Refrigirator - runs, stops, does not restart

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Hi All,
A bit tricky refrigerator problem. Unit is 12 years old Sears (made by GE) top freezer. Symptoms are that it starts and cools for a while, but stops and does not restart. Compressor quite hot - can hold finger on it for 4 sec. All fans are running. Coils clean.
Sounds like overload, but why is it overloading? How hot should the compressor case get in normal operation? Could a bad run capacitor cause that?
Rich
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In order:
No one here can tell you, but it might be due to age, and worn winding insulation, bushing wear on armature...etc As hot as it needs to be to work. IF it had a run cap, yes, a start cap, no...most have a START cap.
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Hi Steve,
" snipped-for-privacy@carolinabreezehvac.com"

I peeled a ckt diagram from the back of the unit. It's confusing. The cap is labeled RUN Capacitor, but it has a PTC (must be Positive Temperature Coefficient) relay.
To add to the confusion, the "relay" is shown connected to both main and auxiliary windings. TMK a PTC device only senses the aux winding current and goes open when it gets hot.
Rich
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The way that one works is that if the start windings heat up, it will open as well, so thats PROB not your issue.
Reading what you wrote to Stormin, (amazing that guy gets anything right) I would put your rear cover back and see what the current draw is on the unit.if you have a signal splitter this is easy, otherwise you need to find a place where you can clamp on and determine if its drawing more than rated. If yours is labeled RUN cap, you have a run cap...easy enough.

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RichK wrote:

A PTC or positive temperature coefficient device is a type of circuit breaker. Some of the new ones supposedly work as a relay where if one circuit is overloaded it can break the other circuit.
Another cause of an overworked motor/compressor is low household voltage or low voltage at the outlet.
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Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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Stormin brought up a good point--on most refrigerators with a fan forced condenser under the unit, the cover must be on to get proper air circulation. On most, the fan draws air over the condenser coil, and then blows it out over the compressor (even though the air is warmer than room temp, after going through the condenser, it will still help keep the compressor cooler. There are some units that this does not apply to, but it does to most. Put the cover on and try it. Larry
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Hey, I still want my consultation fee!
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I'd suggest replace the cardboard. And then send me the $48.50 consultation fee, instead of sending it to the impolite fellow.
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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1
On Mon, 18 Jul 2005 12:19:03 GMT, "Stormin Mormon"

Is that how much your wager is, that it isn't the timer? <g>
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--
-john
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Naah, I want to get paid either way.
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Incidentally, I want YOU, Johny, to send me 48.50 for customer education.
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This is Turtle.
About 10 to 15 years ago G/E and also Kenmore had a recall of all G/E refigerators with the rotory compressor on them. more than half was not told because of bad reporting by sales points as to telling the customer to get their compressor changed out for nothing. the Problem was the compressor would go ineffeciant or not pumping good enough and cause problem with it running.
now that the Refrigerator are over the 5 year warranty on them . they don't have to replace the compressor but will offer you $100.00 coupon on any other G/E appliance that you may choose.
Call the G/E Hot line and give model and serial number and see if they are still giving out the coupons for new appliances. i have not called in a few years and G/E may have decided to forget about the coupon program , but it's still a good try for it.
Now G/E was always good for having shell leaks of freon to deal with. So could be low on freon to give the same effect.
TURTLE
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this happened to my dual unit. We defrosted the inside and it turned out the motor was frozen in about 3 inches of ice. When we defrosted it, we onlt watched the ice inside the freezer melt, we did not give enough time for the ice BEHIND the freezer to melt. I would suggest defrosting it for 1-2 days and letting all the ice melt, inside and out, and see if that helps.
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----- Original Message -----

Thanks Turtle, will give them a call, it would be nice to get $100 off, if I have to replace it.
Rich
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this is turtle.
The coupon is only good for '''''' any '''''' G/E appliances worth over $100.00 in value. it will work for Driers, washers, or air conditioners.
That Bo Bo cost G/E $90,000,000.00 . It was costing them $480.00 total cost a piece to change the compressors.
TURTLE
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Does the back of the fridge have a big piece of cardboard, probably with some fiberglas? Did you put the cardboard back after cleaning?
You mention "all fans running", which should be all two of them.
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"Stormin Mormon"

You got me :-) No I did not replace the cardboard cover. Still in the basement somewhere. Did not think it did much, except lower the noise.

Correct.
I banged on the controls (thermostat and deforst timer) area and it seems to start it.
Rich
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Dear Rich, The way a refrigerator is supposed to work, the fan draws air across the coils (in) and dumps the hot air across the condensate drain pan (out). If you leave the cardboard off, the air flow goes in a tiny little circle. It doesn't draw over the coils, and out over the drain pan. So, the refrigerator over heats. Put the cardboard back, and the refrig will cool much better. There is a theory on usenet that all repair guys are impolite. I wonder who is feeding that rumor?
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-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- Hash: SHA1
On Mon, 18 Jul 2005 12:19:03 GMT, "Stormin Mormon"

I don't believe that for a minute.
The rear panel is mainly to keep foreign objects, kids, pets, etc out of the compartment, as they could obstruct airflow, cause damage, and the wiring represents a shock hazard. It also cuts down on noise. For this reason, the rear cover is often insulated .. for sound.
The condenser fan sits right behind the coil, and has its own shroud to ensure good airflow.
I have seen people replace missing panels with a plain piece of cardboard, and it caused overheating, as the original cover had vent slots punched in it, right behind the compressor, to allow the hot air to be exhausted right out the back. I have never seen a unit overheat because of a missing rear panel.
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--
-john
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