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Old 01-25-2012, 10:17 PM   #1
wulfsburg
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Good Afternoon,
I just kegged some beer for the first time in a long time. I open my keezer and see that there is a spot near the top that is completely frozen, like a snowball. But there was no ice anywhere else stuck to the wall of it.

I check my temp controller, and it is set to 45 degrees. The compressor is kicking on, but wont drop anywhere below 60 degrees. It is not getting cold. I know very little about home appliance cooling, but was seeking some help and advice. I built it a year ago, and it is custom built. With paint, diamond plating, the whole 9 yards.

Is it possibly a freon issue? Why would one small section that is approx 4 inches in diameter near the top of the freezer create a frozen iceball?

I want to try to fix it myself, as I think that calling an appliance repairman just wont be worth it.

For whatever its worth, I can hear a "dripping" sound coming from somewhere in the unit, but not sure where.

Thanks in advance.

 
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:33 PM   #2
Hermit
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Sounds like a freon leak. Sorry.

 
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:45 PM   #3
wulfsburg
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While I believe that could be an issue, what surprises me is the ball of frost on the upper portion of one of the walls. If there was low refrigerant, I wouldn't get that frost, would I?

 
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:46 PM   #4
wulfsburg
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Also, from my experience selling auto repair, I recall that most automotive freon has some kind of oil or dye that will indicate a leak. Is it the same for home appliances?

 
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:51 PM   #5
day_trippr
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There is lubricant mixed in with the freon to keep the compressor from seizing. The frosty spot is likely due to the compressor running endlessly due to the system being very low on working fluid...

 
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:05 PM   #6
Hermit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfsburg View Post
While I believe that could be an issue, what surprises me is the ball of frost on the upper portion of one of the walls. If there was low refrigerant, I wouldn't get that frost, would I?
That is the classic symptom of a low freon charge. You only have enough freon to work in that one small bit of tubing.

 
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:33 AM   #7
wulfsburg
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How can one charge a system? I took my lid off but have no access to the.condensed or evaporator because they are encased in foam with no access. There aren't the traditional fittings like on a car. Im assuming special eq. I will prob have to hire someone to do it. My concern is the cost

 
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:03 AM   #8
Hermit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfsburg View Post
How can one charge a system? I took my lid off but have no access to the.condensed or evaporator because they are encased in foam with no access. There aren't the traditional fittings like on a car. Im assuming special eq. I will prob have to hire someone to do it. My concern is the cost
This gets into information I'm not comfortable giving on line. Plus, if it leaked out once, it will leak out again.

 
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:20 AM   #9
beninan
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They usually do have the same fittings, or similar ones at least, when they are built and charged. After they are charged though, the factory pinches off the lines going to the fittings, brazes them shut, and cuts the fittings off. The way you would charge it, is cut open the brazed lines (which would cause the rest of the freon to leak out, so legally it needs to be recollected), braze on some new fittings, vacuum the system, and recharge with the specified amount. You can leave the fittings on it. The factory only takes them off so customer's don't mess with it. Just make sure you know what you are doing %110 before you go about messing with this. There will be a high pressure side (capable of around 300+ PSI) and a low pressure side, both with different fittings. You also NEED to make sure you know what type of freon it uses. R-12 is different than R134A and both use different oils. I believe R-12 is obsolete now for the most part, but I've heard you can still get it for $$$$$$$$$. R-12 was also banned from use in refrigeration in either in 1995 or 1996, I don't remember exactly. So if its newer than 1996, I would bet that it does not use R-12.

As Hermit said, If it's leaking, it's leaking. However, I have seen a lot of a/c systems that will "normally" leak over time, just very slowly, similar to tires on a vehicle. So depending on how old it is, it may be considered an acceptable leak in my book. I work with HVAC on automotive purposes.

Again, do research, contact an HVAC specialist, make sure you are comfortable, figure out the cost compared to buying new, etc. before you go about poking and prodding.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:12 PM   #10
wulfsburg
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I appreciate the information about the device. I have not checked to see what kind of refrigerant it has. There is no possible way for me to find out where the leak is, as the condenser and the evaporator are both encased in foam in the walls of the freezer. Luckily I was able to remove some of the foam (its like that spray in foam from a can) where the frost was built up and it was balling up right where the intake capillary is to the evaporator. I dont know if that is signifigant or not, but I cannot remove everything. From my familiarity with automobile ac systems, I understand there will be high pressure off of the pressure line, but I do not have the tools to do it. *sigh* I think I will just be better off buying a new one. It is just unfortunate because of all of the custom work I put into it. I do know if I charge it it could last a while, but is it worth the headache? I havent used it in about a month, and last time it worked fine, so my guess it will leak out in 30 days or less :-(.

 
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