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Author Topic: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair  (Read 2923 times)

Offline Dockterpepper

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Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« on: February 27, 2018, 06:14:26 PM »

Hello everybody, 
   Thanks for letting me in the group.  I'm working on a whirlpool dual evaporator fridge.  Model # WRF990SLAM02.  It has the black fins on the ff evaporator. I can't really tell if its been apart before or not, the drain pan is broke and one of the screws that holds the evaporator cover in place has the plastic threaded piece broken off.  The broken pieces were still inside when I took it all apart so IDK.  Anyhow, I lucked out and found a guy that seems very knowledgeable  and told me right away about the problem with these fridges. I do hvac, but have never worked on a fridge sealed system (yet).  I picked this thing up for $200 and I'm really hoping I didn't just buy a $200 linoleum weight.  LOL Going by what this guy has told me so far, I ordered the evaporator and in taking it apart, the evaporator feels oily and the drain pan is somewhat discolored.  So I'm sure he's putting me on the right track. He said on recall they had that a lot of times after changing the evap, the compressor would start making noise so they would replace it as well. So anyhow I've ordered a new compressor, evaporator and drain pan and my parts should all be here tomorrow. I'm pretty sure I can do this, but any helpful tips would be appreciated.  I'm debating on weather to use silver solder or brazing on the lines.  Being used to brazing 3/4 and 3/8 copper I'm a little nervous about these tiny lines.  Is there any more of a chance of soldering the cap tube lines shut than there is with brazing?  Any helpful tips you guys might have would be awesome.  Thanks in advance

Offline dewitt8884

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2018, 08:07:08 PM »
The original problem, if it was poor cooling in the fresh food cabinet, was the evaporator cover...not the evaporator itself.  This has been a huge problem for these dual evaporator models.  Manufacturer has come out with an upgraded...New design evap  cover that prevents the evaporator from icing up. But, sounds like you have some work ahead of you.  You need to use a small flame when doing the evaporator and make sure to keep heat off the plastic liner. You need to get a filter dryer too.

Offline Dockterpepper

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2018, 09:14:29 PM »
This thing is a mess, the guy I bought it from said he bought it from a supposed repair guy and it quit working shortly after he bought it.  He didn't want to go back to that guy so he called out a different repair company, they replaced the compressor and he said it worked for a couple of weeks and then the freezer wouldn't keep stuff frozen solid.  So he calls them back and they tell him the "stuff" you fill the compressor with takes two or three charges sometimes to fill any pinhole leaks that might be in the system.  :rofl: So they recharge it and it only last another couple of weeks,  He's done spending money on it so thats where I come in thinking I might get a good deal if I can get it fixed.  The more I look, the more it looks like these things are plagued with problems.

Offline Dockterpepper

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2018, 09:17:18 PM »
I've been looking and I see at the repair clinic, they sell the whole plastic case with the evaporator  and the wiring for the fan and the whole shooting match for about 8 bucks less than I paid for just the evaporator.  What was the problem with the housing?  should I get the evaporator with the case to be safe?

Offline DaleCaskanette

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2018, 09:22:03 PM »
the upgraded evaporator comes with the fan case etc it is a complete assembly

Offline Dockterpepper

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2018, 09:37:17 PM »
Awesome, I hope so.  This whole thing has had me a nervous wreck, wondering when I should stop the bleeding on this thing.  I'm in 200 for the fridge and 400 for compressor and evaporator and drip tray.  Don't know for sure when to draw the line or where to draw it at, I just know the wife wants it out of the dining room. lol.

Offline Dockterpepper

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2018, 09:42:36 PM »
This is a fine example I guess of what the first guy did to get it out the door.  There was silicon on every joint you could see after taking the cover off of it, which by the way only had one screw holding it on and was beat all to hell.  Doesn't sound like the second company did the guy any favors either. I really hate seeing stuff like this that people have paid good money for thinking the person doing was knowledgeable in his/her craft.

Offline andyf80

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2018, 10:12:14 PM »
Wow!  That is...the worst! Ugggg
I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that. 

Offline LeRayParateur

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #8 on: February 28, 2018, 02:24:17 AM »
For some of these dual evaporator models, in order to prevent defrost problems, the defrost thermostat or pipe thermistor had to be moved on a different part of the pipe in the fresh food section for some models.

In this case, it looks like different people not knowing their craft took turns working on it.

Since the appliance worked after them adding some stuff, but only lasting weeks, it's probably a leak on the sealed system.

A real tiny leak would likely have lasted 2-3 months, so if it's only weeks, the leak might be quite big.

Although I'm no refrigeration technician, I think any Whirlpool trained tech would likely have replaced the filter dryer with an UV ink one, vacuumed the system and recharged it to specified refrigerant weight on the 1st service call.

Then, wth the proper light and colored glasses, it would have been easy to find the leak(s) not just silicon caulk over anything they're unsure of. Might as well have soaked everything in a J.B. Weld mix  O0

This seems to be a system with 3-way valve, making diagnosis a little bit harder. You can try adding an access valve to the succion side of the compressor and adding pressurized nitrogen so it would fill both evaporators to help find leaks on the low side and confirm if the evaporator coil has to be replaced. For any leak on the condenser side, if any, they shall be easy to find with the compressor running and proper refrigerant charge.

Reagarding solder type, most use Sil-Fos bronze alloy for copper pipes on refrigerators. Silver is used only to join the steel condenser coil. Silver brazing material can get too thin and be sucked in the small pipes, so yes it could clog a capillary.

I have seen in a few occasions small aluminium patches installed on the aluminium tubing of an evaporator coil, likely in case of a pinhole leak easy to see on the coil, never worked with them myself.

Good luck!

Offline Dockterpepper

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #9 on: February 28, 2018, 07:34:31 AM »
Thank you everybody for your replies. I'm sure glad now that you mention it that this guy didn't soak all the joints with jb weld, holy  crap, that would have really been a mess. One big worry is when I put the uv drier on, it is attached right there where an aluminum pipe goes into the bottom of the freezer box. should I trust that joint and cut the copper line and swedge the new filter drier into whats left of the pipe on the old one? (or just sweat a piece of copper over both pieces without swedging) Or am I making too big a deal out of sweating the two different metals together. Thanks again everybody

Offline dewitt8884

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2018, 07:46:45 PM »
You may also need the board upgrade.  Check out this service bulletin.

Offline dewitt8884

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2018, 07:49:37 PM »
You can't use a uv filter in these.  It has an oiless compressor.

Offline Dockterpepper

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2018, 09:55:12 PM »
the compressor came with the uv dryer. I don't think this one is oilless. I just realized tonight that the torch tip I picked up doesn't even fit my torch :oops:  I may regret this by the time its all said and done. Hopefully I can get it going with not much more money in it than what I've spent so far.

Offline dewitt8884

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #13 on: March 01, 2018, 06:02:10 PM »
You've got an older model then. The new ones have the oiless ones that look like an ant or mr. Peanut lying down.

Offline Dockterpepper

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #14 on: March 01, 2018, 11:47:53 PM »
Well, I guess we'll see what happens now, got the evap, compressor and uv drier put in.  It's humming right along, so now it's wait and see. Gonna let it run a while before I put all the food in it.

Offline dewitt8884

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #15 on: March 02, 2018, 06:37:28 PM »
Check it with a black light since you used a uv drier

Offline Dockterpepper

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #16 on: March 02, 2018, 06:54:47 PM »
I’ll have to look up my black light and check it out if I can find it

Offline haroldsappliance

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2018, 03:24:50 PM »
Boat anchor

Offline Dockterpepper

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Re: Whirlpool dual evaporator repair
« Reply #18 on: November 01, 2020, 12:49:04 PM »
Are there any newer models that are much more that just a boat anchor? Sorry for resurrecting a two year old thread. The fridge worked good for a little over a year and the evap coil froze up. At the suggestion of another tech I ordered a new thermistor but after thawing it out I needed to get the food back in it while I order the part. So the new thermistor comes in and its working good so I was just gonna let it ride.  It went good for a little over a year like that  and today it's froze up again. (had been slowly raising temp.) I thaw it out and go to put the new thermistor on and its the wrong one  :tickedoff:Soooo, I put it back together in the same shape I did a little over a year ago.  We'll see what happens. It's pulling down to temp so we shall see. Fingers crossed.