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Old 09-04-2011, 09:17   #16
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Re: Adding Freon to a Fridge

Any charter company down there will be able to point you to a local refrigeration tech. who can fix and recharge your system, even if it does need R12. There are lots of places in the St. Thomas area that work on charter boats, but in Fajardo too I'm sure.
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Old 09-04-2011, 11:45   #17
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Re: Adding Freon to a Fridge

Plenty of F12 around if you look. Start with Ebay.

EDIT: But F12 might be just part of the problem. Do you have a vacuum pump? Gages? Proper soldering equipment? Do you even want to do a repair? Just my thoughts---
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Old 09-04-2011, 12:57   #18
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Re: Adding Freon to a Fridge

If it is an older Adler-Barbour it may not have fittings to add refrigerant.
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Old 09-04-2011, 13:28   #19
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Re: Adding Freon to a Fridge

My suggestion is you look at replacing the system yourself. It is simple and inexpensive. I think you can get a new 12v condensing unit, evaporator, and lineset for around $800. If you call a repair tech, it will cost you at least half that to actually fix the hole correctly and then refill the system.
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Old 09-04-2011, 15:51   #20
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Re: Adding Freon to a Fridge

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Originally Posted by Palarran View Post
My suggestion is you look at replacing the system yourself. It is simple and inexpensive. I think you can get a new 12v condensing unit, evaporator, and lineset for around $800. If you call a repair tech, it will cost you at least half that to actually fix the hole correctly and then refill the system.
(1) Freon is a Dupont trademark used for a variety of refrigerants.
(2) It is NOT illegal to use R-12 in the US and it is readily available from a variety of sources-some legal and some maybe not.
(3) In USA and territories you need at least an EPA 608 Type 1 certification to legally access the refrigerant side of your machine tho you need a 609 cert to buy small cans but you can't legally work on with 609 (MVAC like appliance) on a boat. Clear as mud, right?
(4) Last time at STX you could buy little cans at lots of little stores no problems. So outside USA may still be easy to obtain.

Palarran makes a good suggestion if the system is old enough that it uses R-12 if that in fact be the case. But remember it's the little things that determine how well the system works whether new or repaired. If you change it follow the directions carefully.

I would Strongly suggest if your machine runs on R-12 and you do not want to change out the system Stay with R-12. Lots of people will tell you you can convert but on average it will never run as well and likely not as long and burn a lot more amps in the process. I say this after doing refer work a lot of years.
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Old 09-04-2011, 16:14   #21
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Re: Adding Freon to a Fridge

It is illegal to manufacture R-12 in the US, it is not illegal to sell existing stocks. My wife is licensed and she could go buy some R-12 today. It is still completely legal in some other countries. You're not in the US exactly, I have no idea about PR laws, but you may benefit by sailing to the next country where R-12 is more readily available.
R-12 is an excellent refrigerant, 33% more efficient than R134 IIRC, so converting to R134 or one of the hybrid R-12 replacements will make your compressor run a lot more. No big deal on a car or in a house, but a really big deal on a boat where you have to make your own electricity. Additionally, R-134 tends to leak out of conventional O rings and seals so they need to be changed as well. I think they need to be Viton, not rubber.
You would be best off finding a place to evacuate, test, and refill your existing system with R-12. They can solder on proper fill ports if necessary, refrigeration guys do it all the time. They even have self-piercing screw on fittings that require no soldering. If it can be fixed than all is well and simple.
If it can't be fixed cheaply I would have to recommend replacing the system with one designed for R134 so that it won't suck your batteries dry in a half a day.
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Old 09-04-2011, 17:18   #22
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Re: Adding Freon to a Fridge

"You're not in the US exactly, I have no idea about PR laws,"
PR technically is one of the eleven "insular possessions" of the US. In more traditional language, it is a war prize and a US possession, so all US federal laws generally will apply there.
As R-12 is supposed to be scavenged and recovered from all systems before they are disposed of, there should be a continuing supply of it for many years to come. And, there is a huge supply of outright bogus, contaminated, etc. so-called R-12 available for people who canot legally purchase it, but try to anyway. Caveat emptor.
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Old 10-04-2011, 18:10   #23
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Re: Adding Freon to a Fridge

I did the conversion from R-12 to R-134 myself. Not rocket science.
The reason I did the conversion was I could not find a refer tech with easy access to R-12. It is still legal to use but it is getting harder to find & getting very expensive. I was quoted something over $200 by the tech, until he got back to me and said his supply dried up. If you can find some and can get the system running on R-12 again, fine. If not, consider options.
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Old 10-04-2011, 19:21   #24
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Re: Adding Freon to a Fridge

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I did the conversion from R-12 to R-134 myself. Not rocket science.
The reason I did the conversion was I could not find a refer tech with easy access to R-12. It is still legal to use but it is getting harder to find & getting very expensive. I was quoted something over $200 by the tech, until he got back to me and said his supply dried up. If you can find some and can get the system running on R-12 again, fine. If not, consider options.
I imagine you recovered the R-12 and pulled the system to the EPA spec required recovery vacuum? Did you sweat or flare in a new filter-drier to insure the system is clean? Did you charge by superheat, subcooling, motor amps or some combination thereof? How accurate is your weigh scale and did you mark the data plate with the new refrigerant type and the new correct amount? Did the LP and/or HP's need adjustment? Did the TXV need adjusted or was the metering device a cap tube or an orifice?
Not rocket science but not generally doityourself either.
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Old 12-04-2011, 14:39   #25
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Re: Adding Freon to a Fridge

"until he got back to me and said his supply dried up."
Translation: Supply my ---. Any AC tech can buy R12 from many distributors, there is no "drying up". But since a lincesed tech must keep a full set of equipment for each gas they deal with (one set of recovery tanks, one set of manifold/charging gear, one complete set of everything that touched the gas, no mingling allowed) it is reallyjust a matter of "Nah, I don't want to tie up all that money and space for R12 gear any more, it isn't worth my time to deal with it."
You were just given a fancy excuse for "It isn't worth my time to deal with it."

And of course it gets even more expensive if a tech doesn't get it right the first time, and has to give you multiple refills of that gas. Funny thing how AC/refrig systems can easily run for 10-20 years without any problems, but techs rarely give you even a 90-day warranty. FUD.
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