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Old 10-11-2009, 06:35 PM   #1
jtucker101
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Default Refrigeration advice

I ran across a used, Haier HEC SWX30N wine cellar on Craigslist. SWMBO's birthday is coming up, and I know she's been wanting one. The price was pretty good and the description stated it worked perfectly, in excellent condition. I met the seller, looked over the fridge, and cosmetically everything looked as described. Since we met at a central place, power wasn't available to see if it worked so I assumed everything was fine (I had no reason to doubt them, and the cellar had signs of use). Bought it, brought it home and let it sit upright for 24 hours just in case.

So I plug it in today, it jumps to life and I figure life is great, SWMBO is gonna be happy! I check on it 45 minutes later, and the temperature display reads "HH", the inside is near freezing (based on a thermometer I stuck in there). I can change the setpoint, but it doesn't do any good, it just keeps dropping to near-freezing.

Of course, the seller won't return calls or emails. Didn't really surprise me, but at least it's not dead. Worst case, I have a new fermentation chiller that I can hook up to a RANCO to use in the brewery, but I really would like it for its intended use.

It has electronic controls, mot manual. The display reads "HH", which means the cellar temperature is too high. The compressor is obviously fine since it is cooling like a champ. I don't have refrigeration experience, but I do have controls experience. Usually you run into "HH" and no cooling, but since I have the "HH" and it is trying to cool things down, it leads me to believe it's just a bad sensor (thermocouple or something like that).

Before I order a new sensor for this (which is only a few bucks) is there something else that could be causing this?

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Old 10-12-2009, 02:57 PM   #2
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well, due to the overwhelming amount of advice I received (HA HA) I went ahead and bought a new sensor anyway, just to see if it works. There aren't really that many parts to this thing when you look a the exploded view online, so I'm fairly confident I am getting the right part to fix it.

Cost for the sensor: $3.99
(Although after paying tax and shipping I'm feeling like a prison b!tch)

Hopefully this takes care of it and gets it back to working condition.

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Old 10-12-2009, 03:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jtucker101 View Post
well, due to the overwhelming amount of advice I received (HA HA) I went ahead and bought a new sensor anyway, just to see if it works.
Does it have a digital temperature display? The control board may be malfunctioning. Temperature sensors are very simple devices and rarely fail.

Good luck!
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:02 PM   #4
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Yes, it has a digital temperature display. The temperature display works when I set the temperature to a specific setpoint, but when I lock in a setpoint, it returns to "HH". The display is designed to show "HH" or "LL" to indicate when the internal temperature is "out of range" (too low or too high). Since at freezing it's still showing "HH" I'm assuming the logic programming is set to fail high form a sensor failure(like programming a thermocouple to do so from a PID controller or PLC).

We'll see, hopefully this takes care of it.

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Old 10-12-2009, 07:18 PM   #5
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Im not positive on refrigeration controls, but most sensors will read maxed range one way or the other when the wires are shorted or open. so your senor wire might have been cut/unplugged and is now reading HH all the time. If you can get to it, remove the sensor, check the wires and connections and re-connect it to see if you get a reading.

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Old 10-12-2009, 07:24 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtucker101 View Post
The display is designed to show "HH" or "LL" to indicate when the internal temperature is "out of range" (too low or too high). Since at freezing it's still showing "HH" I'm assuming the logic programming is set to fail high form a sensor failure(like programming a thermocouple to do so from a PID controller or PLC).
Assuming the temperature sensor is resistive, you could remove it and measure the resistance at room temperature. Common refrigeration thermisters read 10K ohms at 78F.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:14 PM   #7
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I was thinking along the same lines, so I removed the sensor and measured. Room temperature (approximately 75 degrees F) I get about .770K ohms.

I stuck it in the freezer, and it rises to about .991K ohms.

Something I noticed while taking the unit apart to remove the sensor...it's been removed before. Is it possible that there are different resistive ranges on the sensors and the previous owner installed the wrong one? It looks similar to the one I just ordered, minus the heat shrink around the sensor wires.

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Old 10-12-2009, 08:22 PM   #8
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I was thinking along the same lines, so I removed the sensor and measured. Room temperature (approximately 75 degrees F) I get about .770K ohms.
Have you tried locating a manual (or calling the manufacturer) to see what the correct resistance range should be? It is suspicious that the sensor has been removed before, like someone attempted to fix it and failed.

I mean, it can only be one of three things: (1) faulty sensor, (2) open sensor circuit, or (3) faulty control panel.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
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closed for Columbus day...just my luck.

Haven't been able to locate a service manual, just a basic owner's manual. Even the Haier website doesn't show the model number I have.

Here's the extent of what I could come up with:

link

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Old 10-12-2009, 09:31 PM   #10
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incidentally, I tried running the fridge without the sensor. When disconnected, the temperature display reads "EE" and an audible alarm sounds.
The control board knows when a sensor is NOT present.

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