Kenmore Elite Side-by-side loud buzzing, hot compressor

roushraven

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
5
Location
nebraska
Model
106.52203100
Brand
Sears Kenmore
Age
6-10 years
Yesterday my Sears Kenmore refridgerator started making strange noises (noticeable click and buzzing). The sound lasts for 15-20 seconds and stops. This pattern cycles pretty consistently every 15-20 minutes. Also, the compressor is hot to the touch.

I did a google search and found this site. After not finding my model number referenced in any of the forum posts I decided to create this thread to ask for guidance.

However based on what I've read here it seems like the problem may be with the "start relay". Any ideas? Also, is it safe to keep the refridgerator plugged in until repaired or given its current condition is that unsafe?

Thanks in advance,

-Arthur
 
Last edited:

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
33,163
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Unplug the machine. Remove the bail wire holding the relay/overload/start device to the compressor. Remove the two wire connector from the relay/overload/start device. Pull the relay/overload/start device straight off the compressor. Shake the device and see if you notice any rattling sound that would indicate the relay/overload/start device needs to be replaced. This is a common problem found mostly on Whirlpool/ Kenmore/ Kitchen-Aid refrigerators. Most of the defective relays/overloads/start devices were installed on Embraco compressors. Use an ohmmeter set on the lowest scale to check the start device from the two terminals on the front of the case. The meter should indicate a resistance of between 3 and 26 ohms. A defective relay will measure zero (0) ohms (shorted) or infinite resistance (open). You can use it like that until you get the part but the clicking you hear is the overload opening and closing. Eventually it will open and not close and the compressor won't turn on. If the relay/overload/start device is good the compressor is most likely shot.

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Start-Device-8201786-01023085.jpg
 

roushraven

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
5
Location
nebraska
Thank you for the assistance. I ordered the part and I'll post an update to this thread once I receive and install it. Hopefully I won't need a new compressor.

-Arthur
 

roushraven

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
5
Location
nebraska
Update

I replaced the start device and unfortunately the problem persists. In fact the "clicking and buzzing" sound interval is more frequent - approximately every 10 minutes and lasts for about 5 seconds. The compressor is still hot to the touch. The good news is that so far the freezer and fridge are still cold.

What's your suggestion now?

-Arthur
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
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Messages
33,163
Location
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What's your suggestion now?
I suggest you start looking for a new refrigerator. The compressor's shot. You can check the outlet and make sure you don't have a low voltage issue but I'm guessing, since you didn't check the start device, you don't have a VOM (Volt Ohm Meter).
 

roushraven

Premium Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
5
Location
nebraska
I suggest you start looking for a new refrigerator. The compressor's shot. You can check the outlet and make sure you don't have a low voltage issue but I'm guessing, since you didn't check the start device, you don't have a VOM (Volt Ohm Meter).
Correct, I do not have a VOM but I guess the point is moot. So I take it the compressors are not replaceable on this model?? If so then that blows big time.

Thanks for the help.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
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Messages
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Murray, Utah 84107, United States
It's replaceable but the cost will probably exceed it's value. In my area a compressor replacement costs between $500 and $700.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
33,163
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
Anytime! That's the worst part of this, having to give someone bad news. On the bright side, you didn't have to pay anyone $75 for the same news.
 
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