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Cleaned the condenser coils on my fridge and...

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I discovered green oxidation on the copper line set coming right off of the compressor. This fridge is maybe 6-7 yrs old. I took a damp paper towel and wiped off as much as I could, most came off.

Wha could be causing this? Is this indicative of a refrigerant leak, or future leak? Anyway to stop/slow it?


Comments

  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,357
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    Looking at it a little more that looks like the cold lines going to the evaporator coils. Could it just be condensation dripping on it? And would putting some foam insulation maybe stop it?
  • vhauk
    vhauk Member Posts: 84
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    many times the compressor can and the condenser metal are steel, while that refrigerant line is copper. What you’re seeing is dissimilar metal corrosion, which in this case is normal and not unusually a concern. 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    vhauk said:

    many times the compressor can and the condenser metal are steel, while that refrigerant line is copper. What you’re seeing is dissimilar metal corrosion, which in this case is normal and not unusually a concern. 

    6" from the junction and nothing near by?

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
    edited January 2023
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    JakeCK said:

    Looking at it a little more that looks like the cold lines going to the evaporator coils. Could it just be condensation dripping on it? And would putting some foam insulation maybe stop it?

    That's the suction line coming back from the evaporator.
    No idea why it's green, spray from dripped on it, or flux from the factory? I see some of it on the strainer or dryer as well.

    It's 7 years old and considered disposable junk unfortunately.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,357
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    Correction it is 6 years old. 7/16 is the manufacture date. 

    The worst spot looks like it is getting dripped on. I was thinking maybe from where it loops above it but it is still the same line. There is nothing else above it to drip above that. The other spots I wasn't too concerned about, looked superficial.

    Is there any kind of coating that could be applied? Maybe clean it up with a scotch brite?
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,893
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    Crap Copper?

    Lightly clean it up.
    Tar Tape to cover it.
    JakeCK
  • vhauk
    vhauk Member Posts: 84
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    Don’t take the corrosion off. It acts as a protective barrier against oxidation. 
    pecmsg
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
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    Hopefully you get well beyond your 7 years with this.

    Ironically, I just cleaned my 2nd fridge yesterday (we are snow bound), it is the "back room" fridge.

    We brought it July 16, 1981. When GE made really good things. Changed cond fan motor and door gaskets since purchase.

    Proudly labeled 42 years ago.... "No Frost"......like dating a motel marquee that touts "Color TV".
    I am impressed also that the defrost system is still all original and working.

    I know ChrisJ, it will not outlive your Monitor Tops.....but then it has not been rebuilt.
    mattmia2PC7060
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,357
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    vhauk said:

    Don’t take the corrosion off. It acts as a protective barrier against oxidation. 

    So I should just leave the rust on my vehicle because it provides protection? Is that how that works? The tailgate of my old ranger must have just been a magician doing a disappearing act if that's true.
    mattmia2HomerJSmith
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,357
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    JUGHNE said:

    Hopefully you get well beyond your 7 years with this.

    Ironically, I just cleaned my 2nd fridge yesterday (we are snow bound), it is the "back room" fridge

    Nice. I did it because I had to pull the fridge out to do some electrical work behind it related to my basement mancave and bathroom. Figured since I was there...
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,747
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    Something dripped on it. If that is flux or a manufacturing material or a foodstuff, who knows.
    JakeCK
  • vhauk
    vhauk Member Posts: 84
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    JakeCK said:
    Don’t take the corrosion off. It acts as a protective barrier against oxidation. 
    So I should just leave the rust on my vehicle because it provides protection? Is that how that works? The tailgate of my old ranger must have just been a magician doing a disappearing act if that's true.
    Do you know how chrome stays shiny?  Do you know why we paint iron and steel?  Besides wanting them to look better?  Rust is iron oxide which is the result of corrosion. The green scale on copper is copper oxide, which actually forms a barrier slowing or stopping the act of oxidation. So go ahead and polish that copper tube and take all of its corrosion resistance off. 
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,784
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    JUGHNE said:

    Hopefully you get well beyond your 7 years with this.

    Ironically, I just cleaned my 2nd fridge yesterday (we are snow bound), it is the "back room" fridge.

    We brought it July 16, 1981. When GE made really good things. Changed cond fan motor and door gaskets since purchase.

    Proudly labeled 42 years ago.... "No Frost"......like dating a motel marquee that touts "Color TV".
    I am impressed also that the defrost system is still all original and working.

    I know ChrisJ, it will not outlive your Monitor Tops.....but then it has not been rebuilt.


    Yes,
    I'm biased.

    However, 1980s refrigerators were very different than those being made in 2016 I promise.
    It's sad, but it's the truth.

    @JakeCK the copper lines in a monitor top were painted silver to protect them. When I work on mine I clean them, prime them and then paint them using stainless steel pigment paint. For example, Steel it.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    mattmia2
  • JakeCK
    JakeCK Member Posts: 1,357
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    vhauk said:


    JakeCK said:

    vhauk said:

    Don’t take the corrosion off. It acts as a protective barrier against oxidation. 

    So I should just leave the rust on my vehicle because it provides protection? Is that how that works? The tailgate of my old ranger must have just been a magician doing a disappearing act if that's true.

    Do you know how chrome stays shiny?  Do you know why we paint iron and steel?  Besides wanting them to look better?  Rust is iron oxide which is the result of corrosion. The green scale on copper is copper oxide, which actually forms a barrier slowing or stopping the act of oxidation. So go ahead and polish that copper tube and take all of its corrosion resistance off. 

    I am familiar with iron oxide and copper oxide and the process of how it forms. What you are forgetting is that were not talking about a simple layer of oxidation, or in the case of copper also known as petina. Once you introduce any kind of contaminant and/or an electrolyte that thin layer of oxidation is not going to protect it.
  • JUGHNE
    JUGHNE Member Posts: 11,077
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    The 81 GE had all tubing heavy painted black. Only a magnet would tell you copper from steel.

    The "good" new Maytag fridge is from 2009....I know it could die at any time.
    mattmia2
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,747
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    JUGHNE said:

    The "good" new Maytag fridge is from 2009....I know it could die at any time.

    That was right after whirlpool bought maytag and maytag bought amana so you could have got almost anything.
    JUGHNE
  • WMno57
    WMno57 Member Posts: 1,343
    edited January 2023
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    Humidity, airborn acids from cooking, and airborn acids/bases from cleaning products cause corrosion. Same problem with uncoated gas flex lines for ovens and clothes dryers. I like Pecmsg's tar tape suggestion.
    Patina only protects when humidity and contact with corrosives is controlled. As Jake and I are familiar with as owners of vehicles in the rust belt.
    In order of protective ability, low to high:
    1. Raw
    2. Patina
    3. Paint
    4. Powder Coating
    5. Chrome
    I DIY.
  • vhauk
    vhauk Member Posts: 84
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    After decades in water and wastewater treatment and plant maintenance I have found that steel will turn to rust, unless it is protected from atmosphere. Always. Chrome will rust if polished too often. Galvanized steel will rust if the zinc barrier is broken. Some stainless steel will rust. Aluminum will corrode. But corrosion is really chemistry. Like my first sergeant told me when he gave me a can of paint and a brush, “if it moves, salute it; if it doesn’t move, paint it.”  
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,261
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    A leak detector spray will sometimes leave a residue on copper like that
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
    JakeCK