(Topic ID: 193448)

Any refrigerator repair guys here? True GDM-09


By boscokid

1 year ago



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  • 32 posts
  • 11 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by boscokid
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    #1 1 year ago

    Fridge in my gameroom is not cooling at all. I ran the serial number on the True site and it says shipped Jan 2005 so figure 17yo unit that has probably run constantly. I got this off off Craigslist about 4 years ago for 250 and after cleaning it up never had any problems.

    Where to start? I unplugged the unit and cleaned the condenser fins with a wire brush. You can see in pic2 its pulling enough air to hold a business card. Fan inside the unit is also pulling air. The compressor relay (pic3 center right above copper tube) ''clicks' every couple of minutes but the tubes on the compressor never get even a little cold.

    I could probably replace the relay if there is a chance its the problem but its a $50 part so don't really want to be wrong. Obviously if its the compressor I need a real repairman. Can i test that relay without damaging the compressor? Or prove its the compressor without buying the relay switch?

    Thanks in advance

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    #2 1 year ago

    Haha, you're getting ripped off if someone is telling you $50 for the relay. I just picked up a free mini fridge last night with the same symptom. Here's what you do, remove the relay from the compressor. Shake it. If it rattles, that's your problem. I picked up two relays for $6 from a trusted seller on Amazon. There should be a amperage stamped on your old relay. Match that and the number of pins to your new one. Enjoy your functioning fridge for < $10.

    #3 1 year ago

    To test the compressor remove their relay from the compressor. You may need to remove a retaining wire to get it off. Once removed you will see three terminals in a triangle arrangement. Take your meter and set to continuity (ohms) and start testing two terminals at a time. You have 3 sets of two terminals. The two lowest reading should equal the highest reading(or close to it). This is not a full proof test and other things can go wrong in the compressor. It will tell you if your compressor is shorted though.

    #4 1 year ago

    You could also have a defrost issue if this fridge has auto defrost. Defrost timer or thermostat will prevent you compressor from kicking on also. Find your defrost timer and slowly advance it. There should be a hole or slot to advance the timer with a screwdriver.
    Never mind, just realized it has no freezer. Probably won't have a defrost circuit.

    #5 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballTilt:

    Haha, you're getting ripped off if someone is telling you $50 for the relay. I just picked up a free mini fridge last night with the same symptom. Here's what you do, remove the relay from the compressor. Shake it. If it rattles, that's your problem. I picked up two relays for $6 from a trusted seller on Amazon. There should be a amperage stamped on your old relay. Match that and the number of pins to your new one. Enjoy your functioning fridge for < $10.

    I pulled the relay out and it definitely makes a thunking sound like something solid is moving end to end when I shake it. Is that what you mean by 'rattles'? Checked for continuity between the 3 relay pins and compressor housing and they all are open as expected.

    I don't see amps anywhere stamped on this relay but attached a picture anyway. Looks like I can get it here for $24.99

    https://restaurant-equipment-parts.com/part/true/802211

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    #6 1 year ago
    Quoted from boscokid:

    I pulled the relay out and it definitely makes a thunking sound like something solid is moving end to end when I shake it. Is that what you mean by 'rattles'? Checked for continuity between the 3 relay pins and compressor housing and they all are open as expected.
    I don't see amps anywhere stamped on this relay but attached a picture anyway. Looks like I can get it here for $24.99
    https://restaurant-equipment-parts.com/part/true/802211

    Hey Bosco,

    They definitely shouldn't rattle when you shake them. And a bad relay fits what you described. The clicking sound was it trying to engage the compressor. It kept trying every minute or so because it wasn't able to. I couldn't find one on Amazon. Does that say 4.42 on it? That may or may not be the amperage rating. The amperage and number if pins was ultimately how I was able to find a suitable replacement. Maybe searching that fridges model name and relay will pull something up on Amazon or eBay. Hope that was helpful.

    #7 1 year ago

    Thanks for your help. Ordered the relay part number that fits the True. Basically a $32 gamble but i'm gonna give it a shot.

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from boscokid:

    Thanks for your help. Ordered the relay part number that fits the True. Basically a $32 gamble but i'm gonna give it a shot.

    If your worried about taking a gamble on a $32 part, go to your parts house and tell them you want one of these.
    not only is it a relay, but the overload protector (which is probably what you are hearing clicking) and a start booster (start capacitor) to assist the starting of the compressor....and it's about a 20-30 dollar part......your welcome

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    #9 1 year ago

    FYI also, it doesn't mean the relay is bad if it rattles.

    #10 1 year ago

    That's a 1/5 hp compressor do what bronco Jon said and go with the rco810 relay , it will replace all the electrical components , that's what I use on small fractional compressors when the relay fails .

    #11 1 year ago

    Is there a low pressure switch? Maybe compressor is cycling off on low pressure and kicking back on when the pressure raises

    #12 1 year ago
    Quoted from wolv3:

    Is there a low pressure switch? Maybe compressor is cycling off on low pressure and kicking back on when the pressure raises

    Having only 10 oz. of refrigerant as a full charge, I seriously doubt it has a low pressure switch

    #13 1 year ago
    Quoted from bronco-jon:

    FYI also, it doesn't mean the relay is bad if it rattles.

    I'm no expert, I'll concede that. But every article i found says the same thing. A rattle inside the relay that sounds like pieces inside means the relay is bad.

    http://homeguides.sfgate.com/test-refrigerator-relay-switch-33986.html

    https://www.google.com/search?q=inside+of+compressor+relay&client=ms-android-sprint-us&source=android-browser&prmd=ivsn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9prPltIvVAhVq04MKHQxSDI8Q_AUICSgB&biw=360&bih=512#imgrc=qJPxmUWFyxDWnM:

    Care to explain your reasoning for what else a rattle sound could be?

    #14 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballTilt:

    I'm no expert, I'll concede that. But every article i found says the same thing. A rattle inside the relay that sounds like pieces inside means the relay is bad.
    http://homeguides.sfgate.com/test-refrigerator-relay-switch-33986.html
    https://www.google.com/search?q=inside+of+compressor+relay&client=ms-android-sprint-us&source=android-browser&prmd=ivsn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9prPltIvVAhVq04MKHQxSDI8Q_AUICSgB&biw=360&bih=512#imgrc=qJPxmUWFyxDWnM:
    Care to explain your reasoning for what else a rattle sound could be?

    I've seen many of rattling relays that still work just fine. It certainly means they are getting old and nearing the end of their life but it doesn't mean that's what your problem is. Its likely but not a definitive diagnosis.

    #15 1 year ago

    Since I already ordered the part we can have our own little 'Pinside does refrigeration repair ' relay test. Will post results here.

    #16 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballTilt:

    I'm no expert, I'll concede that. But every article i found says the same thing. A rattle inside the relay that sounds like pieces inside means the relay is bad.
    http://homeguides.sfgate.com/test-refrigerator-relay-switch-33986.html
    https://www.google.com/search?q=inside+of+compressor+relay&client=ms-android-sprint-us&source=android-browser&prmd=ivsn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9prPltIvVAhVq04MKHQxSDI8Q_AUICSgB&biw=360&bih=512#imgrc=qJPxmUWFyxDWnM:
    Care to explain your reasoning for what else a rattle sound could be?

    Not the person you're responding to, but as an appliance repair tech i can shed a bit of light. Many relays used on compressors will pretty much burn and disintegrate internally when they fail. When that happens, it will sound like a maraca--you can hear all the little bits and pieces shaking around inside. However, if you were to take a new relay and shook it, you'd hear a rattling sound. That sound is coming from the overload device. I've been fooled in the past, thinking the sound of the overload rattling was indicating a bad relay. That style of overload device rattles when it's at a safe temperature, perfectly normal. If the overload gets too hot, it makes an audible click sound. If you were to shake it then, you'd hear no noise coming from the overload (until it cools back down to a safe temperature, which varies between overload devices). Here's a pic of a common relay used on whirlpool refrigerators (which contains an overload device, shown in the pic beneath)

    prod_3269219802.jpg
    371538-2-M-Whirlpool-4387913-Compressor-Relay-and-Overload.jpg

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from frunch:

    Not the person you're responding to, but as an appliance repair tech i can shed a bit of light. Many relays used on compressors will pretty much burn and disintegrate internally when they fail. When that happens, it will sound like a maraca--you can hear all the little bits and pieces shaking around inside. However, if you were to take a new relay and shook it, you'd hear a rattling sound. That sound is coming from the overload device. I've been fooled in the past, thinking the sound of the overload rattling was indicating a bad relay. That style of overload device rattles when it's at a safe temperature, perfectly normal. If the overload gets too hot, it makes an audible click sound. If you were to shake it then, you'd hear no noise coming from the overload (until it cools back down to a safe temperature, which varies between overload devices). Here's a pic of a common relay used on whirlpool refrigerators (which contains an overload device, shown in the pic beneath)

    That makes more sense, thanks. I removed the overload from the relay in my case and still had the severe rattle sound. We should know soon if his issue is fixed. If not, I'll don my dunce hat

    #18 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballTilt:

    I'm no expert, I'll concede that. But every article i found says the same thing. A rattle inside the relay that sounds like pieces inside means the relay is bad.
    http://homeguides.sfgate.com/test-refrigerator-relay-switch-33986.html
    https://www.google.com/search?q=inside+of+compressor+relay&client=ms-android-sprint-us&source=android-browser&prmd=ivsn&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9prPltIvVAhVq04MKHQxSDI8Q_AUICSgB&biw=360&bih=512#imgrc=qJPxmUWFyxDWnM:
    Care to explain your reasoning for what else a rattle sound could be?

    I've been in the HVAC/R trade most all my life....I'm sorry, I can't explain why the relay's rattles. I currently take care of all the HVAC/R equipment in 300,000 sq. ft. building that has several drinking fountains and several office mini fridges throughout, and I can tell you that a brand new relay out of the box rattles when you shake it.

    #19 1 year ago

    Check the run capacitor. If you're meter can't do this, find out what size it is and replace it. They're very cheap, about $20 and you can get them at Ace Hardware. Simply adding adding a hard start kit will probably get the compressor running even with a bad run capacitor. Terrible idea as it will damage the compressor.

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from bronco-jon:

    If your worried about taking a gamble on a $32 part, go to your parts house and tell them you want one of these.
    not only is it a relay, but the overload protector (which is probably what you are hearing clicking) and a start booster (start capacitor) to assist the starting of the compressor....and it's about a 20-30 dollar part......your welcome

    Terrible idea, replace the run capacitor before trying this!

    #21 1 year ago
    Quoted from frunch:

    Not the person you're responding to, but as an appliance repair tech i can shed a bit of light. Many relays used on compressors will pretty much burn and disintegrate internally when they fail. When that happens, it will sound like a maraca--you can hear all the little bits and pieces shaking around inside. However, if you were to take a new relay and shook it, you'd hear a rattling sound. That sound is coming from the overload device. I've been fooled in the past, thinking the sound of the overload rattling was indicating a bad relay. That style of overload device rattles when it's at a safe temperature, perfectly normal. If the overload gets too hot, it makes an audible click sound. If you were to shake it then, you'd hear no noise coming from the overload (until it cools back down to a safe temperature, which varies between overload devices). Here's a pic of a common relay used on whirlpool refrigerators (which contains an overload device, shown in the pic beneath)

    The old Bi-metallic strip. Learned about them as a kid thanks to Edmund Scientific Co. of Barrington, New Jersey.

    Their Jumping Discs were cool and taught me something before the theoretical crap in college.

    #22 1 year ago
    Quoted from Electrocute:

    Terrible idea, replace the run capacitor before trying this!

    These particular units don't use run caps

    #23 1 year ago
    Quoted from Electrocute:

    Terrible idea, replace the run capacitor before trying this!

    Terrible idea? if the compressor won't start then it's a great idea....thats what they are made for

    #24 1 year ago
    Quoted from bronco-jon:

    Terrible idea? if the compressor won't start then it's a great idea....thats what they are made for

    Yes, terrible. Need to find out why the compressor won't start before installing it. Could be a bad run capacitor, metering device, voltage, over charged(doubt it in this case).
    If the compressor ran fine before installing the hard start kit means something has changed. Need to find out why. You should do some simple diagnosis before installing it. That's all I'm saying.

    #25 1 year ago

    Run capacitor, run capacitor, run capacitor! your dumb, it doesn't have a run capacitor!
    My last comment hear!

    #26 1 year ago

    Wow! Nice post

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from bronco-jon:

    Run capacitor, run capacitor, run capacitor! your dumb, it doesn't have a run capacitor!
    My last comment hear!

    He might be wrong on the repair, I'm not sure.

    But based on your post, I'd say "your dumb hear."

    #28 1 year ago

    In before the lock.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from MrBally:

    In before the lock.

    Me too

    10
    #30 1 year ago

    I'll jump in before the lock, too. It's a shame it went that way, it's actually a good educational opportunity. If you can fix a pinball machine, you're probably capable of diagnosing and fixing problems with your appliances. Most of the time, the repairs really aren't difficult if you know what you're doing, or can at least follow instructions carefully.

    Anyway, just wanted to say the problem OP has is simple: The compressor has 2 windings, similar to a 3-lug flipper coil--the compressor has 3 lugs as well. The relay/overload device attached to the side of the compressor feeds 120 ac volts to the low-resistance start winding (like the lower-resistance 'power' winding of the flipper coil). Once it's drawing enough current to get the compressor turning fast, the relay switches power to the higher-resistance 'run' winding, like an end-of-stroke switch on a flipper coil switches power to the 'hold' winding! Resistance measurements can be taken between the 3 lugs. Any open or very low resistance readings can indicate a bad winding, just like with a flipper coil.

    So, OP's problem is most likely either the compressor is seized or it's got a broken/bad winding, or it's got a bad relay & doesn't switch the power from the start winding to the run winding on the compressor--not an uncommon problem. In any of those cases, the compressor typically hums as the relay activates the start winding for several seconds, but the relay does not switch to the run winding, producing lots of heat, and so the heat-sensitive overload clicks off to cut off power to compressor until it's cooled down. The overload is there to cut off power to the compressor if it won't turn over/run for any reason. Makes it safer, and may help salvage the compressor if the relay should fail (by preventing the start winding from burning up if the relay fails to switch the power over to the run winding).

    As another poster above noted, the '3-in-1' hard-start kit can substitute many different PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) relays and is very useful as a diagnostic tool. It is a big capacitor/relay/overload device that can give some extra boost to the compressor to get it to turn over and run. Some also include extra wiring that attaches to the run capacitor *if* the compressor uses a run capacitor. I use them all the time on a variety of refrigerators new and old in order to determine if the relay is bad or the compressor is bad. Note it's only applicable as a replacement for PTC relays (which many are, but not all). That was probably more info than necessary, but what the hell. Maybe this will help someone someday?

    #31 1 year ago
    Quoted from frunch:

    I'll jump in before the lock, too. It's a shame it went that way, it's actually a good educational opportunity. If you can fix a pinball machine, you're probably capable of diagnosing and fixing problems with your appliances. Most of the time, the repairs really aren't difficult if you know what you're doing, or can at least follow instructions carefully.
    Anyway, just wanted to say the problem OP has is simple: The compressor has 2 windings, similar to a 3-lug flipper coil--the compressor has 3 lugs as well. The relay/overload device attached to the side of the compressor feeds 120 ac volts to the low-resistance start winding (like the lower-resistance 'power' winding of the flipper coil). Once it's drawing enough current to get the compressor turning fast, the relay switches power to the higher-resistance 'run' winding, like an end-of-stroke switch on a flipper coil switches power to the 'hold' winding! Resistance measurements can be taken between the 3 lugs. Any open or very low resistance readings can indicate a bad winding, just like with a flipper coil.
    So, OP's problem is most likely either the compressor is seized or it's got a broken/bad winding, or it's got a bad relay & doesn't switch the power from the start winding to the run winding on the compressor--not an uncommon problem. In any of those cases, the compressor typically hums as the relay activates the start winding for several seconds, but the relay does not switch to the run winding, producing lots of heat, and so the heat-sensitive overload clicks off to cut off power to compressor until it's cooled down. The overload is there to cut off power to the compressor if it won't turn over/run for any reason. Makes it safer, and may help salvage the compressor if the relay should fail (by preventing the start winding from burning up if the relay fails to switch the power over to the run winding).
    As another poster above noted, the '3-in-1' hard-start kit can substitute many different PTC (Positive Temperature Coefficient) relays and is very useful as a diagnostic tool. It is a big capacitor/relay/overload device that can give some extra boost to the compressor to get it to turn over and run. Some also include extra wiring that attaches to the run capacitor *if* the compressor uses a run capacitor. I use them all the time on a variety of refrigerators new and old in order to determine if the relay is bad or the compressor is bad. Note it's only applicable as a replacement for PTC relays (which many are, but not all). That was probably more info than necessary, but what the hell. Maybe this will help someone someday?

    Thanks, that was a good explanation.

    I thought I would report back that I replaced the relay in my case and the refrigerator is working again. Yay . I hope the OP gets his going too

    1 week later
    #32 1 year ago

    Thanks for all the input guys. I installed the new compressor relay and fridge is ice cold and working again.

    Still no clue if a relay rattling is a sure sign of a fault, but I can say the old one rattled when shook and the new one did not.

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