short length of insulated wire. If this burns the odors wouldn't escape from inside the canister and you won't be able to smell it.
There is a compressor starter relay attached to this canister. That's the most likely source of the sparks. The best way to find out is to pull the fridge out so that you can see the compressor and watch what happens when the compressor comes on.
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the compressor doesn't have a seal with a shaft going through it?

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Not on residential refrigerators.
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On Wed, 16 Jan 2008 19:50:28 -0000, AZ Nomad

The outside connections are 1. short wire from the relay to the motor brushes. 3. three tubes: one refrigerant out, one refrigerant return and one refrigerant recharge. This last one is normally pinch sealed.

compressor is a very simply constructed single cylinder banger built like a tank and will never break down. This compressor crankshaft is extended to form the electric motor shaft. This compressor-motor combo is mounted vertically on four compression springs welded to the bottom of the canister. The compressor to spring mounting is with rubber grommets. This locates the combo in the middle of the canister and the arrangement is for noise isolation. This is also why you must not lay down a fridge or air conditioner on its side as a grommet may pop out off its spring. That causes the combo to be unbalanced and you will hear an annoying metallic clunk every time the compressor starts up or stops. The wobble from inertia causes the combo to hit the side of the canister. With time that flexes the inside electrical wire to the motor and fractures it. That how I got my (office fridge) compressor to cut open. Internal compressor problems are not fixable.
The vertical mounted combo has its motor shaft end dipped in around two inches of oil at the bottom of the canister. The motor commutator is half submerged in oil, so neither the brushes nor the commutator will wear out over the life of the fridge. Something else will crap out first. The function of the oil is to act as a solvent and therefore a storage reservoir for the refrigerant. It of course serves as a lubricant. There is a third function I had not suspected of before and which most fridge guys don't know about. When the compressor runs oil is drawn through the motor shaft-crankshaft and spews out the top like a lawn sprinkler. As the oil passes through the crankshaft it absorbs heat from the compressor. The hot oil spewing out from the top is flung to the side of the canister where it runs down to the reservoir. The wall of the canister dissipates heat from the hot oil. This means the compressor canister will fell hot but will never get hot enough to scald or to set something on fire.
The design features of the fridge compressor have been around for probably as long as modern fridges have been around. I can't conceive any improvements that can be made to this design. The only change I know of is the replacement of Freon with a non CFC eco friendly refrigerant. This advertised claims of high efficiency fridges for which you pay a premium price is no more than improvements in insulation and cosmetic changes. the canister. The motor commutator is half submerged in oil, so neither the brushes nor the commutator will wear out over the life of the fridge. Something else will crap out first. The function of the oil is to act as a solvent and therefore a storage reservoir for the refrigerant. It of course serves as a lubricant. There is a third function I had not suspected of before and which most fridge guys don't know about. When the compressor runs oil is drawn through the crankshaft-motor shaft and it spews out at the top like a lawn sprinkler. As the oil passes through the crankshaft it absorbs heat from the compressor. The hot oil spewing out from the top is flung to the side of the canister where it runs down to the reservoir. The walls of the canister dissipates heat from the hot oil. This means the compressor canister will fell hot but will never get hot enough to scald or to set something on fire.
The design features of the fridge compressor have been around for probably as long as modern fridges have been around. I can't conceive any improvements that can be made to this design. The only change I know of is the replacement of Freon with a non CFC eco friendly refrigerant. This advertised claims of high efficiency fridges for which you pay a premium price is no more than improvements in insulation and cosmetic changes..
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