FIXED Help with information on 1967/68 Westinghouse Refrigerator RJH49RT4

Jrmy

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Looking for information on vintage Westinghouse refrigerator. Can't seem to find anything by model number other than it was built in 1967.

It quit cooling and would like to troubleshoot as it's original to our '68 home and we still have the matching range.

Serial: RH364879
 

Dan O.

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Jrmy said:
Can't seem to find anything by model number other than it was built in 1967.

It is rare that any appliance built before 1970 (and often even before 1980) will be found online.


Jrmy said:
It quit cooling and would like to troubleshoot

All the things that pertain to a modern frost-free refrigerator should pertain to it. They're described at the following link.

LINK > My frost free refrigerator is not cooling properly. What might be the problem?


If you have any specific queries afterward, post them here and we'll try to help.


Dan O.
 

Jrmy

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Thanks Dan!

Fairly certain the compressor is not starting up. It makes no noise at all.

It does say something about "integrated motor protection" on the serial plate and it was over-filled when it went out so I suspect a relay, thermostat, or whatever breaker is in place for the motor protection tripped. The lights do turn on when it's plugged in and the door is opened.

It also had this tag attached to the condenser coils.
 

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Dan O.

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Jrmy said:
Fairly certain the compressor is not starting up. It makes no noise at all.

Are the fans running? The link Ieft explain they are suppose to operate whenever the compressor is suppose to operate. See the part at the linked page titled "Compressor NOT Running".


Jrmy said:
It also had this tag attached to the condenser coils.


That will aid seeking replacement parts once the possible causes are narrowed down.


Dan O.
 

Jrmy

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So I've been getting into it a bit more over the holidays. Doing some research on the parts and fixing refrigerators in general, I got the idea that the issue had to be either the thermal breaker(overload protection), start relay, or capacitor. After taking these parts out and testing them it seems the start relay is bad with no resistance in either the upright or inverted positions. I have tested the compressor itself and it reads ohms correctly.

I ran across those 3in1 overload start relay and protection parts and decided to give that a try but I'm not quite understanding how to wire it in correctly. There was a bunch of splices that I took apart and forgot to document but it lead me to believe it has been repaired before. These were splices from wires leading into/out of the fridge compartment, the compressor parts, and the drain pan heater.

I eliminated the drain pan heater (since it was shorted anyway) and am left with 3 wires leading into the fridge (black, red, white) and the (ungrounded) power cord.

If I wire
  • black and one line wire of the 3in1 to the power line
  • red, white and the other line wire of the 3in1 to the other power line
Everything starts working lights, fans, compressor but I understand that's going to make the compressor run non stop because it's not taking the thermostat into consideration. Everything else I've tried leaves something not working at all.

Attached the schematic that was handily attached to the back of the fridge and it seems I'm missing an aspect that the relay provided.

Any assistance to put me on the right path would be much appreciated!

Also, here are the parts I removed from the "Relay Package" -
  • Motor Protection - MRA6988-341
  • Start Relay - 3CR-204-181
  • Capacitor - 35F997BA7 (189-227 MFD)

FridgeSchematic.jpg
 

Dan O.

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As near as I can see, the relay/overload should connect to the original wriring where indicated below.

image.jpeg


Dan O.
 

Jrmy

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That's what I've arrived at too after thinking about it. If Black is main Line, White is switched line from thermostat, and red is neutral as the schematic says there must be an issue between white and line (black). When I had the Freezer fan running it was, I think, a red herring as in I was feeding the fans power "up" the white line to power it rather than the having the power come in via the line. I'm learning....

So that leaves the 2 components in between line and the white switched line, the temperature control and the defrost timer. I would expect continuity between black and white as there is between white and red (neutral) but I'm getting an open line in that case. I've tested the thermostat located in the refrigerator compartment and it seems in working order - low ohms when on and open line when off. And yes, I did try testing the continuity between black and white with the thermostat all the way up.

So that leaves the defrost timer...problem is I can't seem to find it. Any ideas with your experience where they might be on a Westinghouse or other brands of this era? I hope it's not behind the refrigerator compartment as I've initially started to dismantle that and it seems to be a bear taking that thing apart.
 

Jrmy

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....I've seem to have found it buried behind the refrigerator compartment below the thermostat but I could pull it out where the wires feed into the thermostat. Seems like this is the issue if all 3 terminals are OL. My understanding is that there should be continuity between at least 2 terminals in each state.

It's part number C56880. Seems like something such as WR9X330DS could do the trick?
 

Dan O.

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The C56880 timer had removable timer motor leads to alter its function to either continuous run and cumulative run. Not all timers can.

The WR9X330DS does look to also have that ability so it likely could be used although I don't know its actual timing. There are 2 Whirlpool timers that are designed that way as well. Either could also be used. I don't know how much affect their different timing would make.

LINK > GE WR9X330DS Defrost Timer

LINK > Whirlpool 8 hr/21 min. Defrost Timer W10822278

LINK > Whirlpool 6hr Defrost Timer WP4391974


If the wiring connects onto the timer with a molded plastic plug, the WR9X330DS's terminals may be bent at an angle which precludes that terminal's use and might have to be cut off or the timer's terminals bent (not recommended). If it does use a plug on the wiring, one of the Whirlpool timers might be less hassle to use.

defrost_timer_terminals.jpg

Whichever timer you choose, make sure the timer motor wiring is on the same terminals on both old and replacement timer.


Dan O.
 
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Jrmy

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Great info Dan. I went ahead and purchased a supco aftermarket replacement before I got your note. Yes, the wiring connects to the timer with a slotted plastic housing.

The motor wiring is on terminals 2 and 4 on the old timer and the new one came with them on 1 and 3. I assume I can pull them off the terminals with a needle nose and push them back on 2 and 4?

Also the new timer has 4 terminals -
2(BL)
3(GR)
4(BK)
1(OR)

(Assuming the 2 letters are wire color indicators?)

while the original has 3 terminals
1
2
4
It looks as though it may have had a 4th terminal but there is no label and it appears like it was snipped off.

Since the terminals are in a different order would I need to cut off the plastic plug housing to get it to work with this new timer?
 

Jrmy

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Here are some photos for reference...
 

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Dan O.

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Yes, the timer motor terminals can be pried off with a small screwdriver, etc. and pressed into the necessary terminal.

The terminal numbering is not always the same on timers from different manufacturers. The wires would usually be transferred position to position and not necessarily relying on the terminal numbering.

I hope that helps

Dan O.
 

Jrmy

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OK! I changed terminals for the motor leads and it plugged right into the plastic wire housing in the fridge. Wired up the 3in1 and she fired right up. Left it running overnight and everything seems to be in excellent working order - compressor cycling on and off, etc.

Thanks so much for your help - I will be submitting a donation to your site today!
 

Dan O.

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Left it running overnight and everything seems to be in excellent working order

Glad to hear it. If the timer isn't functioning it should frost up in about a week or so and gradually reduce cooling. Keep an eye on it next week and/or open the evaporator cover and look for an increasing accumulation of frost on the evaporator.

Thanks for the followup.

Dan O.
 

Jrmy

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So....I brought the fridge back inside from the shop the other day and it has not been able to reach operating temps. Left it unplugged and the doors open over night to defrost and there was a little water in the drain pan. The ambient temp in the shop was around 40 degrees, inside is 60-70 degrees.

I noticed this morning it short cycles approx 5 min run 5 min off (not exact timing each cycle). I've since unplugged it until I can figure out what's going on because I assume that's a ton of wear on the compressor. When it does run it cools down quickly. Could this be an issue with the timer I replaced?

Also, while I was in there I did replace the power cord with a new grounded 15 amp cord.

Any ideas?
 

Dan O.

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I've since unplugged it until I can figure out what's going

You're probably not going to find out what's going on like that. All diagnosis needs to be done while it's plugged in and operational.


this morning it short cycles approx 5 min run 5 min off

What shuts off, the compressor, the fans, both together??

The timing is unimportant as long as it not just the compressor shutting off and not doing it seconds apart.

Operation is dependant on temperature. Place a container of water on a middle shelf and test its temperature after 6-12 hours of operation or after the thermostat setting is changed.


BTW. Many domestic refrigerators may not operate properly in temperatures below 50 deg. F.


Dan O.
 

Jrmy

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The compressor shuts off but the fans continue to run. I am using the 810 series supco hard start, fwiw, which is rated at 4.05 RLA. I've ordered a 410 to see if that may be the culprit?

I noticed the short cycles while measuring temps with my multimeter. After running for about 6 hours the freezer would get down to about 28 degrees (f) min and climb 5 or 6 degrees while the compressor was off, would kick on again down to high 20's and climb again.

the compressor temp was about 130 which seems to be well within normal operating temps. Correct me if I'm wrong but the hard starts don't have thermal protection, only voltage overload protection?
 

Dan O.

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If only the compressor is shutting off, the problem is either the compressor or the relay/overload. An RCO810 is not appropriate for use on a frost free refrigerator compressor, an RCO410 is.

If it is only the compressor shutting off, I agree leaving it disconnected from power until a more appropriate relay is installed is a good idea.

hard starts don't have thermal protection, only voltage overload protection?

They do not have compressor temperature protection, no. They might have their own internal temperature cutout for safety.


I would however think it should get to normal temperatures in 6 hours of running, especially with no load. If it's not cooling properly otherwise, there may be other components involved.

Dan O.
 

Jrmy

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So I've won idiot of the year.

While waiting for the new hardstart to arrive I tried to re-attach the original components - start relay, capacitor, and overload...I did not do it correctly and now the compressor will not start. Pretty sure I connected to the capacitor and the switched power line from the thermostat incorrectly to the start relay. I connected the capacitor leads to terminals 1 & 2 and line to terminal 3. 😖

I still get resistance on each of the 3 compressor and in correct ratios CtoR + CtoS = RtoS terminals albiet much lower than when a originally measured. Less than 3 ohms compared to about 7.7 I recorded previously

Now that the 410 hardstart is here I connected it directly to the compressor with all other components removed. It just hums for a second or 2 and pops.

Did I run it in reverse and seize it or fry something else? Did I just throw away hours of late nights working on this thing when I was this so close to having it all wrapped up?

#hailmary
 

Dan O.

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The change in resistance readings is worrying.

If it won't run with a correctly sized relay, wired in correctly, the compressor is likely defective.

JMO

Dan O.
 
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