I am converting a wine cooler (vinotemp vt24) to be controlled with relays by a microcontroller using some of the excellent builds on this site. I am using the standard solid state relays by Fotek (the ones I have are rated 25 amps). The trouble is that they work fine when I use them to interrupt the AC at the power cord, using a receptacle in a job box etc.., as has been detailed on this site, but when i use one in place of the mechanical thermostat it works for a minute or so then kicks in the compressor overload protection switch (clicking sound).
I have tested the current draw when using each setup and the power cord setup consistently draws 1.5 amps after an initial 5-6 amp start up. When i switch to the thermostat setup it draws 5-6 amps until it shuts down. Anyone have any idea why this is? I admit that I have almost zero experience with AC circuits and much much more with DC so I am using this as a learning tool but am frustrated that I can't figure out what is going on. Do the relays have too much voltage drop when used in that part of the circuit? Since the power cord version works ok I will use it but it would have been a much cleaner build without.
Any insight at all would be greatly appreciated as I am spending too much time on this right now and not enough time brewing. Thanks!
edit: pictures of build/problem: