View Full Version : pipe freezing just outside the compressor

13-01-2002, 04:35 AM
hello all
please advise me on:
"Freezing pipe at compressor."

It is an older model domestic frezzer.

The door seal is suspect at the top hinge corner.
Before purchasing a replacement seal, then finding out that it was a waste of money. I would like to narrow the odds of a succesfull fix.
I would appreciate help.

13-01-2002, 07:20 AM
When was the last time you defrosted the freezer? The gasket/seal might cause the frosting pipe if you are in a high humidity area and there is a frost build up in the freezer as a result.
I take it the freezer has not had a leak repaired lately?

13-01-2002, 07:52 AM
Thank-you for replying Gibson,
The freezer has been off for several weeks.
no repairs done full stop.
Since my post earier, I have been thinking and decided to check out the thermostat, see below

First observation:
It was very hot and humid yesterday, the power was on for more than 8 hrs, durring which the freezer did not turn off. (it is empty)

Today is quite cool and overcast. After another 4 hours on, and ice beginning to form on the shelves, still not turning off.

The failing seal is still sound enough to manually push, prod, etc to get a temp seal, for testing purposes.

Now the important bit of info: by adjusting the temperature dial back to warmer. it still will not turn off. I suspect the thermostat is not functioning at all.
Do you concur?

Thanks again from Chris

13-01-2002, 03:53 PM
I would concur with that. The unit should shut off completely when you turn the control off. That WOULD explain the frozen pipe to the compressor also. New seals wouldn't hurt if it they are cracked, torn or just won't seal any longer though too.

You say the cabinet did get cold though correct... ?
and ice beginning to form on the shelves

13-01-2002, 05:03 PM
I think we are missing a lot of crucial information here.

Is the unit manually or electrically defrosted?

Is the condenser clean and condenser fan (if any) running properly?

Is this a TXV or cap tube system (probably cap tube)?

Has refrigerant been added to the system?

When the pipe froze at the compressor, what was the temperature inside the box?

We could be looking at a variety of problems, including broken compressor valves.

13-01-2002, 09:44 PM
If the box was freezing inside, (shelves were developing ice as he said) yet the system never shut off.... (even when he manually shut the t-stat off)... I would say the t-stat contacts were arc'd closed. That could be from running too many appliances off the same circuit providing they called at the same time etc.

I don't believe that I would go any deeper "knowing" the t-stat failed to shut the system down when he turned it off, or at least not yet. The ice on the shelves does suggest his door seals are leaking also. JMHO...

By the way... I do agree with your thought on the frozen suction line though... frost on a suction line doesn't necessarily mean anything, depending on box temperature, ambient temperature and humidity level as you said.

13-01-2002, 11:46 PM
He hasn't said the box was freezing inside, or even cold.

The evaporator may be built into the shelves and just starting to form frost.

He said he turned the stat warmer, not all the way to the off position (if it has an off position).

And we don't want to assume that the stat sensor is firmly mounted where it ought to be mounted.

And there could be multiple problems.

Aside from that, I can't disagree with your logic.

20-01-2002, 07:11 AM
hello again all,
I have just read your posts.
Thank you for your interest.
Ok, how about setting me a number of tasks designed to identify likely fault(s).

More info for you, from me.
-Manual or electronic defrost. (unknown)
-External condenser is clean and in sound condition.
-no additional refrigerant added
-I believe it would be a cap tube type.
-Inside did get cold enough durring the test to freeze food
-Evaporator is built into the shelves
- turning the "Temperature adjustment" all the way back to stop. Did Not turn of the compressor.
-Main reason for turning the freezer off in the first place, was pool of water on the floor all the time.

I am going to insert a thermometer inside to check temperature.
Thanks from

20-01-2002, 03:45 PM
1.) The thermostat is bad because the contacts are sticking and not opening when you turn the control off. The compressor should always turn off when you turn the temperature control off (counter-clockwise).

2.) The cabinet has water in the bottom from the evaporator coil being frozen solid and possibly your drain tube is plugged with ice also. The water cannot drain as it should. The bottom of the cabinet is warm enough that the dripping water will not freeze because again the evaporator coil is frozen over... even if the fan is blowing.

3.) It is possible that your defrost circuit (if it has one) is working but cannot completely clear the coil of ice. The defrost time clock probably has a 20 or 25 minute defrost cycle every 6 hours, some are every 8 hours... it may or may not have a defrost temperature limit which senses the temperature of the tubing on the evaporator. If it has a defrost limit, and does go into a defrost, the tubing can get warm enough to trip the limit even though there is still ice "surrounding" the evaporator coil... blocking the air flow from the evaporator fan.... and quickly floods the coil and freezes up solid again.
Have you checked the evaporator fan to see if it is running? It too may be enveloped in ice or faulty as well. Open the cabinet door and see if you can hear or feel the fan blowing in the freezer compartment. You may have to push the door switch in to cause it to run depending on how old or the design of the cabinet.

4.) You pointed out frost and ice forming on the shelves... it is possible that your shelves are actually part of the refrigeration system. If the shelves are removable then they are NOT part of the system. If they are not part of the system then I would believe your fan motor is or has been running and may be drawing outside air from poorly sealing gaskets. Sometimes you can pinpoint exactly where the door gasket is leaking.... a frost pattern will actually point to it... usually an odd triangular pattern. Leaking gaskets are probably contributing to the water building up at the bottom of the cabinet as well.

Remember to disconnect power before attempting any repairs!
If the cabinet is a manual defrost, unplug the unit from the wall plug and let it sit until it is clear of ice... usually 6 to 24 hours depending on how badly it is frozen. If you leave the doors open it will reduce the time needed. Don't start chipping with any objects... that is a good way to puncture your refrigeration tubing. If you manually defrost it, you can then plug it back in and see if it does actually pull the cabinet down to temperature... you do need to get a control, but you can buy that and put it in after you see everything else working... that way you can decide if it is worth it to repair the unit or not.

If you are fairly mechanically inclined you can change most any of the electrical components if they need replacing... the hard part is getting to them (usually have a thousand screws and half of them are hidden). And then putting the panels etc. back into place can be just a challenging. AND in the end, you will have one screw left over! LOL!!

I am sure you will get more good information and tips from other users on this site. Keep in touch and let us know how you turned out!!

20-01-2002, 04:16 PM
We could be looking at a variety of problems, including broken
compressor valves.

Could you expand on that Gary?


20-01-2002, 06:13 PM
Subzero*psia seems to have nailed it. The thermostat is stuck.

Replace the thermostat.

Replace the door gasket.

Insulate the suction line (the pipe that is frosting over and dripping on the floor) right up to the compressor.

Could you expand on that Gary?

An inefficient compressor is, in effect, undersized for the evaporator and metering device, which is to say that the evaporator and metering device are oversized for the (inefficient) compressor.

This can, and usually will, result in low superheat at the compressor inlet, but that doesn't seem to be the case here.

20-01-2002, 06:41 PM
I honestly am failing to grasp this. I follow that an inefficient compressor is undersized and I agree that the evaporator and expansion device are thus oversized.

I fail to understand how this could lead to frost on the compressor suction line.


20-01-2002, 07:08 PM
An oversized metering device can hunt (TXV) or flood back to the compressor (cap tube), causing the line to frost if the SST is below freezing.

Of course, we are not usually called in until the inefficiency is severe and the SST is above freezing, thus we usually see a sweating (rather than frosting) suction line.

We don't see, or we fail to recognize, borderline compressor problems.

20-01-2002, 07:16 PM
Now I feel really stupid.... this unit is a "freezer only"? I am too used to working on commercial freezers... I doubt Chis' freezer has an automatic defrost.... LOL!! AND maybe he doesn't even have a fan... depending on the design!! :rolleyes:

20-01-2002, 07:24 PM
Gary, you have given me something to think about. It defies my conventional wisdom. Perhaps, you make sense, but I need to rearrange a bunch of rules in my head in order to accept it.

Wouldn't a compressor with faulty valves operate with a lower discharge pressure, thus decreasing the pressure drop through the cap tube?

I can see how a faulty compressor would operate with high superheat, but not with low superheat.

What am I missing?


20-01-2002, 07:54 PM
Now I feel really stupid.... this unit is a "freezer only"? I am too used to working on commercial freezers... I doubt Chis' freezer has an automatic defrost.... LOL!! AND maybe he doesn't even have a fan... depending on the design!!

Trouble shooting online can be a humbling experience. We can't "see" the system, or it's symptoms, except through the description. There are a great many designs out there.

I have an old upright freezer, whose shelves are the only evaporator. It has a manually operated (push/pull button) hot gas defrost, with a large tub in the bottom to catch the water. Made by Manitowoc, no less.

20-01-2002, 08:18 PM
Wouldn't a compressor with faulty valves operate with a lower discharge pressure, thus decreasing the pressure drop through the cap tube?

I can see how a faulty compressor would operate with high superheat, but not with low superheat.

What am I missing?

Identifying a borderline compressor problem is perhaps the most difficult of trouble shooting challenges. There are a great many variables involved, including pressure drop across the metering device, load, product flywheel effect, etc., etc., etc.

Think about the conservation of mass flow. In a stable series loop, the mass flow past any point is equal to the mass flow past any other point.

In this case the reduction of flow is through the compressor, rendering all other components oversized, including as you have pointed out, the condenser. The resulting backup of refrigerant is at the compressor inlet (low superheat).

I have conducted a variety of experiments simulating inefficient compressor (with all else functioning properly), and the result was low compressor inlet superheat (and/or hunting) every time.

The telling symtom however, with all else working properly and components matched properly, is reduced difference between evap in temp and SST.

21-01-2002, 04:20 AM
I have conducted a variety of experiments simulating inefficient
compressor (with all else functioning properly), and the result
was low compressor inlet superheat (and/or hunting) every time.

You really have me there. I am rethinking things.

I still cannot envision a captube system behaving so. I apologize to guestingmale, but he started this and most likely has fixed his problem without regard to the discussion he envigorated.


27-01-2002, 07:27 PM
All of these opinions seem very logical and well thought out...Has anyone thought about the insulation of the freezer also possibly having soaked up water during this time (he said it is an older model, may have fiberglass insulation). Dont wanna scare you, but it is also another possible cause for the problems (or at least helping the problem along).

I also agree with the other gentlemen that the thermostat is DEFINITELY stuck. But that leads us to ask: WHY?

-Denver F

27-01-2002, 07:56 PM
That's a very good point, Denver. Wet insulation could indeed be a contributing factor.

As a practical matter though, the thing to do is to fix the known problems (thermostat, gasket), insulate the offending line, and then decide whether the run time is unacceptable.

28-01-2002, 12:43 AM
Very Interesting

from what I have heard up to now, I don't feel the stat is faulty
I would suspect the compressor is a weak pumper, which has been mutted in a couple of the reply's, what I see happening is the weak pump cools the evaporator to below freezing maybe as low as -10/15 Deg C which will freeze produce but will not be cold enough to turn stat off so if the engineer does not take temp on the evap where stat phial is located, should be approx -24 to give -18 cabinet temp, this fault is over looked, what usually happens is he changes the stat and the problem remains the same, regarding the door seal unless it is totally ripped to bits the only real problem you will get is heavy frosting in the cabinet.

Hope this makes sense.

Lets keep it COOL

28-01-2002, 12:46 AM
Oh sorry

the reason the suction line is frosted is due to the compressor never turning off

Lets keep it COOL

28-01-2002, 02:51 PM
I agree Gary...The most important thing for this gentleman to do is buy a new thermostat, and find a way to seal the existing gasket (tempoarily)...I thinnk the unit will start freezing properly; if THAT is the only problem. But I don't know if he is going to replace the stat, considering that he doesn't think the stat is bad. I ALSO agree that it is VERY difficult to troubleshoot online!

-Denver F

28-01-2002, 11:10 PM
Whether this unit is a freezer only, or a refrigerator with a freezer compartment... makes no difference... the thermostat is bad. He said he turned the thermostat "OFF" and the unit continued to run....

Where it does make a difference is whether or not this unit has defrost components... and on chest type freezers... there is no evaporator fan either.

28-01-2002, 11:56 PM
In a later post he said he turned the control all the way back to the mechanical position of off....

I could be wrong but I have never seen an electrical control without an off position excluding a pressure control.

It gets difficult sometimes reading through all the posts... sometimes I have a tendancy to speed read, make an assumption and then find out that I didn't read something exactly right. I guess that is what makes all this fun! LOL! ;)

In any case... Its good to see you back!

29-01-2002, 02:46 AM
Regards suction superheat and bad pumpers, I started drawing up an interactive mollier at http://www.fridgetech.co.uk/analysis/mollier/index.html but then my hard drive failed and I just couldn't be bothered to start it back up yet. I had got as far as explaining that for a bad compressor (with a TEV and long suction line)you tend to have high suction and discharge superheats. For close coupled systems, especially cap tube systems, you'll have high suction with lower superheat.

Here's a new theory to prod your aging grey matter, Marc.

Length of suction line has nothing to do with it. If the suction superheat is high with an inefficient compressor, that's because it was even higher before the compressor became inefficient. There is less TD in the suction line and therefore less heat gain. If it is lower when close coupled, then it should be lower when long coupled.

Inefficient compressor lowers the suction superheat. Just my theory. :)

29-01-2002, 03:17 AM
There are any number of things that could be wrong with this system, including an inefficient compressor, but little evidence.

What seems very likely, given the scant clues and no actual temperature measurements, is that the stat is welded, the gasket is bad, and the suction line needs to be insulated.

Until we get more info, that's where we are.

I wish everyone presenting a problem would fill out the excellent diagnostics form at fridgetech.com

Guessing games can be fun, but gathering crucial information and making an informed judgement is much more professional.

31-01-2002, 04:30 PM
If we see a bad valves it is typical to see a warm suction line and high suction pressure... warm but not hot discharge line with low head pressure. If for some reason the piston dome or compressor head is damaged we would see wire drawing occur... loss of pumping capacity.

Either way we see the flow rate drop... varying with the amount of damage the compressor has suffered. The evaporator is being starved of refrigerant. Weak valves... the flow rate is still diminished...

Hmmm.... I need to think about this some more too... :)

31-01-2002, 09:30 PM
You are all looking far too deeply at this problem.

It's obvious that we are talking about a domestic freezer.

The pool of water under the freezer tells us that the insulation is U/S.

This is the reason that the thermostat will not respond

31-01-2002, 11:03 PM
Maybe.............maybe I have solved this riddle

A long time ago I had the same problem

These "domestics" sometimes have the capillary tube enter the suction pipe just after the filter, and exit again just before the evaporator coil.

This is to provide a good exchanger

Anyways, a hairline crack appeared on the capillary INSIDE THE SUCTION PIPE, so the liquid refrigerant pissed all the way back into compressor.

I couldnt understand it!!! Suction pipe was FROZEN !!!!

Have I solved the puzzle???

Change the capillary I say

And you guys thought I was a thicko!!!

And Marc, your Av is great

Not sure about your Calculus and formulas though!!!


19-02-2002, 07:36 AM
Hello again to all of you.
Sorry for the delay.
No I have not yet fixed the problem
Priced 2 new components, supply only: door seal (generic, made to order) $44-00 and a new thermostat $55-10

I have printed out all the posts, tried to digest it all.
As I am not an engineer, almost all of it is not undestood. Especially the tech terms and component names.

"jasper" I went to the diagnostic form you suggested. NO go for someone like me.

report 3
replaced therostate with a used but known working one( tried 2 infact).
I can turn off the commpressor by manually turning the dial, back to "off".
However when i turn it back on again, the thermostat allows the freezer to engage the compressor ok. The compressor vibrates and gently humms for several seconds then all activity stops.
Approx. 30 seconds later it tries again, and so on. eventually it will kick into life. the tube sweats for a while then freezes again.
in past testing,plenty of time is allowed to thaw, days even.

My obsevation:
When shutdown and still hot, the commpressor does not start willingly.
If i toggle the mains power switch on/off repeatedly, i can get the compressor motor so hot that the "Thermal Overload" protection cuts in

Temperature test number 1: temperature inside the cabinet after 4 or so hours: -15 C This is with the dial set at approx half way from warmest to the coldest setting.

Temperature 2 test is with dial set to almost three quarters towards coldest: - 15 degrees Celcius.
Other temp. readings have not been done: (i) do not undestand which parts to test (II) Probably do not have the required tools/ equipment.

By temperarily assisting the door seal with tape, etc. i have almost eliminated outside air entering the cabinet.

Note to sealing: when the door is closed with compressor running I can hear the air being sucked inward. The two sides and roof near the seal is warm to touch. i asume this is normal to assit sealing, yes???????

Additional notes on the still freezing pipe.
4 tubes are attacted to the domestic compressor. Two are at the bottom of compressor.
2 are in the upper half, with the freezing/ sweating one slightly lower than the other. This freezing one goes straight up the back of the cabinet and enters and sits on the top shelf level.
Inside the cabinett, this tube appears to terminate as an expanded big cigar sized cylinder.

All the shelves are built-into and part of the system as a whole

This (freezing) tube is insulated from the level of the external and black painted condensor grid of tubes/ bars. To where is goes into the back wall of the cabinet.( up high)

Piggy backed to the freezing tube is another much smaller diametre tube which terminates inside in the top shelf as well. This one is encased within the insulation also. it begins at the bottm of the external condensor. The condensor tube size dramaticaly reduces for say 12'' then into a short expanded section say a stanard cigar size. Then back to a small dia. pipe and forms a coil before it bends and goes onto piggy back the freezing tube.

I have had it running nearly all day, and have always found the compressor running. By incrementaly turning the therostat dial back towards warmer. I cannot get the compressor to turn off.
Only turn off by setting the dial all way to "off" position.

There are no hidden panels, I do not believe it has auto defrost as there is no timing/ or likely looking devices anywhere.

Thanks to you all, again

19-02-2002, 09:36 PM
This sounds very much like the cap tube is restricted. Compressor kicks in, and after a while the comp clicks out on high temp klixon. (short of cooling gas). The cabinet temp will not drop below 4deg.

Is the fridge running on R134a?

20-02-2002, 12:26 AM
I would concur with Frank... but it doesn't have to be charged with R134a. This is an older system if I understand the threads right. AND this does sound like a freezer only not a cooler-freezer combination... is that right guestingmale?

You could have developed a leak also, but if the Klixon over-load is tripping I would lean toward a restriction. The cigar shaped item you described is what many refer to as a pencil drier. From your post, do I understand that you have more than one of these BEFORE the evaporator section (the cold coils which apparently include the shelves)?

OR do you have an item (cigar shaped) that has two copper tubes in one end (accumulator) AND one (cigar shaped) that has a small diameter copper tube at one end with a larger copper tube at the other end of it (drier).

To be honest... to go much further with this... you are going to need a tech with a set of gages from the sounds of it. How much is this unit worth to you... I would dare say it is decision time.

20-02-2002, 01:13 AM

Get out your Yellow pages and get an engineer in to sus out your fridge

He or she got a family to feed and needs the work!!!

Its that or youre going to go bananas trying to figure this one out

Another alternative:

Visit your appliance store and buy a new fridge

20-02-2002, 05:44 AM
"It's obvious that we are talking about a domestic freezer.

The pool of water under the freezer tells us that the insulation is U/S.

This is the reason that the thermostat will not respond"

Have you checked this yet!!!

The reason the compressor cut off on it's klixon was, the time that you left before switching back on was not long enoughto allow the refrigerant to eqaulize
accross the cap tube.

As the other guys are saying it souds like you should either get a tech to look' or DUMP and BUY NEW.:)

20-02-2002, 10:04 PM
hello all

this is a simple upright domestic freezer the evaporator is the shelving inside the cabinet, the only control is the thermostat.
do we know the manufacturer? could it be a Philips?
is the water actually "under" the cabinet or just at the back?
it could be the ice on the suction melting
it is not a leak or a blockage if it was the suction would not freeze
from the "its an old unit" its liable to be on R12
even though I'm half way around the world I would lay odd's that it's either an insulation fault or the compressor is a weak pumper

Lets keep it COOL



PS a good place to take this freezer is your local rubbish dump
I Guarantee they can sort it for you:D

21-02-2002, 03:14 AM
I disagree with the insulation theory, but agree with the weak pumper theory.

If we were to put a suction gauge on the machine, we would find that there is less than 5C difference between the saturated suction temp (SST) and the box temp (probably much less in this case).

That's a dead giveaway, especially with low superheat at the compressor inlet.

21-02-2002, 12:18 PM
Thanks guys,

Subzero*PSIA: R12 refidgerant and a freezer only.

Aiyub: great idea, alas insufficient funds to comply.

Decision time: i will not bother to go any further with this freezer,
unfortunatley it is even going to cost me, money to relocate it at the local dump.(De-Gassing Fee)

It was well worth contacting your forum as:
(i) i did learn how to use a forum
(ii) i did learn a little more about cooling
(iii) there are still caring people out there to lend a hand.

Thanks again

21-02-2002, 08:01 PM
Hey freezer guy in Austrailia...

It is too bad that you are not finding the right solution to your problem, but two last notes for you to keep in mind before you toss out that unit:

1)- Being that those kinds of freezers are not manufactured anymore (not efficient for most consumers), and SOME people still look for them to use (namely hunters that have a LOT of meat to store for long periods), it would be a better idea to look around for someone to PURCHASE the unit from you, rather than throw it away. Then, you not only save the cash for the refrigerant recovery fees, but ALSO dont have to worry about hauling it away. You will even MAKE some money! Even a small bit is better than YOU having to pay :)

2)- I would bet s small sum of cash, that the REAL problem that you are experiencing with this unit is very SIMPLE and INEXPENSIVE. In my years of servicing refrigerators and freezers, it is almost ALWAYS a very simple problem to fix (problems with the sealed system account for a mere 1% of all unit failures)...It could be something as simple and easy as a dirty condensor, that built up dust insulating the evaporator; or maybe when you defrosted the ice on the evaporator, you were not able to COMPLETELY dry it before it was turned on again. These particular problems are VERY common, and happen MANY TIMES more than actual electrical or mechanical problems (in BOTH cases, the solution would not caost you ANYTHING to fix!!)

Good luck o your travels, and I hope that you have learned a bit from all these posts!

-Denver Fields....USA :cool:

22-02-2002, 06:32 AM

Great idea about a few dollars in my pocket instead.

Ok, now how to identifty what you call the condensor and the evaporator.
Then how to clean and dry said pieces.

from Australia (with two gold medals I believe)

23-02-2002, 12:11 AM
Guestmale (freezer):

the evaporator is the piece of equipment that actually GETS cold (inside the frezer). You can locate it by opening the freezer door. You may have what is caled a coldplate shelf, or it may even be against the back wall of the freezer itself. Point is; it is actually IN the freezer, and it is where the cold starts. To dry this off, just unplug it, and open the door...If there is ice inside the freezer, DO NOT use an icepick or screwdriver to chip the ice. A better idea is to hold a hair dryer or heat gun in front of it, and this will melt all ice inside. When all ice is melted, either keep the hair dryer blowing on it for awhile, or leave the unit open so that it can dry out. It is VERY important to be certain that the inside of the unit is very dried out, or you will have the same problem when plugging it in again (ice on the evaporator).

The Condensor is the grill tubing that is on the OUTSIDE of the unit (either on the bottom, or the back). The most COMMON problem with this piece, is normal use without cleaning. (People dont want to think about cleaning the outside of their fridges and freezers...They just want them to WORK...That was also the case with me for a long time before becoming a technician :) The easiest way to tell if this needs cleaning, is to look at it. If there is a lot of dust, hair, and dirt on it, then it needs to be cleaned. Otherwise, what happens is that the dust and dirt insulates the condensor, and causes the unit to operate strangely. If you look and see that it DOES need cleaning, then you can go to a an appliance parts store and ask for a condensor brush. It will only cost a couple dollars, and is VERY useful for this. Just take the brush and wipe down the condensor as good as you can...(it is possible to make something instead of buying the brush, but the EASIEST is to just purchase the brush). Then when you are finished, sweep or vacume the dust and dirt from the floor, so it doesnt get sucked back onto the condensor

By the way...NEWER units have the condensors inside of the back wall, so you cannot see them at all. If that is the case with yours, then ignore everything that I have told you about the condensor.

Hope that you have luck with this, and please let me know what happens!


01-04-2002, 03:12 AM
Thanks Denver
I am replying to your advice on cleanning the external condenser of my freezer. That was the first thing I cleaned.
Now to the evaporator(inside and freezes). Due to the delay in carring out tests and replying to this thread, several weeks may pass with the unit off. It is end of summer and very hot. Although the door is shut, surely the ice has commpletly melted inside the cabinet and inside tubes. additionaly, any moisture will have commpletly dried out durring this this time also.

Bye for now

03-04-2002, 05:41 AM
it is very possible that the moisture has eveporated from inside the unit. It is also possible that your compressor is bad...Unfortunately, I ju8st ran into a unit about 2 weeks ago that was having the SAME symptoms as your freezer (the pipe coming out of the compressor, called the discharge line, was icing...This was because there was a very small leak in the copper tubing)..AGAIN, good luck with your freezer!


03-04-2002, 08:16 PM
surely you mean the suction line - in all my time i have never heard of a discharge line frosting?

04-04-2002, 06:17 AM
Domestic freezer discharge line frosting? Um, nevermind! Sell, Sell, Sell!

04-04-2002, 06:49 PM
suction line; discharge line...I get them confused if I am not looking directly at them....(high side vs. low side, etc) :)

04-04-2002, 07:59 PM
For the discharge line to frost the sun would have to rise from the west first

05-04-2002, 03:46 PM
Yes, I know...It may very easily seem that I do not know anything that I am talking about when I can confuse the suction line and discharge line. As long as I dont do it while WORKING on a unit, it may not matter!!


06-04-2002, 04:55 AM
It may, yet it may not. Nothing really matters at all... Life is an imperfect science. Why, just today I heard that cousins messing with cousins genetically speaking might be okay!

06-04-2002, 04:57 AM
Then again... from right to left, um, without a mirror... Just kiddin with ya pd

07-04-2002, 05:31 AM
Life IS an imperfect science...Heck; I thought it was spring already, but it is still freezing outside...Can only take SO MUCH refrigeration per year!!

14-04-2002, 09:07 PM
A freezer with the evaporator built into the shelves does not have self-defrost capability, nor does it need a drain. This design does not use an evaporator fan. This problem would not be caused by inadequate condensing nor would the door gasket be the problem unless the evaporator was frosted badly. I suspect that the system is overcharged and flooding the suction line causing frost near the compressor and water dripping on the floor. An overcharge would result in the freezer being unable to attain a low enough temperature to satisfy the cold control. Please check the box temperature. Is it merely below freezing or down to the set point ? It is not unusual for the manufacturer to make an error during production.

15-04-2002, 05:29 AM
I don't post here much, but it looks to me that the problem is being over-engineered. Test the thermostadt switch. If it makes/breaks continuity around the middle setting on the dial, then simply open panel inside the freezer compartment to have a visual inspection of the evaporator. There is less guesswork involved this way. If it's iced over, then check the defrost timer, heater, and defrost thermostadt. A weak defrost thermostadt will shut off the defrost heater too early, too late, or not at all. Next is simply pour a large glass of warm water slowly on the evaporator and see if the drain allows the water to drain into the receiving pan. Lastly, even though the fan seems to be working, it could be turning slower than needed. You should be able to get a universal fan for about $10 (US) or so.

Simple is sometimes best. Eliminate the obvious and the problem should present itself.


16-04-2002, 11:29 PM
This is the reason why there is sooooo many mis-diagnoised faults....no one seems to be reading the posts fully.

The freezer is a basic unit with a tube evaporator ie. the evaporator is the shelving, it does not have a fan or a defrost heater or a timer, the condenser is a tube type and is fitted to the back of the cabinet and is cooled by gravity, no fan.

Without actually standing beside this cabinet one can only guess what the problem is, we have to work on the info we have, plus a little experience ;)

So what have we got..... an old freezer that is not getting cold enough and is frosting on the suction pipe outside the cabinet.

My thoughts are:- the insulation of the cabinet is breaking down or the compressor is not pumping efficiently, both these faults will give the symptoms we have.

Nothing special all very basic really

Keep it cool

20-04-2002, 04:32 AM
Could it be a restriction causing the same problems similar to that of a domestic refrigetator?

20-04-2002, 06:05 PM
This has all been very interesting guys. There still is not enough information to solve the problem. Knowing the frost pattern on the evaporator verses the run time of compressor would help. The theory of overcharged at the factory, I have experienced myself. When did the problem start? If it is a sealed system problem its probably not worth fixing verses buying new system with warranty.

25-04-2002, 03:40 AM
The unit is an older unit per the first thread so factory overcharge is very unlikely. I am inclined to agree with Mr. Cool... I think a technician would have to be on-site observing the unit and taking measurements in order to make an accurate diagnosis.

I guess I just like to kick on a dead horse... :p

By the way.... I'm back among the living.

25-04-2002, 03:51 AM
This is the most expensive service call on a domestic freezer ever!

02-06-2002, 02:41 PM
Many threads seem to suggest an insulation problem. Why would this cause the suction line to frost up?

I wish the original poster would let us know the outcome of this seemingly complex problem.

Gibson, maybe we should visit the jobsite as a group!
Hey, I live about 15 miles South of Cornwall !

03-06-2002, 05:10 AM
terry, personally I don't think it had to do with insulation. Oh, and you must mean 15 miles and a River! <p>I suspect that a lot of time and effort could have been saved with a recovery unit and a garbage truck! *LOL*

04-06-2002, 06:52 AM
I tried to read all the replies but it wasnt too long since I got confussed.

1) FAULT Thermostat is a possibility, but usually thermostat is working or NOT working

2) There is a tiny hole on the refrigerant circuit. Freezer should operate longer hours to reject the heat (difficult to fix, costly)

3) Check the door insulation! If it is not proper + you set the freezer thermostat at max position then the prob is caused due to that reason

Good luck... at least you will become a friend with your freezer!

07-12-2002, 04:24 AM
I am the instigator of this thread
Thanks to all the advice and discussion.

I have not visited this thread for quite a while.
I have read all the posts, now.

I got rid of the freezer at the dump.

So it is time to close this one down.

May I now direct you to may new post on car air-conditioning and types of gas I may use.

See " Air-conditioning"

Thanks again

08-12-2002, 03:01 AM

Sorry that the fridge got dumped, I was looking forward to a group coming over to Oz to sort this one out.

Gday mate

14-12-2002, 02:31 AM
Originally posted by Aiyub

Sorry that the fridge got dumped, I was looking forward to a group coming over to Oz to sort this one out.

Gday mate

14-12-2002, 02:47 AM
hi Aiyub,

Dash it all,
I had not considered the possibility that qualified and experienced techies' from across the planet, would even consider a service call to Queensland, Australia, to sort out this up-right domestic freezer.

Nor did it occur to me that you guys might be considering holidaying in this sunburnt country, and that my place could be a stop- over.

I do apologise for dumping the item of such curiosity and intrigue and in the process destroying your excuse for a visit down under.



14-02-2004, 09:32 PM
My freezer does just that for the first minute or so after compressor turns on and its practically brand new.

Compressor turns on. Suction line freezes up, it starts to melt after about a min... then condensation evaporates in a few minutes.

It works fine..

Oh and I hear "clunk clunk clunk" from the refrigerant lines somewhere.

It seems to work fine though...

Am I heading for trouble?

14-02-2004, 09:56 PM

18-11-2004, 10:55 PM
:cool: just to put the cat amongst the pidgeons what about oil logged evap? I tend to lean towards slightly ineffiecent Comp (running 4hrs and only -15 in compartment)Need to fit bullet valve & gauges

19-11-2004, 02:17 PM
:cool: just to put the cat amongst the pidgeons what about oil logged evap? I tend to lean towards slightly ineffiecent Comp (running 4hrs and only -15 in compartment)Need to fit bullet valve & gauges

Oil logging is revealed by low evap approach coupled with normal to low superheat, with a few other things to be eliminated first. Of course, in this case the approach would be identical to the TD.

Given an accurate description and a full set of temperature measurements, troubleshooting is a piece of cake, even at a distance. Given insufficient information, it becomes a lot more difficult. We are reduced from knowing what's wrong to guessing what's wrong. Guessing is unprofessional.

14-12-2004, 12:47 AM
hello all
please advise me on:
"Freezing pipe at compressor."

It is an older model domestic frezzer.

The door seal is suspect at the top hinge corner.
Before purchasing a replacement seal, then finding out that it was a waste of money. I would like to narrow the odds of a succesfull fix.
I would appreciate help.
freezing just outside compressor will hapen about 30seconds after start up but should disapear, if it persists it is overcharged but not enough to matter.

14-12-2004, 01:21 AM
freezing just outside compressor will hapen about 30seconds after start up but should disapear, if it persists it is overcharged but not enough to matter.

Maybe and maybe.

24-08-2008, 07:57 PM
Check the fridge box door gasket entire circumference to see if it has a good tight seal, sounds like air may be escaping.