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  1. #1

    leak where suction line penetrates compressor housing

    I am working on an older Saniserv margarita machine with a slow leak. It took a couple months for it to leak down and stop cooling properly. I put dye in the system when I first added refrigerant (MP-39) and found dye where the copper suction line penertrates the steel compressor housing. It has a Copeland compressor model number JFP1-0050-IAA-101.

    I have been told that this is not an easy area to braze because by the time you get the housing hot enough to melt the 45% silver solder, you can inadvertanly melt the insulation on the motor windings, or screw up an internal pressure switch or coke up the oil.

    I was wondering if anyone has sucessfully done this. I am tempted to try it, becuase the compressor is useless as is. I was thinking of wrapping a wet towel around the compressor away from the suction line to keep the entire compressor from over heating.

    Thanks ahead of time for any advise.

  2. #2
    Correction: its the high side (pressure) line coming out of the compressor near the bottom not the suction line. Sorry for the confusion

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    516
    I have had good results with refrigeration Super Poxee. Pump down the compressor into a vacuum or recover and evacuate if you can't pump it down. Rough up the area with a wire brush then sandcloth, clean it with an alcohol swab, and apply the epoxy after mixing it to the directions.
    If it is on a circular part if the pipe, once it has setup, install a gear/hose clamp to press the epoxy tight against the leak if you are worried it won't hold.
    This stuff says it is good for 4000psi so it shouldn't have a problem with even the highest suction pressure it will ever see.
    I trust it from using it for over 20 years and it never let me down.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Western PA
    Posts
    24,975

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    5,122
    I have never heard of such, but if you are worried about it then treat the compressor like you would a TXV or service valves while brazing. Use some cool gel or hot dam or wrap the compressor with a wet rag. The windings aren't going to be laying against the compressor shell, so you will have to about screw up to damage the windings. Again a wet rag at the botom of the compressor should protect the oil, flowing nitrogen will be a good idea on this unit. I worked on one back in the summer and could tell by looking at it that you do not want to clog the cap tubes on these units.
    Now this may make sense now that I think about it. The unit that I worked on had been been repaired by someone else that used what I thought to be soft solder being the way it melted. i had to get all of it out to get the braze to flow. The info that you posted may have been the reason why that guy used the low temp stuff. Good news is that I made the repair easily. I won't forget that unit because the guy installed a Sight glass on the hot gas line, and that was where the blasted leak was.

    Really, no more heat than it will take to heat that little line, I am sure you will be fine. To help it flow, heat the line in the fitting area first and then move the heat to the fitting. That is how Trane recommends soldering their service valves, and it works great.
    The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

    If "the grass is greener on the other side", it likely has been fertilized with Bull$hit!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Lexington, NC
    Posts
    5,122
    Where do you get this epoxy? I have tried similar and it did not work. have you used it on high pressure?
    The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

    If "the grass is greener on the other side", it likely has been fertilized with Bull$hit!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    516
    Super Poxee DP-2


    WATSCO,INC

    1800 WEST 4TH AVENUE

    HIALEAH , FL 33010

    US
    Info Phone: 305-885-1911

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    5,812
    If your going to weld steel to copper I would suggest you use 56%.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    516
    Post a pic of where the leak is if you get a chance.
    You could braze it with silver solder after cleaning it down to bare metal, but you may need oxyacetelyne to get enough heat quick enough to not overheat the compressor.
    This situation would be the perfect test for the epoxy.
    I have used it on many areas on systems including a rubthrough on a discharge line. If the hole is small enough you will get good results.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    47
    I have done this a few times with no problems, clean well, oxy/ace, and 56% braze rod. Use a hot flame to do it quickly and pre heat the discharge line a few inches away from compressor. And don't for get to paint after, looks nice and prevents rust. Some where I have pics, if I can find them I will post. Good luck.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    47
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    These are the only pics I could find, I have done suction and discharge lines the same way. (This is a Aquasnap). I think this was about 2 years ago, checked it last month and still no problems.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    355
    Only way this is related to this thread copper tube in compressor shell. Long while back I was given a compressor to change on a unit,
    the fan was too close with stub being pointed up. I had to clean paint off and flux using 45%. Heat up stub to rotate it to pointing down and sweated it tight. No problems with windings or oil. Long as you make sure torch flame does not enter compressor.

  13. #13
    I think I will give the oxy/ace with 56% silver welding a try and use wet towels to keep the compress temps down. However, I don't have any 56% silver solder and done want to have to buy a whole coil. Anyone know where I can pick up a small rod or a foot of lenght? I will pay you for it.

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