Temp drops to about -5 but compressor doesn't stop (except during defrost cycle) Had refrigerant added. Little pressure drop when running. Should I suspect compressor id worn out?
What is the thermostat setting at? Freezers are designed to run 22 hours to increase efficiency. The big power usage is in getting the compressor and all it's internal mass running. Normally 17 times full load current. Negative 5 to negative 25 is a good place to be with a freezer. You may want to examine the door gaskets, munion heaters, and usage. Extended door opening and often opening are beyond the design.
I forgot to mention one very important one. High ambient temps around the freezer. Not only does it reduce capacity of the compressor, but it also causes more heat migration into the chest.
Also check the condenser to be clean and the fan to be moving the proper air flow. Kitchen airborne grease is a real killer.
The temp control is set to 1, If I'm understanding you correctly it's ok to let the compressor continually run? The room is unheated but well insulated. Fresh air is available. The freezer is generating a lot of heat. Everything is sealing very well. When evaporator fan first turns on it's almost impossible to open the door. My question/concern is to determine if it's ok to have near continuous running. Can I start relying the freezer or is it about to fail.
It's the Condenser fan that I'm referring to. A quick test of the efficiency of the condenser is to feel the discharge line before the filter/dryer. It should be at or near room temp, if the unit has been running for a time. It's the bottom line coming out. Be careful, as the top one is hot. Now if it has been overcharged, the compressor amps will be quite high, and the cooling efficiency will drop as the compressor will be running hot from the extra load.
Make sure that it is not tight to the wall behind it. The 23 cubic ft case is narrow and needs air flow out the back. Unlike the 49's. They can move air in the right side and out the left front.
Depending on the year it was made, they used 3 different compressors. The oldest (before 2003) was a 1/2 hp Copeland. Then they used a Tecumseh 1/2 hp till 07. After that they went to a 1/3hp Tecumseh. .
The only thing telling your compressor to turn on is the thermostat, so that's most likely it.
Why was refrigerant added? was it not reaching set point? How cold do you have it set for?
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