Refrigerator Compressor Failure?

I have an 11-year old Amana refrigerator that has stopped cooling. The evaporator fan runs but not the compressor. I replaced the compressor relay but that made no difference. When I plug in the fridge the relay makes a clicking sound, like it's trying to start up. Is there anything else I can check, like the start capacitor, or is the compressor shot?
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Bad news, if the compressor is shot. A few years ago, I quit chagning compressors in older boxes, because it had become uneconomical, because unless I practically gave away the labor at flat rate per compressor swap, and sold the compressor at cost, no job.
A "Hard Start" kit, like a 3-in-1, might help. If a 3-in-1 don't start it, and the amperage is abnormal, then it's a goner.
If it's just stuck, hitting the compressor (isolated from the rest of the box) directly with 220 volts for a split second might free it, but this is a hack, at best, and you'll probably be looking at a replacement down the road soon, anyway. And never use the 220 "jump start" trick with the hard start kit connected, or you'll instantly fry the capacitor.
-- -john wide-open at throttle dot info
~~~~~~~~ "The first step in intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts." - Aldo Leopold ~~~~~~~~
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a 11 year old fridge probably isnt worth fixing, but the good news is replacing it will cut your utility bill. new fridges are way more efficent
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it is possible it is the capacitor. you will need either the compressor model# or bring the capacitor with you to match up the correct microferrets I probably spelled that wrong. a meter that is capable of testing microferrets would let you know if its good or bad, it will read the range on the side of the capacitor. If the capacitor is good then compressor is junk. If it is not a built in fridge like some subzero's Ive seen but a normal run of the mill fridge. I agree it is not worth fixing
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hiebs
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wrote:

I beg to differ, but it all depends.
Really old fridges were DAMNED efficient.
Insulation sucks on the newer fridges, but they make up for it with more efficient motors. It's a wash, really.
I'll keep my 30 year old Tappan (built by Amana) side-by-side another 20 years, probably, even if I have to change the compressor someday. Second to Revco, Amana is tops, when it comes to medium-large domestic refrigerators.
Yeah, it uses about 4 amps, at 30 to 40% duty cycle. But no way does it use 400 kWh per month. It's low PF, and the electric company hates low PF loads. The newer models might only draw 2 amps while running, but have a much higher power factor. Overall, it saves on transmission losses, but Mr. Edison charges for kWh, not KVAH. So yeah, in the long haul, newer might be "greener".
But they shot themselves down, in the early '60s, when they went thinwall. Insulation is [almost] everything, efficiency-wise. Those without gas or electricity, who have to buy (and haul) dry ice, already realize this.
--
-john
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Really? When I got rid of an old 12 cu ft fridge and replaced it with a new 18 cu ft frost free, my electric bill dropped $10 a month. Sorry, but you won't convince me old is better.
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After looking at the wiring diagram, it appears to have only a run capacitor. That wouldn't make the compressor fail to start, would it?
I can get an adaptive defrost controller for about $35, but would that also cause the compressor to not run at all?
I am at the point where we are definitely getting a new fridge, but if I could spend a little to get it running and give it away I'd much rather do that than junk it.
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If fridge was stuck in defrost the over load would not be clicking. So either pay for a hard start kit, but first check and see if compressor is shorted to ground.. or junk it.
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I've not seen a refrig with a compressor start cap. At least not original equipment. You can try a Supco boost kit, or try to find a repair guy who has em and can install em.
Since you've already done the relay, you're obviously comfortable with electricity. I did a quick Froogle search, and didn't find the one I use. Ah, well.
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Christopher A. Young
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Christopher, either comfortable with electricity or stupid. There is a capacitor shown on the wiring diagram for the fridge. Looking back, if the capacitor is working correctly, shouldn't I have gotten a shock when disconnecting the relay?
Stormin Mormon wrote:

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No.
Besides:
Many fridges either have no external start /run cap, or it is internal (built into the compressor).
I have seen external caps on older fridges, but they are becoming less and less common.
A lot of old GE and AMANA built (not branded) boxes had them.
If your model has an external capacitor, just replace it. It's only a few bucks. But then again, a hard start kit is only about $25., max.
Why attack Chris? That's the REAL shocker!
BTW: No, the capacitor passes AC, and you will not necessarily get a shock, or even an arc, upon disconnection, ESPECIALLY IF THE CAPACITOR IS BAD! You COULD have some residual charge in the cap, but it's unpredictable, and flaky, at best.
Give us a break, dude!
I've been repairing appliances for decades.

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-john
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The "comfortable or stupid" remark referred to myself, in response to Christopher's post saying I was comfortable with electricity, because I asked about the capacitor shock hazard AFTER working on the fridge. No offense intended.
~^Johnny^~ wrote:

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On Tue, 14 Feb 2006 21:25:11 GMT, "Stormin Mormon"

Shows your lack of experience.
Lots of models have external start caps.

Good. You're not the repair guy. :-)

Shocking, isn't it?

<sarcasm> Talk to Turtle (Terry). He's got a pinchoff tool he'll probably let you borrow. </sarcasm>
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-john
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