Refrigerator not working again

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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" wrote:

I haven't bought a fridge in the last 25 years. In fact, I just picked up a free apartment or dorm sized fridge over the weekend that looks brand new. I've never bought a new microwave oven, and the most I've ever paid was $2. I have four at the moment, and I'm deciding which ones I'll keep. I've only bought two new televisions in the last 40 years. Most everything else is picked up not working and repaired.
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On 9/21/2010 11:27 PM, Michael A. Terrell wrote:

Happy to see I'm not the only cheap SOB out there. At least half my appliances and home entertainment devices were either trash-picked, or came from garage sales or CraigsList. I really, really hate paying retail.
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aemeijers wrote:

No need to trash pick / dumpster dive. People know I can fix almost anything, so I get phone calls, E-mails and deliveries of used items.
To give you an idea of how creative I am at saving money, I am making some tongue & groove boards from scrap pallets to use as sub flooring. :)
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"Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote

A man after my own heart. I became interested in homebrewing, and am about ready to kick it off.
I DO need a dedicated refrigerator, though.
I managed to get six Cornelius kegs with connectors and a regulator for $100. I may get God knows what more, as I am swapping with a guy who wants my 1200 gal. water tank, and he works for Coke/Dr. Pepper and I am pretty sure he is getting this stuff for free. I am negotiating getting all the "stuff" from a home brewer who was SWMBO'd, except for a $12 wort cooler, which I can build cheaply, and all for $125.
Weather here is hot, and SWMBO will surely complain of the odor of the flatulent fermentation process, so I guess I'll have to retire to the containers and make a dedicated beer brewing area, complete with hot water, triple tank NSF sink, dedicated refrigerators, and welded racking systems to make things easier.
Moving along right on the time line. Should be an interesting and fun hobby.
With the state of the economy today, "working fridges", particularly the top/bottom varieties can be had for a song, and sometimes for just picking them up.
When I was about 18 (1966), I found an old refrigerator in a motel they were tearing down. It had the freezer part on top, but only one door. Wish I knew the brand name, but for the time, was top of the line. Probably go for a grand on ebay today.
I brought it home, covered it in zebra terrycloth, and put it out by the pool for a beer and soft drink fridge. It was running when I sold the house, and had probably been running at least twenty years prior.
They don't make stuff like they used to.
Steve
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Ignoramus25344 wrote:

Your motor has lack of lubrication and is seizing up. Since it's in a sealed can you can't fix it. Putting lubrication in the coolant could help but you can't do that either without unsoldering connections and capturing the coolant and could cost more to fix than to throw out and buy a new one.
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I understand the implication of what you are saying, which is that it is an expensive fix.
But just for my education, what exactly is wrong so that there is lack of lubrication?
Say, why are the bearings in my 59 year old compressor working great and this fridge is dead at a relatively young age? (well, I know why my compressor is going well, because the pumpbearings are pressure lubricated).
Are there any "well made" refrigerators where things are designed to last long?
i
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A chip of grunge in one of the oiler holes on one of the crank bearings or the motor tailshaft bearing can cause the problem. It can happen in older units, too, but less often because everything was over-built back when.
It's not a stretch for a guy with your skills to change the compressor -- say, with one from a 20-year-old fridge. You'd need the tools to evacuate the system. You'd need to install access valves. You'd need to either find a "friendly" with some R-22, or replace the charge with propane.
But generally, a fridge isn't worth the work, when you can get another one for under $100.
LLoyd
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On 9/22/2010 5:47 PM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

I've yet to see an old refrigeration unit that used R22 since R12 was the first of its type. I use something called R416a in place of R12 and it's more efficient, takes less refrigerant to do the same job and it runs a lower head pressure which makes it good for old systems because it puts less of a load on them. Oh yea, it's a drop in, no oil change necessary.
TDD
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On Tue, 21 Sep 2010 14:50:19 -0700, "Bill"

    You think it's retaining water ?
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in

They're pretty scarce. He might be better with an F-ing professional, instead.
We had a "refrigeration professional" out to the factory a three months ago to replace an A/C compressor under warrantee.
Long story short... I had to do (actually completely UN-do, clean the work, and RE-do) the brazing for him. He couldn't lick all the leaks.
To his defense, it was a BAD position in which to work, he was a short little sucker, the unit was tall, and it was a tiny, tight workspace inside the coil of that unit. But damn... I'm just a pyrotechnics guy, and _I_ was able to Sil-Flo that thing down tight in one try.
So much for "refrigeration professionals".
Yeah... I know there are some. I learned to braze from one. But this guy's was the sort of skills I see all the time over in alt.hvac. And they SCREAM about how they're the only ones competent to work on systems.
Hell... half of them can't figure out which way is "up" for liquid feed with R410a. (or why),(and it's printed on the bottle)
LLoyd
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On 2010-09-22, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

Lloyd, I mostly am after trying to understand what is happening, right now. I have a luxury of having plenty of time, due to having less food at home that fits onto one fridge.
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yep. I have repaired a number of them with the same symptom, but the symptom can be caused by more than one problem.
As someone else said, a _thoroughly_ frozen-up evaporator can cause the symptom, because the liquid refrigerant won't boil out of the coil fast enough to reduce the head pressure before the next cycle is requested. That's one.
A lot of compressors now come with PTC thermistors in place of the potential relays they used to employ to switch the start cap out of circuit. They tend to fail rather easily in a high-humidity environment.
Although they're not terribly expensive, I replace all of them with potential relays; sometimes scavanged from other similar-sized compressors, sometimes new.
Then, of course, it's possible the new start cap is failing.
The compressor could be on the way out. If the bearings are getting sticky or tight, the compressor will be harder to start than it should be. This eventually manifests itself as a "locked rotor", and nothing you can do (effectively) will fix that, except replacing the compressor.
Foreign material in the closed system can cause it, too. You didn't say anything about ever opening it, but flakes of insulation from the compressor windings and corrosion flaking off the inside of improperly cleaned or improperly brazed lines can all do it. These, too, are generally fatal problems, and cannot be fixed merely by replacing the compressor and re-charging.
LLoyd
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On 9/21/2010 10:36 PM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

I always add a little Supco88 to a system when replacing a compressor in addition to a product like Acid Away an acid neutralizer. Of course a refrigerator for home use doesn't need as much as a commercial unit but it only needs a little to help it. A small dryer with an access valve is not a bad idea either when a refrigerator compressor is replaced and the odd fridge that has a starting problem can benefit from an all in one hard start relay and capacitor package. I know a lot of guys who do a great job on HVAC equipment who have trouble working on itty bitty refrigeration units. I prefer the big stuff myself like 60 to 4k tons, it's easier to work on. 8-)
TDD
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Yep, but they also have filter/driers already impregnated with something similar to neutralize char acids.
LLoyd
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On 9/21/2010 11:08 PM, Lloyd E. Sponenburgh wrote:

I usually only see those for AC units where a burnout is often much more spectacular. I haven't paid attention to the small bullet dryer specs to look for acid neutralizing media content. Acid Away is a liquid that mixes with the refrigeration oil. I use the liquid in addition to the Sporlan HH series dryers on an AC burnout. If the AC evaporator and line set is badly contaminated, I use a cleaner blown through it with nitrogen too. In my opinion, the Acid Away protects the compressor much better than a dryer alone because it stays in the oil in every part of the system like the windings of the compressor motor that are vulnerable to being damaged by acid. There are those critters out there who will just throw a system in and head down the road without regard for how long it will last the customer.
TDD
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Iggy, You shouldn't have to justify what you do to any of these guys. If they "don't get it", that's their problem.
Luck with the repair.
Harold
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I don' thave a lot of contact with other HVAC guys. But, I can easily believe what you've written. It's a shame that so many techs lack the basic skills.
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Its a freakin Kenmore.... call Sears and have a guy come out and fix it, or you can quit screwing around and buy a new one.
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His time isn't worth anything. He'd rather be the first person on the block with a fridge that cost him five grand than pay $200 for labor.
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That could be true. I once made a homemade control for a welding machine. It was MIG, stick and plasma capable and welded pretty good (though it was not as convenient to use as an industrial welder like Miller).
Anyway, when I calculated the amount of little parts, doodads, and my time at a VERY conservative rate, the time investment in the welder control was so enormous that at something like $20 per hour, I could have used this time to buy the nicest brand new Miller welder out there.
But the difference between making that weld control, versus fixing the fridge, is that when I was asking about various specifics, I got educational, useful answers, instead of screaming and howling like I get from some (but not all) losers that seem to hail from alt.hvac. I, obviously, always welcome any useful ideas that would come from constructively minded HVACers.
i
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