FIXED KTRS21KMWH00 Top Mount Refrigerator - new compressor - worked for a while - then stopped cooling.

Sibyl S

Premium Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2019
Messages
11
Location
Tallahassee, FL
Model Number
KTRS21KMWH00
Brand
KitchenAid
Age
More than 10 years
Put in new compressor yesterday but refrigerator didn't cool at first. Repair guys (One had 20+ years and the other 10+ years experience with Sears) suspected restriction - but - after blowing out coils/lines a couple of times, it began working and froze ice in plastic ice tray in less than an hour. (no ice machine).

This morning the ice had melted and unit isn't cooling.

The compressor was a new OEM part, not a refurbished. What do you think is the problem?
 

rickgburton

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Murray, Utah 84107, United States
New compressor so find the restriction and fix it or find the leak and repair it. It's one or the other. Did you replace the strainer/drier?
 

Sibyl S

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Jul 9, 2019
Messages
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Location
Tallahassee, FL
Is there a way to detect a leak? Or to locate a restriction?

Does it sometimes take flushing out the coils with nitrogen several times before all the oil/trash is flushed out?

Are there times when all the oil can't be removed?

I do want to save this machine - it's so much sturdier than the new top mounts I've seen.

Thanks so much for your help.
 

rickgburton

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Sibyl S said:
....Is there a way to detect a leak? Or to locate a restriction?...... flushing out the coils with nitrogen...
Of course there is. I can't teach you refrigeration sealed system repair here on this site. If a new compressor was installed, connecting a set of refrigeration gauges to system would be the next step

Sibyl S said:
Repair guys (One had 20+ years and the other 10+ years experience with Sears)
Doing refrigeration repair? These guys should be able to answer all your questions. They should know exactly what I'm talking about. You don't need me, it sounds like you need these guys to come back and finish the job they started.
 

Sibyl S

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Location
Tallahassee, FL
Thanks, Rick! The guy is coming back this afternoon. Should I turn off the machine to keep from spreading the oil through the coils any more?

He is young and had put in a lot of compressors at Sears under warranty, but may not be as familiar with dealing with 15 year old units.

He keeps consulting with older buddies and I was just asking for tips on his behalf. He's just starting out on his own, and very conscientious and willing to do whatever it takes.
 

rickgburton

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If the machine is not cooling unplug it. The compressor oil is below the suction line so leak or restriction the oil should remain in the compressor. Some compressors come with the oil already in it and some do not, you need to add the oil. The only time you have oil issues in the refrigerant lines is when it's laid down on it's side or back usually when transporting the machine.
 

Sibyl S

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Jul 9, 2019
Messages
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Location
Tallahassee, FL
So - what techniques would you use to reopen the refrigerant coils and make the freon flow and work right?

Should he bring two tanks of nitrogen this time around and flush the heck out of it?

The first day he came, he flushed it out, there were tiny droplets of black oil on the countertop near the unit.

The second time, they opened the upper coils behind the freezer section and flushed those especially well and when they reloaded the freon, the coils froze in the proper sequence and all looked good. It froze my ice tray in less than an hour - but the next morning it was melted.

It is such a nice refrigerator with sturdy split shelves, deep door bins, just the right size and nothing cosmetically wrong and the new ones are so flimsy and cheaply constructed, I really want to resurrect this machine.
 

rickgburton

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I use an electronic leak detector or fill it with 100 psi nitrogen and bubble the copper joints.
 

Sibyl S

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Messages
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Location
Tallahassee, FL
The young guy came out, flushed the line again thoroughly with nitrogen, added a new strainer/dryer, reloaded with freon, but this time he put on a new relay (switch). He checked the amps, etc. Everything looks good.

He said he saw no sign of a leak, that the unit had been holding pressure very well. The unit has never been moved since purchase. Only time it's been off is during hurricane power outages which are an annual thing in our area.

After he finished, we watched the coils on the back wall of the refrigerator freeze slowly from the top and gradually all the way to the bottom.

It froze the water in my ice tray within the hour (faster than in the last year or so). However, that happened a couple of days ago when the new OEM compressor was put in. I'm going to watch it overnight before I reload my frozen food stored at my daughter's house across town.

I'll repost to the blog as soon as I know anything further.

REALLY appreciate your help and support through this trial! :) Take care and God bless!
 

rickgburton

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I would wait for several days before stocking it with food. I get it, your guy is doing his best but lacks experience. I think he got it. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
FWIW: The purpose of pressurizing the system with nitrogen is to find a leak either with a leak detector or bubble solution. The machine doesn't need to hold pressure, it needs to hold a vacuum. After checking for a leak he needs to vacuum the system to 29"hg in a vacuum, then close off the valve and wait at least 30 minutes to see if the pressure rises.
 

Sibyl S

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Jul 9, 2019
Messages
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Location
Tallahassee, FL
4 days later report - the freezer still keeping ice tray frozen today/Sunday morning.

Right now everything is working normally, the freezer and refrigerator cycle, feel, looks, sounds like it should. I'm still going to wait a couple more days before reloading the freezer....and maybe buy a couple of thermometers to keep tabs on how they are holding steady.

Greatly relieved to have hopefully saved/restored my very nice KitchenAid machine!

Thanks for all your help, Rick!
 
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