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The compressor was just humming at start up. what is the main cause of problem

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Most like likely cause is a weak capacitor, Check the control conpartment for what looks like a can with 4 -5 wires going to the top. It has thed size on the side of it. If is swoolen like a jiffy pop its definitly bad but it needs to be tested, or you can just install a 2 wire booster which is an easy reliable fix.

Posted on Jul 08, 2010

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When the compressor tries to come on, why does it click and hum, then clicks off?

Two causes for that situation. The compressor has a start relay and a overload mounted on the 3 prongs. When the relay/overload is bad, compressor will kick on, hum, then a click sound. The click is the overload. Or, the compressor is drawing too much power and the compressor is bad. 90% of time it's the relay/overload but you need to check and make sure fan is running by compressor and coils underneath are not clogged up. Poor air flow around compressor can cause overload to go bad.

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most AC`s have a start capacitor at the compressor pump, if this start capacitor is defective your compressor will not start and cause it to draw more current than is normal, when you turn the unit on listen, if you notice a humming sound like an ac hum than this might be your problem, other units use a relay to start the compressor motor and if this relay is defective your compressor is remaining in the start winding position and will also consume excess current, obtain a diagram of your unit and this will indicate the type of start device employed and go from there

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Hi roger,

I see you concern, and if the unit does not cool anymore and there is a humming noise then you will need to replace or have your compressor repaired no doubt.

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The hum that you hear is due to the compressor vibrating and cause by a nut not so tight. Check it's back- a bumping motion into metal case will also cause that hum. If none of it cause the humming, it is the compressor itself causing it. But there nothing you can do because it is sealed.
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Why does the compressor not work

If the compressor is not working at all , you will first of all check the power at your mains, Trace down wards from the main wire to the main relay unit. When the fridge is switched does it makes a chatter/ click , hear any hum on the motor before it goes still? If so you will need to check on the compressor motor. Use a clamp tester to check if the load current is exceeding and hence tripping off. If so the compressor unit will need a change. If there is no click at all then the relay can be faulty, this is a trip off/ relay and the contacts get bad over a period of time. The capacitor can also be faulty so that the motor will not start but make a humming noise. Hope you check this out and find out. Good day.

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Try change the start components....potential relay and start capacitor...if that don't work it is the compressor going bad...


Asker's Testimonial " Thanks! You helped me to understand the relay and capacitor's purpose,and why a change in either may cause the compressor not to start. "

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You would need to pull the unit away from the wall to verify this but it could be that your compressor is not starting as it should. This could cause serious overheating of it too. The compressor should be visible from the rear and it will be close to the floor.

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Compressor motor won't start. Hums and clicks

Most likely the problem is either the condenser coil is very dirty or the condenser fan isn't working causing the compressor motor to overheat and cycle off on its internal thermal limit or the compressor capacitor is defective causing the compressor to overheat and cycle off.

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Frigidaire PLHS268ZCB1 freezer not freezing, periodic humming sound, Cold air instead of warm coming from vent underneath

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.

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1 Answer

Coleman 5Hp Compresser

All electric compressors share a basic design with ac power pressure switch with unloader and checkvalve between the pump and the tank. When the pressure switch powers off, it unloads the compressor by releasing the air in the discharge hose. You will notice a small tire stem pin and a lever to engage it somewhere on the pressure switch. If the compressor stops before reaching set cutoff point, the air pressure remains in the discharge hose not allowing the motor to start, thus the hum you hear. Solution is to check for the proper function of pressure switch /unloader, tank check valve (if check valve leaks air back to compressor it will load motor causing hum) and extra measure check capacitor for at least 90% of rated valve. Finally, do not run this compressor with an extension cord, use more hose instead. enjoy

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