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Kitchenaid Fridge - unable to keep fridge side at 40°


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34 replies to this topic

#21 PDuff

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Posted 11 June 2013 - 04:46 PM

Go big.  Alternative is to replace the refrigerator which will be expensive.  Also be prepared to have issues with heat exchanger and, even through it checks good now, the hot gas loop at drain pan.  Unit has to be pulled for full access to upper unit and if replacing the drain loop will have to be tilted.  May require two techs at that point.  Minimum labor should start at $800-$1000 depending on what all will be replaced.



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#22 bigbluediesel

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Posted 16 June 2013 - 08:53 PM

OK - so I got the compressor / condenser kit - Sears was the only place that seems to have it in stock and they had a 15% of coupon - got it delivered the day after the order was placed.  The kit weighs 70 pounds... UPS delivery man was not a happy camper.

 

The drain loop (condensing pan heater?) seems to be an unavailable part.  As of right now, it doesn't appear to be leaking.  If, in the future it develops a leak, what would be the harm in bypassing this and running the pressure line straight to the condenser?  That's how most systems are anyway, right?



#23 PDuff

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 12:14 PM

Affirmative on the drain pan heater being NLA.  Could bypass if needed.  Only problem would be water overflowing from drain pan without sufficient heat to evaporate.  At least it's not leaking at this point so you should be ok.



#24 bigbluediesel

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 05:30 PM

OK - one more question before I jump headfirst into this.  The high side kit has a new Embraco compressor and condenser that replaces the old rotary style compressor.  The compressor has a process stub up front and the suction / discharge in the back.  There are also two oil cooler stubs at the base of the compressor.  These currently have heavy rubber plugs on them.  It is an type F compressor (FGS 80AW)  There is absolutely nothing in the instructions about what to do with these.  Do I leave the plugs on?  Try to braze these shut? I haven't pulled a plug to see what is under there - don't want to create a problem.  There is no external oil cooler either in the kit or on the original setup.  Is there any pressure on these?  Seems a strange setup - don't want to mess this up.

 

Thanks for the help.



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Posted 22 June 2013 - 08:01 PM

If I remember , you just leave the caps in place...................The new compressor is using R- 134A..?????..............I would flush the system, a sweep or too to clear any lingering R-12 oils..........Connect a process port  ( You can use the rubber mounted temporary ports for this operation )  at both ends of the system that will be left after removing the compressor and condenser......................pull a vacuum from one end and add a bit of r134a at the other end...., remove it from the pump end and pull a vacuum again...most oils will travel with the refrigerant...not all be removed but  you can do a triple sweep with the compressor installed......



#26 bigbluediesel

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 01:31 PM

The replacement is an R12 system.  I can't find anywhere what the original Freon is, but I suspect it is either R12 or R22.  That would be nice to know so I recover it into the right drum.  The directions call to flush with R22.  Fortunately, I do a lot of HVAC and automotive, so I have both of those refrigerants.  Apparently this is an older kit for an even older fridge.  The date code on the "new" compressor is 2001...  Sears is the only place that still had the high side kit.  I finally found a mention of the oil cooler in a European brochure.  If I translated correctly, it says that when this coil hookup is used to run a line from 1/3 through the condenser to the cooling coil in the compressor, then back to the remaining 2/3rds of the condenser.  Apparently used to cool the compressor in low efficiency environments.  The Kitchenaid directions don't mention this at all, so hopefully it isn't needed.  I guess I could loop from the condensing pan warming loop through the compressor cooling loop and then to the condenser, but I'm really in uncharted waters doing that.  This is beginning to feel more like a science experiment.



#27 Spannerwrench

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 01:59 PM

It's going to be R12, when you do a sweep charge use R22 because its compatible with R12 oil, but it's better at cleaning (high head pressure) the system than R12.
Also as a side note, after you do a sweep charge with the R22, you need to use a vacuum pump and pull a proper vacuum on the unit. When those directions were printed Whirlpool stood by only doing a sweep charge. Even thought Whirlpool owns Embraco, Embraco told Whirlpool that they never approved the sweep charge only method.
Here's the proper technique to do the sealed system. The only thing it doesn't state is sweeping with R22, which I recommend.

https://www.dropbox.... Procedures.pdf
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#28 bigbluediesel

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:53 PM

Thank you for that link.  I had planned on vacuuming (for a lot longer than 5 minutes - I leave the pump running for half an hour or more) and charging like I do HVAC / MVAC systems.  I didn't feel comfortable at all with a sweep charge.  I would really like to charge to pressure instead of weighing given the potential for line losses is a significant % of the total charge as opposed to a 5 ton system.  I'm going to do the R22 flush for sure - that is in the original directions.



#29 bigbluediesel

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:07 AM

Update - had the high side unit installed - charged with the required amount of liquid gold (R12) - pressures are running 150 psi on the high side and pulling about 20 psi vacuum on the low side.  Tech thought it was a restricted filter - replaced all filters - more liquid gold - same pressures.  Tech is stumped.  The more I think about it, I think the capillary tube may have been at fault all along.  I have found a guide from Supco as to the suggested size / length based on HP of compressor.  I believe I have established this is a medium pressure compressor, but I can't find the HP rating.  The tag on the compressor reads Embraco FGS 80 AW.  Google doesn't know about this compressor.  It is no longer on the Embraco website.  The only listing for compressor specs ( http://www.embraco.c....MP01EF_ing.pdf ) is a dead link.  PLEASE HELP!  Or if you know what size cap tube I should use - even better.



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Posted 04 July 2013 - 12:02 AM

FGS80aw.......F= Basic type......G=PTC..( electrical system).......S= Improved efficiency 1st generation..............80= apx. compressor displacement...............Blank space= R-12 system...............A=LBP( low back  pressure )..................blank space...............W= with oil cooler..................By your description, I would  cut the cap tube at the filter dryer...............start the compressor..............There should be air flow out of the filter dryer and a suction at the cap tube..........This should point out if there is a restriction and where to go................I have brazed on a process port onto the cap tube  ( filter dryer end ) and pressurize with dry nitrogen to check for and blow out a restriction..............Pressure is added slowly, you will be putting pressure thru the cap tube , into the evaporator  and  the return line back to the compressor.......................Check to see if the heat exchanger is still available.........new cap tube of the correct length..............



#31 bigbluediesel

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Posted 04 July 2013 - 09:14 AM

After the first replacement, we cut the tube between the condenser and the capillary tube so it wouldn't have to be re-brazed right at the cap tube interface.  We pushed half a bottle of (60 cu ft) of nitrogen through the evaporator to make sure it was moisture free and flowing.  It doesn't flow very fast, but that probably has more to do with the tube diameter.  I'm stumped.  The Kitchenaid guy is stumped.  System calls for 10.5 oz of R12 when you don't use the large high side filter.  It has 12 oz in it now and still shows -20 psi on the low side and 150 on the high side.  Got down to 60° on the freezer side.  I could keep pumping R12 into it until I get to 0-4 psi on the low side, but I'd probably blow up the high side and chew through a few hundred more dollars of Freon...



#32 bigbluediesel

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Posted 05 July 2013 - 02:35 PM

Well - she's going to the great appliance junkyard in the sky.  3rd refrigerator in 78 years...  They just don't build them like they used to! :rolleyes:   Lets see how long this next one lasts.

 

Thanks for everyone's help. :thanks:



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Posted 06 July 2013 - 08:55 AM

Been bizy for a few days........What happened......................... Heat exchanger N.L.A..................Sorry for your loss..............The hard part is getting something to fit the hole in the wall..................  Had a customer that down sized from a 20 year old built-in Sub-O................ Installed a SxS refer and did some cabinetry to fill in the open areas.................



#34 bigbluediesel

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 04:23 PM

About half the parts we look for are no longer available.  It was a fluke that Sears still had the high side kit . 

 

We're in the same boat as your customer.  We're going to try to build a cabinet above the new fridge to match the one above the built in oven.  Just hoping the new fridge doors will open in the nook the old one was in - the right side if pretty much flush against a wall.   We had to go with a cabinet depth fridge based on our kitchen design - not a lot of options out there.



#35 RegUS_PatOff

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Posted 06 July 2013 - 05:11 PM

http://www.ajmadison.../refrigeration/


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