Fridge freezer repair book information

A few weeks ago I posted here concerning a problem with the cold control thermostat fitted by a repair firm to my fridge freezer unit. In trying to resolve the issue I came across http://www.fridgedoctor.com/ . The Fridge Doctor himself, Mr Yuzik, offers a free advice service, which helped sort my problem out but more importantly, he's produced a book The Fridge Doctor Book, some of which you can read on his site. I sent off for it; it cost 18 including postage, and comes with a cd containing 2 hours of explanitory video. I've spent the weekend looking at it and consider the purchase to be money very well spent. Whilst it's written for the North American market - it comes from Canada - other than the reference to 120V, it's perfectly relevant to UK fridges and freezers, covering every type of fridge/freezer. The book's a real handy size - between A5 and A4 size - with a spiral binder so it always lays flat.
The book has 198 pages and an excellent index. There's lots of cross-referencing to the various chapters and diagrams. It's written in plain English - it's clear and assumes no prior knowledge but goes into great detail where necessary, which the videos on the cd make even easier to understand. The text is laid out in a logical manner; for example, for each component found in a fridge, there is an overview, then its purpose is stated, how it works is then explained, where it can be found in the cabinet and the modes of failure are given. There are plenty of diagrams, again presented in a way that even someone without electrical or engineering knowledge would be able to make sense of. There's plenty on repair and test procedures and troubleshooting charts. There's even a chapter on optimising your fridge and one on repairs to the hermetic system. It's packed with good advice not only on things like the hazards of transporting a fridge but also on food cold storage. The video cd isn't just a repeat of what's in the book; for example, there's a demonstration of the benefits of installing a hard start pack. It's entertaining and interesting and would be worth 18 on its own. It's clear that he's put a great deal of care into compiling both the video cd and the book - a labour of love rather than an exercise to generate income. I've seen nothing even remotely like it on the market.
One of the best things that's happened to me is having had the problem with the fridge and the expensive visit from the dodgy repairman, otherwise I would never have come across this brilliant book which I cannot recommend too highly. It should go without saying - but I'll say it anyway - I have no connection whatsoever with Mr Yuzik or his site other than being one extremely satisfied customer.
Martin
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
So what is a hard start pack? And what are the benefits?
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Hi John,
The details are at
http://fridgedoctor.com/fridge-doctor-book/boosting-your-split-phase-120-volt-compressor.html
Now, I know this is relating to 120V and not 240V. I intend to look into whether 240V packs exist etc. Anyway, I'm reproducing below the info off the above page in case you have problems getting it.
"When a 120 volt split phase compressor is older it sometimes becomes "hard to start". In the process it sometimes ends up burning out its overload or start relay, or it can "short cycle" and cause food in the freezer to thaw. For detailed information on how a compressor is started see the Section Three article "Compressor Start Relay For Split Phase 120 Volt Compressors".
There is a device on the market that most technicians know about that might help make it run for a few more years, but very few home owners know about it. In some cases unscrupulous technicians would rather replace the compressor than install one of these, simply because there is much more work and profit in a compressor replacement. So you would otherwise never hear of it.
The device is called a hard start pack. It is a self contained solid state device that takes the place of the normal relay and overload mounted inside the terminal cover on the side of your compressor.
The hard start pack also adds an enhanced feature to the start circuit that few compressors come with from the factory, and that is capacitance. Capacitance, when in the circuit across the run and start windings, temporarily increases the motor's torque during it's start-up phase and also saves electricity. Typically, a standard 1/4 horsepower compressor that draws a peak amperage of about fourteen amps during start up, will drop to nearly half of that with one of these installed. This situation is not only beneficial to the compressor itself, but to all the contacts in the electrical devices that control it, such as the cold control and defrost timer.
So, due to the relatively low cost, availability, and advantages of this device, at the first sign of trouble such as the compressor cycling on its overload during start ups, or an original relay or overload burn out, instead of getting a replacement original device, why not replace the whole works with one of these? If your compressor still won't start, then you know for sure the compressor is burnt out and needs replacement. After all, if you later decide to get the refrigerator overhauled, it would be a good idea to get the technician to install the hard start pack on your new compressor while he is doing the overhaul.
There are some different sizes available in hard start packs, so you must know your compressors horsepower rating and whether or not it uses a run capacitor, so you get the right one. One common size is rated at 1/12 to 1/5 horsepower, another for 1/4 to 1/3 horsepower, and some newer universal designs are made for use on all domestic compressors.
Caution! Very Important! If your refrigerator was manufactured after 1997 the compressor may use a run capacitor placed between the common and run terminal. You can determine this by taking a close look at the original starter and the wires going to it. Most run capacitors are black and about the size and shape of a 9 volt battery. A special hard start pack that has provisions for the run capacitor must be used in this case. Why? Operating a compressor that was designed to use a run capacitor without one will cause the compressor to burn out in approximately 6 months. The run windings on these newer compressors are not designed to work without the capacitance." etc ... the page then gives fitting details.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.