1955 GM Frigidaire Refrigerator New Relay Wiring Problems

crazy cooter

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Greetings - I have replaced the original 1/8 HP YT relay with a R081 Supco relay on my 1955 Frigidaire refrigerator. The old relay has been completely removed (no dummy posts available). I am having trouble following the original wiring diagram (attached) to know how to connect the remaining wires from the thermostat and light/door switch wires (a total of three wires) with the new R081 relay. I have tried many combinations but the new relay gets hot within 30 seconds or i blow a circuit - so i disconnect the power to prevent damage. I have the Common, Start and Run posts on the compressor identified and feel confident with how that is wired to the new relay. I have replaced the compressor wires connecting to the new relay with 16-2 hot water heater wire (it appears to be of similar gauge/insulated wire). Any ideas? IMG_1088.jpg

Thanks for any tips and advice -

Cooter
 

Jake

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Hi Cooter,

Rick is very good at compressor wiring on these older models especially, you can PM him ask him to assist you here in your thread.

Jake
 

rickgburton

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Don't start a new thread I found this one and moved your post here. If that is a partial wiring diagram of your machine in post #1, you do have the compressor terminals identified correctly. This looks like your machine:
Hotwire to Solid State no fan.jpg
 

Jake

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Thanks Rick for helping Cooter.:)

Jake
 

crazy cooter

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Gents, I am back at it today. First, I have three wires coming from the thermostat/door switch/light. Two wires are paired together and the last wire is a single. Does that explain where they come from and how they tie into the new relay and power cord? Of those paired wires, there is a yellow paint swipe on one from factory, does that tell us anything? Explanation of photo's - Pic 1 is the exact (full) wiring diagram that represents the wiring diagram on the back of my appliance (less the black directional lines). Pic 2 is a picture of the three wires that are coming from the thermostat/door switch/light. I have zip-ties on each that may be helpful to us for identification and directions.
IMG_1087.JPG
IMG_1139.jpg

Cooter
 

crazy cooter

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Gents, I am back at it today. First, I have three wires coming from the thermostat/door switch/light. Two wires are paired together and the last wire is a single. Does that explain where they come from and how they tie into the new relay and power cord? Of those paired wires, there is a yellow paint swipe on one from factory, does that tell us anything? Explanation of photo's - Pic 1 is the exact (full) wiring diagram that represents the wiring diagram on the back of my appliance (less the black directional lines). Pic 2 is a picture of the three wires that are coming from the thermostat/door switch/light. I have zip-ties on each that may be helpful to us for identification and directions.

IMG_1144.jpgIMG_1139.jpg

Cooter
 

rickgburton

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crazy cooter said:
..here are ohm measurements for you. A-B= 6.9, A-C=4.4 and B-C=10.9 +/- .01 based on my meter fluctuating. Thanks for your help and moving my thread. I did much research on your site a few weeks ago and found a line diagram re to a 1951 Frigidaire R041 relay schematic. That image is identical to my wiring diagram. I tried to follow these directions without success. The diagram you attached to the forum post is quite similar yet a bit different and I am not sure how to reach the "cold control" to wire directly to the R081 relay. If you check the forum, I will have a few pictures attached. A few questions looking at the diagram you dropped in are: (1) how do i determine the "N" if that is referred to as neutral wires on both power cord and the wires coming from the switch/light, etc.? (2) how do I wire directly to the "cold control" /thermostat? I see in your diagram that the common line that continues from the compressor through the relay goes to the wire labeled "L1" and one power cord wire - does it matter which power cord wire i use? See you on the forum thread! Thanks a million - Cooter
I remember when I drew those line on the diagram thinking I hope I don't need it again...lol. Thanks to MS paint and a little patients I was able to restore it. I'll post it along with the wire diagram from post #4.
Early relay.jpgHotwire to Solid State no fan.jpg

That wire diagram will work and with a 2 wire power cord, white or black it doesn't matter. Try to think of it like this, the only thing that needs power is the compressor (R081 relay/overload) and the light bulb. When I say power I'm saying a "Hot" side and a "Neutral" side or as we call it "L1 and "N" or A Black Wire and a White Wire. The thermostat (cold control) and light switch just break one side of the light and compressor power supply. So take the "Hot" side or black wire from the power cord and connect it to one side of the light switch and from the other side of the light switch to the light bulb and now the light bulb has a "Hot" side. When the light switch is pressed in the contacts in the switch open and when it's not pressed in they are closed. Door closed=switch open=light off Door open=switch closed=light on. The new relay needs a "Hot" side so connect one of the relay power wires to the same black wire on the power cord. Now all we need is a neutral side for the light and relay. We want the compressor to turn off when it gets cold enough so this time we will break the "N" side with the thermostat/cold control. The White wire from the power cord connects to one side of the cold control and from the other side of the cold control to the other relay power wire. Now when the control reaches the correct temperature, it opens and the compressor turns off. We still need a "N" side for the light so where the white wire from the power cord connects to the cold control, piggy back a wire on it and connect that wire to the light. That's probably your three wires from your picture. You know two of those wires are connected together so if you turn the cold control to "OFF" only two of those wires will have continuity just as if it was one wire. Confused yet?

I should add my diagram has the power cord black wire and the white wire reversed from the original diagram but it doesn't matter. Use one or the other, not both. If you try to use both diagrams at the same time I can almost guaranty you'll get it wrong.
 
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crazy cooter

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I remember when I drew those line on the diagram thinking I hope I don't need it again...lol. Thanks to MS paint and a little patients I was able to restore it. I'll post it along with the wire diagram from post #4.
View attachment 22831View attachment 22832

That wire diagram will work and with a 2 wire power cord, white or black it doesn't matter. Try to think of it like this, the only thing that needs power is the compressor (R081 relay/overload) and the light bulb. When I say power I'm saying a "Hot" side and a "Neutral" side or as we call it "L1 and "N" or A Black Wire and a White Wire. The thermostat (cold control) and light switch just break one side of the light and compressor power supply. So take the "Hot" side or black wire from the power cord and connect it to one side of the light switch and from the other side of the light switch to the light bulb and now the light bulb has a "Hot" side. When the light switch is pressed in the contacts in the switch open and when it's not pressed in they are closed. Door closed=switch open=light off Door open=switch closed=light on. The new relay needs a "Hot" side so connect one of the relay power wires to the same black wire on the power cord. Now all we need is a neutral side for the light and relay. We want the compressor to turn off when it gets cold enough so this time we will break the "N" side with the thermostat/cold control. The White wire from the power cord connects to one side of the cold control and from the other side of the cold control to the other relay power wire. Now when the control reaches the correct temperature, it opens and the compressor turns off. We still need a "N" side for the light so where the white wire from the power cord connects to the cold control, piggy back a wire on it and connect that wire to the light. That's probably your three wires from your picture. You know two of those wires are connected together so if you turn the cold control to "OFF" only two of those wires will have continuity just as if it was one wire. Confused yet?

I should add my diagram has the power cord black wire and the white wire reversed from the original diagram but it doesn't matter. Use one or the other, not both. If you try to use both diagrams at the same time I can almost guaranty you'll get it wrong.
Rick and other viewers -

Was I confused? Yes! I did find both diagrams (the original and make-up), only if viewed separately, to be helpful. Rick's diagram helped me grasped the wiring concept and interpret the original wiring diagram. I was able to successfully get the wires configured to allow the cabinet light to come on when the switch was open (door open) and vise versa; and not trip circuits, etc. The cold control dial inside the cabinet trigged the compressor; but it wasn't cooling after ten minutes. Therefore, I switched the double wires around (from the cold control) and she is starting to cool. Here is an additional question/concern: The relay is hot to touch but the compressor is within normal temperature-operating range (in my less than knowledgeable appliance repair opinion). The compressor has been running for about 15 minutes and it seems to be cooling the freezer plates and not overheating but it is generating some heat - which I think is normal as it is beginning to cool from ambient air temps (currently). So the question is about the R081 relay; it's HOT, is that normal?

Thanks for all the help Rick - Cooter

over
 

rickgburton

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crazy cooter said:
....but it wasn't cooling after ten minutes. Therefore, I switched the double wires around (from the cold control) and she is starting to cool.
Switching the wires around will have no affect at all. Remember it's a switch like the light switch. Some of the older refrigerators take a while to cool. 10 minutes is not long enough. In fact 10 hours isn't long enough. Give the machine 24 hours to stabilize the temperatures and it should be cycling normally by then.
crazy cooter said:
......R081 relay; it's HOT, is that normal?
No, it's not normal. So for now, unplug the machine. Give me the complete part number of the relay overload you just installed. I read your thread from the beginning and I believe the compressor is bigger than a 1/8 hp. Where did you get that number, was it on the old relay? I would like to see the machine if possible. Can you take some pictures of the front, inside, cold control, back of the machine, machine compartment (where the compressor is located) and the compressor and compressor wires. Any tags or numbers on the compressor?
 

rickgburton

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crazy cooter

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Rick, Here are some details and photographs.
#1 Relay is Supco R081
#2 compressor tag (lists 1/8 HP, 115V, 2.1 Comp Amps)
#3 old relay (1/8 HP YT)
#4 R081 relay wiring config
#5 Compressor compartment

IMG_1166.jpgIMG_1154.jpgIMG_1157.jpgIMG_1150.jpgIMG_1153.jpg

Machine pictures to come.....
 

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rickgburton

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No, that was good. Did you see my last post? You have the wrong relay on it.
 

crazy cooter

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No, that was good. Did you see my last post? You have the wrong relay on it.
I did see your post with the Pro 3 to 1 relay but not until I responded to the previous question. Do we agree that my compressor is rated for 1/8 HP, so wouldn't the Supco R081 relay that i have on it work since it is designed for a 1/12- 1/5 HP. I went to the link you posted for the 3 to 1 relay and it brought me to a relay rated for 1/4-1/3 HP. If my compressor and old relay is 1/8 HP wouldn't I want to match the HP rating or is there a reason why I need to add a larger relay?
 

rickgburton

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Do we agree that my compressor is rated for 1/8 HP, so wouldn't the Supco R081 relay that i have on it work since it is designed for a 1/12- 1/5 HP.
The short answer is, it will work. It probably won't last very long. On those old style compressors there are other factors you need to consider. The start capacitor only helps those old style compressors start so it's not necessary. If you had a 1/8 hp high efficiency, normal starting torque, fan cooled compressor like the ones in newer machines that run at about .5 amps, you wouldn't have any problems. Your 1/8 hp compressor is a high torque, static condensor and runs at about 2.5 amps or more. That's going to heat that solid state relay and it will wear out in no time. Without the start capacitor, you would be better off with an R041 relay. You can leave the one you have on there now until it fails. Is the machine cooling OK and is the relay still hot?
 

crazy cooter

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I disconnected power so to answer the last question, not sure. If you were to recommend a new relay, do you suggest the Supco R041 or the Pro 3-N-1 and should I go above the 1/8 HP rating, such as the 1/4 through 1/3 HP?

Over
 

rickgburton

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R041 should work just fine. 1/4 - 1/3, you can go higher, just not smaller. If the one on now is not hot it may be OK.
 

crazy cooter

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Gents,

Starting at 75-80 degrees, the compressor kicks on, runs for one hour and twenty minutes, cycles on and off as needed and progressively runs less to maintain the temperature at 35-38 degrees. Then, the compressor doesn't want to go and the machine warms to ambient temps. It will begin working again after I move the temperature control setting either warmer or cooler. It will run a similar sequence for a few hours, then won't turn on without adjusting the temp control. Is the temp control switch bad? or failing compressor?
 

rickgburton

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The cold control is the problem. Where does the capillary from the control mount? Any numbers on it?
 
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