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253.44723100 Kenmore fridge makes knocking or clunking noise

edee_em

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Joined
Sep 3, 2005
Messages
92
Location
Ontario, Canada
Model Number
253.44723100
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
More than 10 years
Our fridge tries to start and then stops. It then tries again and again. Usually around the third time it starts. Lately, the fridge has been making a loud knocking or clunking noise as well, usually when the cooling cycle has stopped. I should mention that the fridge is cooling. Thoughts?
 

Jake

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That's usually a sign the compressor is starting to fail.

It would cost more than its worth to have a new compressor installed at this age.
 

edee_em

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Messages
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Location
Ontario, Canada
Thanks Jake. Is there any chance that the starter is buggered leading to the compressor making the noises or is that just wishful thinking on my part?
 

edee_em

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Messages
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Location
Ontario, Canada
Update: Got behind the fridge and I checked the compressor for heat and it was hot/warm. I gave the compressor a shake (checking the spring/mount theory) and I could hear something inside the compressor banging up against the sides, from the inside. This is the noise that I've been hearing and wondering about. So, is this a normal sound made by a compressor or is it proof it's on its way out? The fridge is operating perfectly and that makes this whole thing peculiar.

I also noticed some corrosion and liquid at the front of the compressor at the seam joining the bell top to the rest of the compressor about 2" long.
 
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Jake

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Lately, the fridge has been making a loud knocking or clunking noise as well, usually when the cooling cycle has stopped.
That indicates its failing right there.

I also noticed some corrosion and liquid at the front of the compressor at the seam joining the bell top to the rest of the compressor about 2" long.
Is it oily when you touch it? If not, that's just flux from the factory when they solder the joints.
 

edee_em

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Thanks again Jake

You're correct about the leak. The leak I thought was there, is not a leak at all. No oil. Looked very shiny in the photo but nothing there when I ran my finger across it. I hope you have some time as I do have a couple more observations.

I removed the starter/capacitor combo unit and tested each separately with the multimeter. I got 9.91 mF on the capacitor. It says it is a 10 mF capacitor so is it okay? The capacitor didn't show any markings about +/- variance from rating. It just says 10 mF.

I then checked the overload continuity on the start relay and got a reading around 3 ohms. However, when I probed the triangle holes in the back for continuity, there was none bottom to top right and bottom to top left but there was continuity between top left and right. That can't be right, right? I also did the dreaded "shake test" and there was only a slight rattle which most say shows it is fine, but not really, as I'm sure you have heard more than once.
 

Jake

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Yes, the capacitor is good.

Here's the compressor start relay for your model:
frigidaire-controller-216954200-ap3710488_01_m.jpg


Rick explains how to test it in very good detail here:
 

Jake

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Oh wait, you asked this yourself back in 2020 LOL, You forgot this?
 

edee_em

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Covid made me forget? Nah, I remembered but I didn't act on it. Being a basement fridge, that was working, it just left my mind. Recently, I'm spending more time in the basement and the fridge noise is more noticeable, so I thought I'd better act on it before it craps out. Is it a good sign that it has survived for two years since?:LOL::LOL:
 

Jake

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Ok, got it!

Thanks for the update!
 

edee_em

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Location
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Update: Ran all the measurements suggested in earlier post and everything is within spec numbers given. Continuity for all connections, starter and compressor, no short in compressor and resistance numbers for started and compressor test okay. There's nothing wrong with the starter and there's nothing wrong with the compressor, according to the numbers. Another thing I noticed is that after pulling the fridge out from the wall, the clanging noise of the compressor has stopped. Could it have been a leveling issue? The fridge is cooling, no strange noises, so we'll call this one okay, for now.

However, the matching upright freezer in this duo (Kenmore Elite # 253.44733102) is now doing what the fridge was doing in that I hear the click of the starter and a hum from the compressor trying to start and then, after a couple more tries, the compressor starts. This is the more typical starter issue I have been reading about. The freezer is cooling but I sense there is a bit of a rise in the temperature. Ice cream is not melted but a bit softer than normal.

Anyway, I started looking for the starter (#297051000, I believe) for the freezer, just in case, and guess what? No longer made by the manufacturer. Discontinued! Is there a work-around for this type of issue?
 

Jake

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Update: Ran all the measurements suggested in earlier post and everything is within spec numbers given. Continuity for all connections, starter and compressor, no short in compressor and resistance numbers for started and compressor test okay. There's nothing wrong with the starter and there's nothing wrong with the compressor, according to the numbers. Another thing I noticed is that after pulling the fridge out from the wall, the clanging noise of the compressor has stopped. Could it have been a leveling issue? The fridge is cooling, no strange noises, so we'll call this one okay, for now.
Leveling issue? Has it not been level at this time and that noise started 2 years ago only? Or has it been present since Day 1 from 10 years ago?

However, the matching upright freezer in this duo (Kenmore Elite # 253.44733102) is now doing what the fridge was doing in that I hear the click of the starter and a hum from the compressor trying to start and then, after a couple more tries, the compressor starts. This is the more typical starter issue I have been reading about. The freezer is cooling but I sense there is a bit of a rise in the temperature. Ice cream is not melted but a bit softer than normal.
Yes, the compressor start device relay is possibly going bad on that one, you can verify it by what Rick mentioned on how to test it in post #7.

I started looking for the starter (#297051000, I believe) for the freezer, just in case, and guess what? No longer made by the manufacturer. Discontinued! Is there a work-around for this type of issue?
No, not that I'm aware of.
 
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edee_em

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Thanks Jake. No it hasn't been making the noise from Day 1. I had to move the fridge, around 2 years ago, coincidently, to do some plumbing. The fridge was moved to the other side of the room, where it has stayed for the past while. I watched a bunch of videos about fridge compressors and I seem to recall that someone had mentioned that the compressor can start making that clunking sound if the fridge is out of level. I saw one guy slap the compressor pretty hard to get it running and others slap it around to silence it. That got me thinking that when I pulled the fridge out to work on it, something got jiggled back into place or some other appliance repair work voodoo!! I'll chalk this one up to good luck.

The starter in the freezer is different (part #, anyway). Will the testing be the same with the same reference numbers?

So Frigidaire doesn't support its products and customers. My next fridge will not be a Frigidaire. What else can we do? Do you have any thoughts on those 3 in 1 starters like Supco makes for a replacement?
 

edee_em

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Update: I checked the starter and compressor in the freezer against the benchmarks given and they both test as good. I think we can call this issue solved, without not actually solving anything? o_O With the starter being discontinued, not much I can do anyway...
 

Jake

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Ok, got it!

The starter in the freezer is different (part #, anyway). Will the testing be the same with the same reference numbers?
Starter in the freezer? Post a photo of it with that number on it. The compressor start relay is always on the side of the compressor, not in the freezer.

Do you have any thoughts on those 3 in 1 starters like Supco makes for a replacement?
I don't know. Your local appliance parts store in your area should probably know, they used to have a cross reference book, but that was 30 years ago, and I don't know if they still have it available.

Update: I checked the starter and compressor in the freezer against the benchmarks given and they both test as good. I think we can call this issue solved, without not actually solving anything? o_O With the starter being discontinued, not much I can do anyway...
Glad to hear that.(y)
 

edee_em

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Location
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Bad choice of words: starter is on the side of the compressor in the standalone freezer unit that is the match to the standalone fridge.
 

Jake

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LOL, that's what I was thinking after I posted, sorry about that.
 
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