Compressor Hardstart Fail

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JasonG2020

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Hi All,

I have a minifridge that is tripping a breaker and I could use some assistance with troubleshooting. The fridge is a Frigidaire EFMIS9000. I have a Wi-Fi wall switch on the same circuit that used to control the ceiling fan and lights. When the fridge compressor turned on, the light would suddenly brighten, then return to normal brightness. I read this as the fridge pulling substantial current, some of which was going to the light. My ceiling fan, which was generally run on low speed, burned out the low speed setting. I attributed this to the power surges caused by the compressor.

I attempted to install a Supco URCO810 3 in 1 hard start capacitor to help with the inrush. The fridge powered up after installation, but the compressor got very hot and the fridge temp never seemed to drop, according to the digital indicator. After a few hours, it began tripping the breaker. For troubleshooting, I tried disconnecting the compressor. With the compressor disconnected, the breaker no longer trips. So, I'm thinking I destroyed the compressor? It was reading around 150 degrees after I installed the hard start. My understanding is that the compressor's internal insulation breaks down after extended high temps and there's probably a short to ground. I actually tested this and I'm seeing a connection between all the compressor pins and ground, instead of open.

If it's toast, why did it not function correctly after installation of the hard start? I measured the resistance between the compressor terminals to identify the common, start, and run pins, so I'm not sure what caused this. If this thing is dead, my wife is going to be pissed. And my ceiling fan still has no low speed setting. I bought a replacement fan capacitor, but obviously it doesn't make sense to install it until the refrigerator issue is resolved. So far, this has been a DIY fail.
 

Fitter30

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A hard start kit isn't a fix all. Compressors fail a start kit usally used for a something to try for a last resort. Did the fridge always dim the lights? More electrical failures caused by low voltage when lights dim its simular to brown out.
 

JasonG2020

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A hard start kit isn't a fix all. Compressors fail a start kit usally used for a something to try for a last resort. Did the fridge always dim the lights? More electrical failures caused by low voltage when lights dim its simular to brown out.

Honestly, I can't recall if the fridge always did it, or if it's something that began happening over time. Is there way to test the compressor with my multimeter?
 

Fitter30

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Try testing it with a ohm meter but it will only show up grounded if it's really grounded because most meters ownly use 1.5 to 9 volt for reading ohms . A 500 volt megger is what is really needed. The wifi control does it dim the light on the fan and does the light use incandescent or led bulbs. If it uses incandescent the dimmer
doesn't vary voltage but cycles power vary fast.
 
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JasonG2020

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Thanks, I tested it and it's grounded. I think I cooked the internals, but I'm not sure why since I followed the installation instructions for the capacitor. It did run hot for several hours then blew a breaker in the middle of the night. I think that's when the internal insulation burned off. At this point I guess I'll have to write it off as broken. That's $200 down the tube. Now my wife wants to upgrade to one designed for wine so more $$$$. The bulb on the fan is an LED. It actually brightened when the compressor kicked on. We'll see if the next fridge does the same. I already have a new capacitor for the fan, but was waiting to get the fridge issue addressed before installation.
 
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