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6010fd12

Elmeco FC2 Slushie Machine Condenser Fan Turning off

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6010fd12

Bought a broken slushie machine second hand and the owner told me that after being good working condition for 6 months now the fan would turn off after 10 minutes of use. Tested it myself, made sure to have water inside the container just in case there was a low level shutoff and turned the settings to slush mode. I timed exactly 6 minutes give or take a couple of seconds from when the power button was pressed until the condenser fan turns off. Not sure if that's some type of safety or idle timer shutoff being so close to or exactly 6 minutes after the unit is turned on.

 

Everything else on the unit works fine. The augers spin, the compressor runs (even after the condenser fan stops). After the fan stops running if I turn off the unit and turn it back on the fan starts working again.

 

I new to these types of units, if anyone has any experience with these machines I would really appreciate the help.

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ECtoFix

Well @6010fd12, you're definitely getting some hands-on for new refrigeration challenges (from your LG refrigerator to THIS).

Although I've never worked on this Elmeco unit, I'll offer a few points:

  • That's commercial unit.  Not really something many of these folks HERE deal with those.  However, there ARE other places on the web where you could get help on that unit (commercial refrigeration).
  • It's made in Italy...and I'm not seeing allot of parts support for them.  However, they DO have a phone number for here in the USA on their website.  Elmeco
  • I advise you to NOT running straight water in it since THAT will quickly freeze HARD and can damage the auger motor gears.  You'd best use a mixture of about 15% sugar in the water for testing purposes.  The sugar will allow the water to freeze into particles instead of solid formations.
  • Many units like that one (and soft-serve machines) wholly (or partially) rely on auger motor torque demands to cycle the refrigeration cycle.  In other words, the product's consistency and denseness during the freeze cycle will eventually cause the slurry to cause a greater load on the auger motor.  When the controller is set properly, increased physical resistance to the auger motor will cycle the condenser based on a given (set) motor amp draw and will produce an adequately frozen product which can still be drawn through the product valve.

I'll stop right there since I've not worked on many electronically controlled version of those slushy (or margarita) machines.  Older ones I worked on were VERY basic.  Mechanically controlled - whereas a adequately loaded auger motor (due to product consistency) would move against spring tension to actuate a microswitch, which would shut off the refrigeration cycle.

I looked at the manual for your Elmeco First Class and the schematic shows the condenser motor is connected in parallel with the condenser and control devices appear to control both equally.  Yet, there may be some details left out of the diagram.  When you look at it, you'll have that same question.  There's a pressure switch there, but the diagram doesn't clearly distinguish whether that switch controls the compressor AND the fan...or just the fan.  It seems plausible to me that a pressure switch might cycle the fan should liquid line pressure drop as cooling load drops.  Such a design would ensure hi-side pressure is properly maintained for the sake of consistent refrigerant flow through the evaporators (the barrels).

Here are two manuals:

Elemco First Class - Use and Maintenance

Elmeco First Class - Troubleshooting

Here would be a source for parts in case you need any:

PartsTOWN

 

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ECtoFix

Belay my theory about the pressure switch.  Per a video on YouTube, appears that's a HIGH pressure switch that shuts down the condenser to protect the machine in case it lacks proper air circulation.

SO...maybe there's an electrical issue causing the fan motor to lose power - or the motor itself is faulty.

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6010fd12

@ECtoFix Lol, I always like to keep learning and challenging myself. I figure it's good practice since if I'm unable to fix it or if it will cost too much I can always just resell it as broken since I bought it for a fraction of the cost. 

In terms of the unit, I will probably call the manufacturer on monday to see if they could run me through some troubleshooting steps (highly double they would be willing to let a "customer" diagnose the unit that way) but maybe they would be able to give me an idea as to whats going on. Also I understand that running without sugar is dangerous I was just seeing if maybe a low level sensor or temperature sensor would possibly be the culprit(regardless the fan still turned off after 6 minutes). 

I will retest it again tomorrow to see if it is a consistent 6 minutes everytime from startup that the fan turns off or if it fluctuates (could possible lead to something or eliminate some possibilities). What I am really curious about is would it still count as a faulty motor if after the fan fails and I turn off the unit and turn it back on quickly and the fan starts back up again? I don't think overheating would be a cause at that point and if it was shorted it wouldn't start back up at all correct? I'm only making assumptions as my electrical knowledge is very limited 😭

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6010fd12

@ECtoFix

Got some good news and bad news. Replaced the fan motor and works without stopping now!

The bad news however is after running for 20 minutes i noticed it was not cooling. Ran it with the slush mix for the full hour just to make sure and nothing. Turned it off and checked the lowside port and sure enough it's in a vacuum.

xqYt8Qw.jpg

 

I know you said you haven't worked on a unit like this but is there any way to access the high side? Filter drier does not have a port, the only thing I can find is this valve in between.rzJBEqs.jpg

 

Also just curious but is there a way to manually open the 3 way solenoid valve without turning on the unit?

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ECtoFix
7 hours ago, 6010fd12 said:

I know you said you haven't worked on a unit like this but is there any way to access the high side? Filter drier does not have a port, the only thing I can find is this valve in between.

I've always brazed in a saddle valve on the compressor discharge line.  One like this one in the link:

Braze-On Self-Piercing Copper Saddle Valve

That one is for 1/4" line, but they're available for other sizes.

 

7 hours ago, 6010fd12 said:

Also just curious but is there a way to manually open the 3 way solenoid valve without turning on the unit?

I don't think that slush machine has a three-way valve.  It should simply have two solenoid valves - one for each of the two evaporators barrels (that machine has two barrels, right?).

To manually open solenoid valves designed so that their coil can be removed, I've always used a magnet out of a magnetron.  You probably don't repair microwaves, so don't a bunch of them stuck to your toolbox like I do.  Therefore, get yourself some of these:

Solenoid Valve Troubleshooting Magnet

Simply remove the valve's coil and slide that magnet onto the valve plunger stem.  That will lift the internal plunger just like the coil did, so the valve will be open.

Be aware that you should NEVER energize a solenoid valve coil when it's removed from the valve, unless you want to let the factory-installed smoke out of it.

 

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6010fd12

@ECtoFix

Bought some of the braze on saddle valves but I just realized I'm going to have to replace the filter drier anyways so I might as well get one with a service port attached. Do you know which filter drier would fit my unit that has a service port?

I believe I have idea what happened to the unit. The fan must have overheated or shorted causing the refrigerant in the condenser overheat which then cause the temperature relief valve (that someone must have brazed on because I can't find it anywhere in the manual) to melt and let all the refrigerant out of the system.

qZNMGEr.jpgjgsULwI.jpg

 

I need to get a replacment temp relief cap. I know they are sold by what temp they melt at but which one is exactly needed for this system?

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6010fd12

Size of the old cap

e8HgBLX_d.webp?maxwidth=640&shape=thumb&

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ECtoFix

I see you found the other forum.  I hope they help you, but you might find them hesitant to do so if you're a DIYer.  I'll also point out that your pictures aren't showing up there.

In the dozen years that I'd worked on commercial refrigeration (until 2010) ranging in sizes from walk-in coolers/freezers down to countertop cream dispensers (at McDonald), large restaurant ice machines, etc, - I have NEVER SEEN a fusible plug. 

From this picture you posted, looks like it’s stamped to melt at 210°F (99°C):

jgsULwI.jpg

Here's a spec sheet from a manufacturer of those:

Fusible Pipe Plugs, Connectors & Bushings

Since that part isn't something that commonly needs replaced, you might find it difficult to find.

 

 

 

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6010fd12
28 minutes ago, ECtoFix said:

I see you found the other forum.  I hope they help you, but you might find them hesitant to do so if you're a DIYer.  I'll also point out that your pictures aren't showing up there.

In the dozen years that I'd worked on commercial refrigeration (until 2010) ranging in sizes from walk-in coolers/freezers down to countertop cream dispensers (at McDonald), large restaurant ice machines, etc, - I have NEVER SEEN a fusible plug. 

 

From this picture you posted, looks like it’s stamped to melt at 210°F (99°C):

 

jgsULwI.jpg

Here's a spec sheet from a manufacturer of those:

Fusible Pipe Plugs, Connectors & Bushings

Since that part isn't something that commonly needs replaced, you might find it difficult to find.

 

 

 

Lmao, ya I can tell that guy is getting pissed off at me. Also sadly I can't post links on there till I've reached 7 posts so I just put a space between the . and com.

Also I might just purchase a set of 5 that are 1/8" rated for 210 just in case the fan ever fails again? Unless you think I would be better off just remove it from the loop.

Could you recommend me a filter drier that would work with this unit?

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ECtoFix
7 hours ago, 6010fd12 said:

Also I might just purchase a set of 5 that are 1/8" rated for 210 just in case the fan ever fails again? Unless you think I would be better off just remove it from the loop.

I couldn't tell what the pipe thread size is from your picture.  Are you sure it's 1/8"?  1/8" pipe is like the diameter of a sharpie pen.

I was guessing it's 1/4".

7 hours ago, 6010fd12 said:

Could you recommend me a filter drier that would work with this unit?

Again, I can't tell what your line size is from the picture.  Is it 1/4"?

That factory-installed bullet-style filter/drier looks a bit larger than a Supco SUD111, so you might want to go a size bigger to a Sporlan 032S-CAP-T.  Those both have a pressure port.

I've never use dye driers, but that link you provided looks like it's just a SUD111 with dye in it.

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6010fd12

@ECtoFix Sorry I ment to say the diameter of the fusible pipe cap thread was .410 which is just about 1/8 NPT. Do you think I should order a replacement cap or just remove it from the system.

As for the diameter of the pipe I do believe it's 1/4" I'll check in the morning but I'm almost certain it's 1/4. The cap-t won't be too large for the unit? And it compatible with r404a correct?

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ECtoFix
20 hours ago, 6010fd12 said:

Do you think I should order a replacement cap or just remove it from the system.

That's up to you.  If that's not factory-installed, then I need lessons from whoever installed that one.  Looks factory to me.  Yet, I've never seen them on anything I've ever worked on.

20 hours ago, 6010fd12 said:

As for the diameter of the pipe I do believe it's 1/4" I'll check in the morning but I'm almost certain it's 1/4.

When sizing up pipe thread, it's best to have known sizes on hand to compare it to.  I can eyeball sizes of 1/8", 1/2", 3/4" and even 1", but I've never been good at differentiating 3/8" and 1/4".  A trip to a hardware store could answer that question for you.

20 hours ago, 6010fd12 said:

The cap-t won't be too large for the unit? And it compatible with r404a correct?

I don't know the refrigerant charge weight of that unit.  Perhaps 1 lb at most (given that it freezes)?  So maybe splash another ounce into it above what the data sticker shows.

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6010fd12

@ECtoFix I decided to order the fusible cap and cap-t.

I believe it's somewhere around 9.1-9.7oz of R404a. Do you think the drier would work?

Also I checked with my caliper and the tubing is indeed 1/4"

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ECtoFix
20 hours ago, 6010fd12 said:

And it compatible with r404a correct?

Sorry.  Missed that question.

Most off-the-shelf filter/driers are compatible with CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs.  I think 404A is a HFC.

 

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ECtoFix
3 minutes ago, 6010fd12 said:

I believe it's somewhere around 9.1-9.7oz of R404a.

Now you gotta go buy you a 30 lb jug of it. 

Do remember that R404A is a zeotrope, so it most certainly must be added to the system as a liquid due to the differing bubble and dew points of its components.  Otherwise, those components will gas off separately and you'll no longer have a proper mixture comprising the original refrigerant.

 

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6010fd12

 

Believe me I've already done my fair share of crying. As soon as I seen the price of a 11lb canister I started searching high and low for something more affordable or a smaller canister but it looks like this is the cheapest.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/R404a-R404-R-404-404a-Refrigerant-11lb-Full-and-Factory-Sealed/193100609137?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

I also went ahead and purchased a liquid charge adapter. I hope this one works.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005DLBXWU/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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6010fd12

@ECtoFix

Almost forgot to ask. The fusible plug will make a leak proof seal when tighten down all the way or do I need to add a bit of yellow Teflon tape to it?

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ECtoFix

That and some Loctite 567 should hold more than adequately for tapered pipe threads.

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ECtoFix
9 minutes ago, ECtoFix said:

That and some Loctite 567 should hold more than adequately for tapered pipe threads.

I can't believe we're talking teflon tape and pipe dope on a refrigeration system, but...it is what it is. 

Just be sure to apply both of those at least two threads back from the plug's end (standard practice).  You don't want either to contaminate the system.

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6010fd12
9 hours ago, ECtoFix said:

Just be sure to apply both of those at least two threads back from the plug's end (standard practice).  You don't want either to contaminate the system.

Gotcha. So tape on first then apply loctite all while avoiding the last 2 threads.

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ECtoFix
9 hours ago, 6010fd12 said:

Gotcha. So tape on first then apply loctite all while avoiding the last 2 threads.

My licensed-plumber co-workers all say to apply pipe sealant (the Loctite) first, then a few rounds of Teflon tape and finish with dab more pipe sealant over the tape.

I always thought that was an overkill until one occasion when I had installed a water heater (my own), turned on the water and ended up having a s-s-s-s-s-l-o-w drip. 

It ended up taking WAY more effort to break my plumbing job back down again just to start over and actually follow those instructions that I should have in the first place.

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6010fd12

Got it!

Wanted to sincerely thank you! I wouldn't have been able to get this far without your help! 😃

Fl0IKW0.jpg3ddkDt4.jpg

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Terry Carmen
On 8/1/2020 at 12:07 PM, 6010fd12 said:

Unless you think I would be better off just remove it from the loop.

FWIW, I'd leave it. Someone had enough of a problem to put on there. It's probably there to protect something that doesn't tolerate high pressures. Maybe the evaporator?

It could easily be an undocumented factory modification. I don't think anybody else would bother.

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