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Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 11:11 AM

  • Freezer thaw alarm ( red light) been on now for almost 18 hours plus.
  • Inside is just about 25-30F
  • Setting is at Max. cold
  • Compressor is very hot to the touch
  • Copper tubing seen here in front is cool -cold to the touch.
  • Black rubberized line at far right going up into freezer , has ice build up on top only and in just one place.
  • Sides of freezer are warm.... not hot as they usually have been for years.
  • Door is cold to the touch.

300 lbs. of peeled, (pre-BP Oil Spill ) shrimp frozen inside....valuable cargo . ha ha!

Any suggestions?

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#1

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 11:16 AM

"Any suggestions?"

Publish your address. You could have one hell-of-a-party with 300# of shrimp.

I don't know anything about freezers, except how to plug them in.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 11:23 AM

Pre-BP Shrimp are worth more than gold in this neighborhood.... ha ha!

Thanks for the comment.

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#3

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 12:34 PM

Sounds like your compressor is going out or you have a very small leak that has finally reached the tipping point where the freon level is now too low to keep the system working.

Being a 134a based system you can buy that stuff at any automotive parts store and add it yourself.

However if it does not have a service port where you can add more freon I suggest buying a new freezer ASAP!

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#4
In reply to #3

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 12:40 PM

Thank you. I was afraid of that.

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#22
In reply to #4

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/21/2011 4:02 AM

Not totally true. A saddle clamp complete with port was/is available. Try a good automotive parts store, as if you can get the 134a, you should be able to get the clamp.

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#5

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 12:50 PM

Prob'ly already occurred to you, but find someone nearby with spare capacity urgently!

Can slip them a few $ (or a couple of lbs of shrimp) once you get yours sorted.

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#8
In reply to #5

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 1:35 PM

Just hauled in an old Sears freezer from the 1970's......

Its blocked with ice build up but it'll do for now.

This busted freezer is only 4 years old.....

anyway, the wife is battering up some the partially thawed chevrettes right now.

I'll try that defrost switch if someone can help me located it.

thank you .

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#6

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 12:53 PM

You have trouble, which is something you already know. First and foremost is to save the shrimp. In less you have some place else to move them dry ice is the best solution, hopefully there is some available near you.

Without further information the best information I can give you is general troubleshooting. The symptoms you describe could be related to several problems. First is the frozen suction line and low heat transfer IE what you are apparently describing as being warm instead of hot should be the condenser coils.

Check and see if the fan inside the freezer behind evaporativer coil is running, if it isn't You'll need to do some electrical troubleshoot. If it is running the evaporativer coil is likely to be covered with ice if this is the problem you can try locating the defrost timer on the electrical systematic. Manually set the timer to defrost if the ice clears and the compressor begins running the timer could have been stuck.

If the system stays in defrost mode the timer is defective, let the ice clear and manually set the timer to the run position and replace the timer asap.

If the system evaporativer remains covered in ice and the compressor begins running then either the circuit going to the evaporator defrost elements is open, or the defrost element is defective.

You can manually defrost the evaporator coil with a hair dryer to get the freezer working again and troubleshoot the problem afterwards.

There are other potential problems, this may give you some were to start troubleshooting, I will check periodically to see if you come up with any other information or symptoms and I am sure others will be adding ideas as the day goes on. Good luck and keep us posted.

PS: sorry for any script errors and a somewhat lacking post, I'm having problems with my voice recognition this morning and heaven help us all if I tried typing, the shrimp would be long gone before I get done.

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#7
In reply to #6

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 1:30 PM

Roadrunner,

Where would that timer be?

Inside near the thermostat dial or outside in the rear ( where the pciture was taken at)

Thank you.

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 3:08 PM

Could be anywhere, some models have it inside the freezer some on the outside, there should be a diagram along with an electrical semantic somewhere on the freezer or on a removable access panel. It is not uncommon for a consumer device to have the timer accessible with a screwdriver IE look for a small red screwdriver socket (for lack of a better term) that can only turn one way.

Also if you can check inside a freezer for not only the timer but also to see if the evaporator coil is frozen. Knowing if there is Ice on the evaporator coil would be quite helpful in diagnosing your problem.

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#10
In reply to #9

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 3:25 PM

The return line with the rubber covering is frozen solid all the way into the freezer.

I can not find any adjust point . I may be there but I'd have to take some of the panels off .

I am suspect about that frozen line and still tend to go with you on the leak thing.

If the freezer was in defrost mode, that line would not have been frozen solid....correct?

I've already transferred as much as I can and we are getting ready to invite the neighbors over for a shrimp fry.... wish you all were closer........

The compressor was so hot it melted some of the plastic cup that seems to hold water from the freezer as it automatically thaws. This in itself could have caused me even more serious trouble.

The busted freezer is headed out the door in about 30 minutes. the old Kenmore is cooling down now.

thank you all for the comments. I think I'll just park this thing until someone who knows more, looks at it.

That solid frozen line makes me think you were right on target about a leak.

I know the window units do this ( and spit ice) when they were low on freon due to leaks.

Take care.

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#11
In reply to #10

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 4:40 PM

I think you have the right idea and protecting the shrimp is the most important thing right now. You could have a leak but I'm inclined to think the most likely problem to be not defrosting or the evaporator fan is not running.

If the compressor is running you're not stuck in the defrost mode. Deftly do not throw the freezer away, let it sit open for a day or if it's too cold closed with good old incandescent drop light or other heat source and plug it back In after it's had a chance to defrost, I bet it'll work.

I to which I was closer, I usually do these type of service calls just for lunch of course I'm not sure how many net shrimp you would save but I'm thinking about barbecued shrimp right now. Good luck with your endeavour and let me know if you try running the freezer after it had a chance to defrost.

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#12
In reply to #11

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 5:25 PM

Thank you.

Will do.

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#13
In reply to #11

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 5:25 PM

Well I am replying to my own post, have been having some technical problems with my voice recognition and the last one was me, been testing microphones and picked up the wrong headset.

What I was trying to add to the last post is that after rereading your post the compressor been hot is indicative of low refrigerant flow which could be caused by the system being low on refrigerant, bad expansion valve or a restriction of some type.

So having someone check it before doing any more troubleshooting is probably the best idea. The compressor is cooled and lubricated via the refrigerant, running with restricted refrigerant flow too long can cook the compressor.

Now I'm really curious please let us know what you find when you get it running again.

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#14
In reply to #13

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 6:22 PM

Well Ol Buddy,

You got me thinking.

I have always had trouble with frost build up over the TOP of the door on the inside. So much so in some cases that it would creep the door open and the freezer would slightly thaw .

With all the termite damage (caused after the last hurricane opened our roof and two sides of th house), I just put it on the back burner . Work in the shop and everything else going on..... I just occasionally took my knife and scraped the frost off the sheathing around the top of the inside.

I just now went outside and took a hard look at the bottom shelf of the freezer.

There is a slot that follows the entire back wall. It is hollow and allows (air) into the back of the unit. There is a drain hole in the center of this slot that leads under the unit and somehow evaporates next to the compressor.

Well, there was 1" solid ice all the way across and the little 3/4" drain hole is plugged solid!

I am guessing that this is an air flow thing....if it was blocked solid there could be no air flow?

If the freezer occasionally thawed a bit and ice/water dripped down the back ...then re-froze ... it would block this slot?

Anyway, I hosed it carefully and thawed it out. No water on the compressor as i tilted it forward with two bricks.

In a short while I will plug it back in.

I'll get back to you with the outcome.

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#15
In reply to #14

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 8:50 PM

Should have read this before I replyed to the PM. Yep your right Air cannot flow through ice and it is not uncommon for water to refreeze in the condensate drain. Regarding the test your currently doing the top of the compressor should be cool enough for you to keep your hand on it.

I don't know if you're found a fan yet but if you have a fan that is not working your heat transfer will be low and therefore your condenser temperature will be low. Also these systems take time to stabilize. All of my statements are generalizations as I mentioned in the PM the systems are quite finicky. The time it takes to stabilize could be an hour if it is equipped with an expansion valve to 12 hours or so if it has a fixed metering device.

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#16

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/20/2011 11:43 PM

You have to check in the freezer if the evaporator (who is doing the cooling) is pluged with ice, if it is, then you have to turn the frezer off and melt the ice. In this case check the door gasket for tightness as too much humidity goes in the freezer.

If is there is no ice, check the pipes, etc for sections wet with oil. It means that the system has a leak and you have to call the service. And check the defrost timer, it might be defective.

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#17

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/21/2011 12:32 AM

This sounds like it might be a thermostat or sensor problem. On a hermetic compressor, the thermostat controls the on/off cycle based on the input from the sensor located in the freezer compartment itself. From what I can gather, the compressor may not be cycling correctly but I can't be sure since I don't know if the compressor is running continuously or not. It seems the temp is OK, but you may be freezing up because the compressor is not being told to shut down for a while until the lower limit side of the switch in the thermostat tells the compressor to shut down because it has reached the lower limit of temp. Conversely, When the freezer compartment temp reaches the upper limit the upper limit side of the switch should tell the compressor to turn on. The thermostat may be the little box located on the middle left side of your picture, but I don't know for sure since I can only see a small part of it.

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#18

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/21/2011 12:45 AM

Few possible causes are

· Defective controls

· Shortage of refrigerant

· Insufficient air circulation

· Restricted refrigerant lines. Dirty evaporator.

· Freezer door gaskets not sealing.

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#19

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/21/2011 12:48 AM

Its now been several hours and the compressor is cycling on and off in the usual manner. The thermostat is on 5 ( out of 7) and the compressor is warm on the sides when it does run.

The door gasket was and is definitely NOT seaqting just right and has always been out of joint so to speak.

so far so good.

Thank you all for the comments.

PS

It was not such a wasted day, we had a bodacious shrimp and chicken fry as well as fired potatoes and some sweet tea to boot.

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#20
In reply to #19

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/21/2011 1:34 AM

Hello netmaker. Looks like you've got a handle on things but I wanted to point out:

1. Thermostat on full cold.

2. Leaking door gaskets allow ice to form on evaporator.

3. Ice insulates the evaporator so the cabinet can not get cold.

4. Thermostat can not cycle off because cabinet not cold.

Give it a good cleaning and you're right to set it on 5 out of 7. I would be surporised if you had a refrigerat leak or other problem.

Good Luck!

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#21
In reply to #19

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/21/2011 2:18 AM

It seems many people have given great responses to help you with your freezer problem. I noticed you did not mention the tweeked freezer door until later in your posts. It may be something you should into look into fixing. Please tell the forum what restored your system to autonomously return to normal operation. Many posts, one simple answer. Steve

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#23
In reply to #21

Re: Freezer Compressor Question/Trouble

03/21/2011 8:43 AM

Not being a refrigeration expert, I did not know that there was one simple answer. It was a process of elimination . RoadRunner got me to thinking about blocked air flow. Blocked air flow got me thinking about ice forming. The other posts associated the ice build up to bad gaskets.

Leaking door seal was then determined to be the culprit.

It was a collaborative effort to deduct a singular problem. That's what I call Joe Six pack enginering!

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