Kung Fu Maintenance Shows refrigerator compressor buzzing won’t start fridge freezer stopped cooling repair video.
Oh, man. What such a nice, comforting sound. Now, all of the sudden, what’s that buzzing sound? Not good, and it’s feeling kind of warm in the fridge. I still have some ice cubes but it’s like they’re starting to melt. I’m going to pull out the fridge and have a look. It sounds like the refrigerator compressor is not starting. Okay, if you’re hearing that sound and what it is is the compressor in the fridge has stopped running so you’re going to want to unplug it, pull off the back panel here.
This cardboard here is actually useful to the function of the machine, so you don’t want to throw it away, or you don’t want to tear it off, or anything like that. You really do want to take the screws off and save it for putting it back on because it aids in the energy efficiency of the refrigerator. So I’m going to pull out all of the screws here and then, we’re going to look at what is the relay and the common start and run terminals on the refrigerator compressor. What I have is these starter packs. I’ll be taking it out.
If you’re taking care of multiple fridges, it’s a good idea to keep some of these starter packs on hand in case the fridge goes down especially if you have multiple varieties of types of fridges. If you have all the same brand, you can kind of stock the correct capacitor relay for your fridges, and you can just change that. If not, you can use these starter packs. The starter pack is kind of nice. It’s a three-in-one starter pack, and they come in different horsepower sizes. There’s a one-third to one-fourth horsepower. It’s a common size. And, I find that works for older refrigerators.
The black and the blue hot wires are another size. It’s a one fifth to one twelth horsepower, and this works, in my experience, better for newer frigs. What I usually do is stock both of them and if I have a fridge that goes out, then I’ll use the lower horsepower, one first, and I try that. And if that doesn’t work then, go with the higher one. A lot of times, if the situation is kind of you’ve got nothing to lose, you can, again, get the DR manufacture design relay for these. But sometimes, in a situation where you don’t want the food to spoil or you need it right away, it’s definitely nice to have these starter packs so you can get it going.
The design on these is not that easy to get into. As you can see, it’s pretty cramped quarters, pretty tight, a lot going on with the refrigerant tubing and everything, but it’s enough to get in there and get it done. The starter pack comes in two different sizes. As I was telling you, those are the most common and generally, will get you through just about anything you come across. So again, I like to stock one of each here. I’m taking off the little clip that holds the compressor cover on, holds this capacitor in place, and the wiring, the relay. There’s the capacitor. Pull the capacitor out, and again, you could just replace that. I’ve had some luck here and there with relays for air conditioners where I’ve been able to smack the relay and put it back in, and then it work pretty much. I haven’t had it go down since I did that, but I don’t have that much hope for this one here. I went ahead and tried it here anyway, but of course, it didn’t work out. But, it’s me. Putting it back in.
You’d think they’d tell you the horsepower rating on the refrigerator compressor itself or inside the frig, but they actually don’t. You really have to know what’s going to work out for you. And like I said, on newer fridges, the lower horse powers tend to work out, the one twelve to one fifth horsepower, the three-in-one starter pack; and for older fridges, the one third to one fifth. So again, you might start with a lower one and graduate to a higher one, if you didn’t, again, examining the capacitor.
I should tell you a capacitor can hold the charge in it even after the power is disconnected. So, you may want to discharge the capacitor and definitely avoid touching the leads of the capacitor after it’s disconnected. There are some capacitors that discharge through the motor windings, but I wouldn’t leave that to chance. You can watch my video on how to discharge a capacitor if you want to. Well, it’s not that easy to see, but there’s three posts on the compressor, the common, run, and start post. Here is the wiring [inaudible 00:06:14]. This is your two power wires coming in. We’ll be connecting those two. We’ll be cutting these off and wire stripping them, and connecting those to a three-in-one starter pack. And then, there’s the three leads that’ll go to the compressor itself.
Start in the run leads for the refrigerator compressor will usually be right next to each other and then, the common will be by itself. It’s usually in a triangle setting. So the common is usually on top. I think the common is a black wire. The extra nut and the red wire will be the run; and most often, it’s to the right of the compressor when you’re facing it. I think they did that so people would kind of understand it. And if you couldn’t read the common, run, and start on the refrigerator compressor, that’s what I would go with first on the refrigerator. And then, when you plug it in, if it buzzes and doesn’t start, just go ahead and unplug it right away; and then, you might have to switch the wires on that.
This particular refrigerator compressor, I could not see at all to tell the designation for the common, run, and start so I just did, again, the common, the black wire, to the one lead on top that was by itself. The red one, I did on the right side and then the start, which is sometimes the yellow wire or a white wire on the left side. This one gave me a bit of trouble putting the red run wire on. Again, this is all tight quarters and we want to be careful for sharp parts, and we want to avoid bending the refrigerant to the… Sometimes, you might have to move something out the way. Just, very gently, bend it, but you don’t want to bend it back and forth. It’s better not to bend it at all if you can.
That was about my best view there of common, run, start terminals. Okay, so here is now our voltage lines coming in the power lines. On the old one, it was labeled red and blue, which red and blue are usually switch wire designations. For a switched wire, either red or blue, whereas black is usually your straight hot that’s why I’m using wire strippers to cut it and strip them. It’s a good idea to use wire strippers. It prevents taking out any strands of the wire and getting a nice clean stripping of the installation rather than taking some of the wires with it. Polarity is not an issue on this, so the blue or the red can go to either side of the starter pack as it really doesn’t matter so… just delivering the power.
Twisting the wires together. Again, when you’re stripping off the wire, examine the cutoff pieces that you stripped off and make sure that there’s no wires strips left behind. If you’ve lost wire strands, make sure there’s no strands left behind in the stripped off portions because if your wire strands get stripped off, it can become a place where heat will built up too strongly, and it can burn the wire there. Anyway, I’m twisting the wires together. You can use a wire connector to link them together. They used to be called wire nuts. These days, they’re called wire connectors. I’m searching for one here. Just twist right on. And, you can kind of give the wires a tug to make sure it’s not going to pull out on you. But as long as you twist it together and the wire nuts are threaded on, you’re generally good to go. Now, we’re ready to plug it in and check it out.
Hey, nice, beautiful sound. It’s doing what it’s supposed to do. The compressor started right up. I could have probably put this back together first but I kind of wanted to verify that everything was good. It’s probably not a really good idea to be handling it with the power on, and you definitely don’t want to put it back in there with the power on; just too tight, and of course, the fan-rate spinning and everything else. You don’t want to become crispy fried. You don’t want to be blended either so you will not blend. Anyway, it’s up to you to find a creative spot to hang this on. It’s got this little clip on the side of it that lets you anchor it but again, not always an easiest thing to find a spot. I guess I was able to tuck the wiring around. I was actually able to hang it right on the compressor top cover itself which actually [inaudible 00:12:04] worked out perfect. The nice thing with that clip being anchored on there is that if you do have to move the fridge in the future, the whole deal isn’t just going to be hanging down where it can get munched.
So now, it’s clipped on. And now, we’re ready to put everything back together. We put the cover back on. And this cover is important to the function of the machine. It’s probably a good idea, while this was apart, to blow it all out, to clean it all out, but I’ll leave that for another story. Here is another look at that capacitor. And, if you wanted to use this three-in-one starter for a temporary fix and then, order the correct capacitor, you could do that. I’ve had pretty good luck with these starter packs. And that compressor, it could just be that that refrigerator compressor is just having such a hard time starting that it really needs the extra hard start kit that’s in the starter pack, so it really depends.
Again, I’ve got really good fortune using these, and haven’t had one go down after I installed it. So, I’m just going to leave one in place. Again, I can take the capacitor back and I could order that relay for that capacitor but I’m not too worried about it. Put everything back together. If you had your fridge plugged in, it’s a good idea to wait about five minutes so putting this cover back on is just perfect before plugging it back in. The five minute wait will allow the compressor’s pressure to equalize. Otherwise, the refrigerator compressor might not start if you plug it in too early. Now, we’re ready, and there we go.