Thread Number: 78037  /  Tag: Refrigerators
The Americana has died
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Post# 1020489   1/7/2019 at 19:15 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

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After being in the house for a little over a month, the Americana refrigerator stopped working. I don't know what happened, I just opened the freezer drawer and noticed that things were wet as they had started to defrost. We moved everything out and unplugged it and plugged it back in, and it started working again (cooling as it should) but eventually stopped after a day.

Everything sounded like it was running, both the compressor and fans, but it wasn't cooling in either compartment. I've attached a couple of videos if anyone is interested. This one shows everything running:

This one was after it was unplugged and plugged back in again.

After it clicked a couple of times, I unplugged it and left it unplugged. Plugged it back in a couple of days ago and the compressor and fans came on and kept running, but both refrigerator and freezer were not cooling at all.

Very sad as I had gotten quite attached to it. I got completely spoiled by the counter aspect of it.

Post# 1020494 , Reply# 1   1/7/2019 at 19:34 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

It might be out of Freon, especially at that age. If you could get someone to charge it WITH THE PROPER REFRIGERANT, it could work for a decade or more.

Post# 1020505 , Reply# 2   1/7/2019 at 21:10 by Ultramatic (New York City)        

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I feel your pain.

Post# 1020525 , Reply# 3   1/8/2019 at 09:00 by jakins (Kissimmee, Fl.)        

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I am no refrigeration expert. but have been working on a 1938 Frigidaire and what I have learned from the Experts around me that if it is a sealed system the most common fail is the starter relay. the first video I can hear the Freon and the second video shows signs of a intermittent start with the fan. this may be an easy fix with a new start relay.

Post# 1020572 , Reply# 4   1/8/2019 at 18:00 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

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AFAIK, the only work that was done to the fridge in the last 10 years was the replacement of the cold control. It was running daily until put up for sale after the owner's death. I'll look into a relay, and I'm curious if anyone else has other suggestions. I also was wondering if it just needed refrigerant, but I thought it would be a gradual change, like it was still cooling, just not as well vs. stopped cooling all together. But, I'm no refrigerator expert, either.

Post# 1020615 , Reply# 5   1/8/2019 at 22:52 by countryford (Phoenix, AZ)        

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I haven't watched the video, but do know we had the fans on our Americana go out. 

Post# 1020670 , Reply# 6   1/9/2019 at 12:38 by Tomturbomatic (Beltsville, MD)        

Maybe it's in mourning for the departed previous owner.

Post# 1020693 , Reply# 7   1/9/2019 at 19:42 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Non Cooling Americana Ref

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I can't tell much from the first video, in the 2nd the compressor is not starting, the condenser fan motor is wired through the compressors overload, so it is normal for it to stop as well.


Its about a 50/50 chance that it is either the relay or a locked compressor.


If it is a compressor the best way to save it is to install a compressor from a much newer large SXS that uses R-134A refrigerant, usually Embraco compressors are the best ones to harvest from a donor ref. It will take a skilled tech to do this, you not only have to change the way the compressor mounts and you have to transfer the hot gas defrost valve off the old compressor.


We have done this many times and the ref will work better than new while drawing significantly less power.


John L.

Post# 1020758 , Reply# 8   1/10/2019 at 19:15 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

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Thanks for the info. I took pictures of what I think is the relay, and it looks like the part number is WR7x82. It also says "1/3hp, ?8ARR12, PA125A, made in USA". I did an ebay search for the part number and nothing came up.

There's also a round thing that looks something like a capacitor that was next to the relay but it wasn't attached to anything. From what I could tell, it says "6 64 3ARG1C28" Did a search for that number as well with no luck.

I'd love to get it working again, and I'd try a new relay first if I could find one. I'd be willing to get a new compressor fitted for it, but I don't know if anyone around here has that expertise, or is willing to do the work. The closest specialist that I know of is Jowers in Georgia which is a doable drive for us. Otherwise, I'd have to send it to your hospital in DC :-)

  Photos...       <              >      Photo 1 of 4         View Full Size
Post# 1020767 , Reply# 9   1/10/2019 at 21:14 by Combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        

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Hi the small round black part is the overload protector for the compressor itís basically an automatic reset that kills all the power to the compressor and condenser fan motor if the compressor either draws too much current or gets too hot.

You could see the 6-64 date on the overload which is the date this compressor and refrigerator wouldíve been manufactured June 1964 itís two years older than you LOL

From this point there are several tests that need to be made to determine whether the relay or compressor is bad, itís partly a matter of experience, but itís too hard for me to diagnose it without actually running some tests In person.

Post# 1020887 , Reply# 10   1/12/2019 at 07:36 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

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Thanks for the reply. At the very least, I know exactly how old the fridge is :-)

I've looked on e-bay for a relay and didn't see anything with that exact part number. Do you have one or know of a newer one that will work?

Post# 1020931 , Reply# 11   1/12/2019 at 13:47 by RP2813 (Too many people know the way)        

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IIRC, I've read accounts here of Supco universal replacement relays being installed on refrigerators that are even older than yours.  Unless there's some kind of integrated component that a replacement wouldn't have, you may want to look into this option.  They're cheap and readily available. 


Here's a link to a thread dealing with the same issue.  Some of what is discussed may be helpful.


Post# 1020948 , Reply# 12   1/12/2019 at 16:33 by spacepig (Floridas Emerald Coast)        

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Thanks for link. I read that thread when it was originally posted, but didn't make the connection to review in re: to my Americana. Will definitely take a look and see what could be relevant to my fridge.

Post# 1020950 , Reply# 13   1/12/2019 at 16:47 by combo52 (Beltsville,Md)        
Relay For The Americana

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Your relay is not likely the problem, but you can try the 3in1 if you like, the 3in1 does add a start capacitor which can help a hard to start compressor.

John L.

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