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GE Refrigerator GFE28GYNGFS No cooling, electrical buzzing sound


Premium Member
May 15, 2023
Alabama, USA
Model Number
1-5 years
Symptoms: After plugging in, I hear a click and then a moderately loud electrical buzzing sound. If I put a finger on the compressor I almost feel it vibrate as though it's running? Or I'm just fooling myself, it's hard to tell. After maybe 30 seconds to a minute there's another click and the sound stops. The condensor fan turns on and appears to run just fine.

Video of the buzzing:


I got this GE fridge used to replace another one, but it does not cool. Previous owner mentioned that a technician had come out, verified the compressor was good, and then ordered "the wrong part that tells the compressor to turn on." I thought start relay, since I've swapped one of those before, but it appears that over the past few years fridges have changed and now many (most? all?) use linear/inverter compressors that can't be tested or fixed so easily, and so I'm too timid to try bypassing the relay to test the compressor. I can't even tell if the compressor is linear or not, I really don't know what I'm doing anymore.

I put an ohmmeter across the pins on the compressor, and got 5.4 and 4.4 ohms.

Compressor: embraco EMD55CLT
Motherboard P/N: GE239D5338101MP01
Fridge S/N: VS508306

I'd appreciate any assistance troubleshooting!





Last edited:

the compressor is linear or not
Its not a linear compressor, you don't have a compressor inverter board on this model.

Unplug the refrigerator and remove the compressor start relay from the side of the compressor and Ohm test the compressor start relay per Ricks diagram below.
(click to enlarge)
R-OL-SD TEST (2).jpg

Here's the compressor start relay for your model, if needed:
Overload Ptcr Combo WR07X10131

Let us know what you find.
Thank you for the instructions, Jake!

I removed the unit from the compressor, and then unplugged it from the wiring harness. I also removed the large 12uF AC black capacitor from the start relay before measuring:

C to L -> 0.1 ohm
R to S -> Digital multimeter counts up from 0 to O.L. open circuit, I suspect as it charges that little capacitor inside it.
I'm not sure how/if the lower left part of that diagram applies, and didn't try measuring it.

The start device has L and N labelled for the incoming power cable, but the three pins for the compressor are not labelled, so I'm using the letters from that diagram while holding the relay in the same orientation.

I noticed that the start relay has already been opened by someone, a plastic tab is torn off. I opened it to take a look too, and was surprised that it's a small circuit board, transistor, and capacitor. No relay, which I suppose is on the motherboard instead.



Sorry, my bad, yours is a TSD time delay start device.

Read what @Wx4usa says here:
Well dang, and here I thought I'd dodged a bullet with having a regular type compressor haha. Modern technology strikes again I guess.

Maybe now's my chance to learn how to braze small copper pipes together.. Except I can't find that model compressor for sale anywhere.
Here's the compressor for your model:

Yes, We don't get into sealed system repair here, there's a lot to it. Compressor/sealed system work is not a repair a normal consumer can do. Doing compressor/sealed system work is very unique craft that you need to be trained in with lots of hands on experience.

Doing sealed system work requires you to have a turbo torch, acetylene for the torch, knowledge of how to use and weld with a turbo torch, also having a vacuum pump, and the proper amount of R-134a to use, changing the Filter Drier as well, solder, flux, silfloss, sandpaper, etc.

You need also need to be a certified Type 1 40 CFR part 82, subpart F. AHAM-NARDA Refrigerant Tech. to change Compressors or do any sealed system work involving Freon(Refrigerant Gas). I got certified on 11-17-1994 when i worked for Montgomery Ward Service Dept.
Your welcome!
OK, I don't believe this is going anywhere, but I'd appreciate any input and I'd like to post for the sake of anyone else stumbling through a similar situation.

Looking at the disassembled Embraco QD TSD2 start device, it looks like the big transistor device fulfills the same function as a relay: turning the compressor on and off. I hoped that it had failed, and was not switching/conducting as it should to allow the compressor to operate. So I removed it and found that it's a TRIAC model BTA212 600D. While the datasheet is available, I couldn't find much information online about testing these. What I did find seemed to suggest that pins 1 and 3 should show ~50ohms resistance. On this one I read ~780ohms.

Hoping that the device had simply failed, I purchased a replacement NXP part online and it arrived today. The new device tested 780ohms as well. So it's unlikely the original had failed, but I soldered the new one into the circuit anyway and reassembled the TSD start device. There was no change. The compressor still buzzes and appears to fail to run.


Next I read up on the TSD2 device, and noticed that the language of the documentation from Embraco suggested this operated very similarly to a regular start device, just more efficiently. Since the fridge was already dead, and the likely culprit was the compressor being seized, I tried wiring in a 3-in-1 hard-start Supco RCO410 device. These are widely reported to cause premature compressor failure, but I've also seen people swear by them as a way to get a fridge up and running again. Notably this model device is for a 1/3 or 1/4hp compressor, and the embraco compressor in this fridge appears to be a 1/8hp, so it is possibly even more susceptible to damage here.


But the compressor began to run and I could hear the typical gurgling noise of refrigerant passing around the system! The compressor doesn't make any noise I'd associate with imminent failure, but it also doesn't sound quite right. I took a video that is difficult to hear, but the compressor appears to pulse in speed, and is emitting a slower hum than I'm used to. Maybe that's just the 600a refrigerant difference? Or the compressor is actually struggling?

I left the fridge for three hours and came back to the fridge section down 25 degrees from 70 degrees to mid 40s. I stuck my hand in the freezer section and it still feels room-temp. The compressor is warm, not hot. And the pipes coming out of it are only mildly cool and warm, not hot and cold as I am used to on a fridge.
This morning the fridge was 36 degrees, and the freezer was -1, right on what the digital thermostat was set to.


That Combo Device TSD Start device was change to a PTC start Device as per Jake part number and GE.The way it works is you can go from a TSD Start Device to a PTC Device ,but not from PTC to a TSD Device. I would buy what @Jake posted Start Device WR07X10131 and see if it starts. Not an Expensive relay new anyways.
Yes, @bigbuck is correct.

Here's another thread about this:

Overload Ptcr Combo WR07X10131
Thanks both.

I ordered the new start device from that appliancepartspros link. I also put the existing start device back on to check if maybe the compressor was stuck, and had come unstuck with the hard-start device. No change, still doesn't spin with the TSD starter. I'm hoping that's a good sign.
The new start device arrived very quickly!

I installed it, but it shows the same behavior as the original, the compressor buzzes but doesn't run. I'm assuming that does mean the compressor has some fault that's causing higher than normal resistance.

Yes, then its probably a bad compressor, because it worked fine with the hard start kit.

Would you agree @bigbuck ?
We are glad to help!

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