GE refr.: compressor starts then stops after few sec's

Hello,
I have a General Electric refrigerator that just stopped working, meaning that no cooling happens anymore. I can sometimes hear the compressor trying to start, but doesn't get going (just like a car that has been left in the cold for a long time).
If I unplug it for 15 min. or so and then replug it in, I then hear the compressor starting every minute or two, but after a few seconds the compressor stops. The compressor fan remains running for several minutes. After a few iterations of this, the problem reverts to that of my first paragraph above (i.e. compressor won't start anymore).
I have checked the coils at the bottom of the refrigerator; they are relatively clean.
Unfortunately, I had bought this refrigerator at a used-appliances store. I just realized someone had ripped off the labels from the back side of the refrigerator. Now I have no idea what the model number is.
Any pointers would really be appreciated!
Tow
If you see a 'X' in my address, please remove it before e-mailing me.
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Here are some additional details...

Actually, to be more accurate, I hear a buzzing sound, something like a motor that is stuck (or tied to too much weight), as if internally it is shorting.

The refrigerator is a no-frost freezer-on-top type.
If you see a 'X' in my address, please remove it before e-mailing me.
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It sounds like the compressor isn't able to start up. That could be just caused by poor voltage coming to it (like from running it on an extension cord) but could be a problem in the compressor's starting relay and/or overload protector or the compressor itself.
When you say you bought it at a used-appliances store, how long ago and did they provide any kind of warranty? It may not be a case of them "ripping you off" but just happenstance. Contact them and see what they have to say. Shit happens unfortunately.
BTW. Do not allow the compressor to continue to click on and off on its overload protector. If the compressor isn't already the cause, it could be damaged otherwise. When you hear it clicking on and off, disconnect power to it for 15+ minutes to allow the compressor to cool. If it doesn't start up after that, unplug it and have it serviced.
Dan O. - Appliance411.com http://ng.Appliance411.com/?ref411=+GE+fridge
=~~~~~~

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snipped-for-privacy@umich.edu wrote in message wrote:

Hi,
Like Dave mentioned the odds are this is a bad compressor :(
It is possible the compressor is drawing too much current and shutting off on the safety overload... http://www.applianceaid.com/refrigerator.html#clicking A little info on this that may help.
jeff.
Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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Hi Tow,
Your 'averages' on this problem aren't very good. About 90% of these are shorted compressor windings, and these days we don't replace compressors out of warranty. It's just too expensive.
There a few cases where the refrig relay or overload have gone bad, but it's pretty rare. And even when you find a relay badly burnt, it's usually bc the compr windings shorted and 'fried' it.
This can be verified with a digital VOM. The compr has 3 terminals, C, S, and R. Basically, the resistance between S and R must *exactly* equal the sum of the two readings from C to R and C to S. Even 1/2 ohm difference indicates an internal winding short, which requires compr replacement.
That's more than you ever wanted to know, I'm sure <grin>. I'd probably recommend replacing your refrig, pref with a Whirlpool-sourced unit.
Wish the news were better. Hope that helps your decision-making a little.
God bless,
Dave Harnish Dave's Repair Service New Albany, PA snipped-for-privacy@sosbbs.com 570-363-2404
I'm a 30-year pro appliance technician, and love sharing what I've learned - in a FREE Monthly Appliance Tips Newsletter: www.DavesRepair.com
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What you are describing (and Dan O, and Jeff are thinking, also) is a compressor that doesn't want to start.
Sometimes a "hard start kit" can be used to help the compressor to start. Many appliance guys have these available. The ones I use are made by Supco, and I really like them.
Last year I got to replace a hard stat kit that Sears put on. It was by Gemline. It (the Gemline) died after a couple months. I've had few callbacks with Supco.
--

Christopher A. Young
Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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This is the gemline version of a 3in1 relay kit... http://www.repairclinic.com/referral.asp?R 3&N5237 Relay capacitor overload.
jeff. Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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Dan, Jeff, Christopher, and everybody else:
Thanks a lot for your follow-ups and insight. I get the distinct feeling that a compressor is not a cheap component to replace (over $100, right?). I might (barely) be qualified to try to replace it, but the sheer size and weight of the refrigerator makes this quite impossible, especially since I can't afford to turn my kitchen into a repair shop. :(
In case anybody wants this thing for free, let me know. Otherwise, I'll probably let Sears take it to the junkyard. I've ordered a Kenmore 73142 as replacement; will post a product review in Epinions.com within 2 weeks.
Again, thanks a lot to everybody..
Tow
If you see a 'X' in my address, please remove it before e-mailing me. Do not add me to any MicroSoft address book; I do not want your viruses. I track and report spammers; do not send me junk mail.
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snipped-for-privacy@umich.edu wrote in message

Best of luck with the new refrigerator!! :)

Often $300.00-400.00 to replace a common compressor.
jeff.
Appliance Repair Aid http://www.applianceaid.com /
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Most of the time works out about $300 when I do it.
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Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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The cheapest refrig compressor I've seen in awhile was about $90 for an aftermarket, and that's wholesale.
GE..... let me pause and smile here. The fellow at my parts house calls that brand "generally expensive".
I think you've got the right idea to replace it. Personally, though, I don't like anything Sears makes. Possible exception for Craftsman tools. I used to work for Sears service. I don't like thier service department either. I worked for them for about four weeks.
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Jesus: The Reason for the Season
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