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オリジナル投稿者: Brian Tabor ,

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Hi Michael,

Just reading your description and symptoms of the issue leads me to wonder if you might have a refrigerant leak.  It seems that the vast number of leaks are small and take some time before they reduce the performance of the system to a level that are noticeable.  Since cleaning the coils made a difference, it would seem that the other components are functioning (compressor, condensing fan, evaporator fan, expansion valve, etc..) and you are getting some level of basic cooling from the unit. I provided a few details below on the subject.   Of course, this isn’t a hard-fast rule, but it could be your problem and something to keep in the back of your mind as you go.

Unfortunately, checking the actual 'charge' or amount of refrigerant in the system can be somewhat convoluted without the proper tools and gauges.  Unlike a typical residential AC or heat pump implementation, which use standard connection ports for refrigerant pressure gauges many appliances are shipped as 'sealed' systems.  This meaning that they are pre-charged at the factory with the precise amount of refrigerant and do not provide a way to connect gauges to them natively.  Appliance repair professionals have special tools they use to 'braze' (i.e. an oxy-act two tank type torch) connection port fittings to the copper tubing.  There are also other ways to get connected to check and/or add to the amount of refrigerant in the system if it doesn't have service ports integrated from the factory, but this is going to be the most common.

Finding and repairing a leak in an appliance can be exceedingly difficult in that much of the system is hidden and hard to get to and the leak can be anywhere within the system - hence the reason that many appliances don't shipped with service ports standard.

I don't want to be discouraging, but honestly it would probably be hard to find someone who would come out, find /repair the leak, pull a vacuum of the system and then recharge the entire system (you have to remove all of the existing refrigerant before you can repair the leak) on a system that old as the cost would be more than the value of the appliance at that point.  I hope it turns out to be something else simple and cheap for you, but from my service experience over the years it is the first thing that jumped out to me when reading your post.

Thanks,[br]

Brian

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