Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    4
    Post Likes
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Commercial Bottle Vending Fridge Not Getting Good Airflow or Cooling Properly

    My love-hate relationship with my Beverage Air MT17 commercial bottle vending refrigerator continues. This is a dual-sided coke branded vending fridge with glass slider doors.

    In June, when my naturally cool basement isn't as cool for a few months, I always notice the unit seeming to run a lot more often. I've tried moving it to a different location but it doesn't seem to work.

    Worse, in the summer months especially, if I don't remove the lower front grille, the unit is not able to pull in enough air to cool properly. With the grill attached, cooling stops at around 45 degrees and the condensation pan quickly fills. With the grill off, cooling eventually (slowly but surely) will get down to 33ish degrees before the compressor stops. The condensation pan is also able to evaporate quickly and rarely holds much standing water.

    The inside temperature dial doesn't seem to make a difference in the cycle, but that's ok, it at least does its job of turning on the cooling once I turn it up past 0. It's become more of an off/on switch than a temp dial. I don't turn on the interior defogging fan (don't have a problem with fog-up) or the lights.

    The current cycle runs with the compressor going at about 8 hours (using 500 watts of electric) and then off for about 3 hours.

    During the 8 hours, the unit cools from 48 degrees down to around 32. Once the temp hits 32, the compressor stops, and over 3 hours (at around 80 watts), the temperature in the unit rises back to 48 until the 8 hours of cooling begin again.

    I completely understand these units are not built for efficiency, so mostly just wanted to confirm that cycle and temperature loss (with a full load of bottles) was normal.

    The inside is dirty but not terrible, the only area I can't get a good look at is the fan, which I assume is behind the fins, unless I slide this out from the corner and take off the back grille cover.

    So, I guess, two questions.

    1. Is the cycle time and the time it takes to cool down normal? Is the 16 degrees of temperature loss over 3 hours also normal? Indoor temp is right around 73 degrees.

    2. What does the fact that putting the grill cover on that causes the airflow to restrict too much for the unit to run well telling me needs to be fixed / replaced inside?

    Thanks, I love this forum. I have a bunch of photos but can't share them yet since my account is new. I will share when I can.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    28,192
    Post Likes
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Probably short of refrigerant. The excessive heat is killing that compressor. Your going to need a commercial refrigeration tech to diagnosis and repair.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    4
    Post Likes
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thread Starter
    Really nice of you to reply. Iíve noticed that the unit some days m works well (gets cold at least but runs half a day to do it) after a shut down, and other days it works not so well. For example right now itís consuming 500 W of power which is allowing it to keep temperatures in the low to mid 30s. Other days the wattage is only in the low 400s which keeps the temperature in the mid 40s.

    One thing I did notice is that the temperature dial has no effect other than when itís at zero, the compressor stays off. After that it doesnít seem to matter where I set the dial. For that reason, I have ordered a new thermostat and will be replacing it this weekend. Is it possible that may fix the problem? Perhaps the refrigerator just never knew when to stop running and it was causing all kinds of problems to the cycle.

    I will also say that I had a service port added by a technician and new coolant five years ago. But I have no idea how often these commercial units require new coolant so your idea could be sound as well if five years is typical for these for needing new coolant. So if the thermostat doesnít change anything, I assume this is my next course of action.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    28,192
    Post Likes
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If that service port was a tap o line it must be removed. There only temporary.

    If it needed refrigerant then there IS a leak. Find it and fix it.

    Nothing wrong with the t-stat. Your wasting money replacing it.

    Again you need a commercial refrigeration tech with knowledge

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    4
    Post Likes
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thread Starter
    Thanks, itís really kind of you to take the time to reply. Iím sort of bummed about the thermostat given that I was hoping it was faulty because the units seem to behave the same cooling why is whether the dial is sent to 10 or set to 2.

    The professional technician I took it to five years ago (I just donít want to have to wheel this heavy thing around again) Didnít find any leaks.

    Five years ago, The unit was checked by a pro and they found "suction pressure at 0 psi. Suspect low suction caused by partial blocked cap tube." They then replaced the cap tube and filter drier. They pulled the vacuum, charged the system with new R414B refrigerant. Parts charged were for 108" of new cap tube, the refrigerant, a fitting, and a "vacuum pump" (unless that charge was just to inspect it).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Southold, NY
    Posts
    28,192
    Post Likes
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Plugged cap tubes were fairly common on R-134A systems. Not so much on R-12. Iím assuming if they used R-414b itís an old R-12 system.
    Why are you taking it to them. Let them come to you!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2020
    Posts
    4
    Post Likes
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thread Starter
    Itís been surprisingly hard to find a commercial service company that will come to a residents home. Hence why I have been doing all I can to troubleshoot.

    Iím confused tho, it ran all night - compressor doesnít stop any more, but does stop in the cooler months when the basement is a few degrees cooler. That said itís maintaining 34 degrees inside just fine. Does that mean the refrigerant is ok? I guess I am having trouble understanding, low coolant doesnít mean it canít cool, just not cool as efficiently?

    The reason I wanted to change the thermostat is that the cooling temperature or pattern does
    It change regardless of where I set the dial. So I have no idea what power setting the beverage air fridge thinks it is on right now. I imagine if it thinks the dial is set to 10 that this may be regular behavior?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Posts
    58
    Post Likes
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    About 7 years ago I saw a very small beverage air refrigerator (ucr20) sitting near a dumpster out back of a restaurant I frequently ate at. I asked them if it was trash and they said they would praise me to get rid of it for them. When I brought it home and plugged it in I noticed the condenser fan didn't come on. I found a loose connection and it's been running great ever since then. I haven't done a thing to it. I keep it in my bedroom, full of bottled water. There's a train track adjacent to my house so the cycling doesn't bother me a bit. My freinds think it is very cool. I like it way better than any of those junk mini fridges I see at Walmart. It cools product very quickly. The condenser is very coarse heavy duty fins and very small. I hardly ever have to clean it. I got lucky and the door seal was in very good shape. If my thermostat ever went, it would surprise me as it's one of the old brass turn screw with the thick silver sensing capillary, anyways, I don't ever mess with it. My drinks are at 35-36 ish. It kicks back on around 40ish, that's good for me. I keep a superior mercury thermometer on the side wall near the door, I really like this simple little machine. I wanna get a glass reach in some day. If you really like that unit and are willing to invest in it you could have the person you hire remove the capillary tube and install an expansion valve. Good luck!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •