Question about Frigidaire PLHS269ZC Side by Side Refrigerator
Periodic humming is the control relay closing to start the compressor, only the compressor is not able to start. There is a lot of (inrush) current during this event so, after a few seconds, an overload cuts the power to the compressor and the humming goes away. About 30-60 seconds later, the relay tries again, the compressor hums but doesn't start, overload cuts power, rinse and repeat. If you touch the compressor during this cycling, it should be very hot. It's possible that the starter relay is bad. If you look at the compressor, there is a black box that plugs into the compressor on one end and has conductors connected to the other end. This is the relay / overload and can easily be replaced. There's also a capacitor plugged into that relay/overload. Be sure to discharge it or it can give you a shock. The capacitor on your model is a running cap, not a starting cap. Unfortunately, the most likely cause for the humming is your compressor starting to fail. This model is known for an unusually high compressor failure rate. You can replace the relay / overload with a "hard start" relay that is compatible with the compressor. This "should" extend the useful life of the compressor a bit but it will still eventually fail. The compressor may also be permanently damaged by the cycling so even the hard start may not solve your problem. It's a cheap part, however, and worth a try. Is it worth replacing a compressor? It's a sealed system and needs a professional with the right tools to perform the work. Usually it's between $400-$700. A comparable but brand new fridge is ~$1000. You'll have to weigh the cost. It's very likely that a $500 repair will get you several more years out of your existing fridge. Some would argue that for a few hundred extra dollars, however, it's worth the money to get a new one that's more efficient and under warranty.
Posted on May 26, 2010
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