ABC2037DEW Is my fridge a goner?

kitand96

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
9
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Model Number
ABC2037DEW
Brand
Amana
Age
6-10 years
Hello, I purchase my bottom-freezer refrigerator in 2005. Two months ago, I heard a 15 sec buzzing, then a click. The repair technician came and replaced the OEM relay/capacitor with the universal Supco relay. I don't remember which model, but it was cylindrical in shape. A week ago, everything in my refrigerator melted. The fans were running and lights were on, but the fridge was warm (both compartments).

The technician came out again and replaced the relay with a smaller squarish-shaped relay/capacitor which I believe to be the Supco R041 (there was a number on the part but I am at the office and don't have it with me).

When the fridge failed to start with the new relay, he determined that the compressor was done. He thought maybe the compressor overheated from the heat. Last weekend was especially hot in New York City. We had a brief heat wave with temps in the hi 80s to mid 90s with the humidity, but we get that all the time this time of the year. So once the tech said that maybe the compressor overheated, I lost all confidence in his abilities as a repair tech. I ordered the original OEM relay/capacitor for this fridge thinking maybe I could salvage the fridge.

However, since they used a universal relay, they had to cut the piece off the wire which goes into the OEM relay; it's a terminal that snaps/plugs into the OEM part. Is it worth it to find someone to make the OEM part work, or should I just give up and buy a new refrigerator? I'm not even confident that the second technician installed the second relay correctly! Please help!
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
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Messages
33,999
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
OK, lets start with the first replacement, the "cylindrical" one. He most likely used a 3-IN-1 hard start. They're compressor killers because they are not designed for use on most of the compressors in domestic refrigerators today. The compressors in use now don't use a start capacitor only a run capacitor.

The start capacitors burn out the electronics. Once the 3-IN-1 hard start quit starting the compressor, that's usually it and the compressor is history.

You can check and confirm the compressor is out with a VOM (Volt Ohm Meter). If you don't have one you should get one. They only cost around $20 and are handy for a lot of things not just appliance repair.

Remove the relay/overload and look at the three pins on the compressor. They are arranged in a triangle configuration. The pin at the top of the triangle is the common terminal. The two pins below the common terminal are Start on the left and Run on the right. This configuration can also be opposite with the common terminal or top of the triangle on the bottom. Set the ohmmeter on the RX10 scale.

Measure the resistance of the start windings between the Common terminal and the Start terminal. Ohmmeter should indicate between 3 and 11 ohms. Measure the resistance of the run windings between the Common terminal and the run terminal. Ohmmeter should indicate between 1 and 5 ohms. Measure between each terminal and the compressor body. Ohmmeter should indicate infinite resistance (1). Any other reading would indicate a shorted compressor.
001 Compressor Chart.jpg

Digital Multimeter
Digital-Multimeter-DM10T-01128790.jpg
 

kitand96

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
9
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Hi Rick,

It was hard to take the readings. The numbers kept fluctuating on my digital meter. Common to start was between 4.5 - 5.1. Common to run was about 3.5 - 4.2. Run to start was about 7.6 - 8.2. I set the dial on 200 on my meter. When I touch each terminal to the compressor body, the reading read 1 (all the way on the left of the screen; the same way it looks when I turn on the digital meter and have nothing between the leads). Can I touch the lead to ANY part of the compressor body?
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
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Messages
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kitand96

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
9
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Hi Rick,

It's pretty tight in that space where the relay plugs in. I touched one lead to each pins and touched the other lead to the compressor surface closest to the pins. Would that suffice? I have the start device above. I ordered it as soon as the tech left my house because he brought a flimsy looking relay. My problem is that the OEM start relay above has a connection that is no longer available to me because the first technician cut the wire in the refrigerator in order to attach the 3-in-1. How do I proceed?
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Messages
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Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
The two connectors on the start device are just spade connectors. One might be smaller than the other one or they could be the same size. Take the start device with you to Radio Shack so you get the right size spade connectors and then crimp them onto the the two wires he cut. It doesn't matter which wire goes where.
 

kitand96

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
9
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Hi Rick,

The guy at Radio Shack was no help. He insisted that the spade connectors that they have are not meant for refrigerators, just audio and video components. I bought them anyway and went over to the nearby Home Depot and the guy there told me what I bought was fine. However, since I could not open the packages, I had to buy a few of them. I bought one pack, 16-14 gauge with 3/16" insulated, 3/16" non-insulated, 1/4" insulated and 1/4" non-insulated. I also bought a pack that was 22-16 gauge, all insulated with 1/4", 3/16" and 7/64". Any preference?
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
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Messages
33,999
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Whatever works my friend! I always use the high temperature solderless connectors. The insulated connectors get in the way of each other when the wires are close together. Just make sure on solderless connectors you get a good tight crimp. These are the ones I use
Terminal Ends.jpeg
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Messages
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It should start right up (some control boards have a 30 second delay built in) but shouldn't get warm for a while, maybe 30-40 minutes.
 

kitand96

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
9
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Hi Rick,

Well, I got the relay in. Turned the fridge on, but did not wait 30 - 40 minutes. I couldn't tell if the compressor kicked on and I heard the relay clicking every minute or so. Is it doomed? :(
 

kitand96

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
9
Location
Brooklyn, NY
Hi Rick,

Thank you again for all your help. Since I am buying a new fridge, is there a brand that you recommend or any that I should stay away from? I am looking at the french door models with exterior water and ice dispenser as that would work better in my kitchen configuration. Thanks!
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
33,999
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Stay away from LG and Samsung. Other than that find the features you like and shop brands for price. I personally like Whirlpool.
 

Berrylou

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2019
Messages
1
Location
New Mexico
I am having a similar problem. My fridge and freezer will not chill lower than 48 degrees. I cleaned all the coils. The fan works. The compressor is hot to touch. I saw advice to disconnect the relay and shake, and if it rattled it’s bad. It didn’t. I haven’t used the ohmmeter yet. Because the compressor is hot I’m assuming the relay is working and the compressor is bad. Am I thinking correctly? Thanks for your help
 
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