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How hot is too hot? Did I cure the patient or just fix some symptoms?

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I have a Frigidaire FRT18dhw0 that has been converted to a kegerator. A few months ago I noticed a strange

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Old 04-30-2013, 09:20 PM
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Default How hot is too hot? Did I cure the patient or just fix some symptoms?
Model Number: FRT18dhw0   Brand: Frigidaire   Age: 5 - 10 years   

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I have a Frigidaire FRT18dhw0 that has been converted to a kegerator. A few months ago I noticed a strange smell outside the fridge, and noticed that the starter relay was smoking when it was plugged in. I bought a new starter/overload relay and compressor run capacitor. I tested the compressor and it tests out with about 6ohms on one leg, 7ohms on the other leg and 13 overall. I put it all back together.

The fridge runs, the freezer makes ice, and fridge gets down to 34 degrees fine. The thing is that the compressor runs quite hot to the touch. I'm wondering if the compressor is shot and it got so hot that it melted the old starter relay?

I'd just throw this fridge out and get a new one, but these old Frigidaire's do a neat trick. The door shelves are bolted in with screws (not glued) so I removed the door shelves and replaced them with a sheet of diamond plate making room for 4 homebrew kegs or a full sized commercial keg directly on the floor of the fridge. If I get a new fridge, I have to rig up a shelf for the kegs and lose a lot of usable space.

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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-01-2013, 03:51 AM
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The fridg. might be low on refrigerant, measure stabilized freezer temperature and post.
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Old 05-01-2013, 05:25 AM
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Did you check the compressor windings to see if they were grounded?

You said it gets down to 34 degrees but when it gets to that temperature does the compressor begin cycling or is it on all the time.
Compressors are not designed to run continuously.

You are running the unit fairly hard. Fresh food temperature recommendations is usually up around 40 degrees F so trying to maintain 34 degrees will be hard on it.

As richappy said check your freezer temperature.

Might also be a good idea to check the evaporator coils.

Frost in one area usually where the freon enters the coils is also an symptom of low freon.

Coils that there heavily frosted/iced over is a symptom of a defrost problem. Your symptom here would be that the unit initially reachews set point and the compressor cycles but after a day or so the compressor starts running continuously.

Check your door seals.

A metal plate may not have been the best choice when it comes to a door liner as it is a good heat conductor but it depends on whether you left the door insulation intact and how it was mounted. It could be pulling a fair amount of heat into the unit from it's edges.

Also looking at the parts this unit does not have a compressor fan.
You may want to install one.
In order to cut down on electrical use you could install a thermostat so it only comes on when the area close to the compressor reaches a certain set point.
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Old 05-01-2013, 08:57 AM
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Thanks for the quick replies everyone.

I did check the compressor coils for short to ground using a multimeter. The results showed open, ie no ground, but I don't really trust my multimeter skills.

The compressor does cycle on and off.

Last night I set the freezer and fridge to their warmest (least cold settings). I put a digital thermometer in the freezer. The freezer stabilized at 6.6*F and the fridge at 40*F. I understand that the freezer should be at 0*F. I'm guessing that it would hit that on the "medium" setting.

With the fridge plugged in all night on low settings, the compressor was slightly warm to the touch, but not hot.

I need to check the evaporator coils, I'll do that today.

The fridge door seals are in poor condition. I have a replacement, but was waiting to install until I determine if the compressor is bad. No sense installing a $75 part that will get thrown away.

The aluminum plate wasn't a great choice (I agree) I would have preferred stainless (which is a poor conductor of heat), but aluminum is a lot cheaper, was more readily available, and looks awesome. I did leave the door insulation intact, except for the tap handle hole.

I'm getting more confident that it may be fixed (don't want to jinx it) but low freon does seem a bit like a likely candidate.

Last edited by Suba_Roo : 05-01-2013 at 08:59 AM.
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Old 05-02-2013, 02:37 AM
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I think you will find the evaporator coils are OK.
6.6 degrees at the warmest setting with the compressor cycling normally sounds OK to me. The norm would be 0 to 5 degrees F at a mid-pont setting.

If you had low freon or a defrost problem the unit would run continuously.
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