1950's General Electric Upright Freezer cooling issues.

Motorguy1996

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I bought a mid 50s general electric upright freezer for my basement. when i was looking it over to buy i plugged it in and felt the coils start to get cold. So i bought it and brought it home(laying it on its side for a good 4 hours). i let it sit upright though it may have been tipped forwards slightly for 18 hours before using it. Now It dosent get below 14 degrees. It also makes gurgling noises sometimes. I think there is still oil in the lines because the cooling lines sit horizontally in a squiggly pattern under each shelf so it looks like draining would be impossible(even if you tip it back it would get caught in the curvy bits in each line). I talked to an appliance repair guy locally and he seems to think its the compressor. Whats strange to me is that the freezer cycles on and off normally.

this freezer has no automatic defrost and no fans of any kind. any help is appreciated
 

rickgburton

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The problem with laying a refrigerator down is the compressor oil. It can run into the evaporator and cause a problem or it can get into the condensor and be forced into the cap tube. I don't believe that is the problem with your machine. The gurgling sound you hear is the refrigerant boiling in the evaporator. Sometimes that's the sign of a refrigerant leak. Look closely at all the refrigerant lines, especially where there's a joint and see if there is any oil on the line, a sure sign of a leak. What you need to do is connect a set of refrigeration gauges to the system and read the pressures. The low and high side pressures tell the story.
 

Dan O.

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Whats strange to me is that the freezer cycles on and off normally.
That would usually mean it is the thermostat shutting it off because if it wasn't cooling enough, the thermostat should cause it to run 100% of the time.

Either the thermostat is responsible or the compressor is cutting out prematurely, possibly due to a tripped overload protector.


Are all the shelves getting cold the same as each other?


Did you turn the thermostat to the coldest setting?


What is its model number?


Dan O.
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Motorguy1996

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The problem with laying a refrigerator down is the compressor oil. It can run into the evaporator and cause a problem or it can get into the condensor and be forced into the cap tube. I don't believe that is the problem with your machine. The gurgling sound you hear is the refrigerant boiling in the evaporator. Sometimes that's the sign of a refrigerant leak. Look closely at all the refrigerant lines, especially where there's a joint and see if there is any oil on the line, a sure sign of a leak. What you need to do is connect a set of refrigeration gauges to the system and read the pressures. The low and high side pressures tell the story.
I see no leaks after a close inspection. where would i hook up gauges to this unit?
 

Motorguy1996

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the model number is 1hus-11 i had the thermostat set at the coldest setting the top coils are more frosted than the bottom but all seem pretty cold. today i bypassed the thermostat and let it sit for a while off and it got colder than before but still not where it should be. its at about 11 degrees now. the top shelf is more frosty than the ones below and its colder up there as well.
 

Dan O.

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'Weak' compressor?

today i bypassed the thermostat and let it sit for a while off and it got colder than before but still not where it should be.
If it isn't getting cold enough even when running with the thermostat bypassed, you likely have a refrigeration system problem.

top coils are more frosted than the bottom but all seem pretty cold.
If lack of refrigerant was the problem, some of the shelves would not frost. I think your symptoms are more likely to be caused by an inefficient compressor which would usually require the compressor to be replaced to correct the condition. :(

The only other possibility I can think of is maybe a split heat exchanger. There is a pipe that runs from the compressor to the interior evaporator, usually up the rear of the cabinet (wrapped in insulation). Look for signs of frosting on it. If frosting is occurring there, it will hamper the cooling of the evaporator inside the cabinet.


Whats strange to me is that the freezer cycles on and off normally.
If the thermostat's sensor bulb is attached onto one of the shelves that's cooling well, that could be the reason the thermostat is cycling the cooling even though the rest of it is not cooling as it should. It is only sensing that shelf's temperature... which is actually Ok.

JMO

Dan O.
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Motorguy1996

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Only the top shelf is frosty so its probably a charge issue. Do you know what type of refrigerant this thing uses and could i get a tap and refill it?
 

Dan O.

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Only the top shelf is frosty so its probably a charge issue.
possibly.

Do you know what type of refrigerant this thing uses
Probably R12 but some that age might use R22. The type it uses should be listed on the identification tag.

could i get a tap and refill it?
Unless you have the proper refrigeration equipment, it's very unlikely you could do anything about a refrigerant under-charge. If it is short of refrigerant, it means there is a leak. That leak has to be isolated, repaired and only then recharged.


Dan O.
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