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Refridge hums then you hear a click,lights dim like the compressor turned on then another click a few seconds latter.this same cycle repeats .evaporator and compressar fans stay running.

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It sounds like a bad: 

  •   start switch (on the side of the compressor) or
  •   compressor itself
  • the start switch clicks  off usually when the compressor is pulling too many amps or the compressor is overheating. if the compressor is not even running then its probably not overheating.
  • so either the compressor is pulling too many amps (bad compressor) or the start switch is bad and cannot handle the amps required to start the compressor.


Posted on Jul 02, 2008

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Ge refridgerator model sts16abserww, stopped cooling, down at the compressor I hear a slight click then wait a few seconds and hear another click (NO buzz between clicks), then wait a few minutes and the...


:

Hi!
That is probably the compressor relay
The relay is on the compressor and needs replaced
A relay starts the compressor with a higher voltage and then quickly kicks out
Thats what is happening with yours
Its best for a tech to replace The relay but you can do it
Take your model number to your Local Appliance parts store they will have a diagram
showing you how to install the relay. Its called a hard start relay

Thank you for using fixya
Leo Ponder
PLEASE VOTE FOR ME IF THIS WAS HELPFUL

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Hi David and welcfome to FixYa. I am Kelly There are a few things to try before you go replacing parts.

1. after the unit has sat with no power for about 30 minutes plug the unit in and listen for an attempted sart on the compressor. An attempted start will only last for approximately 40 seconds. During that attempted start listen to see if you actually hear the compressor turning. If you hear it turning and it again shuts off wait another 30 minutes and try it again. (On a unit that has been in storage for more than 6 months it can take a few attempts to get it going.) If it just hums and does not move then your compressor is locked and as it attempts to start you will notice a slight dimming of the house lights. Don't give up on it right away... do about 4 cycles of the plug it in.. listen for the 40 seconds then the CLICK of the compressor thermal overload switch. If your not hearing a CLICK after 40 seconds or so then there can be a compressor PTC relay / thermal overload (KliXon) problem or the possibility that the run capacitor has failed. After all of these have been checked out then you start looking at controls and power. Give it a few more tries to see if it takes off. If it does not then just repsond here and someone will help you.

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at the back of your refrigerator, you will see the motor compressor below, at the side body of the compressor you'll find a small box attached to the body where the wires come in, take out the cover, before doing that, unplug it first. then take the cover out. now plug it, don't touch it.

see if you can hear any click sound then it will shut off. if yes unplug it and take out the overload relay attached to the compressor where the wires are connected. try to replace it, just remeber the wire matching.

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Unplug unit.

It's not possible to tell which without replacing the starting system. Hard start kit would be fine. RCO410 is common. If it starts the unit the next check would be an ampmeter clamped onto one of the power leads. The ampmeter for refrigerators of that age may read around 2-5 amps when running. If it's much higher than 5 Amps after it's running be prepared to replace the compressor. Maybe it won't quit today...but it won't last with high amperage. If it doesn't start with this kit you need compressor.

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Hi, If the lights are dimming, the compressor is drawing to many amps when trying to start. If the refrigerator is under 5 years old, I would check into the warranty. If it is over 5 years, You will be better off to get a new refrigerator.

I hope this gives you an idea on what is happening.

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The humming noise is the compressor cycling on the overload protector. By the posted date I would think that you already replaced the refrigerator.

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