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I am doing a remodel on a future home. On the initial walk thru we noticed the loud compressor noise from the frig. 2 months later frig died. Diagnosed by tech as bad GFCI or bad compressor inverter. I replaced GFCI and noticed much quieter compressor noise for 3 days so far. But my gut feeling is that the compressor inverter board is bad?

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    I don't see how a GFCI can effect a compressor in a refrigerator. further, you said the refrigerator died, but then say the noise is quieter? I think you need to be more clear with the information.
    – RMDman
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 0:43
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    tell us more about "Diagnosed by tech as bad GFCI". A GFCI is either on or off, it can nuisance trip on inductive/capacitive or active loads but there is no bad in-between where it interferes with downstream circuits.
    – P2000
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 5:55
  • After replacing the GFCI the refrig has ran ok for the last 3 days with much lower compressor noise…levels I would expect. My concern is that originally frig was very noisey…so my gut feel is compressor inverter board is the problem. I guess time will tell?
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 12:34

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If the inverter board was faulty it could cause noise in the compressor motor, so your current solution seems to have possibly solved the problem.

Inverters generate pulse trains or sinusoids that are tuned to ramp up and ramp down and further adjust a compressor's motor "gently" - compared to an on/off relay switch.

Sometimes when we replace one thing a different problem comes to light. And sometimes a different previously hidden issue is unintentionally fixed, for instance a loose connection is redone, a loose mounting screw is tightened, etc..

But the GFCI had very likely nothing to do with the cause. The GFCI may have been nuisance tripping with the old board, and now with a new board and a new GFCI that problem has gone away.

Should you be bothered by GFCI nuisance tripping, then depending on then electrical code in your area you may be able to (or even have to) remove the fridge from the GFCI either by plugging the fridge in a different circuit or replacing the GFCI breaker/receptacle with a non-GFCI variant.

The electrical code must be applicable to your country, your state/province and even your municipality may have variations.

If removing a GFCI breaker, again check the code to determine which outlets must be protected (esp. plugs near sinks), and make sure they remain on a protected circuit, and get dedicated GFCI receptacles for those cases.

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  • I have only changed the GFCI outlet to date…the cheap fix before changing the compressor inverter board. But also I don’t know if the output temp is correct either…haven’t checked it. Maybe only the fan is running…low noise.
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 20, 2023 at 20:19
  • As a followup, the output temp on refrigerator after GFCI replacement was found not correct. The tech was called back and he had found he did not plug in 1 of the connectors to the compressor inverter after he checked the input voltage. Once connected the frig temp started to decrease, frost starting in the freezer compartment. So long story short…it was only the GFCI outlet to date…not the compressor inverter…but will check both output temp and noise levels in the days to come. Has be baffled why high compressor noise levels attributed to GFCI going bad…but I am no electrical engineer.
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 24, 2023 at 18:36
  • did you move the fridge to replace the GFCI? what does the connector of the inverter have to do with replacing the GFCI? In other words, if GFCI was the only work done, why did anything with the connector change?
    – P2000
    Commented Mar 25, 2023 at 5:44
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A GFCI does not make any effect on downstream devices, it is on affected by the type of load whether its resistive or capacitive/reactive and that is only in regarding to tripping characteristics.

Most likely your fridge/compressor is going out, when you turned off the fridge you reset the controller and hence reset the program operation of the thermostat in the fridge and hence it went quieter.

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