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Sub Zero Evaporator 632 Pre 1810000

Evaporator leaking

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22 replies to this topic

#1 atty

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 07:36 PM

I have the misfortune of having a 632 Pre 1810000 (YOB 1999) that is starting to show signs of a leak, and even though I haven't torn into the freezer compartment section yet, it would appear from the multitude of posts, both here and other forums, it is going to be the evaporator. 

 

On that note, I started my research for sources and kind of hit a brick wall.  The original Sub # is 3130530, but I understand they discovered the error of their ways about 2002 and started manufacturing a continuous coil evap instead of that "money-saving" "U" soldered design.  I'll wager that engineer is now working for Obamacare. 

 

Anyway.....just wondering if anyone might have a current evap # that would be compatible with the 632 in that era. 

 

Thanks for your time.



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Posted 08 March 2014 - 11:00 AM

What is your actual Serial number, off of the unit itself........................I came up with P/N  3130260 and a replacement P/N................But still we need your actual S/N.....



#3 atty

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 02:24 PM

Well, you're well ahead of me I came up with 3130470 for Pre 181 units, at least for the original evap.

 

Actual S/N is 1563138



#4 certified tech group 51

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 09:52 AM

Using Sub-O...Model Number 600  Parts List with S/N  prior 1810000.......................The part number for the F.F. evaporator is P/N....3130260.....( is Obsolete)...........Using the  Serial Breaks....Prior S/N 2128562.... use P/N 4204420..( still available )  ..................................After S/N 2128562...............Use P/N 3130630...( is now P/N 7009366  Still available )...........



#5 woftam

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 11:18 AM

Sub zero freezer evaporator don't leak as often as refrigerator side. Check drain pan loop under unit.
There is a huge difference between 10 years experience and one years experience ten times over.

#6 atty

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 12:50 PM

Thanks for all the research.  I have seen that 4420 # before, but I wasn't sure if that was the new or old.  That helps.

 

Yesterday, I broke down and exposed the evap area, and I was pleasantly surprised, given all the pics that I have seen in my travels. All in all, the unit looked pretty good given 15 years of run time.  I didn't take the time to chase a leak detector around it, since I was under a deadline, but at least I now have an idea of what I'm up against. 

 

This leak, at least for the moment, is very slight.  A small addition of juice around Xmas time lasted until early March when the freezer compartment wouldn't get below 13°.  When the icemaker becomes erratic, you know it's time. 

 

3a655229-64db-4f86-9829-1e1c42b503dd.jpg



#7 atty

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 01:38 PM

Certified,

 

Is that 4420# for FF or freezer evap?



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Posted 09 March 2014 - 08:56 PM

I reread your first post ...And.........I miss-read the post.............................You are saying the freezer evap. is leaking, I was using the fresh food evap. part numbers........................  I zipped over freezer evap. is leaking.......I have changed plenty of Fresh Food evap. coils................Never yet a Sub-O freezer evap., not once.............Compressors, yes.......But not one freezer evaporator.................I shall acquire more P/N's  for you.........First new question, Is the compressor operating??????  You have added Refrigerant???......Did you just add some to the system or did you pull a vacuum and add by weight?????.....A charge lasting only a few months is.... A) a small high side leak    or  B) a big hole in the low side...........If you can get your hands on some dry nitrogen, pump the system up to 150 P.S.I. and  use bubble leak check the high side ................You my hear it in the evap leaking out............Add water to the drain pan  and check the defrost heater loop...........



#9 atty

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 10:48 PM

Thanks for the post.  I haven't had the opportunity to do a pressure check of the low side (at this point, the suspect).  I do have nitro in stock and plenty of tracer gases, a la R12 & R22, if necessary, although I'd prefer to avoid contaminating the PAG oil, but I've been known to be successful with a small squirt and the rest high pressure nitro. 

 

Yes, compressor is doing fine, although I don't know how it survived what I put it through yesterday by starting from a warm FC.  Overnight it pulled down to -5°, 1.275A on the compressor, and 2 lbs on the low side.  That's about as good as I can ask from this old girl under the circumstances. 

 

Yes, I have been adding 134a by watching the compressor ammeter.  That's about the best I can do short of evacuation and re-charging with a cylinder.  I figured that was kind of useless at this point until I get a replacement in hand.  I do have a pump style detector, if I can just get the opportunity to use it.  Judging from some of the posts, I kind of figured it was the freezer evap, and even if it was not, it was time to replace it.

 

I can probably limp along rather nicely recharging every 2 or 3 months, but we all know Murphy is waiting out there with the BIG one.  Better to get prepared, both mechanically and mentally. 



#10 -Mike-

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:15 AM

I wouldn't put anything in the system other then nitrogen or 134a.

I also wouldon't suspect the leak to be anywhere other then the low side if its taking two months to leak out. I've never seen a high side leak go longer then a week.

When I arrive at the home to look at a refrigerator with a leak in the system after looking at the frost pattern the first thing I'll do is put gauges on the high and low side and see what pressure you have. If no refrigerant has been added recently, you can tell if you have a high side or low side leak based on the running pressure and what pressure you have in the system when the compressor is off and the high and low sides have equalized. If there is pressure in the system whan equalized, thats a low side leak. If both sides are in a vacuum, thats the high side leaking. If the pressure in the system takes way to long to equalize, or it never does, the system is restricted and that can have the same symptoms as a leak. Watch your gauges when you stop the compressor and see how long it takes for it to equalize out.

The freezer evaporators are very rare to leak. I have replaced only one, compared to too many refrigerator evaporators to count. if you do find the leak in the low side, order a heat exchanger and replace that with the evaporator. I do that for two reasons. One is because it's possible the leak is in the suction line and not the evaporator, and the other reason is because its much easier to replace the evaporator when you can solder on the capilary line and suction line to the new evaporator with it out of the freezer. Then you just have to fish the new heat exchanger through the hole in the liner to the compressor compartment and make your connections up there. That freezer is tight and its a real pain to do the work in there.



#11 atty

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 01:33 AM

Thanks Mike.

 

Actually I did have a glitch in my ammeter two days ago, which prevented the freezer compressor from starting, so I did have a glimpse at your scenario.  The low side came up to 32 lbs, and that was it.  I thought that rather strange even with FC temp at 36 or so.  As we removed the panels for inspection, it did not change much and the temp was certainly higher than 36° at that point.  Not sure I follow your analysis of a vacuum on both sides if the compressor is off.  At this stage I was just looking at static pressure on the low side since I didn't have any ready means of looking at the high side pressure. 

 

You have certainly enlightened me to what I've been reading on many posts about the evap.  I was thinking it was the freezer evap that SZ was having the problems, but now I'm beginning to realize it was the FF evap instead.  Perhaps I should not have been so quick to condemn it and maybe should get my detector out and look elsewhere first.



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Posted 10 March 2014 - 10:00 AM

Every time you connect and reconnect the hoses, you are getting non-condensables into your units system......Do not know how many times you have attached your hoses to the system, but if you go thru all the work to drag the tools and all into the home, you might as well do it the correct way.....................If you have some R134a in the system, pressurize and look for leaks......sniffer, bubbles, listening............Then evacuate the system, pull a vacuum,  recharge using the data plate for correct  amount of R134a.............Start the clock/ mark your calender................Watching an amp meter to fill  a system does not sound very accurate to me, you might as well add refrigerant till you see frost at the return line at the compressor....   I am more of a "evac. and refill" kind of  guy.... :thumbsup: .......You may not be getting your full 7 oz. of refrigerant into the system.........Anyway, look at all of the practice you are getting...........If evap is found to be leaking, Do the evap. replacement like MIKE suggests, the heat exchanger is small insurance, plus brazing the heat exchange and evap. while sitting on the kitchen floor is nice............New filter dryer then you will be good to go......



#13 atty

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 03:23 PM

Oh, I know it's going to have to be done sooner or later.  I don't think the other half of the house is going to permit me to keep hoses and a jug of 134a in permanent residence.  I was thinking of 25' of copper tubing through the wall to an area behind the adjoining bathroom door where the jug could sit, then maybe a plant on top.  Naww, she won't sit still for that one.

 

I'm still going to have to get a freezer evap in hand, and that # appears to be elusive.  I've had one suggestion of 7015780, but I haven't been able to confirm it.



#14 -Mike-

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:08 PM

  Not sure I follow your analysis of a vacuum on both sides if the compressor is off. 

If there is a high side leak  the compressor will pump everything out through that leak pulling a deep vacuum on the low side and the inside of the compressor.  You may have a small ammount of pressure in the high side when the compressor is running, but when the compressor is stopped and the pressure equalizes because there is so much more volume in the low side compared to the high side  the whole system will still be in a vacuum when everything is off.



#15 atty

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:54 PM

Interesting......can't say that I've ever seen that situation, but I'll certainly record it for future use.  In my case, of course, since I'm monitoring pressures, at least on the low side, it probably won't happen.  I would also have to assume that the compressor would be off by manual means, as I'm sure it would not be subject to cycling under those circumstances. 

 

Nice observation, Mike.  Thank you.  That's certainly one I'll have to keep in mind when I'm scratching my head over the next gremlin. 



#16 -Mike-

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 11:33 PM

You don't see it much because leaks are almost always in the low side. When you tap a system with a high side leak you'll know it right away. And yes the compressor has to be stopped manually. I like to unplug the relay so the evaporator fan continues to run  so it can warm the evaporator.

 

Another thing to keep in mind with  the SubZero freezer evaporator...its copper and when they leak its almost always due to multiple leaks in the coil. Every copper evaporator I've delt with you will not find a leak with a leak detector or by looking for bubbles. But then  you put dye in the system and the whole evaporator turns purple. The bubble method (which I don't like anyways and havn't used it in many years) won't work with this evaporator since the copper tubes are covered by aluminum.



#17 woftam

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 07:34 PM

Again check drain pan loop or after you pull vacuum it will draw water into system and you will end up replacing it a second time.
There is a huge difference between 10 years experience and one years experience ten times over.

#18 atty

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 11:29 PM

Are you talking about the loop at the very bottom of the evap. closest to the drain pan?



#19 woftam

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 08:02 AM

No. Under unit behind kick plate. . There is a high side loop in pan to evaporate drain water. Pull pan out and you will see it.They get corroded from sitting in water.
There is a huge difference between 10 years experience and one years experience ten times over.

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 09:52 AM

The original Part Number for the freezer is 3130470....N.L.A.........The  new number is P/N 7015780.........Hope you get a good return policy for the evaporator........You need to find the leak before buying parts..........The freezer evap. coils do not see cold/warm temps. that happen to the fresh food side evap. coils............If the refrigerant leaks out fast it is probably on the high side or a hole you could find...A slow leak is probably on the low side and it could take up to a year to leak out  or if it leaks out fast, a hole that is locatable......MIKE and woftam have pointed you in the most likely places to start...... I.E.  the drain loop that sits in water for  some time before the water evaporates......Pressurize the system and look  for leaks is the place to start.............Buying a 160.00 part is not the way to go...........The leak could be in the evap coils, but, let us start the process of elimination correctly............... .






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