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frig line restriction Kenmore 596.62822200  Rating:  Rating
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 Posted: Tue Oct 19th, 2010 05:31 pm
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7 year old Kenmore frig compressor shot craps about 3 months ago.  Had a tech replace the compressor/dryer, etc.  Yesterday freezer running at about 34 degrees.  Used this site info and found evap coil with no frost whatsoever.  Tech checked it today (I'd turned it off yesterday when not cooling correctly) and found low side--suction, high side--100+.  Added a bit of 134a and said high side went up but suction didn't change.  Diagnosis--line restriction somewhere and frig is junk. 

He didn't really have a good idea of why there would now be a line restriction, but said he'd not had good results in the past in trying to fix such a problem.  Also didn't think it likely he'd caused it, as he'd blown the system out with nitrogen, held vacuum for 30 minutes, etc. 

So, anything else I should know or think about in this scenario?  "Stuff" happens?  :(


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 Posted: Wed Oct 20th, 2010 01:15 am
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if recent work was done the propable place for a restriction is at the service dryer

this part looks like a copper piece of dynamite(for lack of a better description)  it has a 1/4 inch line entering it and a very fine copper tube as an exit(capillary line), so any contaminits will get caught at the entrance to this tiny line. if the capillary line is plugged the fridge is scrap, but it could be the dryer is plugged

i'm not sure about the USA but here in my province we do not have to reclaim 134A so the test would be to run fridge for a while, then unplug,cut the capillary line at the dryer(by scoring with a file and snapping, not with cutters) and see what open end releases pressure, both should in a working system, the dryer end should spray gas if the dryer is not plugged, then you plug in the fridge and touch the other open end of the cap tube... this open end should produce suction you will be hoping for suction from the open cap tube end and no spray from the open end at the dryer(cause then the dryer is plugged and you should have the tech back to change the dryer)


if any black gunk comes out, the last comp burned out and the system is contaminated and again, the fridge is scrap and should have been scrapped before the new comp was put in

 

in saying all this... if your local regulations require the capture of 134A then this test is illegal and should not be done this way, and regardless of the reclaim laws you prolly require a licence to work on the sealed system


great caution must be used when doing this.... remember that the gas comming out of there will be 100+psi and can cause severe frost bite or worse
 


Last edited on Wed Oct 20th, 2010 01:28 am by BrntToast



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 Posted: Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 02:53 pm
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Thanks for your reply--detailed and very helpful!

I'm going to try this but do have a question--based on reading on this site:  If I find the dryer is plugged, that's fixable.  However, the system will then be open and I believe there are cautions on this site that the compressor should not be left exposed to the atmosphere for long.  Won't this be a problem?

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 Posted: Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 05:09 pm
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well leaving it sit open is not recomended, but really its no different than when a fridge springs a leak, cause in the case of a leak not only is a line open but it can be sucking in air/moisture

if you find the dryer is plugged after you are done clamp vice grips on the very end of the line to somewhat seal it and cover the cap tube with something if you find the dryer was not plugged then the open lines matter not cause the unit is scrap. if you can you can make a video of the process incase you have any questions(dont utube it as we are not certain what you are doing is legal.....

btw when making any cuts try not to take away any more tubing than necessary, specially the cap tube as that line can not be extended

disclaimer... any info given is for educational purposes, I and this site do not recomend anyone perform illegal or un-licenced repairs

 



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 Posted: Fri Oct 22nd, 2010 09:57 pm
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Hmmm.........Ran frig for few minutes then unplugged it.  Took a couple of minutes to then score and break the cap tube.  Some 'air' did come out of filter but not nearly as much as I was expecting (relative to my car a/c ports), it wasn't oily, and no black stuff.  However, the cap tube definitely has suction.  Comparing apples to oranges I know, but suction seems relatively better than output. 

What next?  Try another filter?  I do have manifold gauges and can solder (my soldering looks considerably better than what's on this compressor, though may not function any better  :) ).

Here's a pic of what's there now.

http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc93/tharba/kenmorefilter.jpg

Thanks again.

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 Posted: Mon Oct 25th, 2010 02:27 pm
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next cut the dryer off at the top end

if the dryer is plugged gas should spray out, if not run the compressor with the dryer completely removed, hold a finger over the open end and you should not be able to hold back the pressur that long

if the unit truely had a restriction at some point a whole lot of gas should blast out

if after that you have pressure at one open end and suction at the other you do not have a restriction at all and replace dryer and recharge the unit

 



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 Posted: Mon Oct 25th, 2010 04:30 pm
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Cut off drier (frig had been turned off for days)--not much of anything came out.  Turned on frig--mild, maybe moderate, pressure after 10 seconds or so, when holding my finger over open end. (Cap tube closed off, if that makes any difference.) 

For comparison, air compressor set at about 60 psi seems several times stronger than frig compressor.

Bad compressor--even though tech's gauges read 100+?  Restriction between compressor and cut open end of tube?

Thanks. 


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 Posted: Tue Oct 26th, 2010 01:42 am
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cap line must be open

it cant blow out air if it isn't sucking any in  :P

try again with cap line open

 



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 Posted: Tue Oct 26th, 2010 04:56 am
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Wondered about that but thought can that tiny little hole make that much difference?  :)

Took tape off end of cap line and plugged in frig.  Pressure in larger line seemed to be higher than before, and building, but after maybe 10 seconds dropped off to nothing.  Unplugged and waited a couple minutes.  Repeated.  Pressure again, but seemed a bit less than the time before.  Again dropped off to nothing after a few seconds.  Cap tube still had suction at this point.  Repeated all again, same results.

More confused.  :?

Thanks again.

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 Posted: Wed Oct 27th, 2010 01:14 am
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your are drawing air in through that tiny hole before compressing it, it takes alot longer than 10 seconds to draw in enough air to build high pressure

repeat test and let it run longer with finger over the large line eventually with a good compressor the pressure will be more than you can hold back and will blow past your finger



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 Posted: Wed Oct 27th, 2010 05:03 pm
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OK-- I  covered the output as soon as I plugged in the frig, pressure built up rapidly and in probably less than 30 seconds the pressure was such that it was difficult to hold the outlet closed.

I'm going to presume that suggests the system is ok and would warrant a new filter and being charged up?  I am still a bit concerned about the original problem though--primarily because the drier/filter I removed is really easy to blow through--implying it was not obstructed?

Since I can solder, have manifold gauges, and a vacuum pump, I figure I may as well try to charge it myself, especially since the original problem may still be there.  Anything to watch out for?

Thank you!


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 Posted: Wed Oct 27th, 2010 06:08 pm
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These fridges have a loop of the discharge line bent down and routed through the evaporator drain pan - located to the front left side of compressor, this line is submerged in the drain water and is to aid in evaporating the standing water. I have found on numerous occasions that this line will actually corrode and rot out which intrduces a whole bunch of goodies into the system.
The only way I ever saw to properly repair this is to lay the fridge on it's side and remove the base and fabricate a new loop of copper and install it prior to compressor replacement - usually you can tell by all the green gook that forms in the drain pan



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 Posted: Thu Oct 28th, 2010 11:11 pm
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if you buy a dryer that has 2 lines the same size it has an arrow for direction of gas flow

when brazing a dryer you inser cap tube about one inch in to prevent solder from wicking up the tube and plugging it

when properly charged and running your guages should read somewhere between 0-5 psi on the low side and the suction line at the compressor should be cool but not have any frost building on it, a frosting cap line indicates an overcharge

 



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 Posted: Sun Oct 31st, 2010 03:04 pm
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The pan does look a bit gunky, but the line is a couple inches above it and looks pristine.  Thanks for the heads up, though.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 31st, 2010 03:12 pm
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Got my drier and am gearing up to install.  Will first need to remove gauge fitting from old drier and put it on the new one. 

Looks like the frig line to the drier will slip inside the line on the drier--like you describe the cap tube doing, on the other end? 

Curious as to how you like to cut the drier lines--hack saw, Dremel?  With 2 lines on the input side of the drier, may not be enough room even for my mini tubing cutter.

Thanks.

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 Posted: Sun Oct 31st, 2010 06:09 pm
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I use a hacksaw blade with a 32 tooth, draw  ( teeth towards you ) it across the tubing a few times, about 3/4 way thru, then bend and break.........Use plumbers tape (  sand paper on a strip )  on all connections..........I also use flux at all connections......... On the cap tube clean only the solder area, do not clean the first one inch, you do not want the solder to wick up the cap tube in the filer /dryer.......When the filter/dryer is installed , you want the cap tube end pointing down or lower then the inlet side..........

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 Posted: Tue Nov 2nd, 2010 05:56 am
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Thanks--good tips for a first-timer.

The solder I've been using for copper plumbing is Flo-Temp lead free silver bearing solder--apparently not quite the same thing as silver solder.  Wikipedia seems to think this is fine for refrigeration.  Are they right?  :)

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 Posted: Tue Nov 2nd, 2010 03:20 pm
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i like 15% sil-phos. it flows really well, even without flux. the only time i use flux is on copper/steel or steel/steel joints. on these joints i step up to a 40% silver solder.



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 Posted: Sat Nov 13th, 2010 06:53 pm
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OK, drier is soldered in, lines vacuumed, and 134 slowly put into what I think is called the compressor process line (?) as a vapor.  Air in freezer is getting colder, top row of evaporator is frosted after 5-10 minutes.  No frost on cap line or compressor suction tube.

I'm concerned (maybe a bit excessively) about overfilling.  Should I keep adding 134 until I see a bit of frost on suction line?  Until evap. completely frosted?  Or....?

Low side is reading about zero (as you may remember was negative before I replaced the drier) and high side 130 or so.

As an aside:  In the middle of all this everthing suddenly quit---?????  After much searching/google, found out about, and found the defrost timer, which had apparently turned on!  Perfect.:beating:


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 Posted: Sat Nov 13th, 2010 07:09 pm
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charge somewhere between 0-3 psi

when checking frost patern have the evaporator cover in place(doesn't have to be screwed in) and doors closed

be patient and add a bit at a time till the entire evap is frosted, this might take several removals and reinstalls of evap cover with waits inbetween

also once or twice, close guages, unplug fridge, wait 5 minutes, plug back in and wait a bit, check pressure then a lil while after remove back panel and check frost patern

you are new at this and not charging by volume with a marked cylinder, so be patient and dont rush it, an overcharge if not noticed can damage the new compressor



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