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Old 01-05-2010, 06:20 PM   #1
GalenSevinne
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Default Chest freezer might need new "start unit"

My chest freezer has died but it would cost too much to have someone come in and fix it as it is old and purchased cheaply off Craigslist. An appiance guy I spoke to on the phone said the problem sounded like a dead "start unit" as he called it.

What would it take to replace this start unit? I don't even know the brand of the chest freezer as it is that old and has been painted over a couple times. Are the start units universal?

Any help on this process would be appreciated.

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Old 01-05-2010, 06:21 PM   #2
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Isn;t a "start unit" basically just a big capacitor?

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Old 01-06-2010, 10:12 AM   #3
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most hermetic compressors have an external capacitor that does sometimes go bad. it's a $10-20 part and is worth replacing before considering the unit to be scrap.

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:48 PM   #4
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Does the unit/compressor go buzzzzzzzzz and then click off? If it has a capacitor used to help start then it might be bad. The other possibility is the relay. The capacitor generally has a small round hole by the terminals. If it is bad, then you will get some indication of leakage or something there. It can be checked with an ohm meter. An appliance parts store will generally do this for you.

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Old 01-06-2010, 03:51 PM   #5
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My start capacitor essentially exploded, I just had to disconnect the old one and put the new one it. The hardest part was finding a place that had one in stock, I think it was in the $40-50 range.

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Old 01-06-2010, 04:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
Does the unit/compressor go buzzzzzzzzz and then click off? If it has a capacitor used to help start then it might be bad. The other possibility is the relay. The capacitor generally has a small round hole by the terminals. If it is bad, then you will get some indication of leakage or something there. It can be checked with an ohm meter. An appliance parts store will generally do this for you.
yes that is the symptom. sounds like it wants to start then clicks and goes off. I don't know much about this stuff but the compressor is an Embraco "EM40sc".

I am wondering if anyone can post a link to the capacitor that might be needed or just a typical capacitor so I can know what to look for?

Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:06 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by GalenSevinne View Post
yes that is the symptom. sounds like it wants to start then clicks and goes off. I don't know much about this stuff but the compressor is an Embraco "EM40sc".

I am wondering if anyone can post a link to the capacitor that might be needed or just a typical capacitor so I can know what to look for?

Thanks.
This gives a rough idea bout what it would look like It is a round plastic two terminal device in most cases. Especially older units.
http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appli.../capacitor.php
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:06 PM   #8
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You need to pull the old capacitor to get the voltage and mF numbers before you do anything else.

I buy capacitors through A/C supply companies (my father has an A/C license), but you can purchase them at reasonable prices through McMaster. If you pay more than $20 for a residential motor capacitor, you're paying too much.

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Old 01-06-2010, 04:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Hermit View Post
This gives a rough idea bout what it would look like It is a round plastic two terminal device in most cases. Especially older units.
http://www.acmehowto.com/howto/appli.../capacitor.php
dang...is it really that dangerous to pull this thing out? I have had the freezer unplugged now for about a month.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:21 PM   #10
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dang...is it really that dangerous to pull this thing out? I have had the freezer unplugged now for about a month.
Not really. Don't use your tongue to discharge it. Not recommended but always used by techs, place a screw driver between the terminals and see if it sparks. These things USUALLY discharge over time though. If not, they would make great batteries.
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