JUMPINGSPIDER.CO.UK – blogging at its jumpiest

Repair an Admiral or Maytag fridge that runs constantly. Model number: GC2027HXKW Our American style side-by-side fridge seemed to be running all the time – it was never quiet and yet the fridge compartment wasn’t very cold. I checked the coils in the back of the freezer compartment and they were quite frosty. They should defrost occasionally and drip down into a tray underneath but this wasn’t happening.

Evaporation Coils in the rear of the Freezer compartment

Frosted Coils

There’s no actual cooling element in the refrigeration side. Its temperature is controlled by a little shutter, at the top of the fridge compartment, which opens to allow cold air from the freezer to come through. A duct in the top of the freezer compartment channels it in. When the shutter is open a fan circulates cold air up past the coils in the freezer and blows it through the channel. Unfortunately the shutter is made from very flimsy plastic and driven by quite a powerful motor. Any frosting of the shutter will jam it sufficiently to allow the motor to easily snap the plastic. If this happens the motor can push the shutter closed but cannot pull it open again. To check if you have this problem, remove the shroud at the top of the fridge where the shutter mechanism sits and use a vanity mirror to see if the vanes are open. I used a wooden chop stick to open the shutter and for the first time in ages, it quickly cooled sufficiently to turn the condenser motor off and the fridge was quiet. My permanent repair was to glue the shutter back together and reinforce it with superglue and some carbon fibre strands  that I happened to have. I had to be careful that the carbon fibre didn’t short out the sensor switches. Ideally, a new shutter made from something similar to printed circuit boards, would be a better fix. To get to the shutter mechanism I had to just break off the styrofoam housing (this is easily glued back together with PVA) and then the plastic cover simply pulls apart. The motor seems to run on 50 volts which may not be life threatening but of course you shouldn’t carry out any servicing without first unplugging the appliance from the wall.

7 Comments

  1. admin

    NEW PROBLEM:
    • Compressor never stops running
    • Defrost Heater not coming on
    • Evaporator Coils frosting up
    • Power Consumption never less than about 75W
    • The front of the divide between fridge and freezer is quite warm to the touch
    • When I removed the back I found the compressor is too hot to touch.

    To diagnose what was going on I had the fridge connected to a Power Consumption meter. It was always using at least 75W and never rose above about 130W
    Both fans were working at times and after manually defrosting, the fridge and freezer achieved set temperature. The condenser coils are a bastard to clean but they looked okay.

    I opened up the housing at the back and had a look at the Control PCB – Googling the numbers: 461950275072B VL2 brought me to Martin Flammia’s blog (update 🙁 it’s no longer available) and all the info I needed to fix this issue.

    His fridge was a Whirlpool FRSS2VAF20/0 but it’s exactly the same appliance as my Admiral.

    Thanks so much Martin, your site and your diagnosis was spot-on: tests showed no continuity between the pins of the orange relay. I have just replaced it with RS 189-4109 (new version) and at last the defrost heater has come on and the compressor has stopped running for the first time in months. Fixed for a cost of £2.50!

    Main Power Board

    Reply
  2. Clarice

    Merci de ce partage ! Mon frigo ne fonctionne pas et je me demande si je devrais en acheter un nouveau, ou s’il vaut mieux le réparer. Vous avez dit que pour diagnostiquer ce qui se passait, vous avez eu le réfrigérateur connecté à un mètre de la consommation électrique. C’est une très bonne idée ! Je vais essayer cela. À mon avis, trouver le problème est toujours un bon point de commencement.
    Google’s English translation: Thank you for sharing ! My fridge does not work and I wonder if I should buy a new one , or whether to repair it. You said that to diagnose what was happening , you had the refrigerator connected to a meter of power consumption. It is a very good idea ! I’ll try that. In my view, find the problem is always a good point of beginning.

    Reply
  3. Anthony

    Hi guys am a Admiral fridge repair expert for over 10 years, Compressor never stops running
    • Defrost Heater not coming on
    • Evaporator Coils frosting up
    • Power Consumption never less than about 75W
    • The front of the divide between fridge and freezer is quite warm to the touch
    • When I removed the back I found the compressor is too hot to touch.

    This sounds like the the condensing motor is not running, if the front of the divide between fridge and freezer is quite warm to the touch a very common problem, if heater not coming on it could be your defrost timer or pcb here is my how to page https://www.a-c-r.co.uk/how-to/fix-common-problems hope it helps you out please ask me if there is anything else Anthony

    Reply
  4. John

    Hi Anthony, thanks for contributing. Can you help with another problem, one that we have been living with for a while now? When using the ice dispenser a solenoid bangs away all the time the delivery motor is running. The front panel and the light also flash at about 10 times a second. It does eventually dispense ice but VERY noisily!

    Reply
    • John

      Well, Anthony wasn’t much help there but I have now fixed the problem myself. If you have flashing front panel lights, ticking noise while it does this and banging solenoid on the ice dispenser this is caused by sub standard capacitors on the front panel circuit board.
      It’s quite an easy repair but not so easy to find suitable capacitors. The space for them is quite tight so the manufacturers used three small caps wired in parallel. There is a bit of variation between fridge models and I think some panels have four 0.47uF caps however mine uses three 0.68uF.
      DON’T ASSUME THE PCB IS LOW VOLTAGE just because there’s some 16V caps on it there is mains voltage on these so pull the plug before doing anything. Try to source Metallised Polyester caps rated at 275V AC or more. In my case there was only one bad looking cap — it had a slight ridge around one end and I was able to find some space for an oversized component using extended leads. Since then I found these on Amazon (http://amzn.eu/gBhQkmo) and have ordered some to try. Will do a full write up when I have done so.

      UPDATE: Published a short video on YouTube showing the fix and link to suitable caps: https://youtu.be/7-ak4H-digU

      Reply
  5. John

    Two years after posting about the faulty defrost relay, I have exactly the same problem again! After blaming the wife for cramming too much in the refrigerator I have to admit it’s not her fault after all. Once again the contacts on the relay are burnt and there’s no continuity across either contacts – I replaced the relay and the freezer defrosted immediately when plugged back in. Here a close up of the relay contacts show how burning has occurred, sufficiently to keep the NC contacts apart.Image showing the normally-closed contacts of the defrost relay

    Reply
  6. Andrei

    That’s right in the article. We had the same problems that only the third company we approached could solve. The previous two just shrugged their shoulders and refused to take it. I believe that it’s only a matter of professionalism and experience.

    Reply

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