Chest freezer not cooling

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  #1  
Old 03-21-16, 12:27 PM
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Chest freezer not cooling

I have a chest freezer that is not cooling. I tried unplugging it overnight and still no go when i plugged it back in. There is a humming sound when plugged in and there is a small black tank (approx 8"x 4" x 6") that is warm to the touch. No loose wires.

It's about 20 years old
White-Westinghouse
Model MFC15M4FWO

Another clue is that i plugged it into a temp controller to maintain a specific temp. I used it as a fermentation chamber to hold a temp during fermentation of homemade beer. The temp was 35 degrees. It failed to maintain the temp after about a month at 35.

I've tried plugging it directly into the wall outlet - no joy.

The freezer is in my heated garage, about 45-50 degrees.

I'd sure appreciate any trouble shooting help - thanks!
 
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Old 03-21-16, 03:38 PM
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At 20 years old it's done for. Even if it ran it probably uses a lot more electricity than a modern one.

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I just tossed my old fermentation fridge. It came out of a rental house because it wouldn't get cold enough. I got a couple years out of it maintaining fermentation temperatures but it had to run almost continuously for cold crashes and even when holding a temp in the 60's it still had a noticeable impact on my power bill. Finally the compressor seized up and I replaced it with a cheap modern fridge and my power bill dropped $10 a month.

When you go looking for a replacement consider a fridge. Lifting full fermenters and kegs in and out of a chest freezer is a major PITA. The front opening door of a fridge is much easier on your back and the freezer compartment above is great for storing grain.
 
  #3  
Old 03-21-16, 08:05 PM
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I was thinking that 20 years was probably a pretty good life. I use it for a month or so as a freezer during the fishing season and then for another month or so as a fermentation chamber. I was hoping to limp it along for another year or so, but if it's time for a replacement, so be it…

And yes, lifting full carboys out of a chest freezer is a pain… an upright will be next on the list.
 
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Old 03-21-16, 08:13 PM
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That round black thing that is humming is the compressor. It should be pretty warm... almost hot when running. If it's just mildly warm then more than likely you have a refrigerant leak and the system is now low on refrigerant.
 
  #5  
Old 03-22-16, 10:19 AM
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The compressor is quite warm, almost hot, to the the touch. So if i don't have a refrigerant leak, what might be the next step to check?

There is a temp control dial and i thought about trying to bypass that and have the freezer run at max cool - good idea/ bad idea?

Thanks!
 
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Old 03-22-16, 10:21 AM
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Bypassing the thermostat just keeps the compressor running all the time.
Isn't that what it's already doing ?
 
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Old 03-22-16, 02:19 PM
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Yes, it runs all the time. OK, she's probably dead… like i said above i'd like to limp it along for a bit more but if it's gone, it's gone.

Thanks!
 
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Old 03-22-16, 04:31 PM
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That would mean bypassing the thermostat won't have any effect on the cooling.

You said the compressor is hot but you aren't getting any cooling..... that leaves an obstruction in the refrigerant system as a problem. Still not something easily repaired.
 
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Old 03-22-16, 04:58 PM
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You said you use the freezer a couple months as a freezer and then a couple as a fermentation chamber. Does that mean there is a lot of time when it's not being used? If so I've found with the fridges used in my rental properties that old units don't like to sit without being run. If they get run every couple weeks or once a month it seems to help.

If you use this thing a freezer part of the year the best, but probably more expensive, option would be to get an upright freezer. Just make sure you get one where the shelves can be adjusted. Some deep freeze models have coils in the shelves so they can't be repositioned.
 
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Old 03-23-16, 10:43 PM
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Thanks guys, i appreciate the advice.
 
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