punctured cooling plate on kegerator

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this evening i accidentally punctured the cooling plate inside my summit kegerator -- coolant came spraying out of the puncture all over the place. Does anyone know if it is possible to replace the cooling plate in a unit like mine, and where to go to do so? Or is my only option to buy a whole new system?

Thanks in advance for advice -- this is probably the stupidest thing I've ever done. My keg of Bridgeport IPA is going to have to wait...
 

finchlake

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Don't have a clue if you can fix it or not, just wanted offer my condolences on the passing of your kegerator. Man that's sad. I've been wanting to move my CO2 bottle to the outside of the kegerator, just been scared of doing the same thing.
 

CodeRage

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I'd call the manufacturer and see if they have some one who can fix it. It may not be repairable because these units are typically not designed to be serviced.
 

CodeRage

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Sir Humpsalot said:
Cooling plates are filled with liquid???
Yeah, the cooling plate is actually the evaporator... The coolant is compressed into a liquid state and then in the evaporator the liquid goes from liquid to gas. It draws in ambient heat to do this. which makes it cold :)

It also could have been the oil in the system which keeps the compressor lubed
 

Sir Humpsalot

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Virtuous said:
Yeah, the cooling plate is actually the evaporator... The coolant is compressed into a liquid state and then in the evaporator the liquid goes from liquid to gas. It draws in ambient heat to do this. which makes it cold :)
Oh oh oh. different kind of cold plate. Gotcha.
 

Philip1993

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I asked about that on a free chest freezer I got, and the AC guy said these systems have no fill port. It's brazed shut after filling.

If you wanted to braze on some std freon fittings to the HP/LP tubes and have the gauge set and freon, it should work fine. But unless you're already in the HVAC business, the cost of repairs most likely exceeds the cost of the unit.
 
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Thanks for the input and advice. Unless the manufacturer sells replacement cooling plates, it looks like i'll need a new system.

live and learn i guess. thans again.
 
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I am embarrased to admit this to the Internets, but here goes. I probably qualify for a category of the 2007 Darwin awards with this one. I attempted to chip the ice build-up off of the cooling plate w/ a chisel. There was a build up of about 3 inches. I noticed the build-up while switching kegs, didn't really give what I was about to do much thought, and before I knew it I punctured the coollng plate and some sweet smelling liquid was spraying everywhere.

So if you have ice build-up, don't do what I did unless you are looking for an excuse to buy a new system...
 

CodeRage

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I dont know if its Darwin worthy but, well I bet you wont do that again. Sorry man that really does suck. I dont know this for fact but it seems to me ice on the evaporator will kill your cooling efficiency. Acts like an insulator. So yeah it needed to go but let it defrost next time ;) . To prevent icing on the next one you can put a small fan in there to keep the air cicrulating.
 
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Yes, I'll never do this again. Other stupid things -- maybe, but not this.

I am told by the craft brewery where I bought my keg (Bridgeport Ales in Portland, OR) that as long as I haven't tapped the keg, it should be fine for a few weeks in my garage (with temps in the 40s). is this correct? I should have a new machine up and running w/ in 2 weeks.
 
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boomerplymouth said:
So if you have ice build-up,
Sorry about your loss...what a drag. Keep an eye out on Craig's List, you may stumble upon a cheap replacement.

I've never had any kind of ice build-up problem with my 4911, other than a bit of frost forming when I have the door open long enough to change kegs. Is yours in an extra warm and/or humid environment?
 
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My kegerator is in my basement, and it can get humid down there in the winter, and warm at times in the summer. not much I can do about the temperature, but I do run a dehumidifier to keep things under control.

I think I'm going to need to defrost whatever new system I get at least once a year while changing kegs just to keep it under control.
 

finchlake

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Thanks Boomer.., I'll add that to my list of "Things Not To Do". I've not had an ice problem, If I do I think I'll use the slow thaw method.
 

Philip1993

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boomerplymouth said:
I attempted to chip the ice build-up off of the cooling plate w/ a chisel.
I did that same thing to a mini-fridge, but got lucky and nicked it w/o causing a leak. Now, I just open the door (outside) and melt the ice with a hose.

Philip
 

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Thats sad, sorry about your luck bro! :(

But look on the bright side, you know you will never do that again, and you get a different system. Hopefuly you up grade to something even sweeter!! :rockin:
 

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it can be fixed, if you call a good tech, not a cheap repair tech it can be fixed. the only time they can't be fixed is if the evap was under water or had a lot of water and the freon all leaked out and the system was still running. when the freon is gone the system will run in a vacum and pull the water into the system, then its done.

Nick

P.S. they make tap kits so you can recharge them after they leave the factory.
 
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nicksteck said:
it can be fixed, if you call a good tech, not a cheap repair tech it can be fixed. the only time they can't be fixed is if the evap was under water or had a lot of water and the freon all leaked out and the system was still running. when the freon is gone the system will run in a vacum and pull the water into the system, then its done.

Nick

P.S. they make tap kits so you can recharge them after they leave the factory.

This comes up quite a bit on this forum and your advice runs contrary to what has been posted in the past from others.

Do you have first-hand knowledge of this? If so, please post much more details, costs, who you called, etc.



Thanks.
 

nicksteck

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I grew up in a appliance, refrigeration and hvac company, I am now taking the company over from my father and have 2 service techs in our company. the problem with the techs these days is that they don't work on the manual defrost refrigerators any more, remember having to defrost the frig all the time, techs always had to fix punctures from people using a steak knife to chip away the frost. so now when a tech runs into this they tell the people to go buy a new frig, the only time you have to get rid a frig is if it sucked water into the system. to fix it you have to solder with alumaweld or use a 2 part epoxy then vacum the system out to remove any moisture and then recharge the system. I can check with a tech but i am guessing about 175.00 250.00 for a repair.

i hope this helped

Nick
 
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nicksteck said:
I grew up in a appliance, refrigeration and hvac company, I am now taking the company over from my father and have 2 service techs in our company. the problem with the techs these days is that they don't work on the manual defrost refrigerators any more, remember having to defrost the frig all the time, techs always had to fix punctures from people using a steak knife to chip away the frost. so now when a tech runs into this they tell the people to go buy a new frig, the only time you have to get rid a frig is if it sucked water into the system. to fix it you have to solder with alumaweld or use a 2 part epoxy then vacum the system out to remove any moisture and then recharge the system. I can check with a tech but i am guessing about 175.00 250.00 for a repair.

i hope this helped

Nick
Which explains why it's not worth it on a Sanyo @ $200 or less. Perhaps on a more pricey Kegorator....
 
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I think the OP's unit runs about 500 new.
Most people have this issue on a Sanyo type mini fridge.

Makes alot of sense of we're talking about a commercial unit.

Thanks for the info!
 

CodeRage

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Do you have a special tap to service the high and low side? Most of the ones I have seen have had the service ports crimped and brazed
 

nicksteck

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you can solder on a tap or they make taps that clamp on the line, almost all work can be done through the low side

Nick
 
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My unit is $500+ new, so if I could fix this one for $250 I'd be all over it.

Problem is the three places I've called (a private refrigeration guy who handles all of Summit's business in my area; a large applicance shop; and a large service center that calls itself a refrigeration "hospital") have told me they won't do this work, or it will be $500 - $800 to do the job. One place quoted a govt related fee of ~$135 to re-charge the plate, plus all the other costs invovled.

I see the estimate of $175 - $250. Have I gone to the wrong places?
 

nicksteck

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refrigeration shops won't help you or want to charge you commercial rates, try to find a smaller appliance repair shop.
 
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