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Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/17/2010 9:54 PM

I am trying to install an icemaker in my small kenmore chest freezer. My understanding is that either GE or Frigidaire makes the freezer. My question is how can I determine where I can drill through the walls of the freezer and not hit the condensor lines. I am needing to drill two holes. One for the water line and the other for power.

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#1

Re: Where are condenser lines located in the walls of my chest freezer

09/17/2010 10:28 PM

I don't recommend trying to use magnetic resonance imaging to determine the location of the lines. While this will give you some very fine detail information, the extremely high magnetic fields required will wreak havoc on all of the conductive material inside. For a less damaging approach I would recommend instead doing an industrial computer tomography measurement. Unlike the medical scans, this can be done with much higher radiation dosages and therefore higher resolution. If your budget is little more limited, then you will have to take some more risks before actually drilling. You could try a thermal imaginer to get some indication from the small surface temperature differences on the outside of the refrigerator, but this approach might give you a false confidence as to the location of the lines.

I presume that you cannot dismantle the refrigerator panels prior to drilling. That would be too simple and obvious.

The riskiest but still mitigated approach will be to first drill a viewing hole at the least likely spot and use a bore scope to view inside the refrigerator. By looking for an auto-punches dimples on the inside you can identify where it is safe to drill first.

You could even take the shrewd businessman's approach and hire somebody that claims to know what they are doing. This way if they don't know what they're doing, the added expense of repairing the refrigerator will be their responsibility.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Where are condenser lines located in the walls of my chest freezer

09/17/2010 10:40 PM

You could try a thermal imaginer...

What's that, pray tell? Artistic abilities beginning to sizzle?

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#3
In reply to #2

Re: Where are condenser lines located in the walls of my chest freezer

09/17/2010 10:43 PM

A thermal imaginer is that fine glow you get after some fine Woodford Reserve.

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#4
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Re: Where are condenser lines located in the walls of my chest freezer

09/17/2010 10:49 PM

Then I WAS right; artistic abilities beginning to sizzle!

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#5

Luxury Motorhome Accessories Motorhome Parts And Accessories

09/18/2010 2:39 AM

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#6

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/18/2010 9:56 AM

Another option, would be to not drill at all. You could just make a small cutout in the gasket on the freezer door to allow for your lines.

To seal it up tight, you could just use a little silly putty, or something similar.

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#7

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/18/2010 7:44 PM

The condenser coil is external the the freezer cabinet, either on the outside rear wall or underneath in the compressor compartment, perhaps with a fan. The evaporator coil(s), on the other hand, may be embedded in the inner shell. Unless they are visible, without a detail drawing neither you nor we can know where they are. I like kramarat's solution (GA).

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#8

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/19/2010 1:19 AM

cowboy approach: Switch the freezer on while empty, leave for half an hour, then look inside - most freezers will have lines of condensate over the condenser lines. Be careful - these are commonly made from two layers of pressed steel (or other metal), so the drill needs to miss the plates, and the pipework between them, completely to avoid leaks. The plates tend to be over the walls and possibly floor, leaving the edges with just the connecting pipes, and the corners most likely to be clear........but try at your own risk!!

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#9
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Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/19/2010 1:46 AM

Having worked for one of the manufacturers you cited, I can assure you that the refrigeration lines have tremendous variability as to location. In other words, they can be all over the map. Where the assembler puts them, and how much they move around when the cabinet is filled with foam introduces a large degree of uncertainty as to location.

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#10

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/19/2010 10:40 AM

Have you contacted the manufacturer for assistance. They should have documents showing how they intended Icemakers to be configured. THis is somewhat unusual though for a CHEST freezer. Woody

BTW: hot gas lines are also sometimes passed around the door area to reduce mold and condensation caused by high humidity conditions.

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#11

Re: Where Are Condenser Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/19/2010 11:36 AM

Common domestic freezers have what is known as a static condenser and evaporator.

The condenser is attached to the outside wall and the exterior of the freezer and the heat is rejected into the Wall and then the air.

You have a double problem. First you have to miss the condenser lines and than the evaporator lines. I do not recommend you try this unless you feel lucky.

This is the method that I would use if I felt lucky. Start the freezer from a room temperature state

For the condenser: the condensers run from top to bottom on some or all the outsides.A infrared thermometer (reasonable cheep) will pick up the temperature differential. The tubes will be horizontal with a approx 6cm gap. No heat=no tube

The evaporator: leave the lid open. frost will form at the evaporator tubes as they cool. This will give you a visual picture. No frost=no tube

The wild card: sooner or later all the tubes will have to congregate and crossover each other. This is near where the compressor is. The upper middle of the back and where the hinges are is least likely to have a surprise.

Good luck: if you are successful than go by a lottery ticket.

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#12

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/19/2010 11:56 AM

Buy a new freezer that will do what you want.

Sleepy

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#13

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/19/2010 10:33 PM

With the freezer running, introduce a little ware vapour - or leave the door slightly ajar , a few millimetres would be enough and observe the pattern of ice formation on the walls. That will show you where the coils are located.

Regards

Bill

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#14

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/20/2010 12:30 PM

Why bother with drilling holes. Epoxy threaded mounting plates where needed and your problem is solved. Good luck.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/20/2010 12:57 PM

The problem is not mounting the unit, but, getting water and power in to it.

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#16

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/20/2010 4:00 PM

At the condenser coil note where the hot gas inlet and liquid outlet lines disappear into the cabinet walls. Check where the compressor discharge (hot gas) line disappears and finally the liquid line from the evaporator coil. My guess is you'll find one or two walls with no lines behind them but there will still be an element of guessing. And drill gently...BP Petroleum may have some suggestions on that. If you contact Kenmore with the model and serial number from the nameplate they may be able to take the guess work out of it for you

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#17

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/30/2010 11:43 AM

After you find a more or less good place to drill, Put a depth collar on the drill about the same thickness as the sheetmetal. Probe with a pick to make sure nothing is in the way.

Good luck!

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#18
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Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/30/2010 4:15 PM

Tooth pick, or similar, not pick axe!

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#19
In reply to #18

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

09/30/2010 4:21 PM

But it's a refrigerator. An ice pick seems obvious.

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#20

Re: Where Are Condensor Lines Located in the Walls of My Chest Freezer

10/06/2010 2:55 PM

This exercise is really not useful in that chest freezers do not usually have derfost capabilities/defrost cycles and as a result the addition of a icemaker with the WARM water will frost this puppy up big-time. THis is why there is no icemakers in them. Woody

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