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drink machine compressor iced over...help


dogcow

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I got a call today from a location that the drink machine was vending warm cans. I had just been there yesterday to fix their validator. I showed up and the coils under the delivery chute (sorry cant remember if thats the evaporator or the condensor) were completely iced over.

The compressor and fan appeared to be running fine, everything worked 100% as of yesterday. I am thinking i did not tighten the door enough when i left.

I turned off the cooling system however I'm not sure what to do next. How long will it take to melt with the door closed? What should i check to make sure it doesnt ice over again ?

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I got a call today from a location that the drink machine was vending warm cans. I had just been there yesterday to fix their validator. I showed up and the coils under the delivery chute (sorry cant remember if thats the evaporator or the condensor) were completely iced over.

The compressor and fan appeared to be running fine, everything worked 100% as of yesterday. I am thinking i did not tighten the door enough when i left.

I turned off the cooling system however I'm not sure what to do next. How long will it take to melt with the door closed? What should i check to make sure it doesnt ice over again ?

It is possible that this was caused by the door not being tight, but failures can happen quickly. Did you turn the compressor off when you shut the machine?

I usually recommend leaving the machine off for 24 hours before starting it up again. Once you have it started take a piece of tissue and put it against the condensor fins (down below. The fan should pull the tissue in and hold it in place. After 2-3 hours go back and check it out (longer is fine. What we are looking for is the tissue to be on the bottom of the machine. This will tell us that the compressor shut off. Now depending how warm your product is it could in theory take 4 hours or so to get completely cold to shut off the compressor. So don't be too concerned if on your first trip the tissue is still on the fins, just come back later. If the tissue is on the floor of the machine you should be all set. Just check for ice, close it up and RUN!!

Report back what you find with the tissue and cycling of the compressor.

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Why this works: The compressor and condensor fan are hooked up in a parallel circuit. If one runs the other should too as they will both be getting power. If your fan runs and the compressor doesn't then you have compressor issue. If the compressor runs and your fan doesn't you have fan issues. The tissue is only a visual tool so you can see that the compressor did in fact shut off (if it is on the floor) or it didn't (still on the fins. For example, if your product is too warm and the paper falls look at the thermostat. If the tissue doesn't fall and it is warm probably low on gas. There are a few different ways things can go so it will be easier if you post what you find instead of trying to run the all down.

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It is possible that this was caused by the door not being tight, but failures can happen quickly. Did you turn the compressor off when you shut the machine?

yeah i turned it off, so the ice should melt by tomorrow even with the door closed?

I usually recommend leaving the machine off for 24 hours before starting it up again. Once you have it started take a piece of tissue and put it against the condensor fins (down below. The fan should pull the tissue in and hold it in place. After 2-3 hours go back and check it out (longer is fine. What we are looking for is the tissue to be on the bottom of the machine. This will tell us that the compressor shut off. Now depending how warm your product is it could in theory take 4 hours or so to get completely cold to shut off the compressor. So don't be too concerned if on your first trip the tissue is still on the fins, just come back later. If the tissue is on the floor of the machine you should be all set. Just check for ice, close it up and RUN!!

Report back what you find with the tissue and cycling of the compressor.

-------------------------------------------

Why this works: The compressor and condensor fan are hooked up in a parallel circuit. If one runs the other should too as they will both be getting power. If your fan runs and the compressor doesn't then you have compressor issue. If the compressor runs and your fan doesn't you have fan issues. The tissue is only a visual tool so you can see that the compressor did in fact shut off (if it is on the floor) or it didn't (still on the fins. For example, if your product is too warm and the paper falls look at the thermostat. If the tissue doesn't fall and it is warm probably low on gas. There are a few different ways things can go so it will be easier if you post what you find instead of trying to run the all down.

WOW ! great tip thanks Bill, i remember you saying this before but i couldnt find the post

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yeah i turned it off, so the ice should melt by tomorrow even with the door closed?

It should melt quickly with the machine plugged in and the compressor turned off. The evap fan will act as a heater and help it melt down. It may melt so quickly that you will have the possibility of overflowing the drain pan and causing a puddle of water on the floor, so keep that in mind if it is on a nice rug or someplace someone may slip if the floor get wet.

Now when you go back the product will be hotter then room temp due to the fan running so it may take a little longer then normal to cool down.

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It should melt quickly with the machine plugged in and the compressor turned off. The evap fan will act as a heater and help it melt down. It may melt so quickly that you will have the possibility of overflowing the drain pan and causing a puddle of water on the floor, so keep that in mind if it is on a nice rug or someplace someone may slip if the floor get wet.

Now when you go back the product will be hotter then room temp due to the fan running so it may take a little longer then normal to cool down.

you're the best!!!

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yes but when i went back later and it was off i cranked the temperature knob to 100% and the comp didnt kick on.

If the compressor is off and the machine is warm it is usually the thermostat at fault. The scenario goes like this:

Thermostat is old and pitted. When it closes to start the compressor it sparks and welds closed. This causes the compressor to stay running and either blows up cans or freezes the evap. You get there and see all the ice and turn off the thermostat to defrost the machine. Unbeknownst to you when you turn the thermostat off you are mechanically breaking the weld on the contacts. The machine defrosts, you turn on the compressor and it starts getting cold again.

Here is the problem though. The contacts in the thermostat are junk. It may not get cold, it may get too cold, it can swing both ways or non at all. The thermostat is the cheapest thing to change.

Change it and cross your fingers

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bill -- thx for the advice turns out it was low on gas , well the thermostat may have been bad too but replacing it didnt solve the problem.

ended up having to buy a new deck because the compressor didnt have a valve in it either...as the repair guy said "welcome to vending" LOL

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Yeah a compressor low on gas will stress the thermostat and often cause an old thermostat to fail as well. So I don't doubt that the thermostat would have needing replacing too.

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Yeah a compressor low on gas will stress the thermostat and often cause an old thermostat to fail as well. So I don't doubt that the thermostat would have needing replacing too.

hey one more thing i am wondering about.... in the machine (its a dixie btw) there was some metal plates which went next to the condensor coils in front of the evaporation tray. the repair guy took this part out , he said its to improve airflow probably and i really didnt need it. i have 8 DN machines no other ones have this part... is this needed? i kept the parts should i put them back in?

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hey one more thing i am wondering about.... in the machine (its a dixie btw) there was some metal plates which went next to the condensor coils in front of the evaporation tray. the repair guy took this part out , he said its to improve airflow probably and i really didnt need it. i have 8 DN machines no other ones have this part... is this needed? i kept the parts should i put them back in?

Well, yes he is right in the fact that you don't really need them. But if they were there what harm is there in putting them back on? Unless the decks were different and the plates didn't line up or the plates or attaching hardware are junk I would have reinstalled them.

But ultimately, not 100% needed and he is correct. Old school repair guy?

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Well, yes he is right in the fact that you don't really need them. But if they were there what harm is there in putting them back on? Unless the decks were different and the plates didn't line up or the plates or attaching hardware are junk I would have reinstalled them.

But ultimately, not 100% needed and he is correct. Old school repair guy?

yeah he put in a different deck (older one i think with more "radiator looking" condensor coils) and the plates didnt quite fit right , if they are really needed i could probably make them fit back in.

lol not sure if he is old school but he would rather sell me the parts and explain how to install it than come do a service call so hes the kind of repair guy i like.

now that i saw him install the refrigeration deck im pretty confident i can do it myself.

speaking of ... today i restocked another drink machine and noticed a greenish fluid leaking out of the cooling unit ..from the line going in to the evaporator coils. i assume this is bad and the unit is about to die, does this need replacing immediately? it seems to be working at this point.

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Well normally there is no green fluid in the refer unit unless it has been repaired before and someone put dye in with the refrigerant. If it has been repaired it could just be the green liquid leak detector just some people use or maybe Mt Dew?

Freon itself has no color or smell. The oil in the unit will smell nasty after a failure (burnt). The thing is that unless it is just a tiny amount that you see I would doubt it is from the refer unit. If you see liquid to the point that it sounds like you do all the gas probably would have escaped from the system by now and the unit would be warm already.

Did you wipe down the area in question to see if the liquid cam back?

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