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FIXED KitchenAid Refrigerator KSSC48QKS02 Not Kicking On

chubs33

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Florida
Model Number
KSSC48QKS02
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
More than 10 years
Hey all!

I've been searching the forums and have already learned a ton from other threads, but I wanted to get more opinions on my KSSC48QKS02 built-in KitchenAid. My wife and I are new owners of this house, but from the owner's manual I see that this fridge is from 2003 at the very latest, so it is getting up there in age! Two days ago, it just turned off. I was not home while it happened, so I am not sure if it made noise or what. If it's an important note, it was around the time a thunderstorm came through the area but we did not lose power. Anyway, I turn it off on the main switch up top and turn it back on, nothing. No lights, no fan, nothing. I checked the main house breaker and it was pulling proper voltage. I let it sit for 3hrs and turn it on again, and we had some signs of life.

The lights inside both the freezer and refrigerator turned on and the condenser fan clicked on for about 3s before clicking off. I went up on the ladder and observed to see where the click was coming from and it is definitely the fan turning on and off, however the compressor also was attempting to kick on. My first assumption from reading is that it was the compressor, but I could hear it attempting to start up before kicking off when the fan did. My new thought is that it might be a bad starter relay on the Embraco VEGT 8H. Embarrassingly, I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to get the relay cover off. Today is a new day, so I will be attempting to pry it off with more patience, but wanted to see if you guys think I'm headed in the right direction. My next thought is that it might be a bad control board, but I'm holding out hope for now.
 

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Last edited:

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,700
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Hi,

Yes, usually when it does that on these models its the control board that has gone bad.

Here's the control board for your model:
W10823805


It comes with instructions.

Jake
 

chubs33

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Florida
Appreciate it, Jake! I was hoping it was just the start relay, but I guess I'll take a control board over having to buy a new refrigerator. Thank you!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
123,700
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
When the condenser fan motor tries to kick on like the compressor does, then problem is usually the control board.:)

If it was just the compressor trying to kick on only, then I would of said the compressor start relay device is likely the culprit.:)

Jake
 

chubs33

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Florida
Update to this:

Had a guy come out, confirm it was control board. Ordered the part, shipped it in and installed it. Still not working. His next culprit is the inverter. I'm going to research how to test for it now, but I wish the control board replacement worked the first try!
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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I'm attaching your wiring diagram below.

Jake
 

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chubs33

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Florida
I have read, but admittedly I'm a little nervous doing it, that sometimes you have to let it start up for 10 minutes. If it's cycling like that it can't be good, though, right? I will take a look to check the wiring when I get back from the office and see what I can do. Thanks again!
 

chubs33

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Florida
Update: I went into diagnostics mode and it tripped up on step 5 which is the compressor. Step 4 was the condenser fan and that ran no problem at all. To me, it seems like the power is surging when it is trying to kick on and then it kicks off when the draw is too much? Not quite sure, very weird. What is the best way to test just the inverter? I will look right now through the forums.
 

chubs33

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Florida
UPDATE: Sorry, I tried to find a way to just edit the text in my last one.

I checked my voltages coming into the inverter and I received readings of 7.1 DCV and 112 ACV. For the life of me I cannot get the terminal cover off of the compressor. I feel like I've been harsh on it and it still hasn't budged. I figured the next thing to check would be the voltage being sent to the compressor from the inverter, right? The pictures in the original post show the cover I am battling with.
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
123,700
Location
McMullen Valley, Arizona
Look at the LED on the inverter board. I'm not sure your model has that LED diagnostic light on it, but you can check and see.

The inverter flashes a code when a failure has been detected. The flashing LED code will improve the diagnosis of the compressor, control, and inverter.
DIAGNOSTIC CODE
LED Off: No failure detected.
2 Flashes: No 3-6 vdc signal from the control.
3 Flashes: Inverter failure.
4 Flashes: Compressor failure.

I'm attaching the documentation about that LED, look on page 2 it shows you where its located if yours has it.

If there's no LED do this: Without disconnecting any wires you should have between 3-6 Volts DC across the two smaller wires at the inverter and 120 Volts AC across the two larger wires. If that's correct unplug or remove power from the machine. Remove the inverter and the wires connected to the three pins on the compressor and measure the resistance of the compressor windings. You should have between 6-10 ohms between any two pins.

To get the terminal cover off just pry it off with a FLATHEAD SCREWDRIVER, PRY HARD. LOL

Jake
 

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chubs33

Premium Member
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Messages
11
Location
Florida
So inverter board is an older version, so unfortunately no LED light. Tech came out AGAIN today with the new inverter board, installed it, and still nothing happened. So now the theory is that it's the compressor.

When I checked the measurements you listed above, everything was fine. Each of the pins had ~10ohms and I can still feel the compressor humming when it is attempting to start up.

Let's just pretend it IS the compressor, that is a KitchenAid installation, right? I'm sure I can buy the part from you guys, but installing it might be a little much for my rookie skills.
 

Jake

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Yes, to change the compressor you're looking at a 2 man job and very labor intensive, I wouldn't be surprised if the labor charge would be over $2000 to do this job.

Here's the compressor for your model:
Compressor W10841139


Jake
 

chubs33

Premium Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
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Location
Florida
So the question then becomes... is it worth it? I know you aren't a sales guy by any means, but from your experience do you think paying a premium price for a refrigerator is justifiable? Say for a sub-zero? My wife and I inherited this refrigerator and obviously being naive had no idea a replacement would be 11-14k!

On the other hand, if I pony up 2k for this job, what are the chances this happens again in a few years because of other parts going out.

Thanks for all of your help, Jake. I really appreciate it!
 

Jake

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Those are good questions, but I don't have the answers.

On the other hand, if I pony up 2k for this job, what are the chances this happens again in a few years because of other parts going out.
That's the $64,000 question, at what point does nickel and diming it for future repairs add up to half the price of a new one for $11,000.

If your going to spend $2000 now on a 2003 model, what happens when another sealed system part goes out, then there's another $2000 in a few more years.

Jake
 

chubs33

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Joined
Jun 17, 2021
Messages
11
Location
Florida
Quick update for anyone following or who may look at this in the future.

I had another "Kitchen-Aid Certified" appliance guy come out to confirm the leading suspicion that it was indeed the compressor. I meet him at the door, give him the details about how another guy came and replaced the inverter and control board to no avail, I checked that proper voltage was being sent out, etc. He take a look at the voltage on the main line to the compressor and gets 113 AC. That's strange, but that's only 7V off so what's the big deal (I'm new to all of this - but maybe someone else will relate)? He says if it's not receiving 120AC then it will not kick on, not even at 119AC. So his immediate thought is that it's the control board. Now, thanks to everyone's help here and just in general being obsessed with fixing this refrigerator, I ask him to check the voltage the control board is outputting at the control board: 113AC. Ok, let's keep going up the line... let's check the voltage coming in from the wall: 120AC. Lastly, let's check the voltage off the power switch, the silly little on/off button that I've been messing with for 1 month now: 113AC.

Lo and behold, it was a faulty power switch. A silly little $30 part that I overnight shipped to my house for a total of $55. You can see it is fried at the bottom two connections. After watching a 2-minute youtube video on wiring, I had reinstalled the switch, put a new connector on the wire and the hum of the compressor filled the kitchen. It's been a battle, but I can hear the thing cooling from where I am typing. There is no way I would have figured any of this stuff out without this forum. Use it. I'm sure I'll be back eventually!

P.S. Can I leave the wiring like this or should I take some time to get it all back in order? I'm hoping it won't do much harm besides the aesthetics, but it's above eye level so no harm.
 

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Jake

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Oh my gosh, I would have never thought of that power disconnect switch as being the culprit, unless you were not getting any voltage to the compressor or other components at all. Usually when that goes out you will get no power at all like you first did, but on yours when you toggled it off and on again power came back, but not FULL power, which is EXTREMELY rare to ever see happen. Usually it would just stay dead no matter how many times you toggled it off and on.

I'm certainly glad you and the tech. found that was the problem.:)

Here it is for your model, in case others need it too:
WP2266802 Switch, Power Disconnect


Thanks for the update!

P.S. Can I leave the wiring like this or should I take some time to get it all back in order? I'm hoping it won't do much harm besides the aesthetics, but it's above eye level so no harm.
That's up to you, either is fine since its out of site anyways.

Jake
 

paulhl

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Jul 3, 2021
Messages
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Location
Flemington NJ
FWIW those switch's have been trouble on the SubZero 590's and early 700's. They even had a recall to jumper them out.
 
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