Ice machine: frosting suction line back to the compressor

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Old 07-08-18, 01:53 AM
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Ice machine: frosting suction line back to the compressor

I have an older crystal tips ice machine, model 800-CAE-261. When I got it, it had been unused for a while and I had to replace the bin switch, harvest switch, and capacitors. It was working great after that. It sat there for a few months and I just had need for it, so I turned it on and now it comes on starts making ice, but the suction line coming from the evaporator area is frosting over and making the thermal disk switch trip and throw the unit into defrost mode. I talked to an HVAC friend of mine and he said he thinks that switch is bad, so I removed it from the line and turned it on to see if it would make ice. It did, but the line eventually frosted up almost to the compressor and it never harvested. I heard it try to harvest (the condenser fans stopped and the relay clicked, but I think maybe the relief valve was frozen(?) or something and wouldn't open to allow defrost/harvest).

It is hotter now than when it was running last, so I'm wondering if my problem is high condenser temperatures (both condenser fans come on but it doesn't have a whole lot of room around it for good circulation) or low refrigerant. Any ideas? It runs on 502. Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 07-08-18, 06:43 AM
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Many older ice machines like yours have the refrigerant tubing soldered to the back of the ice making plate.
I have seen several of this type where the solder corrodes and the tubing becomes detached from the plate which gives symptoms like what you are experiencing.
See if you can peek into the space behind the freezing plate to check this.

You should be able to tell if the unit has high head pressure due to overheating.
The condenser which cools the refrigerant has the line coming from the compressor and goes into the top of the condenser and should be quite hot.
The liquid refrigerant line which comes from the bottom of the condenser and goes to a receiver tank or the evaporator should be at about 100 degF which would feel like the surrounding metal.......I if it feels hot to the touch there is a either an issue with a dirty condenser or a fan motor problem.
 
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Old 07-12-18, 09:28 PM
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Thanks, I determined that the condenser wasn't getting enough circulation and that remedied the constant cycling. The failure of the pressure valve to blow hot gas into the evap for harvesting I believe is due to a relay that water dripped into and rusted it up. I have another relay ordered, so we'll see. I know just enough about this stuff to try to fix it but I just don't have the familiarity to be comfortable doing it and it can be frustrating.
 
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Old 07-14-18, 12:17 AM
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The relay fixed the rest of my problems, making ice again.
 
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