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Francis
Francis, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 2077
Experience:  been working with refs, fridge, washers. dryers. dishwashers, microwaves for the past 12 yrs .
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We have a scotsman DCA33PA machine. It has never functioned

Resolved Question:

We have a scotsman DCA33PA machine. It has never functioned properly. Frequently has no ice, then some ice, small cubes, etc.
It runs unbelievably hot. The counter above the machine is like a heating pad.

Now, it is rattling all the time. It can be heard all over the house... Constant, no cycling.

We have had repair people look at it to no avail. We have pulled it out, checked the lines, checked the drain, etc.

It has been in use for about 2 years ( frustrating years) We are ready to put it on the street.

Help.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Appliance
Expert:  Francis replied 2 years ago.

Francis :

Hello, so what exactly it is doing now? Do you feel air coming in the lower kick panel? Left hand side?

Customer: Yes, warm air out of the left, cooler on the right. It makes a rattle all the time.
Francis :

Oh.. Means the condenser fan is running. If it is rattling, it could mean also that the compressor is having a hard time working that is why I thought of the condenser fan. But seems like the fan is running.

Customer: The fan is running. I don't know if it is switching from "heat" to refrigeration. It may be stuck in "bat h" mode. I have no way of knowing if the timer is bad, however, there are no burnt wires or other indication. We installed a float pump, which seemed to help for a while. We had a repair person suggest the compressor wouldn't work at this altitude (7200 ft.) but the problem didn't seem to be the problem.
Francis :

oh...the ice machine is on a 7200 ft altitude? height would have an effect on the pressure of refrigerant so with this altitude, the pressures of refrigerant could be different. It could be having high pressure now because of the thinning of the atmospheric pressure. That would explain the compressor rattling and the counter top getting so hot. It looks like the unit is over charged with refrigerant.

Customer: What do I do?
Francis :

You should have a gauge and correct the amount of refrigerant by releasing some but not too much.

Customer: What kind of gauge, where do I get it and how do I know "how much" but not too much?
Francis :

Gauge manifold like this. Please click the blue word. Pressure of ice machine would usually start about 45 psi then ends with 25 before harvest. It would be hard to tell because pressure changes as the unit runs. After you out in the gauges, then I could probably tell if it is more and how much could be remove.

Customer: What if I remove too much?
Francis :

Then it would not make ice as well. but it would no longer rattle, would not heat too much.

Customer: Can I add more refrigerant?
Francis :

yes but you might not be able to buy since refrigerant are restricted commodities.

Customer: This rattle is reasonably new... The machine has always been a problem, but this noise is new. Could it be anything else?
Francis :

check if the condenser coil is dirty.

Francis :

remove the front cover and the condeser will be shown.

Customer: How? Is this something I can easily get to?
Customer: No, it looks ok
Francis :

Yes. On the lower grill, there could be screws holding the grill, remove the grill and where air sucks in, that would be the condenser coil.

Customer: We clean that regularly... Bad design, it should just pop off and on for easy access.
Customer: How do we access the refrigerant release valve?
Francis :

Ok. Then it could be normal tear and wear of the compressor since it has run for 2 years with an overcharged system.

Francis :

The release valve would have a cover( cap) and it would be connected to the compressor, usually, it should be on the front as well, after you remove the grill.

Customer: On left.. Where wires are, or on right behind the coil?
Customer: Is it white with a plastic coated tube?
Francis :

I can not see it either in the service manual. You could just trace the pipes that came from the compressor. The one with a cap at the end would be the charging port. The other two are for the discharge and suction of the system.

Customer: We want to connect to the discharge? Will we have to pull the compressor out of the machine?
Customer: I don't think the compressor comes out
Francis :

No. Do not pull the compressor off the machine, all the gas would escape. Pull the whole unit off the wall so you can see clearly where the charging port is. when you see it, hook it on the blue hose of the gauge manifold.

Francis :

That would be the low side of the gauge and it can measure 25-45 psi.

Customer: Ok. I can't see where that is from the front. I will have to get the gauge and try to figure this out. We access this from the back of the machine, right? I cannot pull the ice maker out and will have to explain this solution to someone else, that is why I am trying to get really specific directions.
Francis :

ok.. You can ask a tech and research on the effect of high altitude on refrigerant level because I am sure, internal pressure rises as you go higher altitude.

Customer: Altitude does affect pressure. No one has brought this up before, but it does make sense.
Francis :

ok. Good luck on the repair.

Customer: Thank you. We will do this. Hopefully this will fix the problem.
Francis :

I am sure it will. Thank you for using Justanswer.

Francis :

I have to go and answer some more problems. If you have any more question, just post it here and I would see it once I log back in.

Francis, Home Appliance Technician
Category: Appliance
Satisfied Customers: 2077
Experience: been working with refs, fridge, washers. dryers. dishwashers, microwaves for the past 12 yrs .
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