Beverage Air Commercial "Coke" Fridge Compressor Clicking


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Old 08-28-18, 05:51 AM
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Beverage Air Commercial "Coke" Fridge Compressor Clicking

For reference, this is the fridge (double sided commercial sliding door Coke fridge) :

Beverage-Air Mini Fridge Compressor Always Running?

This morning I noticed a higher temp inside and the unit clicking every 30 seconds or so. Quickly realized this is the compressor attempting to fire and not firing.

I have no experience fixing appliances so unless there's something easy to try it sounds like I'll need to find someone to make a house call, just wanted to first check if there were any suggestions that any of the experts here might have that I could try (unplugging it for a while or something?) to get it to fire.

Everything looks good underneath, some dust but not clogged up, I don't see any ice or anything obvious looking under the unit where everything else below the doors there.

Thanks all.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 09:45 AM
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The compressor will have an overload/start relay attached to the side or top of it.
That sounds like it needs replacement.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 10:45 AM
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Thanks for the reply. Sounds like the job for a pro. Iím just hoping itís not a bad compressor. It was keeping cold and running fine 12 hours ago so hopefully you are on the mark here.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 11:04 AM
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If you can get to the compressor..... get the part number off of it or take a picture of the tag and post it.
 
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Old 08-28-18, 08:54 PM
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I'll see how close I can get to it tomorrow. I unloaded most of the contents today on my lunch break, then came home after work to find the compressor running. Do you believe that? So now I'm not sure what to do. Going to give it another day or two before I move anything back.

The fridge has two sides to it and doors that open on both sides. I had it set against the wall and taped off the back because I didn't need to get at it both ways. But now that it's empty, I'm considering turning it sideways in the room so both sides can be accessed. It would also allow me an ability to maybe make one side standard beverages and one side beers. Not sure.

The reason I say this is that the compressor side is toward the wall now and the coils are in the way of getting to the compressor, but if I have both front and "back" (which really I just call the back because it's the side the cord comes out and is against the wall) exposed, I can get under both sides easier.

The other thing I realized is that the evaporation pan was filling up too fast, faster that the coils could evaporate the consendate, and overflowing onto the carpet, until I removed the lower grill. Once I removed that, I never had that problem so I can only wonder if I'm restricting the airflow to this thing too much by having it near a wall on one side.
 
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Old 08-30-18, 07:04 AM
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Hey PJ,

For whatever reason it's running like a dream now. I'm wondering if maybe the stack of beer I had on the one side of the unit just was blocking airflow enough that it had some issues. It's been 36 hours without an issue now after clearing the space around it. I still have the back side (which also has the glass doors) about 4 inches from the wall and have taped around the doors to try and improve efficiency, not sure how much it's doing if anything but considering my house is not a supermarket aisle I just never had a need for both sides of the fridge to be accessible, as cool as it is.

Hopefully it lives on as I do like the thing despite the electricity it consumes, though at least I know if I hear the clicking again I can come back or have hope that it's just a faulty switch and not a bad compressor, as the compressor is indeed running and cooling nicely now.

I still am not sure if turning the inside circulation fan on or off on these things is the best approach so any advice there is appreciated. I leave the lights off to reduce electricity use but believe I leave the circulation fan inside turned on 24/7.
 
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Old 08-30-18, 07:40 AM
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Was the circuit where the refrigerator was plugged into loaded down with other appliances or equipment?

When the refrigerator (or any refrigerator) starts up it draws more current than when it is running normally.The overload could In come cases the refrigerator could try to start, fail, and cut off due to motor overheating before the circuit breaker trips due to too much current drawn.

Unplug the refrigerator (assuming no ice cream or frozen foot inside) and plug a 3 way receptacle adapter in its place. Set up your voltmeter to measure voltage in one of the adapter receptacles. After an hour plug the refrigerator back in and immediately read off the voltage as the refrigerator starts or tries to start. More than a five percent drop at that moment and you should investigate the circuit. Loose connections (abnormal) where a typical branch circuit daisy chains through wall receptacles one at a time can cause excessive voltage drop. Later in the day there might have been fewer things on the branch circuit drawing power and the refrigerator gets enough voltage and kicks on normally.

In an earlier lifetime I was at a large picnic and there was a beer cooler in the tent. Every ten minutes or so it would try to kick on and fail. I did notice that the beer cooler was plugged into a long extension cord that was coiled up with the plug end connected to the tent lighting. Only many years later I concluded that the extension cord was so long and skinny that it imposed considerable voltage drop at the current draw amount the beer cooler needed to get started with.
 
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Old 09-03-18, 05:41 AM
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Just saw this reply. Sorry for the delay and thanks for writing!

It's funny, the thing has been plugged into the same power circuit for years and I had nothing new on the circuit at all. Since this posting the fridge has run perfect so it's still very strange but I am not going to complain. That said I do love the idea of hooking up a voltage meter and seeing what happens when the compressor kicks on. I have been meaning to swap that outlet out for a zwave one with all the monitoring which may make this even easier to do rather than manually watching it. I also put a temperature sensor inside for now so I can get alerts if the temperature goes nuts. The one thing I already learned and never knew before is the wild variations inside of this thing. When the compressor stops running it can get as warm as 44 degrees in there. When the compressor is running in a cycle, it gets as cold as 28 degrees. That's what you get for running a vendor fridge at home I guess.
 
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Old 09-03-18, 11:56 AM
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That type of "display" fridge relies on a large thermal load to hold the temps constant.
A large thermal load would be...... filled with hundreds of cans of beverages.
 
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Old 03-27-20, 05:50 AM
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Hey everyone,

Resurrecting this old thread to hopefully confirm a theory. So this same thing happened recently again after running well for a long time. It turns out, a power blink-out in the house (loss of power for a minute or two) threw the fridge into this clicking type loop where the compressor would not fire.

Did some testing, and it turns out, the fridge seems to work on some sort of cycle, usually runs around 8 hours, stops running for around 4-5 hours as it loses around 10 degrees of cool, then fires back up again, repeats. I imagine during this time the compressor running also helps the drain pan fill and evaporate, etc.

When power gets lost unexpectedly, this cycle must somehow get "confused" as this is when the fridge starts to click and the compressor becomes unable to fire. A lot may depend on what part of the cycle the fridge is in when the power drops. Does any of this theory make sense? Both times the power brown out happened in the house, once I left the fridge totally unplugged for several hours (overnight both times) then plugged it back in, the compressor stopped clicking and fired back up on the first try.

This leads me to my actual question. The fridge has a dial inside to turn it down to 0 which is essentially the "off" switch. If my theory is correct, will doing that allow me to unplug the fridge without messing up the cycle? Or, if not sure, what is a better time to interrupt the fridge, when it is in the middle of compressor on (cooling cycle) or compressor off (not cooling). I want to add a zwave power monitor in between it and the wall.
 
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Old 03-27-20, 10:50 AM
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The drain fills up when the compressor is not running. That would be defrost.
The heat from the condenser coils and the compressor evaporate the water from the pan.

More than likely that unit has a defrost timer and with a commercial unit it's usually a mechanical timer. It would make sense to be a settable timer which could be set for a late night/early morning defrost cycle. You'd have to scout around for the timer.

Unplugging a cooler with a mechanical timer should cause no problems.

It sounds like the unit is back to the original starting problem. Typically a compressor will keep trying to restart until it gets hot and then shuts down on overload. It would have to cool off and then the cycle would start again.
 
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Old 04-08-20, 11:57 AM
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Thanks as always for your kindness and patience in a reply. I guess what I'm not quite understanding still is why, after leaving it unplugged for a while, the problem goes away for months, heck, even years, until an unfortunate instance where power is unexpectedly interrupted to the unit (brownout/blackout). When THAT happens, it seems impossible to get the unit to kick onto its cooling cycle unless I leave it unplugged overnight. Without fail (at least, the few times this has happened so far), after leaving the unit off overnight, the compressor comes right on after plugging it back in, and then starts and stops absolutely perfectly (until the next unexpected power interruption, anyway!)

In reading your reply, it must be that the power interruption to the unit (really, same as plug/unplug if my home loses power, as I do not own a whole-home generator), maybe causes the unit to go into overload, or, if the mechanical timer gets confused somehow, it overheats. I think you have it right on the heat aspect. My guess (?) is that the fridge, when unplugged, loses where it was in the timing cycle. Then, it may be starting to kick on the compressor over, and over, and over, and over, when really what it should be doing is the "defrost cycle". Since it's lost, it never gets there, though letting it sit unplugged for many hours sort of has the same effect the defrost would, in that it gives the compressor a break, and allows it to then fire up normally again.

This is fine except it's always full of beer, and letting it sit full of beer overnight is not good for the beer.

I'll have to live with it I guess. I at least will set a temp sensor inside to alert my phone if it gets too warm in there so I know it's happening, and can then unplug it to force the compressor to stop trying to kick on for a while. I need to determine how many hours it needs to cool off so that when I plug it back in, the compressor is able to fire off and start again. Both times this happened in the last 2 years, after leaving it unplugged overnight, fired right up when plugged in first thing in the morning.
 
 

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