Author Topic: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)  (Read 2565 times)

Offline pureflamez

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Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« on: July 07, 2012, 07:28:00 PM »
Hi guys,

I've been having an issue lately with my FFU20FC4AW0 freezer and have ran out of ideas.
The freezer has not cooled below 35 degrees F for a few weeks now. Temperatures range from 35-55 degrees F. The freezer is in my garage and we live in the Texas heat so I understand that this would cause a bigger load on the compressor than usual, but it's been functioning in the garage for over 10 years just fine. And today being a not so warm (80 degree) day, the freezer is still at 35 degrees.

Things I've replaced:
Defrost timer
Defrost thermostat
Defrost heater
Run Capacitor

I called an appliance repair company to take a look at it and they said it was the defrost thermostat and defrost heater. I replaced the parts myself, and the freezer is still having the same issue. I then tested the old parts with a digital multimeter and they seem to be just fine, so I've swapped them out and returned the new defrost thermostat and heater. I called them back and told them they misdiagnosed the problem, but they insisted that I installed the plug-and-play products incorrectly (really?) and probably broke something else and refused to come back and take a look. They were probably upset that I didn't pay them double the price for the parts.

The compressor is functional, it turns off an on as usual and the line going into the freezer is cold. The fan inside the freezer is also running. The knob thermostat seems to be functioning just fine, because I can turn the knob and get the freezer to turn off/on and also tested it for continuity with a multimeter.

I've basically run out of ideas as to where the problem could be. My last guess is that the compressor isn't providing enough cooling to cool the freezer to lower than 35 degrees. Could it be that the compressor doesn't have enough freon? The appliance repair company assumed that freon was fine when the spoke among themselves and never really checked it out. I've filed a complaint with the BBB about them since they took my money and gave me a misdiagnosis.

I don't want to waste any more excess money than I already have, so I'm resorting to you guys for help and I would appreciate your feedback.

Thanks!

Offline AJ

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 09:14:44 PM »
Hi,

I would check the front pattern on the evaporator coil. If you could take a photo of the evaporator coil and post it for us to look at.
Hope you find our site helpful.

Offline pureflamez

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2012, 01:53:16 AM »
Thanks for your reply. I've attached a picture of the evaporator coil. The forum wouldn't let me upload it, so I posted a link for it below.
I had a thermometer placed next to (and touching) the leftmost frosted pipe and it read 19.1 degrees after leaving the freezer shut for 6 hours. We also have some water placed on one of the shelves and it's a light freeze/water mix right now. I moved the thermometer to the floor (still behind the panel that covers the condensor) and came back about 10 minutes later and it's reading 39.1 degrees.

http://i.imgur.com/XQ5QQ.jpg

The side you can't see on the right is also just as frosted up.

Thanks again!

Offline Brent@CanBC

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2012, 02:45:46 AM »
Your evaporator coil only has frost on less than half of the coil.  You should have frost from top to bottom on this coil.    You obviously have a leak,  so a set of access valves need to be installed on the suction/discharge lines from the compressor,  and the gas that is left sucked out,  and the system needs to be pressured up to find the leak.    Most of us use dry nitrogen,  and attach a set of gauges and pressure the system to 225 psi,  and spray a mix of soap/h2o on the joints, or any of the lines that are exposed and easy access.   Once the leak is identified,  and fix'd,  then the gas level that is required, should say on the informatin sheet glued to the back of the fridge, put back in,  after the system has been flushed out with Dry nitrogen,  and brought down to a 29in vac,  before the required amount of gas is installed.   Brent@CanBC

Offline Brent@CanBC

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2012, 02:55:03 AM »
Great picture.   As you can see,  the coil only has 5-10% function,   so your compressor is starving for gas, as its leaked out.    The firm that came to do a service on your fridge did not do what is required,  to just confirm its  a leak.  Hard to believe they would not figure this out,  but charge you and not do their diagnostics to show you what is NOT happening.   Coming here, you have at least the honesty factor to help you.   You need some one with honesty from one ear to the other, to help you.   There are some really fine techs out there,  that can put a smile on your face if you can get one.   There are other techs here that will give you a honest step by step answer.   Good luck, if you need more info, or help, just post, you will get it, believe me.  With honesty, you can at least make a budget decision. O0  Brent@CanBC

Offline pureflamez

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2012, 10:01:29 PM »
Thanks for your reply. I just received the parts to pierce into the freon line, but before I do that, I noticed one thing. The yellow and white wires, which connect into the controller (connected to the compressor) are a little burnt on the ends which are connected to the controller. I have cut the burnt ends of the wire off, stripped them, crimped them onto new female disconnects, and placed them back into the controller to see if they would make a difference. I'm guessing the controller may be bad, so before I pierce into the copper freon line, I was wondering if it could be possible that the compressor wasn't receiving enough power because of the burnt wires, which is why the condensor coil was not completely freezing. Is this a possibility?

I'm going to wait overnight to see if it ends up cooling. If not, I have two options left: 1) replace the controller unit, or 2) pierce the line to see if freon levels are correct, but I'm hesitating to do this since it's a sealed system, and if the freon levels are fine, I don't want to have unsealed the system unnecessarily since freon has never been an issue thus far.

Thanks again for your help!

Edit: Also, this past week the freezer did end up cooling down to a minimum of 26 degrees F, which is also why I'm thinking that it may NOT be a freon issue.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 10:02:42 PM by pureflamez »

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2012, 11:26:35 PM »
Bypass the cold control and see what the temp drops to is what I would do. If she starts freezing then it might be a faulty cold control if it don't then you is low on gas.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2012, 11:28:02 PM by JWWebster »
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Offline Brent@CanBC

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2012, 12:36:45 AM »
Well if your evaporator ONLY has frost on 1/4 of the evaporator,  you have a leak.   To prove my point,  fire it up,  and wait for 20 minutes, if the coils on the evaporator don't have a light skip of frost on them from the top to the bottom of the evaporator,  you HAVE a leak, period.  Your picture has proven that.   26 degrees is way to high a temp for the freezer side,  meaning you have a leak.  In my case if I put a clamp on amp probe on the 120 volt lead to the compressor, and got a 1.2 1.4  amp reading it would confirm theres a leak.   If the compressor is working properly,  and the right amount of gas is in there working,  the amp reading should be 2.3 2.4 amp reading.   Also I could tell with just my hands what is going on.  Guages will tell the truth.   Brent@CanBC

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2012, 08:36:03 AM »
Might be a very slow leak or low charge from factory. If that thang  came from Mexico I have a theory on that. I have seen a lot of machines running in negative 10 range. They only charge them to 0 PSI. The altitude in Mexico is a mile above sea level. When the machines get here at 15 feet above sea level they work halfass till they finally stop cooling altogether.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 08:36:34 AM by JWWebster »
May the hinges of our friendship
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About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline Brent@CanBC

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2012, 05:44:30 PM »
In your picture the frost line is on the upper portion of the evaporator,  so that eliminates the compressor, and your focus is a low level of gas.   Obviously this fridge did work properly till some of the gas leaked out,  so its obvious to me,  you have a leak period. You will have to install a clamp on valve to access the high/low sides to confirm just that.    I suck the remaining gas out,  and then pressure up the system with Dry Nitrogen,  and find the leak.  Is it where you can get at it,  or is is in the frame where you can't get at it?    So installing gauges will put your mind at rest,  as to what is going on.  I have 5 fridges in my shop here right now, all with leaks,  and all are in the 5 years of age or less.   Brent@CanBC

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2012, 06:20:00 PM »
My brother in law thawed out his mini fridge with a knife and now it won't work. Wanted to know if I could bypass the evaporator since he pretty much did a Bates motel on it. LOL I am gonna repair it and make a video. In your style ice box the leaks mainly occur near the heater element used to defrost. If you do find a hole near the defrost heater you may want to replace the defrost bi-metal because it may be allowing the heater to get too hot before it shuts down. I have an old school halide torch and some Bird Dog bubbles I intend to use to locate the leaks and intend to use a 2 part epoxy to repair the leaks. The service ear was pinced real close to the steel pipe going into the compressor so it is gonna be a bear to solder a new access valve. When the rain lets up and I have the time gonna get on it.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2012, 06:22:54 PM by JWWebster »
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Offline JWWebster

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2012, 12:06:18 PM »
Here is what I been doing so far:

May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2012, 09:39:41 PM »
Today:

May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

Offline Brent@CanBC

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2012, 04:10:20 AM »
Well JW,   its been a long time since doing a ice box like you have there.    I sold all my refrigeration equipment to a new tech on the block down the road,  and was not doing sealed systems anymore, so that was it.  Well a few years later,  and as I have got older,  my hearing and sight, and memory is up and left me.   So now,  I have allowed 6 of these really fancy big sxs fridges with all the horns and whisles etc, back in,  as they said, they had a refrigeration man fix the leaks in them,  but they never lasted long.  So I want to find out why.  Is the leak in the walls, where you cannot get to the leaks,  or is the problem with how they were done.  So I bought all the equipment again.   Watching your fix and seeing the frost,  etc  brings back a lot of memories in fixing the older ice boxes.    Seeing your results,  and the frost,  my eyes are not that  bad hey.   I could also see the gauge readings,  after the gas was put in,  and also the Vac readings, so some guy will have a good beer cooler hey?  Brent@CanBC

Offline JWWebster

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Re: Freezer not cooling enough (FFU20FC4AW0)
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2012, 08:59:50 PM »
The result video:

May the hinges of our friendship
        never grow rusty.

About the icons: The beer is tip link, if a tech saves ya some money buy em a 6 pack. The small green square=personal message. The green dot is a link to my web page on appliance repair and other general BS I love to post. The letter sends me email.
I love fan letters! LOL

 

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