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BRF20TW Amana Fridge warm not cool

liquidice

Premium Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
6
Location
cyber
Model Number
BRF20TW
Brand
Amana
Age
More than 10 years
I have learned more about refrigerators in the last two days than anyone should be expected to in a lifetime.
I have suffered, though I see light at the end of the tunnel.

The other night while I was on my computer I heard an annoying humming sound, I thought it was the computer.
When I turned off the computer, the annoying hum was still present.
Eventually I realized that the hum was emanating from the back of the fridge.
I unplugged the fridge and then plugged it back in. No more annoying sound; went to bed.

Next morning the fridge and freezer were warm.

Over the last day or so I have gained insight into how fridges work.
From what I understand now, the compressor fan is working properly.
However, the compressor is not. When I plug the fridge in, the compressor does not warm up or do anything.

I think this means that the relay is bad.

The problem that I am having is that on the Amana model that I have, the relay appears to be melded to the compressor.
Online, everyone says it is easy to detach the relay from the compressor.
I have not found this. There is so little room to move down there, though it does not seem that the relay wants to break loose.
Should I just go in there with a screwdriver and lever it off?

My other concern is about the capacitor.
Some online websites talk about the capacitor having a potentially lethal charge if one made contact with it.
Does anyone know where this dangerous item might be in the fridge.
I am not able to locate it. Perhaps it is in this relay housing that is giving me so much trouble.

As soon as I could remove the relay and hopefully discharge the capacitor, then the online videos show
the actual replacement to be an easy job.

Any comments or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

liquidice

Premium Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
6
Location
cyber
Wow! I looked around the forum and I saw a picture of what looks to be a fridge that has been flipped upside down and then opened up!
That could be very helpful. There is almost no room to access the relay from the bottom.

If I could flip the fridge then the job would be so much easier and more comfortable.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
105,369
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi,

Do not flip the fridge, that will cause the compressor oil to flood your sealed system, then your SOL completely.:)

Just leave the fridge upright and work from the back, I know there is not much room, but its enough room to access the compressor start relay.

Should I just go in there with a screwdriver and lever it off?
Yes, that's what I do myself.:) Make sure you unplug your fridge first!

Once you have the compressor start relay off, shake it and see if it rattles.

Here's the compressor start relay for your model:
WP10097202 Relay, Start


If no rattle, What I do is ohm test the 2 parallel holes on it. I Unplug the refrigerator first then remove it from the side of the compressor. Then take the wires off of it and ohm the 2 parallel holes where it pushes on to the 2 parallel compressor pins.

Normal would be 0-1 ohms reading on the multimeter.

Jake
 

liquidice

Premium Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
6
Location
cyber
Thank you very much for your reply.
I have been working this through and I have been making steady progress towards fixing this.

We've always curbed our fridges when they stopped working, though after looking at the online videos this repair looks very simple.

The only problems that I can see are the capacitors and actually getting the relay off.
The fridge has been unplugged for a few day, though it still might have a charge.
Online sources suggest that being shocked by the capacitor could be lethal.

I cannot not see a run capacitor.
Is the start capacitor jammed into the housing of the relay?
 

liquidice

Premium Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
6
Location
cyber
This is going super great!

I have now uninstalled the brown box relay. No rattle, but it smells like burnt toast. I'll give the multimeter a try on it.
I also uninstalled the white thingy Overload? that was above it on the third prong on the compressor.
When I opened it I broke the plastic slightly.

Might you know the product number for the BRF20TW for this item?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
105,369
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Yes, the white one is the overload. You can ohm test that one too for continuity.

Here's the overload for this model:
Manufacturer's Number: WP4344040


Jake
 

liquidice

Premium Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
6
Location
cyber
I have the multimeter.

The brown relay box tested at 4 ohm.
The white overload also hit a minimum of 4 ohm, though the reading jumped around a fair amount.

Does this mean that it is the relay that is broken?
If so, then buying this part should fix my problem!
Great!
 

liquidice

Premium Member
Joined
May 17, 2017
Messages
6
Location
cyber
Ok, I have zereoed the multimeter.

The relay and overload are both reading out at 0 ohms.
The three pins on the compressor are tricky to reach though they should be next.
How many ohms should read out on the compressor?


If the compressor were to read out fine then I am very unsure what is wrong.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
105,369
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Ok, I have zereoed the multimeter.

The relay and overload are both reading out at 0 ohms.
There we go, I was just about to say both should be at 0 ohms.:)

Here's how to check your 3 compressor pins:

There are three pins in a triangle configuration. The pin at the top is Common. The pin at left is usually Start. The pin to the right is usually Run. Read between C-S and C-R

Use an ohmmeter to check the C-S: Ohmmeter should indicate between 3 and 11 ohms. Then check the C-R: Ohmmeter should indicate between 1 and 5 ohms. Then check from each compressor pin to the compressor body for a short.

If you're having a problem finding the START and RUN windings pins on your compressor, Read below:

--->First check to see if you have windings in the compressor. Then check to see if they are grounded. If the compressor has windings and they are not grounded, you can find which winding is which. Check for grounded windings by reading from each terminal to a good ground on the cabinet. Read from the top terminal to the lower left terminal. Read from the top terminal to the lower right terminal. Read from the lower left terminal to the lower right terminal. Write down the resistance of each reading as you go. The highest reading you get will be the run and start winding of the compressor in series with each other. The other terminal left will be the common terminal. Read from the common terminal to each of the other terminals. The terminal with the lower resistance will be the run winding. The higher resistance the start winding.

NOTE: IF you measure across S-R, ignoring the common. That reading should be the exact total of the two individual coil readings, because you're reading through both coils in series now. If those two sets of readings aren't within about 1/2 ohm of each other, then one of the compressor windings is shorted, and if it runs at all, it'll run hot and usually end up short-cycling on its overload protector.

Jake
 
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