I have an old Westinghouse freezer (left behind by PO) that when plugged
in runs for half a second, stops, sits for about ten second, then kicks
on for another half second, stops, and so on. Any thoughts on what might
be wrong and if it's an easy fix (e.g. cleaning contacts, or whatever)
or best taken to the dump. TIA for any opinions.
Is it just humming, or does it sound as the compressor motor is actually
running. When my fridge did this, I found the starting relay was sticking. I
bought a new one (solid state) and it has been fine ever since. Costs about
No, it sounds like it's running, not jammed. I'll look at the relay
again, maybe that's it. Pardon my ignorance (I've worked on electric
motors, but not refrigerator/freezer compressors) but is there a motor
inside the "sealed football" and why is it sealed up? Seems like it
could be made much more serviceable if the motor and compressor pump
were separate. Again pardon my ignorance--I only have a doctorate in
aerospace engineering, not refrigeration mechanics! TIA.
I believe the system is hermetically sealed to eliminate a possible leak. If
you have an external motor, it's kinetic energy will have to be transferred
somehow from outside the compressor pump: generally a shaft.
A magnetic-drive system is feasible, but not practical as far as expense
IMO; especially since the hermetically sealed system is tried and true. They
generally don't need servicing and are 'cheap' enough to replace if
Well, I took a gamble and bought a Supco hard-start kit (talked them
down to CA$30 from CA$42) and now the compressor runs for about 4-5
seconds then stops. The hard-start capacitor clicks back on after about
10 seconds and I can repeat the process. The compressor is definitely
running, not jammed, but the problem persists, albeit with a little
longer run time. So perhaps I should have spent the $30 on lottery
tickets instead. Nevertheless, I thank to everyone for their advice. Win
some, lose some.
I had a refrigerator that did this also.
Repairman changed the start switch to a new
solidstate one. Worked ok for a while (a few
years), then stated acting up again. So I bought
a hard start kit (just a large capacitor). No
problems since (many many years).
My best guess is bad starting components on the compressor. An appliance guy
can install a hard start kit, and you can have many years more service from
I've installed a bunch of hard start kits. The last time I talked with a
customer, he said Sears got him $180 for a hard start kit (Gemline) on his
refrig, and it lasted about a year. I charge much less than that (and use
Supco) and seldom have a callback.
My best resource is the guy at the local appliance parts store. I just tell
him what I have and he tells me what is wrong even before I finish
explaining the symptoms.
A jammed compressor would have a bit longer run/reset time than you
described, it certainly could be something like a relay or motor cap
Yes, the sealed compressor has an integrated motor and they are virtually
impossible to service. I tried to cut one open once and barely scratched
the metal (maybe if I had an air grinder....).
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