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  • Way OT--refrigerator problem

    We have a Kitchen Aid refrigerator acting up, its only about 5 years old, high end model.
    I changed out a drain because of a leakage problem, after which it wouldn't run. No cooling. Called the repair guy, and in seconds he saw that the inverter board was off the compressor. He reattached it, then we plugged it in. Instantly there was a pop/flash, and something on the board was vaporized.
    He's got a new board, but, with installation, this is about a $400 repair. And it may not work, could blow again.
    He checked the compressor, electrically it appears to be normal. No abnormal grounding, all three windings show same resistance which measures as it should.
    He's uncertain about this, and so am I. Will I be pouring money down the drain? Would you guys fix it or invest in a new one?

  • #2
    I think I'd be searching Google for similar issues and a possible recall. That might help you gauge your decision a little better.

    Later,
    Wolf
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    • #3
      It was apparently fine until I messed with the drain. There are youtube videos on the drain problem however.

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      • #4
        You would need to test the compressor with a megohmmeter to see if there are any windings shorted to ground
        John H

        Synergy Horn, SLS-85, BMR-3L, Mini-TL, BR-2, Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim, Aperivox,Pencil Tower

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        • #5
          Originally posted by skatz View Post
          It was apparently fine until I messed with the drain. There are youtube videos on the drain problem however.
          ​Is the drain controlled by the electronics or just a sensor. Also if the repair guy can't diagnose and warrant repair maybe get another opinion.

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          • #6
            He checked with a meter for any shorts to ground, none found.
            No the drain tube is passive, literally just a tube that carries away condensate from the freezer coils to a drip pan in the bottom, no controls on it at all. It was just nearby the inverter board.

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            • #7
              Could a small(-ish) screw have dropped onto that board, shorting something?

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              • #8
                Possibly but we didn't findit

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                • #9
                  A couple of decades ago, I was a major appliance repairman. As recently as 2014 I repaired some commercial laundry equipment. I've never seen or heard of an "invertor" board on a refrigerator. Do you have some sort of AC to DC or DC to AC thing going on? Well anyway, if the board is blown, repair the board. If you can identify the blown component, then replace it.
                  ​Care to take a few nice high quality photographs of the board so that we can see what you are dealing with? Your refrigerator should have a schematic sheet, either posted on the back of the refrigerator of tucked into a safe keeping spot underneath or in back of the compressor. Look for it.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Squidspeak View Post

                    ​Is the drain controlled by the electronics or just a sensor. Also if the repair guy can't diagnose and warrant repair maybe get another opinion.
                    ​It's just a drainage tube. The drain is there for running off the melted frost during the quick defrost cycle. If the drain gets clogged with something then melted frost water collects and freezes into a big solid plug of ice causing a major problem. A frost free refrigerator is actually a refrigerator that automatically defrosts itself once or twice a day.

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                    • #11
                      Oh...man...I feel for you. I hope you have a second refrigerator.

                      FWIW....A quick Google search on "Kitchen Aid compressor Inverter" led me to Manuals Lib.com technical education... various pages starting on p23 (4-1). Looks like an Embraco var. spped compressor driven by an Inverter board..... Perhaps and I hope you can find the repair manual for your particular model.

                      https://www.manualslib.com/manual/89...s.html?page=59

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by View Post
                        A couple of decades ago, I was a major appliance repairman. As recently as 2014 I repaired some commercial laundry equipment. I've never seen or heard of an "invertor" board on a refrigerator. Do you have some sort of AC to DC or DC to AC thing going on? Well anyway, if the board is blown, repair the board. If you can identify the blown component, then replace it.
                        ​Care to take a few nice high quality photographs of the board so that we can see what you are dealing with? Your refrigerator should have a schematic sheet, either posted on the back of the refrigerator of tucked into a safe keeping spot underneath or in back of the compressor. Look for it.

                        Well the inverter is apparently fairly common. It converts single phase to 3 phase, with variable voltage so the compressor can run at different speeds depending on load. A lot of them seem to have it now. I learned this last night in looking for this problem.
                        I looked at it to see if I could identify parts, but it is vaporized, no idea. I also haven't seen a schematic anywhere, but this is a board with smd's and they are tiny. I think it did say Embraco, as revelator mentioned.

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                        • #13
                          By inverter board, do you mean the start relay/cap combo? If the relay is not releasing when it should, that can cause issues.
                          .

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                          • #14
                            No, it's an inverter board. It converts 115 V ac single phase to 230 V, 53-150Hz triple phase to power the compressor. It's not a relay or start capacitor.
                            The part got here faster than expected, and has been installed. Everything seems to be working. My wallet is almost $400 lighter!
                            If you want to look it up it is Embraco W10186719. Looking at it more closely, there are multiple scorches on both front and back of the board.

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                            • #15
                              I have photos in my phone if anyone wants to see them; I don't know how to upload them to the board however.

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