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Viking side by side won't suction line freezing

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My Viking side by side stopped getting cold about 1 month ago. I had a commercial refrigeration guy come out

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Old 12-04-2012, 06:30 PM
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Default Viking side by side won't suction line freezing
Model Number: vcsb483ss   Brand: -other-   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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My Viking side by side stopped getting cold about 1 month ago. I had a commercial refrigeration guy come out to look at it, and he was lost. He evacuated the system and installed a service port. He recharged it with hot shot and said to re check it the next day. No change. I had another repair service come and look at it. They cleaned the condensor and also played with the froen charge. Again, no change. I just had a Viking repair center come and look at it. They said that the hot shot contaminated the system and it all needs to be changed and flushed out. Hot shot said their freon is compatible with r134a, and another viking repair center also said they use hot shot and it is ok. I don't know what to do. I am a Ford Certified Senior Master Tech, so I know mechanical and auto refrigeration. I am trying to figure it out myself, but need some help. Why would the suction side freeze up? In an automotive system, I would say the low side cut out switch is sticking. I can't afford to replace this P.O.S. Can someone give me a direction to go? What should I check. Right now, the temp on the evaporator is -16 deg., but the top of the freezer is @ 40 deg. Thank you for your time.


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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 12-04-2012, 11:12 PM
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Controversial subject amongst refrigeration techs. Viking has made it almost impossible to get service information on their machines but here's where you are; R410B Hot Shot is a direct replacement for R134a. Unless your R134A system is still under manufacturers warranty. There is a temperature difference and might throw off the thermistors so using it will void the warranty. Your problem is too many cooks in the kitchen. Pick your favorite cook. Sounds like the commercial guy owes you one, and tell him your system has a restriction, probably from moisture, at the drier or cap tube. Cut the filter/drier out and replace it with a quality replacement. Vacuum it down to 29imvg and flash charge it with R410B hot shot. Recover it then vacuum the system again. When the vacuum is at 29 let the vacuum pump run an additional 20 minutes. Add the correct charge and adjust to 5 LB with gauges. It operates at a little higher pressure than R134a. If you have a tech that knows what he's doing, you shouldn't have any problems with Hot Shot.
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:09 AM
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Default Viking frig

Thanks for the reply. I understand there are too many people who have had their hands in this. The problem was I couldn't get a Viking repair center to come out until I started raising hell. I live too far from all of them, at least thats what I was told. This equipment was in the house when I bought it, so I am kinda stuck with it. Where is the filter/dryer? This thing is sealed up with panels, and I haven't seen anything that looks like one. Thanks again.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:16 AM
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This isn't something you can do. You need to have a certified refrigeration tech do it. Didn't you already pay someone to do this repair. His repair went south doesn't he guaranty his work?
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Old 12-05-2012, 03:41 PM
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I paid this guy to diagnose the frig. He took a shot at re charging the system. That was it. He didn't seem to know what he was looking at. I can't blame him on not fixing it. I got a quote from a viking service dealer to replace the serpentine loop and the drier/filter and what ever else they suggested, for @ 1300 plus tax. Don't know what to do. This thing has been an ass ake since I moved in. Never got cold enough. I am realy thinking hard about trashing it, but I can't replace it for under 8k. I am debating on getting a smaller unit and modifing my cabinets. I don't know if I can justify fixing this thing. I hate the fact that they can't tell me for sure that this will fix it. I understand you need to start somewhere. I just don't want to spend the money only to be told that there is something more expensive that it needs. Thank you so much for your time and advice. I may try replacing the drier anyway. I can bring home my R134a machine from work to evac and recharge it. I just feel I need to try something. I already spent @ 600 on trying to fix it and have gotten no where.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:13 PM
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If you've had refrigeration experience and your brazing skills are half decent, you can do it. These are the filters I use. Cut the cap tube back.
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Old 12-05-2012, 05:35 PM
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Thanks. I need to find where to get one, and do it. I am thinking that my compressor may have taken a dump too. I had to run my generator for a couple of days when hurricane Sandy blew through. I will try the drier first, and if that doesn't work, I have to assume that the compressor is done. Lucky me!? Thank you so much for your advice and being a sounding board. I didn't know what else to do besides post here.
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Old 12-10-2012, 09:26 PM
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Viking built in refers come with a 6 year full sealed system warranty and a 12 yr parts only sealed system warranty...

Hot Shot will void that warranty. Have someone recover all hot shot from the unit and re-charge with 134a. Then call your authorized servicer maybe one now who doesn't know hotshot was used.

I'm completely neutral on using hot shot, but why not just charge with 134a? I'm assuming your commercial guy just didn't have a bottle on his truck? The debate is that the different chemicals used to produce hot shot will wear on the compressor seals differently than 134a. At least that's what most manufacturers will claim.

-16 on the evap but 40 in the upper area of the freezer sound less like sealed system issue and more like an evaporator fan issue, or restriction in the ducting running along the back wall.

-you stated that the suction line was frozen. If the suction line is frosted near the compressor the unit is over charged. If the suction line at the evap is what's iced up it's undercharged (leak).

My best suggestion...Recover all refrigerant, run in a deep vacuum 600 microns if a micron gauge is available, and let it run in that vacuum for at least 20 minutes as stated before. If you struggle to get below 1200-1500 microns there is probably a leak in the system. It will have to be located and repaired. Once vacuumed down to satisfaction install a filter drier that is designed for contaminated systems. I once had to change one of these driers twice after following up someone who used a dye to locate a leak. The dye may have never hurt anything, but wasn't allowed by the manufacturer. gas up the unit and let it run a day or so, then recover and start all over. Vacuum down for extended time, then install a new drier (oem), charge to spec. Let the unit run for 24 hours, the evaporator should have a light but even frost covering the fins. This will indicate that the refrigerant is moving freely and the charge is correct and cooling should occur.

If there are still issues, they are probably not sealed system related. All of this should be done by someone familiar with the unit. I hear it often that time of service led to hiring someone who is completely unfamiliar with the unit. It is usually better to wait for the quality servicer for that product that have someone shotgun it like what it sounds like happened here.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:59 PM
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I decided to replace the compressor and the drier. I just need to know how many oz of R134 to recharge it with. If this doesn't fix it, i am going to turn it into my insurance.
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:39 PM
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It should tell you on the model tag
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