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Fridge failing after approx 6 hour runtime

Hi - older Maytag model MF 2557 HEB not working consistently. Repair person was in and checked compressor and declared relay start to be issue. The start and capacitor were replaced and all coils cleaned. The fridge and freezer ( including ice maker) worked fine for about 6 hours, then stopped. After it failed you can hear the cycling ( whine click of the start relay?), fans are running but no cooling. We have now also replaced the thermistor and evaporator thermostat in hopes that one of these parts had failed - still no luck. Every time unit is disconnected from power and reconnected it works for another 6-8 hour period then stops.

Is there a next step or will it need to be replaced ;-(. Thx

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Hi @fixitkaren ,

Did the repair person check if the fridge restarted OK after an auto defrost cycle had been completed?

You say that it restarts OK if you disconnect and reconnect the power to the fridge. If you can try this, what happens if you disconnect the power to the fridge for about 20 minutes, does it startup again OK?

Sounds like it is failing to restart after the auto defrost cycle has completed. This cycle occurs once every 6-12 hours depending on manufacturer.

The start relay operates to disconnect the start winding after the compressor gets up to running speed so that the compressor operates on the run winding only.

It is also there as an overload protection in case there is too much current flowing through the compressor windings

A clicking relay may mean that there is problem with one of the windings (presumably the start winding as it runs OK up until the start of the next defrost cycle)

Since you have replaced the start device relay and capacitor, test that the compressor windings are OK.

If you have an Ohmmeter (function in a DMM -digital multimeter) and know how to use it, here's a link that shows how to test the windings. The testing principle is the same for a single phase refrigerator compressor motor windings.

Be sure to disconnect the power from the refrigerator before removing the start device relay and capacitor and testing the windings with an Ohmmeter.

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Thx for the response!

Update - upon advice from a retired repair person it was suggested that we swap out the two part start relay with a RC0410 relay capacitor Overload.

After doing the swap the fridge and freezer have now been functional for 24 hours. When we removed the two part start there was a slight rattle within relay - a compromised part? Or perhaps overloaded as it was installed before new thermostat and thermistor? Will post a 48 hour update.

- Por

Hi @fixitkaren ,

Thanks for the update.

I'm a bit surprised that a "new start relay" would fail so soon.

I suppose that it could have been faulty from the outset.

The other parts that were replaced i.e. thermostat and thermistor signal the control board and have no direct connection with the start relay except perhaps that the control board turns the compressor off and then on when required which uses the relay.

Hopefully the new relay will last the distance and it is not a problem with the compressor motor.

Does the failed 'new" relay (and capacitor) have the same value markings on the case as the original relay (and capacitor) that it replaced? Does the failed "new" relay have a burnt electrical odour?

Just wondering if it failed due to it (or the capacitor) having the incorrect specifications. Sorry, bad habit of mine, wanting to know why something failed when there is nothing obvious that could have caused it. Component failure due to faulty manufacture is always a possibility but for me this is not a first choice explanation

Time will tell.


- Por

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