MemberSeptember 26, 2020 at 4:51 pm
HI- I have never worked on an ice machine but was asked to look at it when I was there to fix the walk in. The normal ice machine guy was sick. Anyway the machine supposedly stopped working one day. The pressures are (suction) 7-15, and discharge- around 200. When it goes into harvest it does seem to jump up to around 50-60 (pressure). The unit and remote condenser turn on/off about every 30 seconds- but the lines never get cold or hot- just room temp. I bypassed the safety switches- and same thing- so they are all working it would seem- and my concern is one of the solenoids. Its appears and acts like its low on freon but if so why is it jumping up to about 50-60 and back down. I see zero signs of leaking anywhere. I have traced every inch of the copper lines and inspected the coils carefully. I have used my h10 pro and found nothing. Anyone please? Help? I know I am out of my element- but am trying to help the customer here- thank you so much.
MemberSeptember 26, 2020 at 10:20 pm
The refrigeration system on ice machines is a bit more complex than a cooler. With this one you have a remote condenser with a pump down feature to protect the evaporator from flooding. It also has a head pressure control to keep the head up in lower ambient conditions. And a hot gas harvest valve to heat the evaporator. So you are probably correct on the low refrigerant condition. The jump up in harvest here is a big clue. It’s not high enough.
The quick connectors for the condenser are a common source for leaks.
MemberSeptember 29, 2020 at 9:09 am
Thank you for your help fixbear—for the manual too. I went and tried to recover refrigerant- got about 1/2 lb out of low side, and about 1/4 lb out of high. Then I wanted to pressurize with nitrogen to see if I can find leaks- but what blocks the passage of vaccum pump, nitrogen or refrigerant for that matter from going all the way thru? If I put nitrogen in low side- it doesn’t not blow out high side it eventually builds pressure as if its leaking around something. If I put the vaccum pump on the low side- and go to see if I can feel vaccum (suction) on high side (thru valve core tools)—nitrogen comes out. So what valve or solenoid is blocking the system from being open? surely its not a restriction—Do I need a magnet to open a solenoid? if so which one? Thank you
MemberSeptember 29, 2020 at 11:41 am
Thet is correct. If you look in the manual you will see a solenoid on the liquid line before the evaporator. Creates a barrier between the high side and low side along with the compressor valves.
MemberSeptember 29, 2020 at 11:43 am
Do you have a 4 valve manifold to use in vacuuming and charging?
MemberSeptember 29, 2020 at 1:53 pm
I have both high tech 650$ one and the old school one I use everyday. Note a hint of regret in buying that electronic one …..
MemberSeptember 29, 2020 at 1:56 pm
Fixbear on this unit …. another one ice0606 they need it removed off soda fountain so pepsi can fix soda fountain. Can I recover whatever is in lines and cut them so I can remove or do I need to actually remove it. I could pinch or braze cap on lines until I reinstall
MemberSeptember 29, 2020 at 2:11 pm
If it still has the quick connectors, Recover and just unscrew them. Some have self seal valves and some don’t. If you have tube expanders it’s easy to just cut and splice later. Also makes for just a single braze instead of a fitting and 2 brazed joints.. But you will have to replace the dryer. Depending on the site, and the piping, Ive seen the whole head just suspended from the bar joist above for a slide out of the dispenser. Of course every different site is it’s own problem.
MemberSeptember 29, 2020 at 2:17 pm
Hi I have tube expanders and was going to just cut lines and either use fitting or hydraulic expander as you said. The freon will remain in accumulator or compressor I guess and yes will change filter. Thanks
MemberSeptember 29, 2020 at 2:23 pm
I forgot to address the sealing. You can just install plastic caps like comes with refrigeration tubing. I don’t like using tape, due to the glue residue. But if you carry alcohol it’s not a problem. Non porous tape like scotch 33 works. If you have a abundance of tubing you can pinch and re-cut. But I’ve rarely seen that.
Just so you know, I’ve even seen milk carton cribbing and 2 pieces of thin angle iron to hold the head up as the dispenser is slid out. If it’s Pepsi, They are just going to swap it out and repair in a shop or trash. They lose money when no soda is moving.
MemberSeptember 30, 2020 at 12:58 pm
I just taped it- and will remove with acetone or wd40 and alcohol. I usually tape a small plastic bag over the end so the tape isn’t anywhere the brazing will be done.
I still need to figure out how to get inside that 726 to vacuum and leak check before I charge it. I found that the capacitor was bad- and the herm wire was melted and had melted the little plastic guard around the herm (the connector) of the capacitor. I assume from low refrigerant it was turning on and off so much it got hot. Also the cap was only about 12MFD- not 30—I got the best cap I could find—am rad instead of putting some cheap 30mfd cap on it. I also found that by jiggling the low fitting in front- the micron gauge would bounce around—I think I might have a leak under the plastic clamp that holds it to unit===there is a lot of corrosion and green goo. I have seen very tiny splits in copper that still hold pressure unless moved just right- then they slowly leak. this might be one of those.
I am guessing I need to manipulate the liquid line solenoid- with a magnet to open it so that I can get into the system. I guess the fittings (high and low) in front and in back under the line set connections both connect at the output of that thing- so that you have to get past it to get into the system. Maybe I am wasting time—I can fix that low side tube- if it has a leak, I can fix- and can pump down as much as I can up to the solenoid- then turn on unit and when it goes into harvest- it will open and I can get freon into it. Thanks
MemberSeptember 30, 2020 at 4:18 pm
I Wouldn’t run your system while low on refrigerant, if you pull a vacuum, you’ll be able to “suck” in whatever refrigerant you need. Considering most ice machines don’t hold a lot of refrigerant, I would just recover it all, especially if it’s 404A or some other blend, that way you completely exclude the possibility of fractionating the refrigerant.
When I scrap an ice machine and take out the compressor or condenser coil or leave a system or component “open” I seal it shut and pressurize with nitro so that nothing gets in, stays cleaner that way.
I’d just cut it out, braze it shut with an access valve, pressurize and when you are ready to reconnect, cut out the access valve and then repipe that 4″ section you removed with new pipe and swage it in or couple it.
My 2 cents.
MemberSeptember 30, 2020 at 4:24 pm
Just read the thread.
If none of the evaporator is getting cold, it could also be your TXV, if your low side is reading lower than your high side, the hot gas solenoid is not open, it would be a direct bypass to the evaporator instead of going throuh the condenser.
I’ve had a TXV go bad on a Scotsman, it was a dual evaporator setup so it was pretty obvious, but you either don’t have enough refrigerant, have no refrigerant, have bad refrigerant or your TXV is not feeding due to either the bulb being pierced, the valve itself being clogged or something.
I chased a unit around for a week being confused as to why it wouldn’t cool, when the pressures seemed somewhat OK, turned out to be bad 404A, had a lowside leak and the comp would shut off in a vacuum so it eventually fractionated, but the pressures were still there. Pulled the charge, did the jig and put virgin refrigerant in, problem solved.
I’ve not seen a hot gas solenoid stay open yet, I see TXV’s go bad more often than that.
MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 6:56 am
If you pull your vacuum simultaneously from both the low and high side it should be okay. Don’t confuse residual gas in the oil as a area of the machine you can’t get to. The harvest solenoid will not matter. And the liquid line solenoid should be after the tap charging line for the high side.
Now if you have a green corrosion on a copper line, there has to be a problem. Acid? Dissimilar metal touching? Strong Alkaline cleaner residue?
Only the remote ice machines have a low pressure cut-out and pump down system. so short cycling is a possibility, but overload* is more likely or high resistance connections to the capacitor. Not all spade terminals are of the same quality. And good ones are getting rare off the shelf these days.
* Plugged condenser or fan not operating properly.
Condenser on remotes normally does not have fan cycling with a head pressure control. Just saying.
MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 7:25 am
I forgot one item that may cause you a bit of a problem vacating the system. Measure the condenser height from the top fittings of the unit. Being on top of a dispenser it’s going to have to have a elevated condenser. It can only be 6 ft below the line connectors at the top of the machine. Can have no rises and falls that act as traps. Remember that the head pressure mixing valve is in the condenser, not he ice-making machine. Rise and fall calculation multiplier factors for line length are;
1.7 X rise plus distance if above the machine
6.6 X drop p;us distance if below.
That means at 6 feet below you can only get 34 ft of horizontal run. Not much.
MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 9:40 am
mtsaz100, I forgot to tell you that there should be a tap on the condenser to check the mixing valve and for vacating to change the second dryer filter for the mixing valve. Some of these machines had a purge switch/valve for vacuuming as well. You should have about just under 10 pounds of refrigerant if it was full. But with your short cycle I doubt that. The liquid solenoid is located just above the dryer on the receiver tank outlet. And yes, to get the refrigerant out of the condenser you need to open it. What you were seeing was leakage thru the compressor valves and mixing valve. You picked one of the most difficult ice machines to work on as your first. I had one of these agitate me many years ago.
What’s the first 4 digits of the serial number?
MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 11:47 am
HI this is a remote unit- and first 4 of ssn are 1309. This is a challenge—-and I have found multiple issues—but nothing that would empty out 172 oz of 404a. I am assuming it has a very low charge—based on pressures. I did try to pull vaccum from both high and low—I use yellow jacket 1/2 in hoses and a jb 10cfm pump- so if that wont do it- then I will mail it to you. Send me your address and a stamp. Obviously it could be the txv or anything for that matter—but I need to get “into” the system to really figure out more as opposed to just changing stuff.
dissimilar metals? YES. The 2 copper lines- high/low in front- are held on to the stainless cabinet by a plastic clamp. So the copper is touching the stainless. I was suspicious because when I was “trying” to pull vacuum the micro gauge would jump from about 1000-5000/6000 whenever I jiggled that low side connection. I noticed it when the vacuum pressure was going up and down like from 1020 to 1080 and I went to make sure my hose and valve core tools were tight. (and micron gauge connection). They were but it jumped around. Then I looked carefully for any problems—-
What I would really like to do- is get access to the system- get any refrigerant out- and pressurize with nitrogen to check for leaks. I see zero source for leaks except possibly that low side fitting. But if its got a low charge then 10lbs of 404 went somewhere. The condenser and connections are not leaking.
Thankyou! I really—(you have no idea how much)—appreciate the help.
MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 11:49 am
yes there are taps on condenser–I thought that was “my leak”—(the schraders) when I saw them. However- I thought that I could recover same from the taps on the back of the lineset at icemaker. WRONG. Unless the condenser had nothing in it- I only got about 1/2lb. Thanks
MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 1:41 pm
What’s the problem you have, a leak is what it sounds like.
There should be taps on it already, sounds like there is.
Just recover and pressurize with nitro, there’s nothing special about this ice machine, looks like any other modular cuber out there, unless I’m missing something.
MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 1:42 pm
Solenoid valve magnets https://www.amazon.com/CPS-Solenoid-Valve-Magnet-TLMKC18/dp/B009M9UIHU/ref=asc_df_B009M9UIHU/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=312243910452&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=15054569820127220297&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9012139&hvtargid=pla-571453825815&psc=1
You pull the coil off the valve and put this on, when it clicks you know it’s opened.
MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 2:27 pm
olivero- if you read the conversation- yes I believe it has a leak. I was asking how to get the system to “open up” because you can’t just turn it off and recover without manipulating something.
That was my question. what and how—to get it to open and yes- I have a couple of the cps magnets.
Its turning on and off into harvest about every 30 seconds staying on for maybe 10 seconds–condenser fans starts, then goes out. Nothing gets cold- and cap was burned and reading about 1/2 what it should so I thought that was it- but no. pressures- low is about 10, high around 200. When its in harvest- low jumps up around 50- high drops a little- maybe to 180 or so.
That is basically what I started with- what I have- (except cap is new) safeties were bypassed (to check) and put back and I need to get the refrigerant out- and pressure test with nitrogen- you are 100% correct.
MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 7:10 pm
Cool, good to hear.
Is there no pressure taps on the unit?
Do you still need help?
MemberOctober 1, 2020 at 9:16 pm
Your short cycling is either not in ice making mode or low charge and the low pressure cut out (10 lb out and 30 lb in) one the low side after the liquid solenoid. You should have recovered 9 to 11 pounds of R404 if it was fully charged. Remember that it does not go into freeze right away, so it may be in the pump down when you first start it. Monitor the liquid solenoid with a voltmeter to be sure before panicking.
Ice-O-matics are a decent machine. Even though I prefer Hoshizaki or Manitowoc’s. They have merged with Scotsman’s. You want to work on some oddballs, try a Kolddraft, or Zero, The Zero”s had a coil spring that could support a car in them and a round eveporator that banged during harvest enough to shake a building. They were scary when you had to work on them. The Kolddrafts had a horizontal evaporator that had a movable seal plate and 2 holes per cube. The plate came up to the evaporator and the pump sprayed water into the pockets through the one hole and vented through the other. When the pockets were full of ice the Marsh pump would stop, lower plate would drop down at a angle, and hot gas defrosted the sheet to slide down the lower plate just beyond the edge of the sump. The nice thing was they were only 4 ft high and had a nice flat top about 6 ft long and 30 inches wide. Everyone stored glasses or water pictures on them.
MemberOctober 4, 2020 at 9:18 am
HI Guys—update. So another gas station called and I fixed one in an hour—so I am capable- lol. It was a bad microswitch on that curtain thing. ANYWAY back to the beast. I had to go catch up- and fixed about 10 AC units and a bohn evaporator- and that other iceomatic- so it gave me back a little confidence. I did find the leak- it was a teeny pinhole- right where the low side fitting is attached to the cabinet at the access in front. I undid the little plastic clamps- and as soon as I removed the low side tube PSHHHHHH– the entire unit dumped the 404 into the room- the fire alarms go off, the fire department comes. They were such arrogant idiots—“Uh you have this hazy cloud in here thats why its going off”—no kidding? Then he said we might need a hazmat team–and I said ” Its refrigerant and oil and directly above the roof access is open- the outside door is open- and a fan is going- so it will be gone in a few minutes.” So the guy says “if you do that again it will go off again”—ok thanks for that info- I never would have known. unreal. I replaced that copper tube- new fitting- vacuumed/evacuated system down to like 400 microns, and put in 176oz 404- per spec. The compressor immediately came on- and stayed on- but this unit had a couple issues before the leak. The leak was secondary—it drained the refrigerant slowly and I think coincidently got low enough at the same time the other issue came up–thats what I think. The issue: The guy said it just quit one day. Where the refrigerant lines feed the ice tray (sorry if I dont have exact terminology)—there are 2. The bottom one gets cold and hot like it should- the one up about 6″ from it never does anything. I got up on a ladder and the TXV that feeds it is frosted over. I am wondering if the TXV has a restriction or is bad. I took the bulb and put it in hot water. It made no difference in the operation but some of the frost melted. The lower tube- gets super super cold- but never makes the tray cold enough to start to freeze. When I was vacuuming- there apparently was some residual refrigerant and pulling it thru the filter made it get ice cold/frosted- and the tray as well- all of it. So either that TXV is bad- or a restriction somewhere—or a solenoid is not opening in sequence. I did check those solenoids- they are good. And- they do give you a nice shock if you are not careful. How often should it go into harvest? It seems go about every 10-15 min- I didn’t time it but it just starts to get really cold and then it goes in to harvest. This is a really old machine or used/abused machine– lots of corrosion and rust all over, really dirty and at what point is it not worth putting money in. I am sure the TXV is not cheap and I am not going to charge the guy all the labor for me wasting time- but I will charge him about 1/2 the time, plus refrigerant, leak repair, etc.
2 other question–call it question B and C:
B: I had to move a machine so pepsi could fix the stirring thing. Obviously they could have done it with the ice machine in place- I got the old one out- and put it back–whatever. ANYWAY- the drain is leaking inside the unit where it attaches to unit- (the fitting). Do I need to replace that fitting or can I just remove it and plumb with 1/2 pvc straight in to the ice machine?
C: I have noticed on all 3 of the different units that the one of the (non common) wires attached to the cap has been very hot and the plastic insulator on the spade connector is melted. on the 726 i had to change cap- the other 2 were ok. Is this a common problem? Do you recommend getting the OEM cap or if I use a good 30mfd like amrad or gentech its ok? I ask that because maybe they can’t handle this heat and current. Obviously electrically a 30mfd cap is 30mfd—I just dont want to be called to change caps every 6 months because the aftermarket ones couldn’t stand up to this.
THANK YOU GUYS. I owe you both.
MemberOctober 4, 2020 at 9:39 am
Alrighty, lots of info there, good.
So, if you have 2 evaps and 1 is being fed properly and the other is not, it’s the TXV, if the TXV is freezing over, it’s most likely feeding something but almost nothing, the TXV’s are not THAT expensive, I would just replace it as I have in the past.
The vacuuming and then freezing to me sounds like the tell-tale sign of water being evacuated as you pull the vacuum, this CAN happen and normally makes it annoying to vacuum, Normally, prior to any vacuum I blow out the lines with nitrogen to purge any contaminants and it also helps get any trapped moisture out, seems to help speed up the vacuum.
Again, it’s rare that the solenoid is the problem. If you have one evaporator freezing just fine and the other one is not, it’s the TXV or a restriction, but I would be thinking TXV, otherwise you can cut the inlet and outlet to the evap and blow it out if you want to verify.
Not sure about the drain, I’m not following the problem, the drain can be hard PVC, that’s how most I see are.
On the caps, I use generic caps on everything, the MFD rating and voltage have to be the same but that’s all I’ve ever paid attention to, if the spade is loose or the crimp was done poorly and has become loose, it will melt, happens all the time on spades in general with high loads on them, I try to solder them when possible.
MemberOctober 5, 2020 at 1:02 pm
Thanks for letting us know how you are on this and detail of what you observe.
Cycle control on the ICE machines is different than any other. They have a suction pressure switch inside the control box that looks like this. It starts the freeze timer (dip switches) when the suction gets to the right pressure for freezing/ice making. At the end of timing it goes into harvest. The harvest assist motor has a clutch and cam on it. When the pin is allowed to push forward and the ice falls, the switch on the cam starts the freeze cycle.
The microswitch on the top right is called a bin full switch. It stops the machine from another cycle. It also does something unfamiliar with self contained machines. It sends the machine into a pump down to move all refrigerant to the receiver.
Unfortunately, with a Danfoss TXV You have to replace the whole valve. And Ice-O-Matic recommends replacing both at the same time on the dual evaporators.
Ice-O-Matic recommends a 200 micron vacuum plus 30 min. then watch the micron gauge for rise of less than 500 micros for 3 min. as proof of water removal and no leak. That takes a real good vacuum pump with fresh oil. Much lower than most systems want.
As for machine replacement, Look at the ice plates for any damage to the coating. Discoloration is OK, but missing or pitted plating is dangerous and not. As for the chassis rust, Ask yourself if a heath inspector would pass it. If it can possibly get into the bin, NO.
On your “C” Question. It all has to do with resistance. Usually from someone working on it previously. Wire size, conductor corrosion and connection of the spade terminal all come into play. If a high current spade terminal is easy to pull off or on, replace it. Use a quality leverage type crimper That has to make a full crimp before releasing. Not a pair of plier type. Yes, with dies, they are near $100, but they are a necessity in this trade. Make sure the cut back is sufficient to have bright copper, not oxidized. If cut back will not get to bright copper, replace the wire. High temp wire is silver coated to prevent oxidation. I’ve learned over the years that Mil spec connectors have the quality. I usually order them from a industrial supply house.
Also in relation to “C”, Short cycling from undercharge or splash curtain/bin switch. Or high head overload form the condenser not cooling enough makes for higher current flow. I’ve also seen compressor overloads that no longer is spec.
Cycle time for a 726 is 11 to 18 min. The initiate timer setting should start at 35, but may have been changed to get the 1/8 inch bridge.
MemberOctober 6, 2020 at 9:55 am
awesome- I will talk to the customer. Thank you both for your generosity of time and expertise to help me. I have an advantage of sorts- being an electrical engineer with 25 yr experience, and I worked at a company designing computer equipment and ac chillers to cool the cpu board heatsink—cpus were all hard wired in those days- microprocessor technology was not developed enough to power a mainframe with 200-500 users. That experience helps me- as all experience can.
I wanted to ask you–where are you? What if I wanted to come spend a day or 2 with you so that you could show me –a mini class if you will—if we didn’t have covid- I could probably arrange something with milehigh. think about what you would charge and how we could do it. I could have you come here and help with this one—and you could show me the nuts and bolts of troubleshooting and fixing them- as well as the “what to watch for”- and tips/tricks. Obviously I would cover your costs- but think about what you would charge if interested. Its a question of time- if you have time to get away for a day or 2- or not- then I could come there. As long as we work on one iceomatic and ideally some others that would be great.
I will tell customer we need a TXV. Thanks so much—Mark Stanley phoenix arizona email@example.com
MemberOctober 6, 2020 at 10:09 am
As for training, as long as you understand the basics and advanced parts of refrigeration, how it works and how the components work, it doesen’t matter what you work on, it’s all the same stuff, same laws of physics, just put together differently, once that clicks properly in your brain, everything becomes much simpler, took some years for me to realize that.
If you have some questions about generic refrigeration, please go ahead and ask, me or Fixbear will be happy to answer them.
I find understanding theory outweighs the practical aspect as practical is only as good as the current situation is similar to that practical scenario you had.
My own experience across the fields I learned.
MemberOctober 6, 2020 at 9:58 am
One more question—-can I get a r404 txv with same specs or do I need to get the same from techtown parts or iceomatic? I would be more likely to order the one from manufacturer or partstown vs trying to find one locally.
MemberOctober 6, 2020 at 10:04 am
I think you can get a generic TXV, as long as it’s rated for the same BTU’s and the same refrigerant, I doubt it would matter.
Fixbear might know more than me on that but I think a generic one would work fine.
I normally try to cross over into the Sporlan self assembled TXV with the removable powerhead so that it’s easier to service in the future.
MemberOctober 6, 2020 at 2:05 pm
On the dual feed evaporators, they are fed from the bottom and use a flooded evap. The TXV’s have to match. Probably why Ice-O-Matic recommends replacing both if one is bad. They are calibrated and brazed shut.
I’m near the Adirondack park in NY.
MemberOctober 6, 2020 at 3:45 pm
Really? You can’t just use any TXV, why is that?
I would think as long as the BTU’s match and you can calibrate superheat, it wouldn’t matter.
MemberOctober 6, 2020 at 2:17 pm
Mark, Check your inbox for a connection request. Then I can send you a private message.
MemberOctober 7, 2020 at 4:04 pm
On the 726 I told him about txv and he said don’t spend more time on that old unit I have new one in storage let’s switch them. Ok great. Fixbear pm sent. Thanks for help I suspect I will be here a while
MemberOctober 7, 2020 at 4:18 pm
Lol, love it when that happens,
MemberOctober 7, 2020 at 4:48 pm
So I got called back on the 606 because it was leaking water….and by the way no ice. It seems to go into harvest and get stuck staying there. It was low so I added a little refrigerant but will recover and weigh it since I don’t know if I can charge by subcooling if so what should it be? These are a real pia
MemberOctober 8, 2020 at 1:56 pm
Ice machines are critically charged, you have to pull it and weigh in the factory.
Check the plates for lack of plating, makes the ice stick more, loose grids as well.
MemberOctober 8, 2020 at 7:47 pm
Olivero, this is a remote condenser machine. They have a bit more leeway than the unit machines. They have a large receiver capable of holding about 10 pounds of refridgerant. And the tubing length will change the charge about 20 oz. How many ice machines in the 700 pound class per day have over 10 pounds of R404?
MemberOctober 9, 2020 at 1:16 pm
Ah, well in that case, never mind then.
No clue on that question, never paid much attention to their production capability so I wouldn’t know.
MemberOctober 8, 2020 at 7:58 pm
Ahhhhh, you never mentioned a 606. Whats the full model number please? So I know what your working on,
Normally with ice machines (non remote) the charge is critical to both efficiency and reliability. But cleanliness comes first. Not so bad with the Ice-O-Matics or Hoshizakis, But definitely with a Scotsman, or Manitowoc.
MemberOctober 8, 2020 at 8:05 pm
If you have a water leak with either the dump valve, the spray bar, or the pan, a machine will never make ice. The incoming water adds more BTU’s than the refrigeration system can remove. There fore the suction pressure in the freeze cycle will never get low enough to start the freeze timer.
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