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Kenmore side by side compressor trips the thermal overloads? When the system is reset it runs and makes ice for about 16 hours then gets warm.. Repair guy charged me 85 bucks to clean the coils...don't really trust him. Can you help?

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  • Mike Smith
    Mike Smith May 11, 2010

    Dirty coils will definantly cause the overload to trip , as will a compressor cooling fan not working . Did the repair guy , take an amp reading of the compressor , after cleaning the coils ? Above 3 (compressor running amps) , is an indication of the compressor not having much life left .Does the refrig still click off , after the coils being cleaned ?

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Your condenser coils were probably very dirty and covered with dust, which TRAPS heat and does not allow your unit to get rid of its heat - this causes the compressor to run excessively. Did he also check door seal gaskets and over frost on the evap (defrost issues)? Did he take measures on the compressor as well ?

What a rip-off - cleaning condenser coils is something you can do yourself with a special brush - you should have spent this money on having him check other problems.

Posted on Sep 27, 2009

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1 Answer

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Cut everything off for a few minutes then turn it back on and listen for a click from the compressor relay as the compressor tries to start.
Is the compressor motor running.If no check starter/overload relay. The relay is a small usually black cube shaped electrical part plugged into the compressor or wired to it nearby. It may appear burnt or rattle when shaken if it's bad. The two connections should show continuity with an amp meter. If it's good then it's most likely the compressor causing the problem.
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Is the evaporator fan in the freezer running. It blows cold air into the fridge side through a damper in the wall between the freezer and fridge. Make sure the damper is open.

Below the evaporator fan is the evaporator coils. Remove the back cover in the freezer to observe the frost pattern. Light frost everywhere(NORMAL) or a partial pattern of ice(LOW ON FREON) or nothing(LOW FREON OR COMPRESSOR PROBLEM).
If it's iced up really heavy you have an auto defrost problem. Melt the ice with a hairdryer and check the defrost system.

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then observe if the compressor would start. it would vibrate, make a little bit of noise and heats up.

if it is trying to start and can not start, then it could be broke already.

tnx 4 using fixya,

drcool

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I would look to the condenser where the heat is removed from the refrigeration system for your problem. Check and make sure the condenser fan operates, check the compressor for operation. If the condenser is plugged with dust it will cause the compressor to cycle on its thermal overload protector. Normally in back there is a removable panel to access the condenser and compressor area. make sure you reinstall the cover after you are done. It is critical to proper operation and cooling of the system.

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It sounds like your compressor is having trouble starting, and over heating. this could be one of the following

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Try unplugging the unit for a few hours to let the compressor cool down. Then plug it back in and see if the compressor starts. If it starts after it has cooled down, then it is likely out or low on refrigerant. If its low or out of refrigerant it will run until it over heats, then kick out on thermal overload. This is because there is not enough cold refrigerant being pulled back into the compressor to keep it cool.

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Sounds like it might be the thermostat
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Make sure the defrost timer works to
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Does the compressor click on and off every minute or so and is hot? That would likely be tripping on a thermal overload due to not being able to start (bad motor starter on the compressor). If the compressor is running normally and warm then you may have a froze up coil. Take the lower rear back sheetmetal cover off the inside freezer section and look at the coil. If it's frozen block of ice basically the defrost cycle is not working and the ice has blocked the air flow through the unit. (could be bad defrost heater, defrost timer or defrost t-stat). If the compressor is running normally and warm and you see no ice or even frost on the coils then you have a sealed system problem that usually means most if not all of the refrigerant has leaked out of the system (or a blockage/restriction in the system). This would be the worst case since it means a whole bunch of money to repair. Let us know what you find out and we can have a better idea on what to recommend.

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