This page is for informational purposes only, I am not a professional repair man. Always consult a professional before attempting any repairs. Always unplug any electrical device before starting repair work.
Kenmore Coldspot 10650593003 Start Relay Repair
Recently my Kenmore Coldspot (model number 10650593003) refrigerator stopped being cold. Here's the tag inside the fridge on the upper-right wall.
It was a gradual warming over a few days and then was just plain warm. I tried cleaning the radiator coils and underneath the fridge, thinking that the dust might be over heating things (similar to what happens inside an old dusty computer). Cleaning off the dust worked temporarily, but after about 12 hours the cold air turned luke warm and then just plain warm again. I scheduled a tech from Sears to come out and take a look. He was very kind and quickly diagnosed problem as a bad start relay on the compressor. Here's the label on my compressor:
Here is the relay (white box) detached from the compressor (black cylinder):
The tech claimed this type of problem occurs all the time. He then showed the part in question and shook it which caused a rattling as some of the ceramics inside had cracked. Just having the tech show up at my door cost $65 dollars but to replace the relay was going to be billed at an extra $215 bring the total up to $280. That seemed very expensive for plugging in some wires, so I refused the offer and looked up my local refrigerator supply store.
The start relay for this fridge is the Sears Part # 8201799 which you can see here http://www.searspartsdirect.com/partsdirect/retrieveSubComponentPartsAction.action?diagramPageId=00011&documentId=P009055 If you buy from Sears the part costs $50 + shipping (at least at the time of writing this article). My local repair shop used the sears part number (8201799) and Kenmore Coldspot model number (10650593003) to locate a part made by Whirlpool, which although was not an exact physical match, the model numbers on the relays were an exact match. The original relay was housed in a white plastic casing, but the relay carried by my local repair shop was not. It's a little easier to install with the white plastic housing so I recommend buying the part from Sears. Here is the original relay housed in white plastic.
Original Start Relay (side facing the compressor)
Original Start Relay (side facing away from the compressor)
Here is the replacement relay package contents (kit does not include the white plastic housing)
Here the two relays are side by side (replacement on left, original or right).
On the non-compressor side of the relay there are three prongs to attach wires from the fridge (blue, white, red). Here is where they were attached to the original start relay.
Blue and White wires
The replacement relay is composed of a top (black) and bottom (white). The kit I purchased includes two of the bottom white parts (each rated for refrigerators with different volumes) so make sure to choose the part rated for your fridge. If you buy the part from Sears I assume it comes housed in the white plastic and you don't need to worry about it. The kit I purchased had detailed instructions which I followed. Additionally, there is a white wire which attaches to the black portion of the replacement start relay that was missing from the original relay. Here is the replacement relay fully assembled and ready to attach to the compressor. In my pictures it may appear as though the black and white parts of the replacement snap together but really I have just placed them next to each other.
To attach the replacement relay to the compressor, first attach the bottom (white) part, and then attach the top (black) part of the relay.
First attach the white part
Next attach the black part
Now attach the red, white and blue wires to the replacement start relay as shown below.
For me the next step was the hardest part. The replacement kit comes with a black plastic dust cover and getting it to fit over the replacement relay takes a little patience. Just be gentle and don't pull or push to aggressively because the wires don't have too much slack. Here is a picture of how the wire paths fit for me. Notice the blue wire is going out the bottom. Also it may look like there is an extra gray wire but it is wrapped together with the white wire so there are really on three contact points.
Now for the moment of truth... Open the freezer door and check out the coils near the bottom back. When the fridge is warm the coils are silver. Plug in the fridge and close the freezer and fridge doors. Within a few minutes the freezer coils should turn a frosty white and within a few hours your fridge should return to normal.
Warm silver freezer coils
Cold frosty white freezer coils
Kenmore Coldspot Model# 10650593003
Start Relay Part# 8201799