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Sub Zero freezer side hot gas loop freon leak

AlboGator

1,042 views

I've run into a few of these over the years from multiple model numbers and would like to share what I've found with the rest of you guys so hopefully you don't have to learn the hard way. Symptom is that the freezer will not get cold and they may tell you about a hiss even. You get there and put your gauges on it and find it's drawing a suction on the process tube. So after pressure testing the system you find there's a leak in the hot gas loop.

Well here's where it turns into a mess. That hole in the gas line is allowing water to get into the sealed system and you'll never get it out. The only solution is a total sealed system replacement and a really good flush out of the remaining lines using either rx11 or some sort of refrigeration system flush to flush both the condenser and the mullion heater lines to get everything out, followed by nitrogen to flush out the flush.

Here's the last one I ran into, somewhat start to finish along with follow up pictures of the evaporator and compressor cut open to reveal the water that gets sucked into the system and what the water will do to the internals of the compressor. Some are just pictures of brazes. Sometimes I'll take a pic of the backside to look at them, sometimes I think they're pretty, and sometimes I'll just document it to look at 10 years from now. Anyway I left the album raw, meaning if I took a pic that wasn't fuzzy I put it in the album. This job took me 5 1/2 hours to finish and I did it in place not removing the refrigerator from the cabinet. 

http://imgur.com/a/2xJaZ

 

 




10 Comments


for that complex of a repair how much labor did you bill the customer?

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That was some impressive work. I smiled when I got to the picture of the frosted evaporator. I really loved the detail of the piston and cylinder. I sometimes leave a set of gauges on these jobs and go back the next day to check the pressures; if they change at all, I wait a few days and return to change the dryer again.

My worst experience was encountering this very repair, about 15 years ago. I had to remove the cabinet to install the heat exchanger from the top, and the factory sheet called for an electric tray heater wired to the evap. fan, and mounted under the condensate tray.

Good work!

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34 minutes ago, reeferman said:

I smiled when I got to the picture of the frosted evaporator

As did I, Thank you.

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Another battle won in the war of renegade appliances Wobiii Konobe

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Holly sheeeeet...that is a right respectable piece of work.  I have to find me a good sealed system guy to refer any work like this to.  I am not equipped for that.

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APPLIANCE DEAN

Posted

That is definitely a boss repair. BRAVO. great pictures too.

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Nice job here!

 

Now, if a Frigidaire Gallery all refrigerator had a leak in the hot gas loop - are those known to have the same problem? I'm replacing the loop and the compressor already but really don't want to do the evaporator if I don't have to. 

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8 hours ago, acfixerdude said:

Now, if a Frigidaire Gallery all refrigerator had a leak in the hot gas loop - are those known to have the same problem? I'm replacing the loop and the compressor already but really don't want to do the evaporator if I don't have to. 

I've only done one frigidaire that had a leak and no, it wasn't contaminated like this one was. I've also done a few of the french door whirlpools that get the leak in the copper line that runs in through the water pan and they were fine just changing the line and the filter.

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wow Albo Gator you are impressive when it comes to reading your experiences with refrigeration systems. I am still learning new stuff with just the regular appliance repair scenario's. I went to school and  I did take up a refrigeration class and did pass and receive my refrigeration certification license but the stuff still scares me a little and keeps me from getting and doing refrigeration work on refrigerators. I have not been in the scene of domestic refrigeration system repair for the past 5 years since I graduated appliance repair school here where I live. I can only turn down so many fridge jobs before it affects one of the management companies I do work for you know.  The refrigerators are usually the basic apartment ones that when They have a loss of refrigerant It usually is not economically in their favor to repair and recharge. so They opt to buy new.Some are bosch and GE side by sides but I haven't run into any refrigeration loss issues with those models but i'm sure its a matter of time.  Well thanks for your help and time with your repair situations and knowledge on this site. I hope to be as good as that some day But i'm shooting 53 years of age at this point and I don't see it coming anytime soon.

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shooting 53 years of age at this point and I don't see it coming anytime soon

Hang in there and don't get too set in your ways, remember "whether you think you can or think you can't you are right" either way. Even with the experience I have I'm realized that I should start to re-examine some of the things I do every day. I don't always know the best way, but know the way that has worked for me and realize that someone else may know a better way, different way, quicker way or more accurate way. I may be that person, very well may not! We never stop learning. And I appreciate your kind words.

 

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