Fridge evaporator icing up fast - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 25 Old 03-22-2007 Thread Starter
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Fridge evaporator icing up fast

I am in the VI and have a Grunet 12 V water cooled fridge. The evaporator seems to be icing up quickly and thus the frezer lid hinges become stuck. I know that it is an issue of how hard the unit is working, how much the box is opened, and how cold it is set to. I have tried ease up the tem and this helps, but then temp is an issue. We have 2 kids and we are in the box 3 meals a day, etc.

Any tricks here? Any quick way to de-ice the hinges? Hot water OK? I would assume not a good option due to fast expaansion?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 25 Old 03-22-2007
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Sounds like you have an air leak in the box... that's probably why it is icing up so much... the humid air keeps leaking in and condensing out, turning into ice. Have you checked the seals on the refrigerator box?

One common culprit is the drain to the bilge. If that doesn't have a trap in it, it will let the cold dry air out and warm humid air will tend to flow back up into the freezer and cause icing.

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post #3 of 25 Old 03-22-2007 Thread Starter
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Seals on the lids? Or around the box itself? Seals on lid look like they could surely use some help. Place to start with these?

Interesting note on the drain. No trap. Simple trap idea?
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post #4 of 25 Old 03-22-2007
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Make the drain look like the p-trap on a household sink... it'll fill with a little water, but the cold air will stop at the water, and the warm humid air will stay in the bilge.

The seals on the lid are a good place to start, but I think the culprit is more likely the drain, especially if the refrigerator is top-loading. If it is sideloading, then it could be either. Sealing around the box wouldn't hurt either.

Hope that helps...

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post #5 of 25 Old 03-23-2007
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Install a Barbed PVC Ball Valve in the drain line (as close to the bottom of the box as practical). The valve is normally closed (effecting a trap), and only opened for completely draining or cleansing the box. A conventional “P” trap will (& must) always* retain some water, which can go stale or swampy.
226 SERIES BALL VALVE: http://www.specialtymfg.com/plastic_...ve/default.asp

* excepting due to evapouration during a long dry spell (no melt water, whatever).

Last edited by GordMay; 03-23-2007 at 09:37 AM.
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post #6 of 25 Old 03-23-2007
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I prefer to use a p-trap as they're generally easier to maintain... the amount of water we're talking about is measured in milliliters, so having it go stale or swampy isn't a really huge issue IMHO. The ball valve requires more maintanence and probably takes up more space, as you need to be able to turn the valve handle.

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post #7 of 25 Old 03-23-2007
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You must prevent air exchange when the box is closed. The lid/box joint presents way more potential airflow than any drain.

Replace/repair the lid seals immediately.
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it could also be the reciever/dryer, or the expansion valve. (or low freon)

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post #9 of 25 Old 03-23-2007
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Another idea is to stock the crap out of your fridge. Stuffed as much as you can. A filled fridge will reduce the air, reducing the humidity, reducing the condesnsation. It will run more efficiently and will freeze up less. CP is right, if you are low on freon, the lines will freeze. However, it sounds more likely that you are introducing a lot of moisture into the box to me.

Make sense?

Also, I wrote a thread called refrigeration conservation, it is on this board and cruisers forum. Hopefully that will help. If you don't want to go to a lot of trouble on the drain line, just stick a cork in it.

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post #10 of 25 Old 03-23-2007
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GNB-

If the box is top-opening, it is far more likely to have air exchange caused by the drain rather than the door seals due to the fact that cold air is denser and heavier than warm air.

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