Given a small refrigerator / freezer (dorm fridge), would there be any reason why immersing the freezer coil in water would reduce or eliminate the ability of the system to remove heat?

I took a dorm fridge and adjusted the position of the evaporator such that it could be immersed in a container of water. Before adding the container of water, I ran the refrigerator, and it was easy to detect that it was removing heat (the evaporator coil got "frost" on it). Then I immersed the coil in a large volume of water, and ran the refrigerator again, but the temperature of the water did not decrease.

One possible reason is that when getting the container of water positioned, a crack developed, allowing the coolant to evaporate out of the system. But I was very careful, so wondered if there was another explanation, based on the physics, and the control system in the refrigerator.

An experiment could be done to remove the water and see if the coils frost again, but removing the large amount of water is logistically difficult, so I thought I'd ask before doing that.

  • If removing the container of water is problematic, you'll not know if the machine is operating properly. Remove only the water, not the container and determine if it is cooling. Otherwise your experiment is inconclusive. – fred_dot_u Jun 8 at 21:43
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    If you're trying to freeze the water, consider the effect of expansion and contraction on the fragile evaporator pipes. However, how long did you run this experiment? Water has a high specific heat, and would only cool s l o w l y . – DrMoishe Pippik Jun 8 at 22:10
  • I'm not trying to freeze the water. The thermostat control would stop the compressor before the water freezes because the thermostat in the original system was in the refrigerator portion. I added a temperature probe 12 hours ago and it has gone down by 0.2 degrees F. – Dale Jun 8 at 22:27
  • Wait, is this the coil on the outside of the refrigerator? Are you expecting it to get cold? – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 8 at 23:53
  • The evaporator coil is supposed to get frosty. You don't put water on evaporator coils to increase efficiency. If you want to increase efficiency, you would want to move air AND water across the ** CONDENSOR COILS ** this is were the heat its removed from the refrigerant. Why are you doing this anyways? – Gunner Jun 9 at 10:24

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