GFSS6KKXAS GE Refrigerator - Freon leak help.

Rod D.

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Dallas, Tx
Model Number
GFSS6KKXAS
Brand
GE
Age
6-10 years
This is an issue that started over a year ago that began with freezer temp approx 10 deg and flashing freezer temp display.
Because we have had so much trouble with ice and water build up every where, "in upper and lower section" I figured it was a fan not turning "possibly frozen in ice" in the freezer section. "all the seals are like new"
Turns out, after completely cleaning out the frig/freezer and plugging it in for 24hrs the freezer never reached below 40 deg. After many discussions here, we determined it was low on Freon.

At the time it was either throw away a 7 year old $1800 refrigerator or add Freon my self. I chose to install a saddle valve and fill it myself, it worked great for about 4 months then same condition.
This time I purchased the leak detect type freon with dye to try and figure out where it might be leaking from.
Being lazy and always an emergency from losing $100's in food, I hadn't looked for the leak, only refilled it until now.
As of last week the frig will no longer holds a charge longer than 24hrs.

I cleaned every thing out again, ran it 24 hrs with leak dye, then took all the doors off and pulled all the covers off inside and out.
Started looking for the leak with leak detector light. After a very close inspection the ONLY place I found the dye was visible was at the "top" of the fill point of the saddle valve.
I have checked every inch of the lines, joints, expansion valve, condenser/evaporator coils, dryer, filter and compressor, with a mirror to see the back side of all lines too.
"instead of coming here first"
Out of pure anger, the thought of throwing away an expensive frig after only 8 years and the fact my grandmothers 30 year old frig is still running just fine!
I pulled out my side grinder and opened areas of the back looking for the leak "as you can see in the pics below"
My thought was, I have the experience to re-place the broken line and silver solder the new line/coupler in place.
I know how crazy this is before anyone comments, but it's a throw away and I don't mind the time to find it if that's possible.
Now, my crazy question!
As you can probably see from the pic's, there's about 8" of high pressure line I haven't uncovered yet and approx 17" of low pressure not uncovered. Both are straight continuous runs.
Once again, of the lines I've exposed, I have found no signs of leaks.
1. Has anyone ever worked with the freon dye on a leak that was so small the dye didn't leach out? "doesn't seem possible with 24hr leak, but I don't know"
2. Is it possible for freon/dye to mix or leak internally in the compressor oil and not show up externally?
3. Can anyone think off something I haven't about finding the leak?
Thanks in advance and sorry for the long winded post!
 

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rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 11, 2006
Messages
35,148
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
I personally don’t have much luck with dyes so I use an electronic leak detector. With all the adding of refrigerant and dye how much air is entering the system? What’s the low side and high side pressures?
 

Rod D.

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Dallas, Tx
Hello Rick, When it's running properly "filled". Low side is approx 0 - 2 and high side 137.
I shut it off a week ago and now resting pressure is 18 psi. "most leaked out, I'm sure"
I totally agree about "leak detector/sniffer unit" just don't have one. Guess I can check with auto store rentals.
Yes, I'm concerned with air/moisture getting into the system, but if I can't find the leak, it's kinda a mute point.
If I can find/fix the leak, I can rent a vacuum unit and fill exact 5.9 oz it calls for.
I need to find a detector like you said, I'm just stumped the dye didn't show up anywhere.
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Messages
35,148
Location
Murray, Utah 84107, United States
That's a good size leak. You should be able to find it with something like Big Blue. It's a liquid spray that bubbles on the smallest leaks. Look in obvious places like brazing joints, entrance and exit joints on the evaporator and even where the capillary is positioned. I had a leak on a cap tube where it was touching one of the condensor lines and the constant vibration wore the copper cap tube down till it leaked. Service valves are the best place to start. They always leak.
thumbnail.jpg
 

Rod D.

Premium Member
Joined
Aug 28, 2018
Messages
11
Location
Dallas, Tx
Thanks Rick for the suggestion! I will find a bottle of the "BigBlu".
Mean time, an update.
I found a leak detector unit.
I started by partially filling the system with out starting the frig to see if I could find a leak with the doors off and all lines exposed. I ran the detector tip as close as I could along every inch and nothing.
I then put the doors back on and plugged in all the fans and temp sensors, but left the covers hanging to run the unit under pressure.
Filled it to 0 on low, 125 on high "not quite complete" and started checking all the evaporator coils before they froze up "no fans moving air" and still Nothing.
Then put the covers back on evaps coils "frig/freezer" and plugged frig it back in. Checked every line at and around compressor and condenser coils.
I would have sworn it's leaking at the saddle valve I installed, but no. Nothing! I went as far as to block the air flow from the condenser fan while checking the lines with a piece of paper to make sure it wasn't blowing the freon away from detector. GE did a fairly good job insulating the cap line from points it might rub on and looks like they put damping weights on lines to help with vibration.
Anyways. I checked all the lines many times and nothing. The detector only alarmed a little in freezer section with covers on, but I'm pretty certain it was false reading with fans blowing on the tip.
Certainly not the same as when you shoot tiny amount from the freon can. The detector alarm goes crazy.

Going to find the BigBlu solution.
Rodney
 

rickgburton

Appliance Tech - Moderator
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Messages
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Location
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With big blu if there's a leak it will show up as a stream of white microbubbles.
 
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