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  1. #1

    Help with aquarium chiller

    Hi forum, new member here. I'm not a professional HVAC repairman or anything, just looking for some help with a used aquarium chiller I purchased.

    Anyways, it's a 1/5hp chiller driven by an older Copeland/Tecumseh condenser model number m2fh-0020-saa-102 or ARB17C3E-SAA or AEA3417YXA depending on which brand you are talking about. Here's a datasheet: http://www.tecumsehcoolproducts.com/...AE520AT-166-J7

    And more info here: http://www.hvacrinfo.com/Compressors/CopelandWelded.pdf

    Anyways. When I got the device it turned on and ran perfectly except for ice forming on a line going from the compressor to the evaporator coils--I think it's called a suction line. The suction line developed a THICK layer of ice on it within minutes of running the device (no ice on the coils). I did some Googling and people said that ice on the suction line is either (a) dirty coils or (b) low refrigerant. I cleaned the coils and the issue persisted.

    The system has a low-side service cap and uses R134, so I bought a guage and measured the PSI. It was about 11psi. From what I've read, most aquarium chillers are typically at 25-45psi. I increased the PSI using some R134 refrigerant from an autopart store to about 40psi, and the ice problem went away.

    Did I do the right thing? Was there supposed to be ice?

    The sticker on the device says it is good for psi up to 160 on the low side, so 11psi seemed pretty darn low.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Austell, Ga.
    Posts
    1,296
    [SIZE="5"]YIIIIIIIIIKES!!!!!!!!!!!


    Please get a professional service man "Quickly" to check this unit before you kill yourself or god forbid....Some innocent bystander...
    Ain't "None" of us as smart as "All" of us..

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by RichardL View Post
    [SIZE="5"]YIIIIIIIIIKES!!!!!!!!!!!


    Please get a professional service man "Quickly" to check this unit before you kill yourself or god forbid....Some innocent bystander...
    Care to explain why? I didn't think refilling a compressor with refrigerant was rocket science...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Jersey
    Posts
    126
    no it's not rocket science, but done incorrectly it is the start of making a bomb.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    New Mexico-ABQ
    Posts
    20
    1800 btuhr like what is that 18/120 of a ton hmm 3/10 of a ton if me wittle 3rd grade maf is rite um I think he will be ok, its purdy derm schmallll

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    VB
    Posts
    323
    R-134a or R-134b?
    If I would of killed my wife when I first met her, I'd be out of jail by now!

    GET SOME!!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    st.petersburg,fl
    Posts
    806

    Lightbulb

    The problem isn't the size of the system.... 1st When the OP put his gauges on I would say he lost alot of the charge due to hoses and not to mention probrobly doesn't have low loss fittings. 2nd since its 134 whos to say that the cap tube isnt plugged or a restricted drier... point is without the knowledge of a professional he possible caused himself more of a headache and more money.

    I suggest a professional as well....

    Hope this Helps...
    Isn't sanity just a one-trick pony anyway? I mean, all you get is that one trick, rational thinking, but when you're good and crazy, well, the sky's the limit!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    In a mechanical room....
    Posts
    1,888
    If you have a leak and it is in the heat exchanger where the water comes in contact with the coils you will not only leak refrigerant but also oil into the water and may kill your fishes. You may be able to find a small appliance repair shop may be able to look at it or a local hvacr company.
    “It takes courage to grow up and turn out to be who you really are.”

    - E.E. Cummings

  9. #9
    I am having the same issue. Did refilling your chiller work? I am not sure what psi to fill it to. Please help. If I press the little needle in the low side I hear something come out so I don't thing it has a leak but it may just be small and only leak with higher psi. Any help would be appreciated...

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    The Hot South
    Posts
    1,372
    This is not a DYI site and we cannot give you advice on this. It's not as simple as filling up to a certain PSI. There's too many variables. You need to call a professional.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    las vegas
    Posts
    1,505
    i have . client with an 850 gal. aquarium. (dr)in his office & we custom
    built his chiller about 15 years ago. due to his vast knowledge he
    decided about 3 years ago to try doing his own service work
    & save his quarterly costs.
    total loss ended up at approx. 15k in fish & misc. & we ended up
    building a new chiller for him.
    save yourself some problems & call a pro to solve your problems.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    greenville , sc
    Posts
    718
    Quote Originally Posted by WildcatWhiz View Post
    Hi forum, new member here. I'm not a professional HVAC repairman or anything, just looking for some help with a used aquarium chiller I purchased.

    Anyways, it's a 1/5hp chiller driven by an older Copeland/Tecumseh condenser model number m2fh-0020-saa-102 or ARB17C3E-SAA or AEA3417YXA depending on which brand you are talking about. Here's a datasheet: http://www.tecumsehcoolproducts.com/...AE520AT-166-J7

    And more info here: http://www.hvacrinfo.com/Compressors/CopelandWelded.pdf

    Anyways. When I got the device it turned on and ran perfectly except for ice forming on a line going from the compressor to the evaporator coils--I think it's called a suction line. The suction line developed a THICK layer of ice on it within minutes of running the device (no ice on the coils). I did some Googling and people said that ice on the suction line is either (a) dirty coils or (b) low refrigerant. I cleaned the coils and the issue persisted.

    The system has a low-side service cap and uses R134, so I bought a guage and measured the PSI. It was about 11psi. From what I've read, most aquarium chillers are typically at 25-45psi. I increased the PSI using some R134 refrigerant from an autopart store to about 40psi, and the ice problem went away.

    Did I do the right thing? Was there supposed to be ice?

    The sticker on the device says it is good for psi up to 160 on the low side, so 11psi seemed pretty darn low.

    Thanks!
    is this unit being used for an aquarium or something diffrent?

    if you could visit extremeoverclockingforum.com and look me up. thx, J.Hall

  13. #13
    Yes it is for a 92 gallon aquarium.

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