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Old 03-21-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
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Walk In Freezer - Nothing Comes On - Need Help


Okay so I am trying to avoid paying a few thousand dollars to a repair guy or even a few hundred since I'm pretty handy and pretty tight on cash right now.

I have a walk in freezer at my restaurant that went out. Everything pretty much shot off.

The symptoms:
- Evaporator and Condenser fans are off
- Compressor isn't coming on or short cycling or anything.
- Defrost timer does nothing when forced through a cycle manually.
- There is voltage up through the breaker, through the fuses, and it seems to stop at the Contactor. If I manually push the button on the contactor, I can measure voltage on the opposite end of it but still nothing seems to happen.
- I measure 122 Volts all the way to all three pins on the compressor when I depress the contactor manually yet nothing happens.
- I used a multimeter to test the run and start capacitors. They test within the stated range. I tested the resistance between each of the pins on the compressor and two of the resistances add up to the third and neither pin seems to be grounded out.
- I used a pressure gauge and the system has about 170 lbs of refrigerant in it with everything off.

So, Is the compressor toast? Should I be measuring the same voltage to all three pins? I have schematics I can post but I'm fairly unskilled with reading them. It's a double breaker 208-230 system but I only measure 122 volts everywhere I check. Is that normal? Looking at the schematic, it looks like there is a relay that opens and brings two separate 120 V lines to one of the pins. Would that double the voltage and if I'm only getting 122V is that relay not opening?

What is my first step here? Why is the contactor requiring me to depress it instead of attempting to depress on its own?

I'm new to this forum, usually I can find everything I need with the help of google but I'm striking out this time. Whoever helps, can have a free sub if you come to Tucson!

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Old 03-21-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
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Walk In Freezer - Nothing Comes On - Need Help


If it's the compressor then you're going to need the HVAC folks to come out anyway to handle removing the old refrigerant and then refilling it when the parts have been replaced.

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Old 03-21-2013, 07:47 PM   #3
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Walk In Freezer - Nothing Comes On - Need Help


Sorry. Call the Man.
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Old 03-22-2013, 04:46 AM   #4
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Measure the voltage across the two terminals of the contactor that the breaker connects to. Don't measure to ground. Your breaker could be bad, or the contactor. Reading 120 volts from each terminal to ground doesn't tell you if you have 230 volts.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:42 AM   #5
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Look you lucked out 99% of the time fixing your own equipment why don't you just bite the bullet and call a Refrigeration Company to troubleshoot and repair it properly. DIY is good for homeowners
but once you get into commercial businesses making money it's time to pay the piper. And a sub? That's a nice gesture but I think a sub is besides a couple hundred for repairs. Most deli's and bars I service give me a drink and a sandwich while I am there and I give them a bill when I am done. Try what beenthere said. I know several people who lost big bucks fixing their own equipment only to have it go down in the middle of the night and thousands of dollars of lost product.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:35 AM   #6
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From the left side of the contactor to the right, I was measuring less than one volt I believe.
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:52 AM   #7
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Here is a pic of the wiring diagram.
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Walk In Freezer - Nothing Comes On - Need Help-img_20130321_240921_229.jpg   Walk In Freezer - Nothing Comes On - Need Help-img_20130320_233734_292.jpg  
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:15 PM   #8
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Walk In Freezer - Nothing Comes On - Need Help


While u r waiting for the experts to come back on. Here are a couple links u can read. Don't know if it will be any help, u probably already googled them. Really need an hvac pro to diagnose.


link here


link here


link here
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Old 03-22-2013, 12:39 PM   #9
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Find the 2 wires at the unit that are coming from the breakers and check for 220 volts there. Put the meter on both wires.
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Old 03-22-2013, 01:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smstucson View Post
From the left side of the contactor to the right, I was measuring less than one volt I believe.
Then you don't have 220 to the contactor. Checking to ground & reading 120v doesn't mean much on a 220v system. I don't know how much you know about electricity, but 220v is basically made by 2 seperate 120v feeds, one positive & one negative. Reading 120v everywhere but 0 across your contactor indicates that one of your 120v legs isn't supplying power.

For instance lets say the 120v positive wire is still supplying power, but the 120v negative isn't. The 120v positive will energize everything with 120v, but nothing will run until the negative side comes on. However you will read 120v to ground. However reading across the contactor you get nothing because you're reading the same 120v positive from the other side, just backfed through the system.

As COLDIRON said you need to work your way back from the contactor to the electric panel to see where you're losing power.
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Old 03-22-2013, 05:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smstucson View Post
From the left side of the contactor to the right, I was measuring less than one volt I believe.
Problem is not the unit, but a disconnect or breaker before the unit.
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Old 03-22-2013, 06:23 PM   #12
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Thank You! That seems logical. I will look into it. I really didn't think that it was the compressor or another component because everything seemed to stop working at once. I just didn't understand how 220voltage worked. Now I get it and will be in touch with a solution hopefully.
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Old 03-22-2013, 09:45 PM   #13
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Just to put it another way.....measure voltage across the two fuses, i.e., across from the top of one to the top of the other..if only 110 V then one of the fuses is bad or one of the feeder fuses is bad...further if you measure voltage from the bottom to the top of each fuse..that is, the bottom to the top of the same fuse,,if it's good you will get zero volts ..if bad then you will get 110 V....if one or both are bad make sure to replace with slow blow fuses ..like Fusetrons..regular fuses won't take the inload rush amperage and will just blow.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:48 AM   #14
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All good advice, 1 more thing if it is a fuse then you have to find out what caused the fuse to blow. It didn't blow just because , something caused it to blow.
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Old 03-23-2013, 09:14 AM   #15
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Fuses DO wear out over time. However, YES, if they blow shortly after installation then things like motors and defective wiring will have to be checked out.

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