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I have a ~6 year old chest freezer (Magic Chef HMCF7W2) that has stopped freezing. I read online that a common reason for this was the PTC Starter going bad, and replacing it will fix the problem. I was unable to find an exact replacement, but read that using a RCO410 3-in-1 would work, at least enough to verify if the start is actually the problem or not. I ordered the RCO410 and installed it, but it seems to still not be working, although differently.

When the unit first stopped working, it just sat there doing nothing. No noticeable noise. When I first installed the RCO410, I bypassed the thermostat as I did not have a good way to connect it. The freezer ran for a couple of minutes before shutting off, but the compressor was very loud compared to before. After it shut off, I noticed the compressor was also extremely hot.

After letting things cool down, I re-installed the RCO410 with the thermostat and now it will click on loudly for a second, hum for another 10 seconds or so, then click off.

Does this indicate that the compressor itself has gone bad or lost it's refrigerant, and thus not worth trying to fix?

OEM Label: Image of OEM label

OEM Wiring: Image of OEM Wiring

RCO410 Wiring: Image of RCO410 Wiring

Compressor Label: Image of Compressor label

4 Answers 4

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Good job troubleshooting. It sounds like the motor or compressor is bad. I don't believe it would be economical to fix.

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Sometimes it is just the overload protection that triggered.

Check if you have power on it.

Some models have a reset on them, some will reset them self (if you turn off the power), some you are out of luck and need to replace it.

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  • WARNING!!!

Before trying this be sure you are comfortable with mains power and take the appropriate precautions.

I check them with a simple test box I made. It has two switches and 3 wires coming out, White, Black, and green with garter clips. Remove the existing compressor terminals after taking a picture. The white is common, and connects to the common terminal of the compressor. The black goes to one switch that is labeled Run and goes to the run terminal. The green wire goes to the start terminal a switch that springs to the off position. To start and run connect the three wires. Turn on run then hold start for a second or two and release, it should start. This is assuming the refrigerant has had time to equalize on both sides.

Your starting relay (RCD if my memory is correct) senses the current on the start winding and when it gets below a given point it releases the relay disconnecting the start winding. The compressor is a induction motor without the starting switch which is replaced with the external RCD.

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It could be the refrigerant has leaked or at least partially that would make the compressor hot as the refrigerant lubricates and helps dissipate heat.

Mine got hot when the refrigerant needed refilling.

On YouTube videos people use a vacuum pump to remove the air plus any refrigerant into a bag (save ozone layer) for safe disposal and using an adaptor refill with refrigerant (amount shown on your label 1.34 oz) the fridge/freezer. You might have to fit a valve if filling pipe crimped as they usually are. This is what I will do with mine as I have all the equipment.

Of course a vacuum pump, gauge and refill might not work out economical unless you can borrow.

Also if it is a leak caused by a crack somewhere that what have to be repaired too.

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  • R600a is isobutane, so there is no need to contain it to save the ozone layer, but it is highly flammable as it is very close to the butane fuel used in lighters, for barbecues, and so on. Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 17:28
  • @Andrew Morton yes that's right mine has that too, fortunately we've moved on from damaging refrigerants.
    – onepound
    Commented Apr 23, 2023 at 18:44

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