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Breaker trips on 2001 Whirpool GD5LHGXKQ00

bfarnsle

Premium Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2010
Messages
54
Location
Bloomington Indiana
Model Number
GD5LHGXKQ00
Brand
Whirlpool
Age
More than 10 years
Hi. Breaker started tripping on this unit a couple days ago. I had to put in a new GFCI plug because I found it dead and would not reset.
Fridge worked for a while after doing that, but now trips again every time I plug fridge in.
I unplugged the cord from the inside of the unit and plugged cord into outlet and it appears to be fine.
When I unplug the fan, see pic, the unit powers on (light on in fridge) and no tripping of breaker.

See pic of what I unplugged.

Any suggestions on what to do next? Thanks.
Brian

fanpic.jpg
 
Well, I cleaned that connector I disconnected with Deoxit (deoxidizer). I also sprayed some on the connecters that are on the compressor. After letting them dry for a few minutes, I plugged the fan back in and plugged the fridge back in to electric and it did power on without a trip. It took maybe 15-30 minutes for the compressor to come back on but it eventually did and it has been runninig for 15-20 minutes since without any issues.

Jake, would you suggest doing anything else?
 
so I have removed everything from this circuit except the fridge. No other wires exit the outlet its on. Fridge would trip every time I plugged it in until I unplugged the connector in this pic (see black rectangle). Once I unplugged that, the fridge came on without tripping. I plugged this cord back in, and then tried fridge again and its been working for the last two hours.

pic.jpg
 
That plug looks to supply power the fan motor and defrost heater. Either could be shorted (or partially shorted) to ground. The only time a short in either of those should trip the circuit is when powered. The fan will be powered when running, the heater powered when in defrost mode and the freezer not too warm (below freezing at least).

Find out which is ON when it occurs or if either was suspect, that component could usually be tested for a short to ground if its wiring can be isolate.

LINK > GD5LHGXKQ00 Defrost Heater


I don't know what is causing the trip but most manufacturers recommend against plugging a refrigerator into a GFCI outlet or circuit. Check the owner's or installation manual.


Dan O.
 
Yeah, its only been plugged in there 10 years with no issues. ;-) Thanks for the link I will look at it.

The fan is running now. The evap coils are freezing over as I suspect they should. Been on for 3-4 hours now with no issue.
When does the heater come on?
 
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When does the heater come on?

I do not know on that particular model. If usually varies with compressor run time but will be at least 6 hrs.

There may be a way to force the defrost. Check the 'tech sheet' that should accompany its wiring diagram. It may be folded up inside the kickplate, under the front cabinet in a pouch or envelope or in the compressor area at the rear.

Dan O.
 
Ok. Kick plate does not have paperwork. Will see if I can find it online. Coils are fully frozen and the items that thawed a little in the freezer are fully frozen again. Been running almost 12 hours now.
 
Is there a way to simply turn off the freezer portion of the unit?

No. All cooling takes place in the freezer. A small portion of that air is circulated into the fridge section to cool there. NO freezer = NO refrigerator.



Kick plate does not have paperwork.

Than testing the defrost heater for a short to ground may be necessary to determine if it is the cause.

LINK > GD5LHGXKQ00 Defrost Heater


.
 
It popped! It ran almost 10 hours. I unplugged the defrost heater (small connector in my pic earlier) and tried the unit again and it continues to pop as soon as I reset the breaker.
 
have not tested it yet, but when the freezer thaws all the way it can be plugged back in. My guess is it will run all day again until it fully freezes then it will pop once again.
 
I unplugged the defrost heater (small connector in my pic earlier) and tried the unit again and it continues to pop as soon as I reset the breaker.

Than that would suggest nothing attached to that connector is responsible and the cause must be elsewhere. Unfortunately I do not know what that would be. The compressor might have been suspect but it is less likely if it ever ran w/o tripping the breaker.

g/l
.
 
ok so I did unplug the defrost heater ONLY and the fridge has now run for 24 hours without breaker popping. I'd guess that is a pretty good indicator that the defrost heater is bad. What happens if I leave the defroster unplugged?
 
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Test it for a short to ground. With at least one lead disconnected, test from that wire to the outside of the element itself. The following image shows testing for a short to ground on a cooking element. It's the same principle.



If the heater was responsible, it should show some resistance on the highest ohm scale. If it is not shorted it should have infinite resistance between either lead and the body of the element.

Dan O.
 
No. Rubber would melt. The wires are covered in plastic to prevent shorting.

Some defrost heaters are made of quartz and couldn't be tested that way but on them the a short would usually be visibly obvious. You model doesn't use such a heater at shown at the link I provided.

Than testing the defrost heater for a short to ground may be necessary to determine if it is the cause.

LINK > GD5LHGXKQ00 Defrost Heater

Dan O.
 
I guess I dont understand how to put one of the test leads on the 'body of the element' if its covered in plastic.

Do I just need to put one multimeter lead on one connector and the other multimeter lead on the coils (I'm assuming they are grounded).
Or do I need to run a wire to the ground on one of my outlets?
 
'body of the element' if its covered in plastic

The body of the element is a metal alloy. Not plastic. The wires are covered in plastic. Where the wires attach to the element is covered in plastic. The element body (the part that gets hot) is not plastic. Plastic would melt. :unsure:

how to put one of the test leads on the 'body of the element'

You take one of the meter leads and scrape it back and forth across its surface (as shown in the surface element illustration above) to make sure it makes contact, while the other meter lead is connected to one of its wire leads.

(Do not touch both meter leaders with your bare fingers at the same time or you will read the resistance of your skin instead.)

Dan O.
 

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