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EWave EWR121W - noisy and no condensate, please explain

keithpleas

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
5
Location
Mercer Island, WA
Model Number
EWR121W
Brand
Age
More than 10 years
Any guidance appreciated - I have almost no idea what I'm looking at. Let me give some background...

I've had this 12cf fridge on my boat for maybe 15 years - perfect fit, low amperage draw, works great except...a fan has become (sometimes) very noisy and (for at least several years) I have been having water accumulate in the bottom of the fridge cavity. Are they related?

Yesterday I pulled it out, took off the lower back panel, and took the pictures below.

Issue 1) on startup, sometimes, a fan is very squeely, noisy, like it's trying to spin up...binding...trying...goes for a few minutes...then it's running OK and I don't notice again. Except it might do it for a few days. And then maybe a few days it doesn't. This noise issue has been going on for several years, but since I only notice it when sleeping onboard in the summer I forget about it, but now I've decided to try to fix it.

Issue 2) It's been a number of years...cannot recall if it coincides with issue #1, but there is (apparently) no water condensing into the tray - it all accumulates in the box. I've been using a large sponge there and it seems to keep up - a few days to sopping with frequent use, as much as two weeks in the winter when not in use and the ambient temp is lower (like in the 50s).

So I took off the cover, adjust it power on, and...no significant noise. But I have to think it's coming from the fan that's running inside the large coil. The compressor is quiet, I think there are a couple of small fans in the freezer and fridge compartments that run when the boxes are opened, I suspect to help suck in the doors when closed. I don't think the noise if from those fans. Which really leaves the fan inside the coil. Is this replaceable? I'm pretty sure I can pop the blade off and extract the motor and shaft without having to bend/break any of the copper tubing. Of course I could also hit it with a lube, but my gut feel is the noise it will come back rather soon.

And I cannot see where the condensate should be coming from. There's the tube coming down into the pan, I can probably take the rest of the back off and I'm guessing that it's coming from one of those fan units at the back of the fridge or freezer. There isn't any hole I can see like a drain at the bottom of the box (which would obviously be too low a pickup point to make it to that tube anyway).

Question 1: Am I probably right that this fan is the source of the noise? Should I try to remove it and source a new one?

Question 2: Where should I look for the pickup point for the condensate drain?

Any guidance appreciated.

Fan.jpgLayout.jpgFridge.jpgFreezer.jpgLabel.jpgGuts.jpg
 
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keithpleas

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
5
Location
Mercer Island, WA
Folks? I'm really just looking for some general knowledge about how this refrigerator work - I don't believe this these are E-Wave specific questions.
 
Last edited:

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
130,312
Location
Redmond, Oregon
Hi Keith,

We are here to help people fix appliances themselves, but not sealed systems, we don't get into that here, as you have to be a licensed refrigeration tech, there's other forums for that.

If you want to know how refrigeration works, here you go:

REFRIGERATOR SEALED SYSTEM: HOW IT WORKS
All conventional refrigerators manufactured today, from the less expensive mini-refrigerator to the high end models, all use one basic refrigeration system that consists of a compressor, condenser, capillary tube and evaporator. The compressor is a pump, because the pump in a refrigeration system is always used to compress the refrigerant, it’s referred to as a compressor. When the refrigerator is turned on, it starts the compressor. Since the intake of the compressor is connected to the evaporator, it begins to pump out some of the refrigerant gas from the evaporator. As the refrigerant gas is removed the pressure in the evaporator begins to drop. If there is any refrigerant liquid in the evaporator it will immediately start to boil because of the lowered pressure, absorbing heat of vaporization in the process causing the evaporator to get cold. The cold evaporator will, in turn, absorb heat from warmer food in the refrigerator. The refrigerant pumped out of the evaporator is forced into the condenser tubing where it is compressed into a high pressure gas because of the restriction presented by the capillary tube prevents it from flowing through as rapidly as the pump can pump it out of the evaporator. As the compressor runs more and more, refrigerant is pumped into the condenser so that it becomes highly compressed and its pressure builds up. Compressing a gas concentrates its heat and raises its temperature. The hot refrigerant gas, at this point, contains the heat it started out with plus the heat it absorbed from the food compartment. The highly compressed gas can be quite hot. As the hot gas flows through the condenser coils it begins to cool, giving up some of its heat to the surrounding air. At this point the refrigerant contains less heat than when it entered the compressor even though its actual temperature is very much higher. At this lower temperature some of the gas condenses to a liquid and gives off the heat of vaporization which it absorbed when it boiled in the evaporator. By the time the refrigerant has traveled through the condenser all of it has become liquid and given off all the heat of vaporization it absorbed from the food compartment. After condensation, the liquid refrigerant continues to flow, first through the filter/drier where any contaminants like moisture are removed, through the capillary tubing into the evaporator where it boils again. This cycle continues as long as the compressor is running. In order for the refrigeration system to work properly, some restriction to the flow of refrigerant is placed at the entrance to the evaporator. This prevents the refrigerant from flowing too fast into the evaporator so it maintains a low pressure in the evaporator as the compressor pumps it out at the other end. At the same time the restriction causes the refrigerant to pile up in the condenser and capillary tube raising its temperature and pressure and permitting it to give off its heat of vaporization. The refrigerant from the outlet of the capillary to the inlet valve of the compressor is at low pressure. This is referred to as the low side. The refrigerant from the output of the compressor through the condenser and capillary tubing is at high pressure and called the high side. The capillary tubing offers the restriction necessary to separate the high side from the low side outside the compressor.

Jake
 

keithpleas

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
5
Location
Mercer Island, WA
Hi Jake:

Thank you for your response - but I'm not clear on the distinction. I am posting in "Appliance Repair Talk / Refrigerators and Freezers", and my question specifically states that I do not want to touch any part of the sealed system. I'm asking about a condensate drain and a fan - are you saying that discussing these requires a professional license?

And thank you for your explanation of how refrigeration works - but note that it does not touch on (or even mention) anything about a fan, cooling, or condensate. :)
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
130,312
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Redmond, Oregon
LOL, Thats what happens when you're swamped with work.:)

I must of been looking at another thread, I have many windows open on my computer.

That condenser fan motor moves the warm air over that drain pan and evaporates the water, so if its not spinning fast enough this problem will happen, and it sounds like your condenser fan motor is worn out if its noisy.

Unfortunately that condenser fan motor is No Longer Available: 4017Z32244 Condesor Fan Motor

Jake
 

keithpleas

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
5
Location
Mercer Island, WA
Thank for the 2nd look Jake! :)

So...ok, I'll have to figure out the fan. But the condensate is not coming down the drain - it's accumulating in the interior box. I'm guessing it comes from the fridge and/or freezer fans on the back wall of the interior. Would you suggest I try to put suction on that line (e.g. with a shop vac), or blow some compressed air back up? Either of those would have preferable to pulling off the back - or tearing into the interior fan/light units, right?
 
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Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
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Messages
130,312
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Redmond, Oregon
The evaporator coil is inside behind that back panel, you should have a drain hole underneath that evaporator coil, that drain hole may be plugged up not allowing it to drain into the drain pan properly.

I'm not sure how you remove that back panel, I rarely work on these, but if there are no screws holding it in place, it should just unsnap off.

Jake
 

keithpleas

Premium Member
Joined
Oct 14, 2017
Messages
5
Location
Mercer Island, WA
The evaporator coil is inside behind that back panel, you should have a drain hole underneath that evaporator coil, that drain hole may be plugged up not allowing it to drain into the drain pan properly.
I believe you can see the arrangement in the last picture (guts.jpg) in my first post. The condensor (with fan inside) sits just above the pan. The issue is that no condensate is coming down via the white segmented tube just to the right. Any idea on where the _source_ of that tube might be?
 

Jake

Appliance Tech - Admin
Staff member
Joined
Aug 24, 2004
Messages
130,312
Location
Redmond, Oregon
The issue is that no condensate is coming down via the white segmented tube just to the right. Any idea on where the _source_ of that tube might be?
That's your defrost drain tube, like I said it comes from underneath the evaporator coil inside the unit. Its likely clogged that's why no condensate water is coming down it.

Jake
 
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