Repair a Broken Frigidare / Electrolux FRT04L5DB0 Refrigerator

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This small refrigerator freezer model was sold at Lowes stores a few years ago and it seems that many of them are failing, including mine. The symptom was warm air being blown through the the inside. I did not get many good pictures of this so the instructable is mainly for information to someone looking to repair their same model refrigerator.

Step 1: The Problem Part

The reason the compressor does not run is the PTC (positive thermal coefficient) start/run relay has failed. After disassembling the back of the refrigerator and getting to the compressor you will find this relay buried under a cover.

In the back left is the capacitor.

The small white device with the blue, brown and white wires going in to it is the PTC relay (the failed part).

The round black cylindrical device in front of it is the overload switch.

Step 2: How to Fix

A direct replacement relay is no longer available so a universal substitute is needed. I used a Supco brand URSC10 universal solid state start/run relay. It is rated for 1/20 to 1/2 hp and while the actual power of the compressor is unknown it works. This part is around $25 and has a wiring diagram on the packaging. Follow the diagram and use the existing capacitor in the refrigerator. The spade connectors will slip on the pins on the compressor.

Mine has been running perfectly for about three months now with this universal relay.

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6 Discussions

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Mopar92

2 years ago

I was super excited to read this. I have the exact fridge. I bought the exact supco you suggested. Upon opening up the covers... I stopped. I wish you would have shown the final wiring. I'm not knocking you at all. It's just not that simple for me. I have mechanical skills, just need some clarification. How exactly did you wire it? Did you bypass the overload deal (round black part) I'm stuck until then. Thanks.

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ricksuiterMopar92

Reply 2 years ago

This has been years ago and the fridge is across town now, but I still have access to it. I'll see if I can snap a picture. This may take me a few weeks though. It is still working.

The jist of it though is there's a box attached to the compressor with wires going to it. This is the start run relay which on mine crumpled apart when disassembled. You are replacing this part with the solid state start run relay capacitor combo. Follow the diagram that came with it is the best I can tell you for now. I don't think you can hurt anything if you get it wrong.

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ricksuiter

3 years ago

Still running two summers later!

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Imjessamae

3 years ago

How to repair the refrigerant when it has a leak of hole ?, please reply me :( this is a big problem to me .

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ricksuiterImjessamae

Reply 3 years ago

A refrigerant leak is beyond the scope of this repair and would require a way to evacuate the refrigerant, plug the leak and refill refrigerant. This type of unit generally has a permanently sealed compressor which is not intended to be serviced so you're probably better off buying a new refrigerator.

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ricksuiter

3 years ago on Introduction

The fridge is still running like a champ a year and a half later with this repair!