Waeco fridge issue

Discussion in 'Power - Gas and Electricity' started by MikeD, Jul 1, 2018.

  1. MikeD

    MikeD Member

    Hello everyone! Been away from forums for a while, but I see a couple of familiar names...

    Have a little fridge problem that I hope a Waeco guru may be able to help with. It's a CR-110, the compressor is running constantly, never stopping. I'd expect a higher-than-normal duty cycle in the hot weather, but it's going all the time even with the fridge on minimum. The compressor itself gets too hot to touch, but the coolant pipes on the back are not even noticeably warm. Voltage is good, the fan works. At the moment I'm thinking the coolant needs a recharge (fridge is four years old), any other suggestions? And if the consensus is a recharge, is it DIYable or do I need to find someone to do it? As far as I can tell there isn't a handy fill point on it - there's a stub of pipe coming out of the compressor with a crimped section and that's it.

    Thanks!

    Mike.
     
  2. GEOFF

    GEOFF Well-Known Member

    If the fridge needs recharging there must be a leak somewhere. I think it needs the attention of a refridgeration expert. Sorry if that is not what you want to hear - I hope that I am wrong.
     
  3. Edina

    Edina Well-Known Member

  4. MikeD

    MikeD Member

    Ta - I'm beginning to suspect the thermostat. I've ordered a pack of thermistors (5 for £2, worth a punt...) and will test the current one when I get a chance.
     
  5. misterg

    misterg Well-Known Member

    Is it actually cooling?
     
  6. fifthwheel

    fifthwheel Well-Known Member

    I am no expert but if the fridge is running, the condenser is not getting hot, and your fridge is not cooling how can it be the thermostat?
     
    Charles likes this.
  7. GEOFF

    GEOFF Well-Known Member

    Bump. That is why I suggested that someone who KNOWS should take a look. I had thought that mriceman may have made an informed comment. I still hope that I was wrong though. Geoff.
     
  8. MikeD

    MikeD Member

    Well, it's definitely not the thermostat, I took it out earlier, dipped the probe in a beaker of ice and the compressor stopped immediately. I've plugged the van into the mains and cranked the thermostat up to see if the fridge is actually cooling. Will report back. Have identified a couple of semi-local service people if it turns out to be gas. Thanks again all!
     
  9. Charles

    Charles Well-Known Member

    If the condenser is cold and comp running, it's either...

    1. No refrigerant in system.
    2. System has a blockage.
    3. Compressor not pumping.

    If the refrigerant has escaped look for signs of oil round the pipework (oil comes out with it), is the pipework rubbing or vibrating against anything? If its a fan assisted condenser look for oil in the fins at the ends.

    Anyway all of the above needs a fridge engineer to braze a stub into the compressor body and connect gauges. I'm in Derbyshire if you're local I can have a look :)

    Edit: coupe of other things I've thought of.
    If there's no gas in it you can usually hear a high hissing noise as vapour rushes through the evaporator, and sometimes you get a tiny bit of very cold frost forming on the capillary tube.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  10. MikeD

    MikeD Member

    Turned it up, it's definitely getting cold - ice has formed in the freezer compartment. Put a couple of bottles of water in the main body, I'm not convinced that it can tell how cold it is when it's empty. Still haven't noticed the compressor stopping (although I've been at work all day) and the compressor is very hot. Still unsure if there's a problem or if it's just struggling with the high ambient temperature...
     
  11. Charles

    Charles Well-Known Member

    OK, where is the thermistor sensor positioned and what temperature is the controller set on?
    The ambient temperature isn't too high for a compressor fridge, especially as you say the condenser grille at the back is cool. Something doesn't add up here.
     
  12. Charles

    Charles Well-Known Member

    My best bet is the system is short of refrigerant (but not empty) and the sensor is on the fridge evaporator. As the liquid refrigerant goes into the freezer first, it frosts the freezer evap but by the time it enters the fridge, it's all evaporated, there is none left and there is no cooling effect left, it's just cool vapour heading back to the compressor. R134a is well known for undetectable small leaks.
     
  13. MikeD

    MikeD Member

    The sensor sits behind the inner lining of the fridge on one side, near the top of the fridge compartment. Do these fridges have a separate evaporator for fridge and freezer compartment? Here's the back of someone else's (with some extra fans) - the compressor and condenser pipes are all at the top. I'm inclined to think that you're right about it being a bit low on refrigerant rather than it all having disappeared. I'll take it to a mender and see what they say. Thanks!

    [​IMG]
     
  14. MikeD

    MikeD Member

    I've taken the fridge out (which was a bit of a faff - the aisle is literally the depth of the fridge with the door taken off, so it took a fair bit of wiggling...) and will take it to a service place. It's definitely not right, been on setting 7 for about 20 hours and the bottles of water inside are kind of tepid. Thanks for all the help!
     
  15. misterg

    misterg Well-Known Member

    I didn't realise it was still installed - Could it be marginal ventilation, tipped over the edge by the warm weather?

    I would think it's worth trying it again while it's out in free air.
     
  16. GEOFF

    GEOFF Well-Known Member

    I think it has lost gas, as you said in the beginning. Just get it looked at Geoff.
     
  17. Charles

    Charles Well-Known Member

    It's definitely not a ventilation issue if the condenser is cool. The heat round the back is very noticeable if it's not getting enough air.

    The hot compressor is a symptom of lost gas too, it relies on cool vapour coming back from the fridge evaporator for cooling.

    Ask them if they can pressure test with nitrogen for 24hrs because it's obviously only a small leak as there's still some gas left in it. There's still no guarantee of them finding it. Very often though it doesn't leak again. :confused: that's R134a for you :rolleyes: good luck, I hope you get a good engineer.
     
    MikeD likes this.
  18. MikeD

    MikeD Member

    Confident that it's not ventilation, there's a 34x11mm vent hole right next to the condenser unit. It's currently sat in the house whirring away just to be sure, though. First agent from the Dometic site said that Dometic themselves would have to look at it, which isn't ideal. Will try the others...
     

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