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Dave Harnish
CEO: Sadie
Dave's Repair Service
1911 Heath Hill Rd
New Albany, PA 18833

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The DRSNews
August 2006

Published by subscription only, by Dave’s Repair Service 
©2006 All Rights Reserved   

Published by subscription only, by Dave’s Repair Service©2006 All Rights Reserved


If you enjoy this issue, you're welcome to forward it to any friends or associates who might find it useful.  


In this issue:

1) How to Make a Refrigeration Compressor Test Cord
2) DRSNews Back Issues Available Only to Subscribers
3) Publishing Your Cell Phone Number: A False Alarm - So Far

1) After discussing compressor testing methods last month, there’ve been several folks who asked about making their own test cords, so I thought I’d run this by you.

(Note: to satisfy the legal guys, I have to first point you toward my 'disclaimer' when providing this kind of information):

A compressor test cord's really not that tough to make, and can be really handy for running other motors and equipment too. Very inexpensive, and I've used the same one almost daily for some 20 years now.

It's about time to replace its cord and output wiring, because they're getting pretty 'ratty', but it still works fine. 

Here's a picture of my tired old test box so you can get an idea what one looks like: 

Compressor test cord switchbox 

I just use a steel (not plastic) electrical 'utility box' (also called a 'handy box') and blank cover for mine, with a grounded 16-3 supply cord going in and a length of 16-3SJ cord coming out with an alligator clip crimped and soldered onto each of the wires (white, black, and green).

I cut holes in the blank cover to accommodate a heavy duty (15A) on/off toggle switch, momentary contact SPST toggle switch (also 15A), and miniature 15A circuit breaker (optional, but a good idea).

The white neutral supply wire goes straight through to the compressor common alligator clip. The incoming green ground wire attaches to the metal utility box. It's a good idea to use 4-wire on the outgoing line, using a 4th alligator clip to attach to the frame of the refrigerator or tubing of the compressor to the utility box ground. I never have, but it's a safer design.

The 'hot', black side of the supply, feeds first through the circuit breaker, through the on/off switch, and then straight to the 'run' winding alligator clip. From the output side of the circuit breaker, a wire 'tail' also feeds the input side of the momentary contact switch. 

The output of the momentary contact switch goes to the compressor start winding alligator clip.

To use, after verifying which compressor terminals are 'common', 'run', and 'start', just remove the relay and overload, and connect the alligator clips directly to the compressor. Plug the test cord into a grounded receptacle.

Turn the on/off switch on (you should hear the run winding's low hum), and hit the momentary switch to briefly energize the start winding just like the start relay does when it's working correctly.

If it starts and runs with a test cord, it *usually* means the compressor's OK. You'll want to test the windings with an ohmmeter, though, to be certain there are no winding shorts causing it to 'short-cycle' and run hot.

One of these cords can be handy for test-running other equipment, too. I often just loop the 'start' alligator clip back out of the way, clipping it to the cord, and use this to quickly attach to small motors, etc, to check them.

Hope that's of some help, and hasn't totally confused you <grin>. 

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2) I’d like to announce a change that’s in the works, hopefully very soon, and by next month’s issue, anyway.

The number of DRSNews back issues has grown nicely over these last 4 years +, so I’ve decided to restrict access to them to everyone but you, my loyal (and longsuffering) subscribers only.

The only change you’ll notice, as a subscriber <grin>, is that the link to back issues here on the site will be 'dead', with the live link included in each newsletter issue. Nothing else will change, with your current issue still being delivered to your inbox in text form, and available online in html (more graphics, etc). More to come on that...

While I’m in ‘announcements mode’, I must tell you I’m excited about a new product series that my friend Dale has come up with, and has graciously agreed to ‘joint venture’ with us.

We’ll soon be offering pdf appliance service manuals, starting with washers and dryers, and we’re working on posting them as soon as possible.

Currently nearly 80 in number with more added daily, the reason I’m so ‘jazzed’ about these are that they’re step-by-step PHOTO sequences of actual appliance teardowns!

Small downloadable files, and a terrific resource for ‘do it yourselfers’, these are going to become extremely popular and I wanted you to be the first to hear about them. Again, stay tuned!

3) I have egg on my face once again, for telling you last month that our cell phone numbers are soon going to be available to telemarketers and anyone else who wants to access them. Many thanks to Jonathan M. for pointing out that this isn’t true, at least not yet, but is just another rumor designed to alarm everyone.

I sincerely apologize for any concern this may have caused you. After all the years I’ve spent on the Internet, you’d think I would’ve learned by now to double-check this kind of stuff.  Always. [sigh]

Here’s more on the subject:


Thanks again for inviting me into your inbox. I don’t take the invitation lightly!

As always, if you have any topics you’d like to see discussed here or covered in an online article, let me know and I’ll do my best to oblige. And don't forget those testimonials! Many thanks if you've already sent yours in!

May God richly bless you and yours,

Dave Harnish
Dave’s Repair Service
New Albany, PA

‘Excellence can be attained if you: CARE more than others think is wise, RISK more than others think is safe, DREAM more than others think is practical, and EXPECT more than others think is possible.’  Phil. 3:14


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