Question about Marvel 61RF Compact Refrigerator

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I have a Marvel 61RF refrigerator. The thermostat seems to be failed (always open); when I bypassed it (shorted across switch) the refrigerator runs. It is NOT a solid state thermostat; it is the mechanical type. I got a new part from Marvel; it contains the thermostat with the attached aluminum sensing tube (capillary?). The tube seems to be crimped on the far end. I have no problems with the electrical connections, but I have no idea of how I'm supposed to connect the end of the aluminum sensing tube (which goes up to the evaporator I believe). Thanks Chuck

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  • chuck10108 Apr 01, 2011

    Should be no problem routing the capillary tube; I see how it routes behind the back cover. What I am unsure about is how it connects to the evaporator assembly (I haven't taken the evaporator assy out yet).

    The end of the capillary tube on the part I got from Marvel is crimped flat. I guess I was expected a 'bulb' on the end of it. How does this crimped end of the capillary connect to the evaporator assy? Is it a solder connection, or is there some sort of fitting at the evaporator?



  • chuck10108 Apr 03, 2011


    The thermostat installation went fine. Frig is back together. However it seems I have more/different problems.

    When I plugged it in, the frig section cooled down to about 55 degrees, with stat set on about 3. I turned the stat to a colder setting but the temp climbed. It seems the thermostat is working, because the compressor fan is running even as the temp climbed upward.

    Could you help me figure out what may be the problem? I can check voltages if that's helpful, but I don't really know anything about compressors.



  • chuck10108 Apr 04, 2011

    Thanks for the continued support on this.

    When I mentioned earlier that after I replaced the thermostat the refrigerator cooled down to about 55F, that measurement was in the main frig compartment. I do not know what the temp was up by the evaporator. I believe the evaporator had a consistent frost pattern.

    There wasn't much dust on the fan/condensor coils; but I did vacuum that when I replaced the thermostat.

    I checked the resistance at the 3 condensor connections as you suggested. The readings between the pins were 4, 8, and 12 ohms. I reconnected things.

    Then I tried the compressor tests as you suggested. When I plugged the unit in (with the stat setting at about midpoint) the fan ran but the compressor didn't seem to be running. There wasn't the typical compressor noise or vibration. I did try unplugging it for 20 seconds and when plugged back in it still didn't start. I unplugged it again for 40 seconds and when plugged in it still didn't start.

  • chuck10108 Apr 04, 2011

    Going back to when I jumpered the old thermostat. I did NOT confirm the compressor was running; I simply viewed the fan was running and assumed I had a bad thermostat.

    I don't have an easy way to measure current (such as a clamp on).

    Is there a way to do voltage measurements to confirm the problem is the relay? Should I just get a part and try swapping it out?




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Hello Chuck, Welcome to FixYa. As you are aware (or not) the sensing bulb (capillary tube is correct, as you suspected) is fixed to the thermostat body, therefore it must have the tube routed up to the evaporator careful not to kink it and it then fastens to the evaporator. It cannot be seperated. It is necessary to undo the evap. from the interior to fasten the "bulb" to the evaporator assembly. Since you've already jumped out the control to confirm it is indeed faulty you also know how it should fasten to the bottom by the grill. follow that cap. tube to see how it's routed. Some go up the outside back wall (which requires removing the back panel) and enter behind the evap. while some have a guided tube in which the cap. can be "threaded" or fed through. the exit hole by the evap. should have some "perma-gum" or puddy to keep moisture from migrating into the cabinet and prevent "short cycling" as well. Hope this helps clarify some uncertainty regarding the issue. Thank you for choosing FixYa. Let me know how you make out. Good luck. Regards, Macmarkus :)

Posted on Apr 01, 2011

  • 3 more comments 
  • Mark MacDonald
    Mark MacDonald Apr 02, 2011

    Hello again,

    Sorry I wasn't able to reply right away. As for the connection to the evaporator, there will be a clamp with a screw to fasten it snug up against the evaporator surface as you suspected.

    I've copied a somewhat crude cut-away of the attachment, it should at least give you an idea of how it is attached to the evaporator.


    Again, I hope this helps. Thank you for choosing FixYa. Keep me posted and if I can help in any manner going forward I will certainly try. Good luck.


    Macmarkus :)

  • Mark MacDonald
    Mark MacDonald Apr 03, 2011


    Sorry to hear that, I'm just going to confirm I understand your last post. As well as add a few key factors/questions.

    You said

    " When I plugged it in, the frig section cooled down to about 55 degrees, with stat set on about 3. I turned the stat to a colder setting but the temp climbed. It seems the thermostat is working, because the compressor fan is running even as the temp climbed upward "

    1) Are you able to confirm the temperature at the sensing bulb is 55F as well ? Does the evap have a consistent frost pattern cover, or just in one corner ?

    2) Are the condensor coils under the unit clean/free from dust build-up ?

    Don't mean to ask questions that may seem redundant or things you may already know, however I don't want to overlook anything either.

    If this is indeed the case, there is obviously a compressor issue or system leak. I say that based on the fact in your post that the unit did cool to a point, but then it may have cycled off on the compressor overload. That could be due to low refrigerant ( the compressor runs non-stop until overload cuts out/opens circuit ) or a restriction in the cap. line. That's a small copper tube leaving the filter/drier of the hi-side...that usually manifest in a small block of ice at the end of the drier.

    Here's what I'd suggest. If you have a multi-meter/ohm meter you can check the compressor to see if the windings are ok. If it checks out good and is indeed operating, that points to a system leak or restriction, etc.

    **First, Unplug the fridge**

    On the side of the compressor will be the start relay/overload assembly such as this may be enclosed in a black plastic cover as well.

    Pull off the relay & overload and you'll see 3 pins in the form of a triangle...

    With a meter measure between any 2 pins at one time, going between each pin with one remaining on a "common" pin.

    You'll want 3 measurement's, similar to this example- 6ohms, 3ohms, and 9ohms.

    On some meters you may simply get a reading of "0" ohms, as long as the needle moves off of "infinity" which would indicate an "open" winding=not good !

    If following that the readings are good, turn the unit on so the compressor starts. once the unit is operating for a minute or two, unplug the fridge from the wall.

    After it's unplugged for 15-20 sec. plug it back in and observe if the compressor starts or not. If it doesn't start that is good. ( unless it is due to a restriction as I aluded to...we'll cross that bridge later if necessary ) That means the system has a pressure difference, meaning there is indeed gas in the system.

    If it does start, repaeat the process a couple of times to be sure, allowing a little more time unplugged each time, (max. 30-40 sec.) before declaring the unit is out of or low on gas/R134a refrigerant.

    Let me know if the compressor is indeed operating yet the fridge or freezer fail to cool and I'll continue to help in any manner I can. Good luck


    Macmarkus :)

  • Mark MacDonald
    Mark MacDonald Apr 03, 2011


    The pressure difference check can be tricky witrhout an clamp-on amp probe/meter since if the compressor itself has a busted valve there will be no pressure difference either. If you have a clamp-on and can determine the amperage draw and you know you have 120Vac you can determine the wattage (i.e. 1.25A x 120Vac = 150W) which will determine the efficiency of the compressor.


    Macmarkus :)

  • Mark MacDonald
    Mark MacDonald Apr 04, 2011

    Hello again Chuck,

    My apologies for not getting back to you sooner, reality is I didn't see your post until this morning.

    I hate to back track, but in this case I believe it is least for a moment. When you "jumpered" your old 'stat, did you confirm the compressor had started at that time, or just the fan ?

    It is sounding like a temperamental or faulty start relay at this point since those ohm values of the compressor are good, though it may be a mechanical issue within the compressor making it hard to start...too much for the relay. It would be good to know the current draw when trying to start.

    If the compressor did indeed operate when you jumped the old 'stat, I'd suggest trying an alternate start device/aftermarket or manufacturer device such as an "IC41" kind of device. Similar to the more popular 3n1 hard starts. (IC41 is good for up to 1/3hp compressor)

    They (3n1 or IC41) are meant to be temporary only and I advise the manufacturers device, though it may not be as readily available.

    I'll watch to your next post and continue to help in whatever manner I can. Good luck.


    Macmarkus :)

  • Mark MacDonald
    Mark MacDonald Apr 05, 2011

    Hey Chuck,

    To address your last post...

    "Is there a way to do voltage measurements to confirm the problem is the relay? Should I just get a part and try swapping it out?"

    Not really. One would need to measure the current draw as it is attempting to start. When the relay is completely failed it won't even try to start (no current draw) Other times when it is failing it will attempt to start (very high but brief amp draw) but quickly trip the ptc (positive temp. coefficient overload).

    Is there anyway you can get your hands on a ameter/clamp on ? I'd hate to suggest you replace the start device just for the sake of ruling it out a la process of elimination, certainly points in that direction. In the end it may be futile of the compressor itself is experiencing mechanical failure.

    I should mention these Marvel usually have 5 - 10 years warranty on the compressors...I'd check your manual or contact Marvel's local dealer/servicer for more info on that.

    If you go in the direction of the 3in1 hard start, I'd suggest this one. It's less than $20 and typically available at a local appliance parts place.

    It's a "HS810" and serves for compressors 1/12hp up to 1/5hp. I believe yours to be either an 1/8 or 1/12 hp since the model number indicates it is 400btu, so it should work fine.

    Let me know how I can help from here and I'll see what I can do Chuck. Keep me posted in any event please.


    Macmarkus :)



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