Tech Challenge – January 2013


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A frozen food case utilizing R-134a with a TXV metering device (and receiver) has a customer complaint  of “soft product.” The symptoms at the convenience store confirm that the case is 20 degrees warmer than normal and the condensing unit appears to be cycling on the low pressure control. What are the “possible causes” (note: there is only one problem intended) with the following measured conditions on this field service check sheet?

Field Service Check Sheet

Compressor Discharge Temp. 90 deg. F.
Condensing Press./Temp. 103 psig / 89 deg. F.
Condensing Outlet Temp. 81 deg. F.
Condenser Sub cooling 8 deg. F.
Condenser Split 14 deg. F.
Entering Feed Device Temp. 77 deg. F.
Evaporator Press./Temp. 5 psig / -4 deg. F.
Evaporator Outlet Temp. -3 deg. F.
Evaporator Superheat 1 deg. F.
Compressor Inlet Temp. 0 deg. F.
Total S. H. 4 Deg. F.
Ambient Temp. 75 deg. F.
Room/Box Temp. 20 deg. F.
Compressor Volts 240 V.
Compressor Amp. Draw Normal

Share this challenge with your technicians to find out if they can figure out the problem. You can also share your thoughts here by posting them in the comments section below. Check back after March 4 for the correct solution.

And the Answer is…

The possible problem is restricted air flow over the evaporator coil, most likely a frosted evaporator caused by a failed defrost system. With the frost insulating the load (heat) from the refrigerant the pressures and splits are low as well as the S.C. and S.H.

The refrigerant entering the compressor is barely above saturation and compressor flooding resulting in compressor failure ($$$$$) could result. The normal amp draw is caused by the nearly saturated, high density refrigerant coming back to the compressor.


Posted In: ACCA Now, Tech Challenge

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