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Forum Index => Refrigerator & Freezer Repair => Topic started by: antman on May 06, 2011, 01:10:38 PM

Title: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 06, 2011, 01:10:38 PM
Help. We had power out for 5 days. When it came back on the freezer section never got past 36 deg F. Cleaned underneath and checked that both fans were working. Compressor is on and evaporator does get frost on it. I flipped the switch 5 times and the heater around the evaporator did not appear to come on. I checked the heater and I can't remember the reading but it wasn't shorted or open. On some other advice I replaced the ADC. Still same issue. Please help. Thanks

Model FRS6R5ESBC (http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=omv7WULuxaw&subid=0&offerid=225193.1&type=10&tmpid=2111&RD_PARM1=http&RD_PARM2=%253A%252F%252Fwww.appliancepartspros&RD_PARM3=.com%252Fpartsearch%252Fmodel.aspx%253Fmodel_id%253D5157897)

Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 06, 2011, 01:15:42 PM
Check your compressor. Is it hot to the touch? Cold? Either way that could be a bad compressor relay. When power came back on is when them relays go out. Coulda been ready to die when the surge finished it off or fried the contacts together making it overheat. It would be hot to the touch if that was the case. You would get frost but the overload inside the compressor would cause it to shut down..
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 06, 2011, 01:37:14 PM
Thanks for the quick reply. The compressor is warm/hot to the touch. I'll pull it back out to get to the relay. Is there a way to test it? Or should it just look fried like your picture. Appreciate the help.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: PARTech on May 06, 2011, 01:57:59 PM
You won't see what JW is showing unless you open the relay, but if it rattles, it's bad.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 06, 2011, 05:12:44 PM
We're heading out for mother's day. So I won't get to checkout the relay till monday. When  I look at the frigidaire parts list I don't find a relay. There's a capacitor and starter switch attached to the compressor. Is the relay located somewhere else?
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: PARTech on May 06, 2011, 05:41:18 PM
The starter switch is the relay, or start relay...  :)
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 09, 2011, 07:11:53 PM
Pulled the starter and there was no noise. Replaced it anyway but still same issue. It's about 40 deg F in the Freezer. Anything else I can look at?
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 09, 2011, 09:31:17 PM
coils clean?
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 09, 2011, 10:02:22 PM
Yes. Cleaned the coils (was dusty but didn't seem excessive) and made sure nothing was blocking air flow. Both fans are running. Was working great before the power outage.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: jumptrout51 on May 10, 2011, 06:50:00 AM
Remove the back freezer panel and describe the frost line on the coils for us.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 10, 2011, 08:14:03 PM
Opened the back up again. There are two copper lines that come down into the evaporator from the back wall. The top line has frost to the point that it's about 1 inch in diameter when it goes into the coils. the front first coil has frost then everything else is clean. Have included a photo. Refrigerator is only 5 yrs old. Thanks.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: tgoods on May 10, 2011, 09:42:26 PM
Sealed system problem, which means either a loss of refrigerant, restriction or bad compressor.  All of these problems are expensive to repair and beyond the abilities of most do-it-yourselfers. It used to be that all fridges had a five year warranty on sealed systems.  I checked your warranty and you only have one year.  Sorry for the bad news.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: krazytech on May 10, 2011, 10:26:11 PM
That looks like a leak to me... please vote!
1 leak
0 restriction
0 Bad/weak compressor
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 11, 2011, 07:40:47 AM
Bummer. Only thing I did after losing power was to move the fridge out a little to unplug it. Should have just tripped the circuit breaker. Is the capacitor on the starter relay only used for starting? It's the only component that I haven't checked. And if it is a leak would there be any visible signs - like discoloration on the copper? Hate to give up, but it sounds like it might be time to move on. Appreciate the help. Wife was right to start with - replace it. Again, Thanks.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: krazytech on May 11, 2011, 10:16:45 AM
the capacitor is a run capacitor and will not affect the compressor but is for energy efficiency. a leak may be unrelated to the power outage..look of signs of oil most likely on the evaporator or drain pan. check around the heater .. hope it helps
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 11, 2011, 10:58:39 AM
Your compressor is a R134a type. You can buy R134a at the dollar store for about $5.
It's the same stuff that goes in your car. Only about one third of a 12 oz can would get that puppy back up to speed I bet. You would mount a saddle valve on the low side to add the freon. Taking care to add it very slowly. When frost is covering all the coils you are done.
Low side should never go above 5 PSI if you had gauges.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: jumptrout51 on May 11, 2011, 05:42:54 PM
That 12 oz can is almost $20 in my zipcode.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 11, 2011, 06:26:28 PM
Cheap R134A Freon For Your Car 12oz @ Big Lots - $5
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 11, 2011, 07:11:33 PM
Hmmm. Where is the low side? Where would be the easiest to install a saddle valve? I'd probably go pick up gauges to be safe. Thanks. At least I'll know what PSI is in the system.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 11, 2011, 08:37:35 PM
The smalller steel lines is the high side. The larger copper line is the suction side. That is the side yall would want to attach the saddle valve.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: krazytech on May 11, 2011, 08:50:54 PM
the stub line that is a dead end is a low side access this is the best one to put a valve on...
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 11, 2011, 09:22:52 PM
I did a ice machine not long ago and made some photos:

Click on photos to enlarge

I took some sand cloth and cleaned the copper line up real good. I fastened the saddle valve on firmly. This type valve uses a allen wrench to pierce the tubing. When done you use that wrench to tighten down the valve and top it off with the included cap.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 11, 2011, 09:30:14 PM
More from the swamp:
As you can see I have a small bottle of r134A gas I got from somewhere. I turned the machine on and the pressure in this instance was in the negative 10 PSI of the blue low side gauge. I barely cracked open the gas and add little by little till i got it to settle down and stay put at 5 PSI. If you had no gauge you could slowly add a bit till you got 4 ounces in there and quit. Look at the evap for frost on every coil but not all fat and built like your photo.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 11, 2011, 09:41:32 PM
That ice machine is still kickin out some ice cubes over in Wheelerville by Big creek Lake by the way. Freezers and ice box's all go by the same rule of thumb: Slowly adding freon and keepin it around 5 PSI. Anything above 5 and you may as wee toss it. over charging is just as bad as an under charge.  There ya go 3 ways to load the gas. Amp draw, Looking at the evaporator coils, and gauges. gauges? We don't need no stinkin gauges.  :rofl:
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 11, 2011, 09:45:05 PM
That last pic was a small ice box I fixed using a $3 epoxy kit I bought from Wally world. The pressure for the mini fridge was the same as any ice box. 5 PSI
The last picture is a AOL junk mail case I got in the mail. It's nice clean surface made a nice platform for mixing the epoxy on. Who says AOL ain't worth messin with?  :rofl:
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 11, 2011, 09:56:07 PM
When you add the saddle valve and make the pierce listen fer a sec to see if any gas is left in the machine. If you have gas in there the fix is on. Slowwly add some gas in till you get er back up to snuff. We know you have SOME gas in there because she does frost a little. If yall get no sign of any gas in the system then hunt for signs of leaks in areas where leaks occurs and that is usually in the evap area where the defrost heater is closes to the evaporator.  The system will be compromised when no gas is detected. That means you must find the leak and repair it THEN remove the air from the system because air in my neck of the woods has water in it and when freon hits water ice forms and cloggs the artery's of the machine. You gotta vacuum the system out. Then you can replenish the gas with a bit of success, otherwise if air gets in there yall are in trouble, so you gotta be careful when attaching hose be sure and purge the hose a tad bafore connecting to the saddle valve like a doctor shoots a little outta the needle before givin yall a shot. Be sure when adding freon to not allow any air in.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 11, 2011, 10:33:27 PM
Thanks for all the help. I'll get the stuff tomorrow and give it a go tomorrow night. I noticed when looking online that some of the refrigerant comes with a leak fix. Would that be good to use?
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 11, 2011, 10:58:48 PM
Naw. I would go with plain freon. After ya add a tad it could be years before the system needs more. I would only use that stuff in the event of a terrible leak that I could not find.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 12, 2011, 08:10:57 AM
Ok. Just to make sure I don't make a stupid mistake. I'll turn off the fridge, then add the saddle valve, make sure the hose has been purged of air. Hook up the refrigerant. Turn on the fridge and let it run for 5-10 min. Then I'll let refrigerant in for about 5 seconds, give it about 10 min and then check the evaporator coils. If coils not frosted completely then repeat. Does this sound about right? Thanks.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 12, 2011, 09:47:47 AM
That sounds to me like a good plan. Let us know how you come out.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: krazytech on May 12, 2011, 11:47:21 PM
first make sure you put the saddle valve on the low side. and you will need a way to seal off the hole you made with the saddle valve as they will leak... next if you have lost gas there is a leak somewhere in the system and it will leak again until you find it and seal it....
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 13, 2011, 07:01:16 AM
Didn't get to do it last night. Have the day off and was going to give it a go in a little bit. How do you seal off the hole where the saddle valve will be? Pretty sure duct tape won't work.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 13, 2011, 07:56:08 AM
You leave the saddle valve on there.Clean up the copper with sand cloth before attaching the saddle valve. It will become a permanent fixture on the appliance.
So it needs to be installed properly.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: krazytech on May 13, 2011, 10:05:11 AM
I have never be able to get saddle valve to hold.... but JW used different one that I do... I use supco Bullet piercing Valve... from jw pic he uses  a different style...I use a pinch off tool to seal off access. then weld it ..
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 14, 2011, 09:34:21 PM
Ended up with the grandkids. Was going to try it tomorrow, but now you got me a little worried. The only saddle valves I could find in town were all the same style as Lowes. Guess I hope the rubber gasket works. Had to find an adapter so I could cleanly connect the refrigerant to it. Also, our Big Lots had it at $8 a can. We'll see how it comes out.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 15, 2011, 11:31:14 AM
Line tap on Ebay (http://cgi.ebay.com/LINE-TAP-VALVE-ADJUSTABLE-1-4-5-16-3-8-OD-Tubing-/250745548189)
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 15, 2011, 05:21:52 PM
Looks like I may have made a mistake in the saddle valve. I was just getting ready to use the saddle valve I got when I saw your message. When I asked for one they only showed me the one for adding the water line. I looked at a local website and they have the the BPV21. Your link to ebay was the BPV31. Wife is getting impatient so is there any issue in using the 21 vs 31 versions. Thanks for all the help. As you can tell I'm a little cautious about this next step.





 (http://www.a-1appliance.com/product/BPV21-SUPBPV21)
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 15, 2011, 05:27:17 PM
Another mistake. should have looked online a little better. I see that the 21 is for larger lines. The website says:

3/8" Lead Free Polyethylene Tube to Self Tapping Saddle Valve

    * Easy to install
    * Interchangeable with standard compression fittings
    * Durable brass construction
    * Quality threads

Attached is the picture.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 15, 2011, 05:29:45 PM
Also need to read before I upload. What I meant to ask, is the saddle valve in my previous post usable? Think three days of the grandkids has fried my brain. Thanks
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: jumptrout51 on May 15, 2011, 05:53:55 PM
Absolutely NOT!!
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 15, 2011, 06:30:22 PM
You ain't puttin water in there. That saddle valve ain't gonna do it. You need a refrigeration tap like the tap I showed from ebay. That tap is adjustable. What does that mean? It fits 3 sizes of tubing. You would be interested in only using the low side size which is 5/16th. The 1/4th adapter would not be applicable to you and the 3/8th size which is no adapter added is for small window air conditioners and such. The tap must also fit a refrigerant hose and have a schrader valve in it like a tire tube to hold the freon inside the machine. Also NO AIR can get into the sealed system.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 15, 2011, 06:31:51 PM
Ok. I'll go ebaying now.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 23, 2011, 06:44:21 AM
Did it this weekend. But stopped after putting some in. The temp in the freezer is now 19 deg. But where I put the tap in has frost on that outside line and around the tap. Did I screw up the tap? Attached are pictures of the tap and coils. Coils aren't completely frosted in the back, and I didn't remove the large piece on the incoming section before I started. Do I continue adding refrigerant?
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 23, 2011, 06:56:13 AM
Ok, glad I put a picture of the tap cause I just went back and looked and all the frost around it is gone. Was there a small leak around it? I tightened the three screws all the way. I'm using a trigger dispenser I got at Walmart, all I could find. It has a gauge on it and I'm around the 5 mark, but like the above picture shows I don't have frost on all the coils in the back. Add more?
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: JWWebster on May 23, 2011, 09:48:25 AM
Don't add no more. You got plenty in there.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: tgoods on May 23, 2011, 10:20:07 AM
5 psi is a good ballpark when you're starting with a warm fridge.  Once it's down to temperature it should be at 0 to 1 psi.  If it frosts back again, it's overcharged and you'll need to remove some refrigerant.
Title: Re: Refrigerator not freezing after power outage
Post by: antman on May 23, 2011, 09:00:49 PM
It did frost back up around the tap. Actually more than before and now I can't get to the screw to open it. I'll use a hair dryer and then back out some refrigerant. Thanks. Freezer temp is at 14deg.