I have been troubleshooting this problem and I have narrowed it down to the ground in the unit. When I disconnect the ground from the frame, it runs fine, and has no problems. When I reconnect the ground, it trips the breaker. We recently cleaned and defrosted the unit. and thats when the problem started. It ran fine before that. I ohm'ed out the ground to the temp control, and that is fine also. I ohm'ed out that same wire to the frame and that was all over the place. I can only assume that wire is causing the problem. Is it possible I got something wet and that is causing it?
The path of least resistance.
When the ground is removed, the current is forced to go through the compressor, and fridge works.
When you replace the ground, there is a path from hot to ground, that avoids the compressor.
- So your problem is somewhere between the 'hot' wire on the plug and the compressor.
Possibly a problem in the receptacle where the hot wire will short when the ground pin is inserted, but unlikely. If you want to test for this, plug in something else with a ground pin, wiggle the cord, and if it works, the fridge is the problem.
- My vote would be for someplace where a wire was pinched while working on it.
The wire should be loose - long and had too much room to move around and got pinched, or it should be really tight, because it did not have enough room to move.
There does not have to be much damage to the insulation for this to happen, but running your fingers along the wires should be enough to find it.
Best of luck to you
Your problem indicates a ground fault because the GFCI keeps flipping before the breaker and that's what a Ground Fault Circuit Interruptor does, it protects home owners against ground faults, potentially moist or wet locations that can disrupt the voltage between 5 - 7 mA
Your specific problem is caused by the oxidization of the defrost heating element, the elements are Nichrome to withstand the heat, when the elements power up for the first time they form this chromium like strucure around the element protecting it from water and moisture
what's flipping the breaker is the moisture sitting on the oxodized Nichrome, when it kicks on every couple of hours it detects that water and flips the GFCI by raising the voltage up 5 to 7 mA.
With that being said, you might think that your defrost heating element is bad, it isn't, it's just getting old. You may notice discoloration.
If your fridge isn't on the circuit that's on the sink wall or in the garage then you don't need a GFCI, but some people like the GFCI on the fridge just incase the fridge develops a leak and gets into the drywall and insulation
If your fridge is flipping the Breaker in the Breaker box or sub panel then there's a more serious issue, obviously there's a short or reverse polarity.
A bare wire could be touching another or could be exposed to water
when working on any electrical around moist or wet conditions, always use waterproof connectors and a piece of wire shrink wrap.
Sorry im late