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Old 23-09-2012, 13:14   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 4
Replacing a reefer

My boat's ancient Alder Barbour ColdMachine finally gave up the ghost. This was an icebox conversion - the icebox is a toploader in the galley, with an evaporator in it, and the compressor and whatnot is just on the other side of a bulkhead, mounted in a cockpit locker. The copper refrigerant lines, and the thermostat wire, run through a small sealed hole in the side of the icebox, through the bulkhead, and to the Danfoss.

After many hours of troubleshooting, I found that the problem is in the electronics, on the control board - a part which can't be replaced. The compressor runs fine, and system is fully charged with R134a.

I have purchased a new Vitrifrigo cooling unit with a forced air condenser, and a new evaporator. I have only done troubleshooting on my old system, never installed something like this, so I am immediately confronted with a new problem: how can I safely vent the refrigerant in the installed system? I mean safe for me and for the environment. I am guessing that I need to disconnect the fittings that lead in to the Danfoss, but I'm worried that 1) I'll freeze my fingers off; 2) I'll break the law.

Any advice on the removal of an old reefer and the installation of a new one would be very greatly appreciated. My usual go to book - This Old Boat - has nothing to say on my particular problem.

Thanks much!
Justin R. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23-09-2012, 18:27   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Boat: 40' Silverton Aftcabin with twin Crusaders
Posts: 1,444
Re: Replacing a reefer

I had an Adler-Barbour in my old sailboat. The connectors attached to the compressor should safely prevent any leakage when you break them apart....with a wrench of course. If it is similar to my older unit, most likely it is, those connectors have valves in them to prevent leakage.
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Old 24-09-2012, 19:53   #3
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Posts: 343
Re: Replacing a reefer

The fittings are self closing but "bendy" so take care to hold firmly with the correct high quality open face wrench with alot of surface area on the fitting to "crack" the seal. A little oil will spill but not too bad.
Lojanica is offline   Reply With Quote

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