Wow…. sounds like were all in the same boat here, approx 4 years ago we purchased a Kenmore elite fridge and just last month the 2nd compressor went out just the same. Turns out that when the sears tech came and installed the new compressor the first time, he informed us that it was a bad design from LG and that the condensing coil had to also be changed out at the same time with the compressor due to the fact that the condensing coil was made out of aluminum and not steel. The problem with the condensing coil being aluminum is that over time, the refrigerant starts to break down the condenser (being aluminum) and the small contaminants start to float within the system and that can cause the capillary tube to become plugged and not cycle any refrigerant within the system so cooling effect doesn’t take place. Just last week I decided to put my refrigerant gauges on the system and exactly what i had expected, when i checked out the pressures on the gauges the high side gauge was reading approx 110 PSIG so i knew that the compressor was trying to push the gas, and the low side was in the negative side where it was actually in a vacuum. Just to inform most of you out there a refrigeration system is never supposed to run into a vacuum state, it might be around 5PSI and that would be if the coils were frozen but never into a vacuum, especially when the evaporator and freezer coils are as warm as they are. And so when I see that the low side of the system is in a vacuum state and the output side of the compressor is reading 110 PSIG pressure then there is a restriction some where in the system. usually at the front side of the cap tube therefor not allowing the gas to boil off in the coils and driving down temps to get cold. One more thing to think about, if by some chance the service tec didn’t use dry nitrogen to pressurize and flush out debris within the system after installing the new compressor then the system could still be contaminated and another failure is bound to happen. Looks like i’ll be repairing my own fridge since i cant depend on a sears tec to get it right the first time especially after purchasing this unit with a warranty. So looks like i’ll be disassembling the new compressor from the lines and back flushing the entire system with FJC 2032 Flush Solvent and dry nitrogen. Dry nitrogen is used instead of the 404A gas so as not to send it into the environment (Would really hate to get caught doing this and loose my refrigeration licence) If you get the chance check out this Utube video (Clearing a blockage - J D Nel Refrigeration) to understand exactly what needs to be done to remove the blockage and hopefully put your fridge back into service.. And yes one more thing to remember, always make sure that your fan and condenser is as clean as possible so that your compressor doesn’t take a chance of running to hot and cooking the oil inside the compressor and plugging up the refrigerant lines.
WOW!! what a problem we’re all facing with this fridge design “french door” Anyways, believe it or not the real problem with this fridge design is not the compressor, its the way the refrigerant is being distributed to the refrigerator evaporator. I’ve posted already in explanation “ how a refrigeration system works, and ways to clean out the entire system after a compressor burnout” Lets see, first off, the problem was that when they designed this fridge the manufacture installed an aluminum condenser coil either to save money or who knows why?? Anyway when this fridge runs for awhile the refrigerant and or mineral oil starts to break down this coil and cause contaminants to float within the system, sure the filter/dryer catches these particles but over time this dryer starts to become plugged and pose problems for the entire system. The best thing I found out to do is to call Sears and have a service tec. come out and change out both the compressor and the condenser coil (new design is made of steel now)at the same time and also install a new filter dryer (which they should do anyways) so that you can get these parts under the warranty. Then making %#*@ sure that he or she either blows out the entire system with nitrogen or even better yet flush out the system with FJC 2032 Flush Solvent to get rid of these particles. My fridge was still not cooling perfectly, so what I ended up doing was cutting open the system and changing out the 3-way refrigerant valve (this valve supplies gas for both the refrigerator and the freezer cooling evaporators) it either sends gas to the fridge or the freezer depending on which one needs cooling at the time. And also changing out the capillary tube that feeds the fridge evaporator, this cap tube is sized for both freezer and fridge to run at the same time which runs good when their both running. But what happens is that when fridge is calling for cooling and not the freezer this cap tube being the size it is and only one of the tubes flowing refrigerant at the time overloads the compressor and it really struggles to push this small amount of gas. Long story short, I ended up correcting this problem with cutting open the back of my refrigerator to get access to this capillary tube and removing it and installing the next size tube to help relieve this pressure and it’s worked great ever since…. The original size of this tube is roughly 0.031 I.D. so I changed it to the next size 0.040 I.D. and one more thing like I said in one of my other posts is that when i originally put my refrigeration gauges on the system I was getting a reading of 110 gauge pressure on the high side and pulling itself into a vacuum on the low side. This type of pressure you definitely don’t want to see especially with it running into a vacuum state. You see with this compressor running in the vacuum state it gets absolutely no cooling (or a slight amount of refrigerant flood back known as super heat to keep this compressor cool) My refrigerator now runs around 36 degrees with it set to 34 and the freezer runs at around -10 degrees. With the gauge reading now around 110 psi on the high side which is good, but now i’m getting around 7-10 psi on the low side definitely GREAT!! and this unit now purrs like a kitten.. And compressor stays nice and cool!!!
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